Wiki Assignment

First Entry Generation Due: 1 week after end of unit relating to entry topic (2/26, 4/2, 4/30)

Other Editing, Final Project Entries and Rationale Due: Monday, May 11, 2015

Over the course of the semester, our class will be working with another section of WAM to continue building a wiki site covering scholarship and topics relevant to Writing Across Media courses specifically and multimodal composition in general. The wiki, as it expands, will become a complex, quality resource for current and future WAM students—and, perhaps, to students in similar programs on other campuses.

To make good use of the affordances of wiki technology, we will emphasize both hyperlinking among entries and collaborative editing—although you will be originating some entries on your own, by the end of the semester most entries should have been touched by at least one other author and should contain multiple links within the wiki. Throughout your entries, you should be identifying key words, articles, scholars, etc., and either linking to existing wiki pages or creating stubs for other students to fill in at a later date.

Your Task:

  1. Originate 3 full wiki entries
    1. You will generate your first entry on a reading/keyword of your choice. Choose this reading in one of the following ways:
      1. A few readings/keywords from last semester do not have entries. You may choose to generate an entry for one of these readings/keywords.
      2. Choose one of the listed keywords or suggestions for further reading on an entry of your choice.
      3. Find a reading/keyword all on your own that you think would be appropriate for WAM.
    2. To lay claim to your chosen stub you will claim it by writing on the entry page: “This stub is being originated by YOUR NAME.” You will claim your stub by week 3 of the semester.
    3. Two of these entries will be composed as part of the final project. You will choose 2 outside readings relating to your project and generate entries for them.
  2. Conduct substantial editing work (e.g. adding a section, revising/fleshing out a definition) on at least three entries originated by someone else. You may also do administrative cleanup work: fixing links, creating missing stubs, nominating pages for merging/deletion. This admin work needs to be extensive and on the same scale as editing 3 entries.
  3. Write a reflective rationale (1000 words minimum) that
    1. Explains what, exactly, you contributed (particularly important for the editing work, but also relevant to the entries you originate) and why you feel these contributions benefit the wiki project. This is where you’ll convince me that you’ve contributed substantially to the wiki project.
    2. Draws on the wiki readings readings to discuss the experience of producing the wiki. What were the challenges? How is a wiki like this similar to or different from a wiki like Wikipedia, and how does that affect your approach? Is this an assignment that should be continued in future classes, and why or why not?

Remember: there is a real audience trying to make real use of these entries! Try to provide the kind of information you yourself would want, and bear in mind that this wiki will be a public representation of student scholarship at the University of Illinois.

Requirements

Reading-based entries

READING-BASED ENTRIES SHOULD ALL BE TITLED THE SAME WAY: Author Last Name, “Reading Title (up to colon)”

Each entry should contain at minimum:

  1. Abstract: An abstract is a summary in your own words, of an article, chapter, or book. It is not evaluative and must not include your personal opinions. The purpose of an abstract is to give a reader sufficient information for him or her to decide whether it would be worthwhile reading the entire article or book. An abstract should aim at giving as much information as possible in as few words as possible. This should not be a play-by-play account of the article’s content but rather a summary of the article’s main arguments as relevant to students of WAM. The abstract should include complete bibliographic information
  2. Key concepts. In this section, you should dig deeper into the article’s argument to discuss its key ideas and takeaways. Your goal in this section should be to explain critically the concepts discussed in the reading. Include at least one well-integrated quotation.
  3. At least two of the following sections:
    1. Examples. What do these ideas look like in the real world? This section may be a little more rhetorical because you have to make your argument that each example is appropriate and illustrates the concept in question. You must find your own example! You may not use an example used in the reading, nor may you use an example from the class website.
    2. Critical conversation. Google Scholar provides lists of texts that cite a given article. How many times has this article been cited to date? What kinds of arguments does it get integrated into? What critiques of these ideas have scholars put forward?
    3. Resources and further reading (include at least 5). What scholarly sources (peer-reviewed journal articles, books published by academic presses) and non-scholarly sources (non-peer-reviewed books, websites, databases) might be useful to someone trying to understand more about this topic? Provide a brief (1–2 sentences) description of each resource. Be sure to create stubs for these readings.
  4. A list of keywords relevant to the article. Each keyword should link to another page within the wiki; if one does not exist, create a stub. Be sure to double-check to ensure that a similarly titled stub doesn’t already exist.
  5. Citations.
  6. Category Tagging: Be sure to tag your entries with appropriate categories, e.g. “reading” or “keyword.” If you’re creating a stub, you should also tag it with the “stub” category tab. Feel free to use or create other category tags as you deem appropriate. Doing so will allow other wiki users to more easily locate your entry.
  7. Table of Contents Entry. Add your article to the table of contents/wiki content page (if it’s not already listed) and link to the entry page.

