Author Archives: Maura Smale

Next Tuesday: class in Rm A540

Hi everyone, just want to remind you that for our next class on Tuesday 12/14:

– Work on your group projects
– Class will be in our old computer room: Rm A540
– Prof Keith Muchowski will be with you and will take attendance

REMEMBER: Group projects are due and class presentations will be held on Thursday 12/16!

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Prof Smale

Homework 12/7/10

For Thursday, please watch Sloan, read Berners-Lee, and think about your answers to these questions:

– Has the way that you think about information changed over the course of this semester?
– Has the way that you use information changed over the course of this semester?
– How?

– What do you see as the future of information?
– What challenges will this future bring?
– What opportunities?
– Are you ready?

BE PREPARED to discuss your answers in class!

Class notes and homework 11/30/10

Several of you asked today about using images in your documentation project and presentation. Remember that you are required to use at least 4 images. Searching from the Creative Commons website is a great way to find images for your projects. Remember that you must cite your sources for images as well as text.

Go to and uncheck the “commercial purposes” box to search Flickr and Google Images. You can also search for audio and video from this page.


For Thursday, please do the two readings listed on the syllabus (Edge, Robinson) and bring at least 1 question about the reading to class. We will use these questions to frame our class discussion — please write the question down (I will collect them).

Prof Smale

Class notes 11/23/10

Here are the notes I wrote on the board today about your final research paper. Please remember that it’s due next Tuesday, November 30th. I’m looking forward to reading your papers!

Have a good Thanksgiving!
Prof Smale

Class notes 11/18/10

Today we discussed documentation of processes or products, and you demonstrated the documentation sources you found for your homework.

We also discussed your research paper draft, and some issues that appeared frequently in your drafts.

More details are available in today’s slides.

Also, here’s the formatting example for your final research paper that I handed out in class today.

There’s no reading or homework this weekend other than revising your paper. Your final paper is due on November 30th! Detailed guidelines are available on the Assignments page.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a good weekend,
Prof Smale

Class notes 11/16/10

Today we spent part of the class peer reviewing the research paper drafts, and part working on citations.

A few citation guidelines:

1. When in doubt, CITE!

2. Most important parts of a citation:

If it’s an article:
– Journal/magazine/newspaper title
– Volume
– Pages

(Badke, p. 156)

3. Remember, you are citing your sources to document your research process. Anyone interested in reading your original sources must be able to find them, so be sure to include enough information so someone can find your original sources from your citations.

Homework for 11/18/10

Hi everyone,

Here is your homework for Thursday:

– Find one example of process documentation in any format

– Read/view it!

– Write one blog post (100 words minumum) in which you describe, summarize and critique it

– Be prepared to demonstrate and discuss your example in class

What is process documentation? Anything that documents (records) the process of doing something. The documentation you find can be text, video or image-based — any media is fine, as long as it’s an example of documentation of a process. Examples I gave in class include an instruction manual, your research journal blog posts, etc.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Prof Smale

Homework for 11/16/10

READ Badke Ch. 9 & Purdue OWL APA Style
(don’t worry about reading about MLA Style, we will discuss it in class)

WRITE your research paper draft

BRING a printout of your research paper draft to class
(so we can peer review during class)

BRING an electronic copy of your research paper draft to class
(so we can work on your citations during class)

I’m looking forward to reading all of your papers next week! Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions (the sooner, the better!).

Prof Smale

Class notes 11/11/10

Today we started discussing documentation, which we’ll be focusing on for the next 3 classes.

We began with a definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (search for documentation, also the verb to document). The OED is a historical dictionary and as such it documents the history of the words it includes, as well as defining them.

Next we moved onto the Hauptman reading, which poses the question Why Do We Document?

– Acknowledgment
– Attribution
– Tracing
– Validation
– Protection against accusations of misconduct
– Tangential substantive commentary

(Hauptman, 2008, 7)

We discussed and looked at examples of each.

Ultimately, documentation and citation:

– Acknowledge participation in the scholarly conversation
– Illuminate and preserve process/practice/research path

And are important to:
– academic work
– all kinds of professional work

We also discussed the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about link rot: a term that describes the increasing numbers of dead links in citations from scholarly books, articles and other information sources that refer to the internet. A great example of this is the Badke chapter that discusses specialized search engines: you’ll remember that when we discussed those sites in class we discovered that many had already disappeared.

The Chronicle article mentions the Internet Archive, which is one resource you can use to try and find old internet resources. We also discussed the Wayback Machine as a way to view old versions of websites. I tried to show you the City Tech Library’s old website, but kept running into an error. If you’d like to try it yourself, visit the Internet Archive at and enter in the library’s URL:

Class notes 11/9/10

Here’s the powerpoint from class today, in case you’d like to review it for strategies for writing your research paper: LIB1201_1109.

Also, here’s the Avoiding Plagiarism handout that I passed out in class today:

Here are the websites we discussed in class today:

Citation Machine ( You can use this website to help format your References list in APA style. Also, remember that many of the library databases allow you to email citations and articles to yourself, so you can cut and paste them into your References list.

Writing Summaries ( A guide to writing summaries from Columbia University. Remember that summaries are recommended over paraphrasing for your research paper.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing ( The Purdue Online Writing Lab’s guide.

Omit Needless Words ( This advice from the classic writing guide is almost 100 years old and still relevant. Writing in a formal, academic style doesn’t have to mean using complex terms. Try to write as clearly and simply as you can, and don’t forget to proofread your work (reading your paper aloud may be helpful).

We also looked at two sample papers written using APA Style, to get a feel for what APA style looks and sounds like:
Sample Paper #1:
Sample Paper #2: