Reflective Analytical Essay Evaluations

By now, you should have received an email from your instructor with the scoring rubric for the Reflective Analytical Essay attached.

If you have not received this email or cannot open the attachment, please contact your instructor.

This is the final posting for the semester.  Enjoy your break!

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A little humor for the initiated

After a semester of studying Wikipedia, I think you will all get the inside jokes in this video.

But first a warning: The video does contain one instance of what is euphemistically called “adult language.” If you are unprepared for adult language, please do not watch it.

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Instructors’ Comments on the Reflective Analytical Essay Rough Drafts

We have sent .mp3 audio responses to everyone who posted their Reflective Analytical Essay rough drafts on time.  Please check your email.

As we read the rough drafts, we noticed a few patterns that need to be addressed.

Healthy Skepticism and Balance Too many of the drafts make claims such as “Wikipedia is a valid source,” or “reliable source,” or “excellent research source.”  No, it’s not, at least not without some fairly nuanced limitations.  Remember: less than 1/10 of 1% of all Wikipedia articles are Featured articles; the other 99.9% are not, and are therefore suspect at some level.  By the way, like ALL encyclopedias, it is never a good research tool unless one uses it as a starting point to check for primary sources (the list of sources found at the bottom of the better Wikipedia articles).  Acknowledge Wikipedia’s limits.  Make your claims, but make them with restrictions, caveats, and provisos.  This is an important aspect of this writing assignment.

MLA Works Cited entries and in-text citations are not optional, folks.  You must include them in the final draft.  We have found these two web sites useful: MLA Works Cited entries and MLA in-text citations. Please use the Wikipedia: Citing Wikipedia MLA article to help you create your Work Cited entry and in-text citations for Wikipedia articles.

Second, we noticed that the body paragraphs were too frequently general and abstract.  Please utilize the Claim-Evidence-Explanation-Closing  four-step process for producing analytical body paragraphs.  Remember that you can use any of the articles that were assigned for the Wikipedia Debate assignment, any of the Wikipedia resources (such as the “Wikipedia: Featured Article Criteria“), and – perhaps most importantly – your experiences within Wikipedia (either in the Wikipedia Feature Article Analysis or the Wikipedia Article collaboration).

If you are having difficulty with this concept, you may want to review the Analytical Body Paragraph presentation. View the analytical paragraph presentation here without sound or view it here with sound. For either version, you will need a high speed connection to keep from going insane.

This process produces clear, specific, and concrete paragraphs.  Also, since many of you commented previously how useful the Student Drafting Worksheet was as you prepared to write the Wikipedia Feature Article Analysis essays, we encourage you to return to the worksheet and use it to guide your revision (obviously, you’ll need to make adjustments to the worksheet for the Reflective Analytical Essay).

Also, too many of the drafts spoke to experiences within Wikipedia only in the most general terms.  In order for this essay to be both analytical and reflective, the writing should about the experiences in Wikipedia should be far more specific and particular.  Name names!  Write about particular, specific experiences.

In addition, we noticed many writers struggling with the use of commas.  Commas will remain a mysterious punctuation mark until you take the time to address them.  We recommend the excellent Purdue Online Writing Lab web page devoted to comma use.  If you have specific questions, we encourage you to contact your instructor.

Finally, the minimum word count for the revision is 1250 words (not including the Works Cited).  Revisions that do not meet the minimum word count will receive a 0/50.

We noted a couple of early drafts that were moving in the right direction.  Please take a moment to see how these students are addressing this writing task:

Sample One          Sample Two          Sample Three

See the course D2L calendar for the Reflective Analytical Essay final draft deadline. Note that this is a FIRM deadline; late postings will be penalized by a full grade deduction.

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Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen, Finals Week, and Assignments List

man running and straining

“Hastings Half Marathon” by AndyWilson (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic) http://www.flickr.com/photos/by_andy/3356605153/

It’s all here both for Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen, as well as the Final Examination Week.

Reflective Analytical Essay Rough Draft

The Reflective Analytical Essay rough draft is due early this week (Week Fifteen). Don’t forget to add the three questions for your reviewers at the end of your draft.

As we have done in the past, form groups on the Reflective Analytical Essay peer response and final drafts page on a first-come-first-served basis.

Reflective Analytical Essay -Kuhne

Reflective Analytical Essay – Creel

See course D2L calendar for due dates.

