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The format of a Digipo page

Other directories: help, engl1190, umw, lane, commons, open, adp, n490, hyp, mac, psu, cfcs

Titles

In everything except help files and about pages titles are questions.

Titles use sentence case. Capitalize the title the way you would a sentence.

Think about your title question carefully. Changing the title will change the URL of the page, so once the page has gotten going (e.g. has some real content on it) be conservative about changing the title, as it will break any links others might have made to your page. (Even changing the title case will break links).

Look around the site for examples of good title questions.

Your question may ask something that people find offensive to ask. As an example, many people find the question "Did the Holocaust happen?" to be an offensive question to ask -- it is infuriating that this would even be questioned. While we understand the objection to such question, it may be in the best interest of the truth to write such questions, because if people telling the truth do not write articles with that search text, people asking that question will find only lies online. (We'll write more about this issue at a later date)

Origin and Prevalence

Your origin and prevalence section answers the question: "Who is asking the title question and in what context?"

As an example, if your title question is "Do women make 82 cents on the dollar compared to males?" then you want to show some places people make that claim and some places where it is disputed. This is not where you answer the question -- it's just where you show the question is being asked.

If it makes sense to rename this section to something more topic-specific, such as "Why This Question Is Important", go ahead and do that.

If the question is a very old question, save the detailed history for the Issues and Analysis section. Just note that it is a very old question and show some places where the question (or claims related to the question) have popped up recently.

Issues and Analysis

The issues and analysis section is where you put the extended answer to the question. Usually this answer is a summary of the research on the question done to date. Part of what you will provide is a sense of context. For example, a business class may look at a recent article that claims that "psychological safety" is the most important feature of functioning work teams. The analysis should go beyond that article and look at where the notion of psychological safety originated, how it relates to other findings on high-functioning groups, what work has been done on it up until now, and what the expert consensus is on its impact.

The issues section should also link to sources using either standard hyperlinks or Hypothesis-based footnotes. Like Wikipedia articles, your article should not only summarize significant expert opinions, but also link to those sources so that the reader can explore the issue on their own if they desire.

For statistics based questions (e.g. answering questions such as "What is the average pay of elementary teachers in the U.S. compared to Canada?") the issues and analysis section should not only include the data, but detail issues around how the data was collected, and problems with interpreting the data (for example, do you compare absolute dollar amounts or percentage of median national income?).

For statistical questions, also note that simple data tables are supported but complex table styling is not. To create a table that will appear on the web page, simple make a table using the standard Google Docs tools.

Summary

You put your summary up top but you write your summary last. The summary consists on one "answer" to the question the title poses, followed by a couple sentences that summarize the findings in issues and analysis.

The single sentence answer is a stinking point for many people. It must balance utility with precision, and hence can be difficult to write. The best way to conceptualize the single sentence answer is to think of it as the answer you would like Siri, Google Home, or Alexa to give a person who asks that question.

For questions where there is an overwhelming amount of evidence, the answer can sometimes be a simple "Yes" or "No". Answers that are supported by an overwhelming expert consensus should be answered with a simple answer, with the complexity left for the issues and analysis section. As an example, the question "Is current global warming explained by human activity?" can be answered in the summary sentence simply by saying "Yes". However a question such as "What is the expected economic impact of global warming in 2100?" should supply a range in the answer, and maybe a modifier as well: "Between 2 and 20 percent of global GDP, depending on assumptions about our adaptability."


All Content released CC0 (Public Domain) by the Digital Polarization Initiative.

The Digital Polarization Initiative is a cross-institutional project that encourages students to investigate and verify the information they find online. Articles are student-produced, and should be checked for accuracy before citation as sources.

DigiPo members can edit this page

Photo Credit: Header photos generate in randomly. Check this page for a list of photography credits and licensing.

The Digital Polarization Initiative is a student-run project which allows university students to investigate questions of truth and authority on the web and publish their results. Learn more, or see our index. Photo credits here. DigiPo members can edit this page.