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Project Proposal

Compose and submit a project proposal. Post this on the wiki. Go to your WikiName page, create a new page titled ProjectProposalYourWikiName. Hand in a print version at the start of class on Wednesday, 3 March. Firm. No extensions.

The project proposal sets out what you intend to work on during the rest of the semester. Because you're working pretty much on your own, I'm asking for some detailed thinking about the project. In writing your proposal, stay close to what you're being asked to address below. If your proposal is ambiguous or fuzzy or incomplete, I'll ask you to revise before approving your project.

Think of this project proposal as practice for a writing a grant. You'll need to be specific, semi-formal, and ringingly clear. Don't try to impress with language or be too clever. Grants try not to call attention to their language or the author; they focus on the project. Don't BS or strain for hype. Impress by designing an interesting and creative project that you and others will learn from.

Your project has to be approved by me before it will be counted in your grade. You're submitting this proposal a week before the projects actually start so that you have time to revise if necessary.

Wiki, Blog, Twitter, Tumblr?

You need to decide which writing space is appropriate for your project. Blogging and micro-blogging work with time and get much of their value by linking out. Wikis are topically arranged and develop over time, and link internally. Have a look at Embrace the Wiki Way!, Matt Barton, and Wikis for Dummies for some projects appropriate to wikis.

For blogs and micro-blogging, look around WordPress and through Rettberg. You might also look at what students have done in past years on the PastParticipants page.

Experiment or Research Study

You can come at this project as an experiment or research study into social media. Rather than focusing on creating a product, you could set up the project to investigate a use of the medium (using twitter in class. blogging class notes), situations or circumstances (when and where is twittering by phone welcome - when is it not), even more general experience: What's gained by following 10 freelance writers on twitter over 7 weeks? What can you find out?

To take this angle on the project, phrase your executive description as a hypothesis (Project: To discover if twittering class notes will help me master material. I hypothesize that it will lead to ...).


Projects that involved weblogs or wikis are self-reporting. That is, we can both see how things are coming along week by week because you are posting regularly. Projects that involve Twitter do not self-report, so include writing a weekly report in your proposal.

Writing the Proposal

Use the following headings in your proposal. Again: This is like writing a grant. Use the following headings and follow the requests or expect your proposal returned unread.

Title of project

Go for a descriptive title rather than clever.

Your email address and URL for the project

You can use your current weblog or start a new one. For Twitter, use your current account or start a new one. If you're using a wiki, use Theony and Woods and a search for wikis to help you find a platform. For Tumblr, set up an account. If you're using more than one address, include them all.

Executive description

An overall description of the project: In two well-formed sentences (no more, and no less): What are you going to do, why, and how does the writing space you're going to use (blog or wiki) help you do it? (You'll write this description last.)


This is a detailed description of the project. In this section, address in detail what are you going to do, why, and how the writing space you're using serves the purposes you're aiming at.

Start with an overview of your intent. In a paragraph, explain what do you hope to do, or achieve, or find out.

Then, walk us through your project in more detail: What are you going to do first, second, third ... why specifically are you going to do that rather than something else, and what specifically you hope to learn about what from doing that. You want to link what you're doing with what you expect of that doing. In this section, address
What ideas or theory or other examples of blogs or wikis are you grounding your project in? For instance, if you're looking at setting up a community wiki, what other wikis have you looked at and what are you drawing on from them? What other blogs have you looked at? What are you borrowing, what will you be doing differently?
Describe how will the blog or wiki be designed. What will be in the blogroll, if you use one? What else on the side bar? If a wiki, have a look at Theony, chap 7, on categorizing.
What will you write about, what will the space contain? How will you use images if you use them?
If you're working with Tumblr, consider the kinds of media you will work with.

If you're working with Twitter, consider the times and places you will tweet.

Throughout this section, talk about linking the means (what you're doing) with the ends (what you intend to achieve by that doing), about writing, about what you aim to get from this project - and what value your project has to others.
Note: Go into enough detail in the narrative section so that another person could actually do your project as you envision it.

In the last paragraph of this section, mention how you envision your project report: Will it be a wiki essay or something on your blog? What will you deal with in this report - as specifically as you can imagine it now. You can change your mind on this one, but start thinking about it now. You'll be making a brief in-class presentation along with your report.

Grad Students: Readings Your project report (at the end of the project) will include some background reading or theory based on readings for the course and your own reading. So, include a section on outside reading you'll be doing for your project. The reading can be web-based or print; and can be in great part looking at other blogs and / or wikis. A preliminary bibliography is best, but you can also list or talk about the kinds of readings / sites you're thinking of looking at and how you see them tying in with what you're doing in the project. You might start with readings and sites on the BlogReadingsForCourse, WikiReadingsForCourse, or HypertextReadingsForCourse, as appropriate.

Weekly Report

For Twitter projects, include a weekly report of 750 - 1000 words. The report would a consideratoni of what happened that week and what that might mean: what you did, what went well, what went poorly, how you dealt with things. Detail in this section of your proposal what you will cover in this report.

Contract for Grade

In this section, detail the extent of your project in measurable terms: numbers. Think in terms of numbers of blog entries or wiki nodes, length, and frequency.
For instance, if you plan on keeping a blog, how often will you post? How long do you expect those posts to be? If you're working with others on a collective blog, how will you distribute the tasks? What will each person contribute? Who will be responsible for what?
Or if you're building a wiki, about how many nodes do you expect it to grow to? How often will you add material?

Use good estimations because you'll be held to them.

Set your contract. Here are some guidelines.
Contracts are set for the number of points: 500 / 750 / 1000.

You can earn more points than you contract for if you end up going beyond what you originally planned on. On the other hand, if you fall short on the contract, you may receive fewer points. (I'm hoping for the former.)


State specifically as possible where you will be at check in times below. Again, think in terms of numbers and frequency and state explicitly what you plan to have by each point.

During the week of April 5 - 9, you'll be taking studio tours of the projects of others. The assignment will be posted.

We'll meet on finals day. Reports are due by Weds, May 5th, 2010.

some examples

These are all very good project proposal (clearly planned and stated) which resulted in 1000 point projects.
There are other projects to look at in the archives at PastParticipants.

See also BlogSites for examples | ExampleWikis and WikiAsCulture for examples | CourseSyllabus

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