Colorado History: History 312, Spring 2016

Other Grades


15% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon a paper concerning the book Vacationland.  The question is: “In William Philpott’s Vacationland, how success are the people of Colorado at shaping nature to their needs? [Very successful? Moderately successful? Not successful at all?]  Why?  Explain your answer, quoting passages from the book to help you demonstrate the justification for your assessment.  The resulting paper should be 5-7 pages long, double-spaced, 1″ margins.

10% OF YOUR GRADE will be based upon two wiki entries, one individual and one group (5% each).  The Southern Colorado History Wiki is here.  Your assignments are to research and compose two entries for the Southern Colorado History wiki: One broad entry as a group and one individual entry that would fall under that subject. Group entries might focus on subjects like a single town (like Walsenberg), a region (like the San Luis Valley), an industry (like smelting) or an activity (like baseball). An individual entry should involve something that would serve as a subheading of your larger group entry like the Walsenberg town hall, a smaller town in the San Luis Valley (like Alamosa) a particular smelter or a particular baseball team. You are welcome to kill two birds with one stone by using material from your group project for the wiki if you can find subjects related to your digital work that are not already posted there.

Writing for a wiki is different than writing for a professor. It should be research based, but since it is intended for a broader audience it should be primarily narrative, moving from the very broad towards the very specific. That means that all entries should begin with an introduction to your subject rather than with a thesis. Group entries should be between 2,000 and 3,000 words and contain at least 5 images. Individual entries should be between 500 and 1,000 words and contain at least 2 images.

Writing a wiki entry requires additional skills not usually utilized in writing assignments. Besides explaining yourself, you need to decide how best to contextualize and illustrate your explanations. Since you have group entries, you also need to learn how to work with others (including the staff who man the depositories where your historical material resides).

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  1. Ski Colorado