Education/Archive/Case Studies/Extend A Stub

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Extend A Stub

Edis Kittrell
English Adjunct Faculty
Montana State University

Course name
Writing 101

Course level (undergraduate/graduate)
Undergraduate, Freshman

Learning objectives
Writing Skills Development    
Media and Information Literacy    
Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
Wiki Technical and Communication Skills

Discipline of course

Class size
3-sections, 25 students each

Individual or group assignment
Individual (with group option)

Duration of assignment
3 weeks, final project

Syllabus (final project)
Handout: “Templates, Markup, Citations”
Handout: “Strategies for Finding Information”
Textbook: Writing and Revising: A Portable Guide (2006), X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, Marcia F. Muth, Bedford/St Martins, 0312454589


Strengthen writing ability to develop and organize a significant body of information by choosing from a list of incomplete Wikipedia article "stubs" and making it more complete for the purpose of informing the reader as well as improving the Information Literacy skills of the student.

An important aspect of this assignment was the research. Students learned to use the library's academic databases and were asked to include three different types of sources: one from an academic journal (such as the Journal of Applied Psychology), one popular magazine (such as Rolling Stone or The Atlantic), and one from the web, which was evaluated closely for reliability and had to be approved by instructor.

Effective use of sources involved clear and accurate restatement of the sources, with correct documentation in the form of inline citation, just as the students had been doing all semester. They learned to respect the audience; covering all relevant aspects of the topic while being careful not to distort or suppress information. The students followed the Wikipedia guidelines, which closely align with academic writing in general.