Keyword-based entries

A keyword is not simply a word whose meaning you’re unsure of. If you’re uncertain whether a word qualifies as a keyword, see me first: “A keyword is a term that marks a site of significant contestation and disagreement, not consensus. If it can be defined in a stable and agreed-upon way, the term is not a keyword. Keywords reward repeated exploration and reflection because debates and research about culture and society can be enhanced—rather than settled or shut down—by an increased understanding of the genealogies of their structuring terms and the conflicts embedded in differing and even contradictory uses of those terms” (Keywords for American Cultural Studies).

BEFORE CREATING A NEW KEYWORD PAGE, CONDUCT A SEARCH TO SEE IF A PAGE WITH A SIMILAR KEYWORD EXISTS. FOR EXAMPLE, “MULTIMODAL” AND “MULTIMODALITY” MAY NOT NEED TO HAVE TWO PAGES BECAUSE THEY’RE BASICALLY THE SAME CONCEPT.

Each entry should contain at minimum:

  1. Overview. A basic one- or two-sentence definition of the word as it is used in the context of Writing Across Media.
  2. Definition and history. A robust explanation of the term’s meaning (again, in the context of WAM) and how it has been taken up by various scholars. What did the term originally mean? When did it enter the conversation about mutimodal writing/media studies? What scholars have been instrumental in defining it?
  3. At least two of the following sections.
    1. Examples. What does this concept look like in the real world? This section may be a little more rhetorical because you have to make your argument that each example is appropriate and illustrates the concept in question. You must find your own example! You may not use an example used in a reading, nor may you use an example from the class website.
    2. Critical conversation. What debates have taken place or are taking place over the word’s definition and usage? Cite at least three scholars in your discussion.
    3. Resources and further reading (include at least 5). What scholarly sources (peer-reviewed journal articles, books published by academic presses) and non-scholarly sources (non-peer-reviewed books, websites, databases) might be useful to someone trying to understand more about this topic? Provide a brief (1–2 sentences) description of each resource. Be sure to create stubs for these readings.
  4. A list of keywords relevant to the article. Each keyword should link to another page within the wiki; if one does not exist, create a stub. Be sure to double-check to ensure that a similarly titled stub doesn’t already exist.
  5. Citations.
  6. Category Tagging: Be sure to tag your entries with appropriate categories, e.g. “reading” or “keyword.”If you’re creating a stub, you should also tag it with the “stub” category tab. Feel free to use or create other category tags as you deem appropriate. Doing so will allow other wiki users to more easily locate your entry.
  7. Table of Contents Entry. Add your article to the table of contents/wiki content page (if it’s not already listed) and link to the entry page.

Deliverables:

Grading:

The wiki grade will be determined holistically, based on your total contributions (new entries and editing combined), and according to the following rubric

Excellent (A):
Writing is insightful, critical, substantial, detailed, will specifically reference and engage with class readings, and will make bigger connections to issues outside of the class or between readings. Excellent work really goes above and beyond basic requirements to show me that you have not only done and understood the readings, but you also have the ability to think critically about them and their broader implications. Excellent work consistently raises the level of discourse for class discussions. 
Good (B):
Writing shows me that you’ve done all the readings, are thinking about the issues present in the text, and the work is thoughtful. 
Fair (C):
Writing is surface-level and may not show that you’ve done or understood all of the readings. Writing may be brief and not in-depth. Fair work may also only focus on peripheral or tangential issues and will not get to central concepts or ideas. 
Poor (D):
Writing is incomplete or clearly demonstrate that you have not done the reading.