Peer review

After turning in the Reflective Analytical Essay rough drafts, we will focus on the peer review process.

For a review of peer review in general please read the ENGL 1111 Peer Response Overview.

Then view the specific Reflective Analytical Essay Peer Response Guidelines.

You must respond to all of the drafts posted on time by the members of your group.

Place your responses to the three questions posted by the writer as well as the other questions from the Reflective Analytical Essay Peer Response Guidelines in the comments section at the bottom of each rough draft page.

Please be thorough and thoughtful in your responses to your colleagues.

Also, think carefully about how what you are noticing in your peers’ work can help you in your own writing.

See course D2L calendar for peer response due dates.

***Reflective Analytical Essay Final Draft***

The final draft of the Reflective Analytical Essay is due two weeks after the Reflective Analytical Essay rough draft deadline. As always, see course D2L calendar for due dates.

(Please note the the deadline for the final drafts is firm.  Late submissions will receive a late-submission grade penalty and few (if any) instructor comments.)

One Final Task

After you have submitted your Reflective Analytical Essay final draft, slept a bit, and maybe had your favorite caffeinated drink, we ask that you take a few moments to provide responses to three Class Evaluation discussions (D2L): “Effective Tools,” “Ineffective Tools,” and “Course Goals.”  We take your feedback seriously, and we use your recommendations to revise the course to make it more a better learning experience for future students. See course D2L calendar for the course evaluation discussion due date.

Week Fifteen and Final Examination Week Assignment List

1.  Reflective Analytical Essay rough draft due at the beginning of Week Fifteen.

2.  Small Group Peer Responses to the Reflective Analytical Essay rough drafts are due during Week Fifteen.

3.  Reflective Analytical Essay final draft due during the Final Examinations Week.

4.  Course Evaluation discussions (“Effective Tools,” “Ineffective Tools,” and “Course Goals”) due during the Final Examinations Week.

See course D2L calendar for more specific due date information.

 

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Week Fourteen Notes and Assignments List

reflection of mountain in lake

Drafting

Please use week fourteen to draft your Reflective Analytical Essay rough drafts, which will be due on the wiki on Monday of Week Fifteen.  Students should post rough drafts here:

Reflective Analytical Essay – Kuhne

Reflective Analytical Essay – Creel

Edit Survival II – The Collaboration Wikipedia Article Effort

As you prepare to draft your Reflective Analytical Essay, please revisit the Wikipedia article that you and your collaborative partners attempted to improve.  Has the edit remained?  Has the article reverted to an earlier version?  Perhaps some of your edits remain while others have disappeared.  Respond to the questions noted in the D2L Discussion titled “Edit Survival II – The Collaboration Wikipedia Article Effort.”

For Week Fourteen

1) Draft the Reflective Analytical Essay assignment, which is due at the beginning of Week Fifteen.

3) Complete the “Edit Survival II” discussion in D2L.

See course D2L calendar for due dates.

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Reflective Analytical Essay Working Thesis Statement

We have finished commenting on all of the thesis statements that were posted on time.  Please return to this discussion to view the comments of your peers and the instructor.  In a number of cases, we have asked you to revise the thesis statement.  To receive credit for this discussion, you must revise the thesis statement within a week.

Please refer to the course D2L calendar for other key due dates as we rapidly approach the end of the fall semester.

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Wikipedia Article Collaboration Evaluations

The scoring rubrics for the Wikipedia Article Collaboration assignment have been sent to you as email attachments.   Check your email.  If you do not receive an email or if you have questions, please contact your instructor.

 

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Instructors’ Responses to Week Twelve Work

Please return to the Wikipedia article collaboration pages and view the instructors’ comments  at the bottom of the wiki in the Comment feature for more detailed comments about your group’s Week Twelve work.

“Collaboration,” by edladesigner (Attribution CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)  http://www.flickr.com/photos/edlabdesigner/4025619497/

We noticed that many of the groups are struggling to use sources appropriately. Just as the college does not allow plagiarism, neither does Wikipedia. Material added to Wikipedia should be quoted, paraphrased, or summarized as appropriate.  Use direct quotes sparingly, and when they are necessary, use signal phrases and quotation marks.  Regardless of how source material is presented (direct quote, summary, or paraphrase), when you have finished using a source’s information, mark that moment with an endnote, which would lead the Wikipedia reader to that source’s full citation information.

