Some quick notes on citation practice for undergraduates

Students seem always to get very nervous about citation… and, interestingly, perhaps through that nervousness, end up doing it in ways that professional scholars don’t.

Here are some tips that pros use for citation that undergraduates tend not to know:

Plagiarism is not a property crime.

Many students treat citations as, in essence, payment for ideas. Read the rest of this entry »


Web browsers

Web browsers are (quite literally) the defining feature of the World Wide Web, which was invented when Tim Berners-Lee released the first version of his HTML browser (World Wide Web) on Christmas day 1989. In other words, they are what makes the web the web.

For a variety of historical reasons, users tend to treat web browsers as utility-grade software—a part of the operating system they expect our devices to have already installed rather than a piece of software you choose to install and run. But more than one kind of browser exists and there are differences between them. Sometimes one browser is better than another for certain tasks or sites. You should know what browser you are using and you should make sure you have some alternates installed.


Essential computer tools and skills for humanities students

The Digital Humanities is a hot new field within the Arts. Its practitioners are often at the forefront of developing new topics within ICT itself.

But what about if you are not interested in the Digital Humanities? Or are interested in them, but don’t consider yourself particularly computer literate? What are the computer skills you need to thrive in the traditional humanities or get started in DH?

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of tutorials on basic computer skills and tools for students of the Humanities. It should be of use to those just beginning their undergraduate careers, for graduate students hoping to professionalise their research and study, and for researchers and teachers who have other things to do that follow the latest trends and software.

Read the rest of this entry »

Managing class webpages and mailing lists at the University of Lethbridge

For years, every class at the University of Lethbridge has been given webspace and a mailing list. While the mailing list is well-known to instructors (it is the list “XXXXNNNNx@uleth.ca” that you use to make announcements to the class as a whole), the webspace is far less well known. This document (mostly a reminder to myself) shows you how you can use online tools to manage this.


Two tips that will improve the lives of all students and researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Introduction

A recent question on Linked-in asked how important the formatting guides for journals are in preparing submissions.

Although this question was about submitting to journals, its context is relevant to all students and researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities (although the problem also exists in the sciences, the solutions there are in some cases different). Humanities and Social Science study in University is largely about the collection of bibliography and the presentation of findings in written form. And that invariably involves questions of formatting: different disciplines and even different journals (or for students, instructors) within a discipline can require work to be submitted in quite different styles.


On translating sense and syntax in Old English

A student in my Old English class asked a good question today in her class blog:

I’m confused. The point of this class is to be able to read Old English. Does this mean we are supposed to be building a lexicon that would eventually become so engrained in us that the words don’t require as much of a “translation” as an innate understanding of the meaning of the text? This seems rather frightening. When I hear the words “nominative accusative singular” sweep one after the other my head begins to spin. I have to look at the dictionary three times in three minutes to remember what one word means.

I think what process seems natural to me would be to translate a sentence, and after knowing what the words are in modern English, to determine what words are nominative, objects, etc. in the translated sentence. Read the rest of this entry »


Receipt Process

Time to completion Maximum 7 days from submission. Responsibility Managing editor Action required Email to author (cc’d to editor in chief) Thanking author for submission Introducing yourself as the journal’s managing editor (and your term of office) Outlining the review process and broad timelines {{Link to sample email}} Background and further details Each Journal in [...]

Receipt Process

Time to completion Maximum 7 days from submission. Responsibility Managing editor Action required Email to author (cc’d to editor in chief) Thanking author for submission Introducing yourself as the journal’s managing editor (and your term of office) Outlining the review process and broad timelines {{Link to sample email}} Background and further details Each Journal in [...]

How to build a randomised essay/translation question in Moodle 2.0

In my courses I often use a question of the following format:
  1. Common introduction
  2. Two or more sample passages or questions requiring an essay response
  3. A common form field for the answer to the student’s choice from #2.
The point of this format is to provide the student with a choice of topics. If students all write their essays or translations at the same time, you can build your choice of topics by hand and write them into a single question. The challenge comes if you want to be able to allow your students to write the test asynchronously, as is common with Learning Management Software. In such cases you want to be able to draw your essay topics or translation passages randomly from a test bank. Read the rest of this entry »

Manual Grading of All Questions in Moodle 2.0

Manually grading in Moodle 2.0 seems to be causing many faculty members at the U of L trouble. Here’s how to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

How to setup a signup sheet in Moodle

You can create a signup sheet for Moodle using the “Choice” activity. Read the rest of this entry »

Bibles for students of literature

Many contemporary students do not know the bible particularly well. This can be because they come from non-religious families, or families whose religious background is not Judeo-Christian. But even many students from quite religious, Christian or Jewish backgrounds find their knowledge of the bible to be less good than they might wish for literary study. A student once gave me a great tip for those who feel you don’t know the bible well enough to recognise allusions to the major stories from the Old and New Testaments: buy a children’s bible. Read the rest of this entry »

Grammar Essentials 2: Parts of Speech (Word Classes) Exercise Answers

Here are possible answers to the exercises in Grammar Essentials 2: Parts of speech. In some cases more than one right answer might be possible. Read the rest of this entry »

The Old English Alphabet

Old English texts were copied in manuscripts by scribes. These scribes used an alphabet based on the Latin alphabet, but with some native additions and occasionally runes… Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Old English Grammar

Old English and Modern English can be deceptively similar from a syntactic point of view. In particular, word order frequently is the same in the two languages (though Old English is actually probably closer in some aspects of its word order to other Low German languages such as Dutch). This means that it is often possible to translate simple declarative sentences from Old English by simply looking up the meaning of each word in a dictionary… Read the rest of this entry »
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