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And the dream ends…




The Final Day

dreamsDeep breath!  Eye on the prize! This is your final stretch!

If you talked to me in a conference, we discussed options about citation pages — making them appear on a new post, or under a tab titled References or Works Cited, or trying visual markers to set them off, etc.  If you have questions about how to cite sources (either in text or on the final citation document), a good source to consult is the Purdue OWL Cite:

Today is the final stretch of our course — the culmination of all of your hard work in Univ 200 this summer.  I urge you to send the link to your final project out to a friend or family member before you submit it and ask them to read it for writing errors and clarity.   At the very minimum, you immediately lose credibility on a website if you have grammatical and writing errors.  It is not cheating to ask a friend to go to your website and review it for readability and grammatical correctness.  I have friends ask me all the time to review their websites or their written work (even emails) to assure these are grammatically and structurally sound.

As far as textual errors: don’t  forget little things like placing titles of articles or movies in italics, and using correct capitalization in titles.  Paragraphing was also a problem in several beta drafts.  You must break your text into paragraphs — besides being grammatically incorrect to cram numerous ideas into one long paragraph, it’s simply visually unappealing not to have your text broken into paragraphs.  Use space to your advantage!

Think about what kind of supplemental information someone coming to your website would be interested in having.  If you have a long video that you do not want to include in your article/essay/argument, but it helps supplement your argument, you can create a tab or page for an annotated bibliography of supplemental works.  Try out the tools available in your web template so that you can add side bars, twitter feeds, etc.

All of you should have created an About page in your website.  The peer reviews asked you to give advice about what you would like to see in your peer’s About section.  Think about what you would like readers coming to your site to know about you.  Feel free to be funny in your bio.  Include a photo or two — even funny avatars will do!

You can always keep checking the site this evening, as Inquiry Project links will be posted.  Check out your peers’ work (across sections)!  I’ll be checking out frisketmcbisket’s project on Netflix, since I used his research blog post as a model for you.   I also found other projects I’m interested in from other sections, so I will look at their work as well.  (One student is writing about Amazon — and I hope I’ll be able to find her project to look at it).  Truthfully, some of you are doing work that has broad interest among many readers beyond just this class.    Use tags for your website so that others can find it.  You may be surprised at the readers you will get if you tag effectively.

Finally, please take the time to complete the course evaluation (which you can access in Banner if you have not seen the emails sent to you).   This feedback is very important to me and the College.  You only have 1 more day to do this before the evaluation closes.  Please do it as you finish up your project this evening.

Have I said that this has been an amazing summer?   I have enjoyed every minute!   I can’t wait to see your final projects!

Peer Review Round #1

Peer Readers Round #1 assigned on S – 7/26:

Ben (Blurpity) and Wuddy (Just an Average Guy)

Sarah and Morgan

Elise (Elisey) and Noa (Blabbermouth200)

Justin and Imelda

Nikhil and Jeremy (wattsj2)

Katie and Gerell

Round #1 Peer Review Prompts:

To begin:   Go to your assigned writer’s blog post (Beta Draft) containing the link to his/her website.   First, read the entire IP without commenting.  Just a clean read, seeing what works for you, what doesn’t work, where you find yourself confused or wanting more information. If the writer includes a video or links — follow all of them as you get to them in the document.   Open a Word document and place the following headings:

1.  Platform design:  Comment on the visual appeal of the platform the writer created for his/her IP (Inquiry Project).  Does the header or banner image make sense to you (having read the argument)?  Is the visual design easy to read and navigate?  What kind of tabs or headings can you envision?  What supplemental material could the platform design support?   What kinds of supplemental information would you be interested in seeing as a reader of this argument?

2.  About:  Each blog or website contains an “About” post.  Comment on what you would like to see in this writer’s “About” post.

3.  Title: Does the website or blog have a catchy, interesting title?  The title should not be the research question or a “research paper” sounding title.  The title can also have a sub-title.  After reading the article, suggest some ideas for titles or words that may work in a compelling title for this project.  A play on words is always catchy.

4.  Introduction:  The introduction of any article or essay should set up the problem the project addresses.  You may tell an anecdote in the introduction, but this story must hint directly at the issue the writer is addressing in her/his argument.  Generally boring statistics provide the least effective introduction.  If the writer includes statistics, suggest places where these can be shortened, or can appear later.  Suggest ideas for compelling introductions.  Writers can call on current events (there is always something in the media about most of your topics), or a specific example you’ve read about.  Remember, if the writer loses a reader during the introduction, the rest of the IP is lost (because the reader will stop reading).

5.  Claim:  Is there a directly stated claim early in this project (before or directly after the introduction)?   Is the claim arguable?  Identify for the writer: what is the first counter-argument you think about when you read the claim?   If you can’t think of a counter-argument, this may not be an arguable claim.  Also claims should be well written, carefully worded.  Please edit the claim if it is wordy or if the language is not accurate enough.  If you can’t identify the claim, please tell the writer this.

