Science Fiction, Fall 2019/R2 Journal

From Gerald R. Lucas
Syllabus R1 R2 R3 L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10  
86228 humn 4460.01 Online Fall, 2019

An important part of education is working through problems in a way that will help your community. Often, when we document our process, we can understand both our successes and failures more easily. By sharing our understanding — our insights, discoveries, struggles, and epiphanies — we can help clarify the process for ourselves and help strengthen the community we’re building.


Keep in mind that this requirement has several goals:

  1. Documenting your ideas;
  2. Sharing your research;
  3. Reflecting on your progress;
  4. Practicing your writing and wiki skills;
  5. Planning your work; and
  6. Helping others who might be facing similar challenges.

Posts should be focused on the ideas above — not all will be addressed in every post, but one might consider ideas you had about the short story you read for the week, while a second might share a critical article you found on the TV episode you watched. Keep the above in mind as you plan and write your entries. (See #Frequency and Format of Posts below.)

While this journal is not a blog, you might get some additional strategies about how to approach it in “Blogging: Some Considerations.”

Location of Your Journal

Since this class uses Wikipedia, this would be the obvious place to house your journal, linked as a sub-page of your Wikipedia user page — but this is against Wikipedia guidelines. Therefore, we will keep them on another MediaWiki server. Keeping it here will give you daily practice on using the wiki, too. So, create your journal by editing your user page (once you made an account, just click on your user name in the upper-right) and adding:

* [[User:Grlucas/HUMN 4472 Journal|G. Lucas' HUMN 4472 Journal]]

Or something similar.[1] The above code produces:

Student Journals

Once you save the page and click on the created red link, you will be able to edit and save your newly created journal page which will turn the link blue. Start adding your content in the edit window the same as you would any Wikipedia article. For now, write something like “My journal is coming soon” as a placeholder and save the page. Post a link to your new journal on my Wikipedia talk page in the proper section.

Frequency and Format of Posts

Lessons require you to post at least twice per lesson on the assigned texts and videos.[2] While you have posts assigned, this is the minimum requirement.

Design of your journal will be up to you, but it should be logical and consistent. For example, each new entry could begin with a header and a descriptive title:

==September 10, 2019: Photography in “Gernsback”==

This would create a section for your post, giving it a title and date. Please be sure to date each post that you make. Try out different approaches; you should always preview before you save, and revert back to a previous version if you decide you do not like a change. Use this journal to practice your wiki syntax and coding. Try to learn something new about the wiki each week and incorporate that into your entries — this should be easy as you complete Wikipedia training modules.

Commenting and Responding to Others

In addition to your own posts, you should also comment on your colleagues’ posts and respond to their comments when appropriate and necessary. Try to comment on at least one other person’s journal once per lesson, though more is better. Not only can you learn from what they’re writing, they could gain insights from your comments. Plus, the more you use the wiki software, the more adept you will become. Use the talk page format for commenting and responding — this is very important for keeping journals looking good and giving users a logical and consistent way to have discussions. (See also: Reply, Respond, Comment.)

Keeping Backups

Since anyone on Wikipedia could edit your journal, it might be a good idea to keep a local, backup copy of your posts. It’s also possible some administrator could decide that this type of journal is inappropriate for Wikipedia, but we should not have any issues.

Final Post

You last post of the semester should be an essay that reflects on your semester’s work — think of it as a self-evaluation that summarizes what you have learned and what you have accomplished. This post should be your longest of the semester, about 1000 words, or so.


  1. Note, where mine says “Grlucas,” yours will be your user name.
  2. Remember you have one journal (which you created above) that will have multiple posts.