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Titling your plan and selecting an image


While titles might seem like an innocuous aspect of your post (and therefore unworthy of an explanation), keep in mind that for users browsing quickly through the site, the title is the most important aspect of your plan.  While it may be tempting to be pithy with your title, this does not serve the broader goals of the site (usability and functionality).  So, for example, titling a post something like "Putting Words in their Place" tells the reader very little about what the plan is - either in terms of content, software, or pedagogical outcome.  Whereas "Collocating and Word Choice Using Madlibs," though perhaps still somewhat vague (unless you already know about "collocating"), gives a much clearer picture of what the plan might entail/attempt to do.



The image you select to accompany your plan is another key facet of the user experience and also entails some attention to detail.  While it may seem logical use a screen shot of the particular program you engage with in the plan itself, keep in mind that these can often result in bland images.  It may be useful to think of the image you select as illustrative rather than representative.  What sort of image might draw attention to your plan in a positive way? For example, Dustin Stewart's plan "Mapping Poetic Word Choice to Discover Literary Themes" is (as the title suggests) about poetry and mind-mapping.  While the plan includes an image of the actual mind-map as an additional resource for the activity, this is a less engaging image than the main image depicting a scattering of magnetic poetry.  Given that we have a number of mind-mapping exercises posted to the site, it's helpful to select an image that will distinguish your post from the rest.

Admittedly, sometimes it may be difficult to select an image that really illustrates your plan in an inviting way, in which case it's acceptable to just find a cool image that seems to fit thematically (as is the case for this "Step-by-step Guide to Blogging Close Readings").

Sources and sizing

Because the images you will be using on the site are for illustration (rather than analysis), it's very important that you use images available under creative commons.  The images on the site do not automatically fall under the doctrine of fair use simply because this is an educational site.  For more explanation of these issues, please see the XXXXXXXXXX section of the DWRL handbook.

The important thing to note for our purposes is that you should seek out creative commons images - which can be found in a number of ways.

Flickr is a rich resource for lovely images, and it facilitates downloading an appropriately sized image. Be sure to select the radio button at the bottom of the page - to "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content."

Google's Advanced Image Search will allow you to filter images by usage rights.