These frequently asked questions draw on feedback from students who have previously completed the WTCP project in their class. The questions and answers are designed specifically for people developing submissions for the project as part of a Canadian politics class.
- How should our group get started?
- How should we structure our submission/article?
- Can our group use multimedia sources?
- Where can we find resources to research our topic?
- What citation style should we use?
- What advice do you have for writing together?
- If our group has any questions or concerns, who should we contact?
How should our group get started?
- Meet with your group and acquaint yourself with them by exchanging contact information. Meeting first will allow your group to review assignment expectations, go through the student handbook (including assessment rubrics, tips, and tricks). You and your group should also take time to look at and discuss examples of previous submissions posted on the website.
- Most classes where WTCP is taught include some dedicated class time to work you’re your group. These meetings are an opportunity for you and your group members to learn more about your topic and to reach out to your instructor or teaching assistant about subject matter, project expectations, and ongoing progress. Although you will be able to work on your submission in class, students should meet outside class time to conduct research and complete project tasks to prepare questions for their instructors/teaching team.
How should we structure our submission/article?
Articles on the WTCP site differ depending on the topic or issue that you explore, but articles on the website do share a few things in common.
- First, in their initial paragraphs, they provide an overview of the issue and define key terms
- Second, they include several paragraphs describing the background or history of the issue/topic, and any relevant details
- Third, in their few final paragraphs, they connect the issue somehow to the present
Make sure to view examples of previous submissions on website to see what others have done. Reviewing existing articles on the website is the best way to get a sense of what other groups have done in the past and to see what works well (and what might work less well) for readers.
Can our group use multimedia sources?
Yes! Submissions on WTCP come alive as a result of the images, timelines, and other resources that accompany the text. Your group can provide links to YouTube clips, news sources, relevant social media content, and so on, to help readers deepen their understanding of the material.
When you submit your assignment to your teaching team, you will want to make sure to provide citations for any multimedia sources you include, and you’ll want to identify which materials would serve well as “Additional Resources” (found at the bottom of each WTCP article).
(Information and other tips on how to effectively hyperlink and include multimedia content in your bibliography can be found in the “On Citations” section of the student handbook.)
Where can we find resources to research our topic?
A good place to begin conducting your research is in the course textbook. You may find some information there, including references to other relevant sources. The University of Waterloo Library has an excellent subject guide for primary sources on Canadian government and law, and many students find information on their topic via the CBC Archives. Make sure to use credible sources.
Please note that students completing the WTCP assignment often say is that there is too much information available on their topic online. Usually, students have to be selective about what details to include in their submissions because there is a lot to work with. Students have to selecting details and information that allows them to describe their topic and its importance clearly to readers.
What citation style should we use?
Hyperlinks are the primary citation style for the WTCP website. When hyperlinks are not available (but usually they are), we use the author-date style used by the Canadian Journal of Political Science.
However, because your instructor/teaching team will want to see what sources you used to grade your group’s work, you should keep a reference list/bibliography to hand in with your assignment. More information about this is provided in the “On Citations” section of the student handbook.
What advice do you have for writing together?
Working together is one of the hardest parts of the WTCP assignment. In addition to meeting regularly with your group members and checking in with your teaching team, we have some other tips that might be helpful:
- Make sure to write together. Successful groups have reported that they wrote together using a platform (OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.) where they can put their ideas into the same document. This helps you identify what work others are doing, what ideas should not be repeated, and to make sure that you are writing together.
- Our experience suggests that it rarely works well to simply break up a submission into component parts and then to put them into one document. Successful groups often conduct research on different parts of the work, take notes in a collaborative document, and begin the writing from there.
- Make sure that you edit, and then edit again. To make sure that your final submission is cohesive and reads well, make sure to edit your work several times, to get feedback from one another, from others, and from the teaching team.
If our group has any questions or concerns, who should we contact?
For students engaged in WTCP in their classes, your first point of contact should be your teaching team (your instructor or TAs).
For general inquiries about WTCP, contact us here!