CZ:Assignment instructions

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Proper written and oral expression and computer literacy are critical to your future success. Each student will choose a microbe and write a comprehensive encyclopedia style report about it. These reports will be uploaded to Citizendium, a web encyclopedia project. Typically, lab reports end up in the recycling bin following the semester. The advantage of this project is that your work will become part of a global knowledge base, and as such, is not just “busywork”.

We will use Citizendium rather than Wikipedia because of its non-anonymity policy and its gentle editorial guidance by recognized experts.

1) Instructions for joining Citizendium is available by clicking here Request account.

2) Once you are approved, go to this Biol_201:_General_Microbiology page. This is our central clearinghouse. Here you can find info about the assignment.

3) At the bottom of the page, click on Student Microbe list. Here is where you will list your name and the organism of your choice. Click edit up by the top.

4) Now you can include your name and your organism under the example. Double check that no one else has selected your organism already (organisms are allotted on a first come, first served basis). Organisms that already have substantial citizendium articles are ineligible for this assignment.

Please use the name you registered with in citizendium. Then put it in double brackets using the internal link button on the toolbar. This will link to your citizendium “home page”. I will use the talk page to send messages to you regarding your work.

5) Now type in your microbes name and place in double brackets. Put an asterisk next to the name and this will signify the microbe has not yet been approved. When I approve your choice, I will remove the asterisk. Now click save page down the bottom. You have just created a wiki page!

6) Try clicking on the page you have just created. There’s nothing there! You need to add content. Open a new window and go to the Student Microbe list again. Click on Myxoma_virus or Pseudomonas putida (high scoring examples from last year). These contain the templates you will use to add content (virus or bacteria respectively). Click edit. Select and copy all the writing in the edit box. Go back to your microbe page and paste the template in the edit box.

7) Now go do some research. You will need to find out all the information listed in your template. Start with the classification. Then move on to the other categories. Obviously pathology will not apply for all organisms, so you may delete it.

8) The most important aspect is to find recent (i.e. last 5 years) scientific work on the organism. You will summarize at least 3 papers and cite them in the reference section.

Additional Guidelines

• These reports must be fully referenced and documented.

• Follow wiki formatting style when uploading text.

• A template will be provided for you to follow.

• Reports containing plagiarism will be given a zero grade. It is OK to use material from Wikipedia or other sources, but wholesale copying is not OK.

• Pretty pictures are available on the web, but make sure you have copyright permissions. The best option is to find something that is open-access.


• Ambitious students are encouraged to cross-post in Wikipedia, Microbe Wiki or other wikis.

• Pubmed and ISI Web of Knowledge are good resources to find journal articles.