Buzzpedia:First Round Articles

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The first step in creating our digital archive of Georgia Tech’s history and culture, Buzzpedia, is to create some articles! By writing articles documenting people, places, events, objects and organizations important to the history and culture of Georgia Tech, but not significant enough to a broad audience to be included in a general-purpose archive like Wikipedia, our class will make an important addition to the information available online. In addition, the process of writing them will help us experiment with and learn about the skills and processes needed to work together to build a wiki-based archive. The first round article assignment will help you improve your ability to: find, evaluate, and synthesize sources; draft and revise academic English; and format text for viewing in an electronic medium.

Process We will follow a four-step process to create our First Round articles. First we will identify potential sources in the university archives, and take careful notes on the potential uses of each source. Then, we will discuss what article topics we might be able to write about, based on the sources we have available. Next, we will draft articles on those topics that have sufficient source support and meet other criteria we have established together as a class. Finally, we will revise those drafts to meet style and content criteria we have also established collectively.

Contents

Step One: Source Summaries (25 Points)

Before we can begin writing articles for Buzzpedia, first we have to establish what resources we have available to supply facts for our articles. To do this, each student will complete five source summaries. Each source summary will give a brief overview of the information available in one archival source.

Requirements:

Each source summary must be 100 words in length. Each summary should document a source relevant to the area of Georgia Tech history assigned to the student’s section. As a reminder, those areas are:

  • Section A2: Athletics
  • Section J1: Campus Buildings and Physical Environment
  • Section G2: Traditions and Campus Life

Each summary should establish what people, places, events, objects and organizations significant to the appropriate area of Georgia Tech’s history the source contains facts on, and give a (very) brief overview of what those facts are. See the example summary if you need a model for how to write this up.

Submission Process and Due Date:

Source summaries must be posted to our class wiki. Only one student from each section may complete a summary on a given source! To avoid conflicts over sources, create a new page on our wiki for your source summary as soon as you have identified a source you want to use. Give the page the following title: Source Summary: NAME OF YOUR SOURCE, replacing NAME OF YOUR SOURCE with the name of the source you are using. Create a heading on this page with your name and section number. Add this page to the Source Summaries category on our wiki by adding the Source Summaries category tag. You may then complete your summary at any time, up to the due date for the assignment: September 10.

Before beginning a source summary, check the source summaries category on Buzzpedia to ensure that no one else from your section is working on that particular source. However, students from different sections may complete summaries on the same source, as long as they make clear how the source is pertinent to the specific area of Georgia Tech history assigned to their section. To do this, add a heading with your name and section number below the heading with the name and section number of the other student or students working on the source.

By the due date for source summaries, September 10, you must provide links to the five summaries you have completed on your user page on Buzzpedia.

Evaluation:

Each summary will be awarded up to five points based on the following rubric, for a total of 25 points for the assignment:

Rhetoric: Does the author of the summary clearly communicate the

necessary facts to the reader? Does the author avoid grammatical
errors and clumsy constructions that would impede communication?

0 to 3 points
Critical Thinking: Does the source selected provide important

information on the appropriate area of Georgia Tech’s history?

0 to 2 points

Step Two: Topics (10 Points)

After establishing what sources are available to us in the university archives, we will work together to produce a list of potential Buzzpedia article topics

Requirements:

Each student must suggest two potential article topics. Suggestions must be based on our in-class discussions of sources and notability, and the source summaries compiled by the class. In addition, suggestions must conform to the following requirements:

  • The topic must pertain to the appropriate area of Georgia Tech history
  • There must be at least 3 sources of information documenting the topic in the University archives
  • There must not be more than 1000 words on the topic in Wikipedia (we don’t want to duplicate Wikipedia, we want to make a complementary archive!)

Submission Process and Due Date:

Topic suggestions are due September 13. By this date, students must create a new page on Buzzpedia and title this page after their topic. Create the page by creating a link on the List of Suggested Topics page. For example, a page on George P. Burdell would be entitled simply “George P. Burdell”. Add your name and section number as the page’s content. Add links to three source summaries that document sources providing information about this topic.