6.  Reasons:  Can you identify clear reasons in support of the claim?  Please go back through the beta draft, and in your word document, list all of the reasons you see in support of the claim.  Copy the exact sentence from the text that states the reasons.  Edit these reason sentences if they are wordy, have errors, etc.

Generally, a 3500 word text will develop a minimum of 3 researched reasons, but most often it’s four reasons, sometimes even five.

7.  Evidence:  For each of the reasons, go through and read the evidence that the writer has included to support the reasons.  Is this evidence taken from credible sources?  Are signal phrases uses to provide information about the credibility of the sources?

One error writers make is that they include a piece of evidence, but when you go back and look at the reason, you realize the evidence isn’t really related to the reason (or it may be vaguely related, but you aren’t sure about how).  Tell the writer when this occurs; writers can edit their essays to make the connection between reasons evidence more clear.

8.  Commentary and Analysis:  After compelling evidence, what does the writer do?  If (s)he leaves the evidence and moves on to a new idea, note this in your document,  Writers should comment and analyze evidence so that readers understand how the evidence helps to support the reasons and link back to the argument the writer is making.  Ending a paragraph with compelling evidence is not effective.  Ask the writer some questions to draw out commentary from them in this section.

9.  Visuals:  Comment honestly about the visual images embedded in the text. How / why are these images effective?  How/why are these images confusing and/or unclear in purpose?   If there are no images embedded, give the writer two suggestions for places where you think images would/could potentially be effective.

10:  Embedded links:  Follow all links.  Skim the article linked to.  After doing so, what can the writer add to her/his text to better introduce or follow up on this link?

SEND your word document with peer feedback via email to your partner.  Emails can be found on Blackboard — Communication — Send email — click your specific person’s name and move to right column.  ALSO:  send your peer review to ME:  so that you receive credit for this important work!

Peer Readers Round #2 will be anonymous and assigned on M 7/28


A Note about Grades for Weeks #5, #6 and #7

Your grades are updated weekly on Blackboard. I have waited to assess Weeks #5 and #6 assignments together, since these two weeks have been devoted almost exclusively to the research and writing process.

To recap:

Week #5 assignments and point values were:  Research Nuggets #4 (20) Research Nuggets #5 (20) Research Nuggets #6 (20) Concept #5 (20) and Ebsco Screen Shot Assignment (20)

If your Research Nuggets were poorly developed, or if you did not work to synthesize your new research with previous research, you may have lost points.  If your Ebsco assignment included only a few search term attempts, this also was a problem.

Week #6 assignments and point values were:  Alan Kay Nugget (10) Research Nuggets #7 (20),  Concept #6 (20),  Research Trends Visual (20), Partial Draft (30).

Major problems this week were missing assignments (especially Nuggets #7 and Alan Kay work), as well as lack of careful work on Concept #6 (not following some of the weak hyperlinks so that you can articulate these problems).  Missing Partial Drafts resulted in the largest point deduction for the week.  Please work this week to complete your BETA draft due Thursday.

o_decdb02842c2732671145c8d8ae4d1d9Upcoming Week #7:  Real Estate Post (10), Working on Voice Post (10), BETA draft (80).   As you can see, you will be heavily penalized for not drafting.  Write write write!!!

PS: Drafts don’t have to be perfect or even good, they just have to be done.  The purpose of getting a first draft “out there” is to have a starting place for conversations about how to rethink, revise, and make your draft better!  This project can’t be done well in one all-nighter (I promise).  Drafting gives you a chance to experiment and try new things, and then get feedback about how your choices are working.

Partial Draft Assignment Post

Partial Draft Assignment

Due Friday July 18 @ end of day.

The only way to begin is to begin. (This sounds like a quote I found, but, it’s just the plain truth, and no one especially smart said it before I did).

Begin your partial draft on your blog if you have not yet found another site to house your Final Project. See Inquiry Project Assignment if this is news to you. It’s fine to use your blog for this assignment, which you should title “Partial Draft.” (aka: “It’s a start”).

Begin your partial draft by writing about the following:

  1. After researching for three weeks, you should have a general idea about what is typically understood about your topic. In general, what do most of your researchers/writers agree on, as far as your research question? Write a paragraph or two about this commonly agreed on research, which will serve to provide necessary background and context for your argument.
  2. After these few paragraphs, write about what you find problematic about the typical understanding of your research topic, and why this problem is significant to understand. Maybe your research question asks something that the research doesn’t fully answer (or only partially answers). Make it clear in a paragraph of your own, where your research differs from the others, or why / how your research question differs from what you’ve read. You’ll notice that the writer of The Case for the End of Modern Zoos does this. (See here).
  3. After this writing, state a main claim. This should be an “answer” to your research question. What are you arguing? Use specific language. Your claim must be debatable in some way (i.e. there should be people “out there” who could potentially disagree with you). You may phrase your claim: While research has pointed to x, I claim that y (if this helps). Or while some believe x, I claim y.
  4. Now sketch out four reasons in support of the above claim in #3. These can be written as “because” clauses. Example:

I claim that Netflix will bring an end to television as we know it

because the television model is dated and privileges marketing over viewer needs.

because Netflix capitalizes on viewers’ psychological need for binge watching and refusal to delay gratification

because… (you get the point)

For now: I wouldn’t worry about including hyperlinks or visuals, just get some writing on the screen so that I can see where you are going. If you wish to insert links or images – go for it. But my fear is that you will get side-tracked on finding links and images, and this will divert your attention away from the writing, and at this early stage, I need to see writing!