If your new text intertwines with old text, use formatting to show what is new and what is old on the collaboration page. For example, underline or color-code the new text on the collaboration page.

Additionally, don’t forget that actually adding the text to the Wikipedia article is part of the assignment.  Merely putting the text on the collaboration page does not complete the assignment.

Often the evaluation of the six sources is performed by two or three people.  Many of the evaluations, therefore, are uneven or incomplete.  Please review your team’s evaluations and complete the reviews.  Also, make sure that you add a complete MLA Works Cited entry for each source and that you add a brief paragraph at the end of each source that reveals the outcome of your evaluation (i. e. is the source useful or not?).

Finally, pay attention to the presentation of your Wikipedia Article collaboration page.  Edit and proofread it for readability.

Please review the assignment’s scoring rubric; this is what will guide the instructor’s evaluations.

Check the D2L Calendar for the final due date early next week.

 

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Week Thirteen

two bubbles reflecting city scene

Finishing the Wikipedia Article Collaboration Pages

The Wikipedia Article Collaboration Pages and edits to your Wikipedia articles are due on Monday of Week Thirteen.

And now, on with the fun!

Introduction to the Reflective Analytical Essay assignment

This week we begin the final major writing assignment for the course, the Reflective Analytical writing assignment. In content and format, this assignment requires you to use all of the skills we have learned and developed this semester. There are several ideas to think about based on our earlier work as you approach this assignment.

  • Remember: the new argument articulated in the thesis should be more nuanced (not over-simplified) than things you have argued earlier in the semester
  • Whatever you write should address your experience as a Wikipedian.
  • In the final essay, a higher quality standard will be applied to various writing items such as thesis statements; body paragraph development (claim-evidence-explanation-closing); the accurate and effective use of sources (introducing the source, using signal phrases, formatting the direct quote correctly, using accurate in-text citations, and signaling the use of summaries and paraphrases where necessary); MLA Works Cited accuracy; and overall quality of the writing.

Thesis and claim work for Reflective Analytical Essay

Given your understanding of the assignment, let’s work on revising or drafting your working thesis statement.

Some questions that might lead to a more nuanced approach:

  • In your experience working with Wikipedia in this class, what were some of your most frustrating moments? Why were these moments frustrating? How did they affect your thinking about Wikipedia or its use?
  • In your experience working with Wikipedia in this class, what were some of your most rewarding or fun moments? Why were these moments rewarding or fun? How did they affect your thinking about Wikipedia or its use?
  • If you had to tell someone what you like about this class, what would it be? Why?
  • If you had to tell someone what you don’t like about this class, what would it be? Why?
  • How has learning more about Wikipedia changed the way you think about it?
  • How has learning more about Wikipedia changed the way you use it?
  • How has learning more about Wikipedia changed the way you think about information on the web in general?
  • How has writing in Wikipedia changed the way you write or think about writing?
  • If there were one thing you could change about Wikipedia, what would it be?
  • If there were one thing you would never change about Wikipedia what would it be?

As you draft this thesis statement ask yourself these questions:

  • is the thesis nuanced (not over-simplified)?
  • is the thesis arguable?
  • can you predict what the structure of the essay will be based on the thesis statement?

Once you have written the first draft of your thesis statement, start thinking about the body paragraphs that will support this thesis.

Based on the working thesis statement, brainstorm six claims for the body paragraphs that might be used to support this thesis statement. (Remember claim statements? Each body paragraph has one, then has evidence and explanation to support it, followed by a closing.)

We are asking you draft six initial claims not because the essay needs six body paragraphs but because it is good to brainstorm more ideas than you might actually need. Then you can pick the best. Think of creating six claims as a good stretching exercise.

When you’ve drafted your working thesis statement and claims, post them in the Reflective Analytical Working Thesis Discussion in D2L. Read at least one of your peers’ postings in this Discussion and respond to it by suggesting one additional claim she/he might use to support the working thesis statement he/she has proposed.

Works Cited

To review the details of drafting an accurate Works Cited page for the final essay, please see these pages:

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Week Thirteen: Assignments List

For week thirteen

1) Complete the Wikipedia Article collaboration assignment

2) Read the Reflective Analytical Essay assignment

3) Complete the Reflective Analytical Working Thesis discussion in D2L

See course D2L calendar for due dates.

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