English Adjunct Faculty
Montana State University
Course level (undergraduate/graduate)
Writing Skills Development
Media and Information Literacy
Critical Thinking and Research Skills
Wiki Technical and Communication Skills
Discipline of course
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 Atlantic Monthly), 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 in-line 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.