Evaluation:

All students will be awarded 5 points for each appropriate and complete (including links to summaries!) title suggestion. No points will be assigned for inappropriate titles.

Step Three: Drafting (60 Points)

Once we have established an understanding of the resources available to us and decided on a list of acceptable article topics each student must compose a draft of an article on a person, place, event, object, or organization relevant to the area of Georgia Tech history his or her section was assigned.

Requirements:

Article drafts must be 1250-1500 words in length.

Article drafts should attempt abide by the standards of academic English, to the best of the student's ability. We will discuss specific textual standards and conventions during the revision phase. During drafting, try to write clear English you won't be ashamed to have read by students, professors, and others who may visit our wiki!

Completed drafts should provide the following information to the reader:

  • Who or what is the article about?
  • Why is this person, place, event, object, or organization important to the history of Georgia Tech?
  • What is interesting or important about this person, place, event, object, or organization and why is it interesting or important?
  • What influence did this person, place, event, object or organization have on Georgia Tech, Atlanta, and the larger world?
  • What is the origin of this person, place, event, object or organization? In the case of a person, how did they come to be at Georgia Tech? In the case of a building or object, how was it designed and built? In the case of an event, how was it set into motion? In the case of an organization, who established it and why?
  • How has this person, place, event, object, or organization changed and developed over the course of its time at Georgia Tech?

However, drafts should not be composed as a series of answers to these questions. Instead, try to synthesize this information in a form that will make sense to your reader. Feel free to use Wikipedia articles as a model, if you wish. We will discuss ways we may wish to organize content across the whole of Buzzpedia during the revision phase. Remember that your article needs to be distinct from the Wikipedia article! Focus your article on those questions that can be answered in a unique way using the sources from the Georgia Tech archives.

No set number of sources are required for this draft, however, drafts must use sources to support factual claims and must make extensive use of archival material at Georgia Tech. Drafts should only use tertiary sources (like Wikipedia) for background information. Drafts should cite sources using the reference tag. For now, use any style you think best to format source information. See e-book chapters 39, 40 and 41 for information on various citation styles.

Submission Process and Due Date:

Drafts will be written on the Buzzpedia pages set up during the topic suggestion process. Complete drafts must be posted to Buzzpedia by October 4.

Evaluation:

Drafts will be awarded 60 points based on the following rubric:


Clarity: Can a reader easily understand the draft? Does the draft avoid awkward

or constructions and grammatical errors that obscure meaning? Does the draft
communicate the facts on its topic to the reader?

0-20 Points
Completeness: Does the draft fully answer the questions above? Does it

communicate all the required information to the reader? Does it meet the
length requirements set for the assignment?

0-20 Points
Style: Does the draft engage the reader? Does it hold the reader's interest?

Does it avoid vocabulary, constructions and grammatical errors that would make
it seem inappropriate to the academic setting?

0-20 Points

Revision

After completing their initial drafts, students will work together to revise and improve their articles. Each student has been assigned one or two partners.

Buzzpedia:List of Revision Partners

During our class meeting on Monday, October 4, partners should review and discuss each other's drafts.

Buzzpedia:Draft review and discussion

Each student will be responsible for revising the draft article composed by one of his or her classmates. Revision partners will be assigned through a random process. You must revise your classmate’s article such that:

  • It meets all the style rules established in our Buzzpedia style guide.
  • It is free of any other grammatical errors or awkward constructions that might obscure the author’s meaning.
  • It contains wiki links as prescribed by the wiki link conventions we establish for Buzzpedia.
  • It has addressed any additional issues described in my feedback

Students will then be responsible for reviewing the revisions made to their own articles, and ensuring that the revisions accomplish the goals set above, and that they do not distort their intended meaning. In addition, students must add one photograph or other visual element to their draft articles.

Submission Process and Due Date: Articles revisions must be complete by October 11

Evaluation: Students will be awarded 20 points based on the work done revising their partner’s articles, 20 points based on the state of their own articles at the close of the revision period, and 15 points based on the photos or visualizations added to their articles.

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