October 26, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

Feedback, ENGL 5106, Week 3

How’s it going, all? This week you were to analyze a web site and make corrections for either Wikipedia or LitWiki. I’m running a bit behind this week, so this feedback might be posted over the next couple of days. Also, please be sure you’re reading my feedback. While I have not looked at everyone’s blog posts for this lesson, I notice that several of the errors that I have pointed out in previous feedback posts have not been corrected. These errors will end up costing you more points on evaluations, so be sure you’re reading all feedback carefully. I added links to these on the schedule.

Wiki Edits

The instructions for this part of the assignment are: “Edit an existing Wikipedia (or LitWiki) article by correcting grammar, adding citations, or improving formatting.” Some of you made a single correction, while some of you revised writing and even added citations. Minimal effort here earned you a minimal grade. Those who went above-and-beyond did much better.

Some of you have asked how I know what work you’ve done. Well, this is super easy on Mediawiki—the software that runs Wikipedia and LitWiki. There are two ways of seeing wiki updates; the first is for every edit made on the wiki. In the menu on the left, choose “Recent changes.” For individual users, click on their user page, then in the left menu choose “Tools » User contributions.” The wiki keeps a detailed account of edits.[1] For articles, select “View history” to see every edit made and who made them.

Try not to save after every small edit. This uses resources on the wiki. Make all your edits before saving, if possible. Also, be sure to “Show preview” and proofread before saving. This habit is good for both writers and wiki editors.

For those of you who made Wikipedia user—good for you! Be sure you add something to your user page and link to your web site.

Finally, many of you did not do this assignment—perhaps you overlooked it. I’m always happy to give extensions, but I would like you to communicate with me ahead of time if you require one. If you received a 0, please complete the assignment and let me know when you do. If I gave you a 0 in error, please let me know.

Blog Posts

Some great analyses this week. Some of your posts were truly excellent: really embracing the characteristics of digital writing. I even saw some multimodal embeds. Great job. Remember to take advantage of the tools that Ghost gives you—I shared some links and strategies in my previous feedback. There are many ways to augment your posts to make then appropriately digital.

I’d also like to see more explicit reference to the week’s reading in your posts, as well as support from other secondary sources. Remember that sourcing is a fundamental practice for establishing and maintaining credibility. In addition, your posts should always demonstrate the strategies that your readings introduce. Many posts are still being written like essays (works cited sections, large paragraphs, no or few links) posted online. If you have been doing the reading faithfully, you should know that this approach is not as effective.

Always contextualize your posts. Remember that all posts should stand on their own. Do not assume that your only readers are other members of the course.

Watch those low-res images on your key graphic. If they are too pixelated, they diminish the effectiveness of your post. This should be evident on your compose page. Also, have a look at the image when you publish. If it uses words and they are cut off, you might want to select a better image.

Again, please look at my previous feedback—I’m not linking these off of the schedule on the syllabus. Many posts are still not using keywords, headers, links, and citations correctly. You will begin losing more points for these errors.

Be sure the use of “you” is strategic, not a generalization. Consider, too, the use of “a lot”; unless you’re talking about real estate, there may be a better word.

I recommended these posts to a few of you, but maybe you should all have a look. We’ll cover sourcing for the wiki later, but my Digital Citation suggests a logical approach for using citation in a blog post. Likewise, Link Logic gives some tips for using links effectively.

Thanks, all. I know that many of your have responded about the wiki posts. I hope to get to these in the next couple of days. Have a great weekend.

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One more point: if something is not right, or if you are having difficulties, or whatever the situation, please contact me about it. I will always work with you and help in any way I can. I have been doing that since the beginning of the semester. Even if you messed something up or earned a lower grade than you expected, I will always be willing to work with you to remedy it. Please, just contact me first or even make a face-to-face appointment. Before you contact anyone else, try reaching out to me. I promise to help.

Thanks. 👍🏼


  1. Some of you outlined what you did when informing me of your username; as you can see, this is unnecessary.