Web Paper Assignment
Start with something you're interested in, "surf", don't be afraid to get away from your initial question. Learn something.
Poke around enough to evaluate whether what you've learned is "mainstream" or "controversial", and know why.
Once you've learned something, figure out what the question is which what you've learned is the answer to.
Start paper with an assertion or question, organize presented information in relation to assertion/question, bring it together in conclusion in relation to introduction.
Try and get beyond giving "report" of what you've found. Be critical, think about connections to other things, worry about what YOU think/understand/wonder about. Is fine to end with new questions that new understanding raises.
Be sure to write things in your own words. This is the best way to be sure you understand them and the best way to convey your distinctive understandings to others people. Quote if and only if you want, for some reason, to call particular attention to how someone else said something. Remember that ideas are not copyrighted but particular ways of stringing words together are.
Enjoy, learn from the "web paper" aspect of the assignment, rather than thinking of it as an additional burden. Do things a new way, rather than the old way with an extra obligation. Remember, you are the "expert" and you want to make things as clear as possible for other people while also encouraging them to do their own exploring.
Be sure to include "additional information" in your web reference list, such as who/what is responsible for the path you're linking to. Use the title of the page as the link (see instructions).
Check your html document using a web browser (see instructions).
- 7 is fine
- 8 is better
- 9 is to aspire to
- 10 is to dream about
- 7.5-8.0 .... 3.0
- 8.0-8.5 .... 3.3
- 8.5-9.0 .... 3.7
- 9.0-10 ..... 4.0
- with adjustments for class/forum participaton
Some general thoughts (28 March 2004)
Further general thoughts (29 March 2005)
- GET "beyond giving 'report' of what you've found". Think about it, react to it, question it, find some for you new ways of thinking in yourself and write about those.
- Do not rely too heavily on a single source.
- Avoid excessive use of quotations. Put things in your own words unless what you want to call attention to some particular way of saying things by some particular person.
- Be organized in your writing. Start with what you think is important, organize everything else in relation to that (leaving out what you may have learned that isn't relevant), conclude by showing how what you've talked about relates to what you started with. Do not write about your explorations but rather about what you've gotten from them.
- Its fine to START with what you think/believe, but not to end there. Your reading should change what you think/believe and you should be able to figure out what has changed and why. Write about your NEW understanding, making it clear what observations/interpretations have resulted in that.
- Think about what you're reading in NEW ways unique to you, not the old standard ones common to everybody (X troubles Y% of world, research on X suggests ..., some ways of dealing with X are ..., more research is needed).
- Introduction should have focus, not be just a set of questions around some theme
- Conclusion should get back to questions/assertions in introduction. And NOT be "obvious". Avoid
- Further research is needed (discuss instead what research? why?)
- The debate will continue (discuss instead what questions have been answered so far, what questions remain, what new questions have arisen)
- Take yourself seriously, you ARE the "expert" ...
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