Final Project Writing

Your final project does not involve much coding on your part. Primarily, your time should be spent building a collection of pages and reflecting on what you have found. The project file already lays out the primary goals and instructions. Here, I wanted to offer a bit more guidance on exactly how you might go about writing up your final essay. In our second-to-last class, we will see how to publicise your essay as the entry page to your site.

Here is a very rough and adaptable outline for how you could structure your introductory essay:

  1. Your general topic and why you are interested in it.
  2. Specifically describe how you selected the pages and where the data comes from (e.g., Wikipedia). Also explain the ordering of the pages, remembering that this time you can control the page order with your code.
  3. Describe a dozen or so observations from the data and, where applicable, offer some justification as to why this might be the case if it is not obvious. These may include elements such as:
    • noting a page that has an usually large or small length/number of sections/ images/languages ect.
    • differences between the first images chosen for two pages
    • changes over time in the first paragraph over time
    • changes over time in the section headers
    • changes over time in the length of one or more pages
    • an interesting cluster of pages
  4. Summarizing several of your observations, describe 1-2 interesting conclusions you have regarding something to do with the way that knowledge is structured on Wikipedia.

One thing to keep in mind is that the audience of your writing should be someone reasonably familiar with your topic but unfamiliar with our course material. It should draw people into the website and encourage them to explore and confirm and/or challenge your conclusions.