The claim and because clauses are my road-map for your argument. Please make these thoughtful and clearly articulated. Having completed the Research Trends assignment, you should be able to extract some ideas for “because clauses” from this work.


Inquiry Project: Details and Final Assignment

The Final Inquiry Project: Details and Assignment

The final version of your Inquiry Project must demonstrate your ability to write a sustained, persuasive, and interesting argument based in your research. You’ll need to show you can cite sources accurately, and that you can successfully and coherently weave many voices, viewpoints, and primary research (examples you collect from Instagram, or a piece of fan fiction, or evidence from a movie scene, etc). in order to forward your own interpretation and argument.  This project constitutes 35% of your final grade, and is the culmination of a summer of reading, research, collaboration, reflection, and experimentation with digital media.

In this project, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your learning in the medium of the Web, where images, sounds, video, hyperlinks, and all the other affordances we’ve been exploring can be used to great effect. Consider this an opportunity to be boldly imaginative while making and supporting your original argument.

Because the inquiry project represents the culmination of your questioning process for this course, the final project should not appear as just another post in your current course blog. Instead, your project should be “housed” on another site – either another rampages site (a new blog on our rampages site with a new title, theme, and relevant banner image), or another site such as Wix, Weebly, Google Sites or any other platform you may prefer.   With any platform you choose, understand that it should be suited to best represent your project given the assignment details, your argument, and your intended audience.

Core Criteria

  • Coherently researched.  Your project should integrate articles and primary data found in your research. Three of the eight minimum sources should be scholarly.  You may use any of the New Media readings of the course as sources as well, but these cannot replace the 3 scholarly source minimum.
  • Intentional argument and depth of reasoning. Someone reading your project should see that it makes an argument, that this argument is genuine and original in some way, and that your thinking about the argument is supported with reliable, interesting evidence beyond personal anecdotes.
  • Ambitious. Your project should present the best, most creative representation of your argument and research. Although you may not find a definitive answer to your research question, your argument and project aspires to offer the best, most compelling answer to your question, based on what you learned in your research.
  • Purposefully written to and for the Web. Your project will never see the “page,” but will only appear on the screen. Your chosen platform should be appropriate for your project. Your project should take advantage of the affordances of the Web for composition (multimedia, hypertext (links), audio clips, original photographs, video, etc). By “purposeful” we mean that you carefully select which digital medium and links best help supplement your reasons.  Over-inclusion of digital media as evidence will not bolster your argument.

Important Requirements

  • 3500 words or more (across all pages of the Inquiry Project that you write). References / Works Cited are not included in word count.
  • Links to at least eight quality sources that appear throughout your project, three of which must be scholarly.
  • A complete Bibliography or Works Cited of sources
  • Appropriate use of embedded media (images, videos, sounds, GIFs, etc.)
  • The project includes, in some form, an introduction with your argument stated as a claim, several paragraphs of background context on your topic to indicate you have a clear sense of earlier scholarship and history surrounding your topic, clearly articulated reasons to support your claim, evidence from reliable and scholarly sources to support each of your reasons, integration of your ideas to comment on and develop scholars’ research, and conclusion.
  • In-text citations that use signal phrases to introduce key studies or authors you rely on for key evidence.
  • Evidence of engagement in the writing process through full revisions made to the Beta draft, conferences with the instructor, peer review, and Writing Center online conferences.

Important Dates

  • Schedule optional online conference with Writing Center at any time before the final project is due.
  • Thursday, July 24: Inquiry Project in Beta (i.e. your draft) due by end of day.    This Beta draft should appear in your chosen platform. Include a LINK to your chosen platform in a Blog Post titled BETA DRAFT of INQUIRY PROJECT.
  • Monday, July 28:    Peer Review of BETA DRAFTS due by the end of the day.
  • Thursday, July 31: Finalized Inquiry Project due by end of day. Again, a link to this final project should appear in your blog.
  • Thursday, July 31: Tweet out a link to your final project on Twitter by the end of the day.
  • This project is the culmination of your work in this course and constitutes 35% of your final grade.
  • Think of your inquiry project as a research paper for the digital age: although it will have many of the characteristics of academic writing, it’ll take advantage of thought vectors in concept space–and lots of creativity–to make something much more involving and rewarding than a typical “research paper.”