Writing and Publishing in Digital Environments, Spring 2020/Requirements/Log
|CRN 26149||nmac 5108.01||online||Spring 2020|
TL;DR: A requirement for this course is keeping a regular log that documents and comments on your work throughout the semester.
An important requirement for this course is an informal log that you will keep on Wikipedia. The log emphasizes three goals, or “Three Cs”:
- Engaging Content: The topic or project you’re writing or editing on Wikipedia. Documenting and planning your work and reflecting on your progress.
- Learning MediaWiki-Specific Composition: Discussing and exemplifying the skills you’re learning about the best practices for writing on Wikipedia.
- Building Community: Providing comments, feedback, and assistance you give to your classmates.
An important part of education is working through problems in a way that will help your community. When we document our process and struggles, we can better learn from both our successes and failures. By sharing our understanding — our insights, discoveries, frustrations, and epiphanies — we can help clarify the process for ourselves and help strengthen the community we’re building. The overarching goal of the log is to improve Wikipedia.
Log entries should reflect the goals above, but not all will nor should be addressed every time you write. Think of entries a daily accounting on what you accomplished toward your ultimate goal of completing the course projects. Your log should document your semester’s work and could stand as evidence of your course engagement. If your goal is an A in the course, your 3Cs Log should prove you deserve it.
Your 3Cs Log will not be a single, formal document. Instead, each entry should appear on an appropriate talk page on Wikipedia, most often your own user talk page, but sometimes an article’s talk page and another user’s talk page for comments and discussion Wikipedia states, talk pages are for “improving the encyclopedia, not for expressing personal opinions on a subject or an editor.” Always keep this in mind when composing entries.. Remember, as
Tip: You also might keep an index of your entries somewhere on a web site or a document on your local computer, just in case. It could list the date, topic, and link for each of your entries. This could come in handy if there was ever a question about keeping your log.
Frequency and Format of Entries
Every time you work on Wikipedia for class, you should document it with an entry. Entries should range from 50–200 words, though they can be as long as necessary. They should be focused on a single topic or two. Entries should follow Wikipedia’s talk page conventions (especially for discussions), always including a signature at the end of an entry. 
Use links to support what you write. If you discuss additions you made to an article, be sure you link to that article. In other words: use evidence to support what you say.
Tip: Because you’re writing on Wikipedia — i.e., on a web site that is meant to be read on the screen, it’s better to write more posts that are shorter and more focused, rather than those that resemble academic essays meant for paper. See “Writing Top Ten” for strategies about writing for digital media.
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, using a notification. Try to comment on at least one other person’s log each time you make an entry on yours. Not only can you learn from what they’re writing, they could gain insights from your comments. Use the talk page format for commenting and responding.
- You might not get these totally right the first time, but you’ll learn them as you progress. Don’t let all the guidelines and rules stop you from editing.
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