HW01: Edit README.md


Due by 11:59pm CT (Chicago) on June 16th.

The goal is to test your software installation, our GitHub setup, and our homework submission process via pull request, as well as demonstrate competency in Markdown.

Fork the hw01 repository

Go here to fork the repo.

You need to register your GitHub username with me in order to access the repository, otherwise you will just get an error that says the web page does not exist. Submit your username using this form. Expect to get an email from GitHub in the next 24 hours inviting you to join the cfss-su22 course organization. Once you accept the invitation, you will be able to fork the repo.

Edit README.md

When you create the repository, you will notice there is only one file in the repo: README.md. In future assignments, the repo will be seeded with additional files/data that are necessary to get started.

Your general workflow will be:

  • Pull from GitHub (just an empty precaution now, but will matter when you collaborate with others)
  • Make changes locally to README.md in RStudio
  • Save your changes
  • Commit your changes to your repo
  • Push the commit to GitHub

Practice using Markdown

Written assignments will be submitted using Markdown. Markdown is a lightweight text formatting language that easily converts between file formats. It is integrated directly into R Markdown, which combines R code, output, and written text into a single document (.Rmd). Regular Markdown files (.md) are rendered on the GitHub website and can be directly read on the website. GitHub includes a guide for writing Markdown documents.

Your README.md should contain a brief biography of yourself. To achieve full marks, you should include at least 4 of the following elements:

  • Headers
  • Emphasis (italics or bold)
  • Lists
  • Images1
  • Links

Report your process

Include a description of how you got the changes into README.md on GitHub when you submit your assignment via pull request. You’re encouraged to reflect on what was hard/easy, problems you solved, helpful tutorials you read, etc.

Submit the assignment

Follow instructions on homework workflow.

If you find these instructions confusing, watch the video demonstration.


Needs improvement: README.md says equivalent of “This is the repository of Benjamin Soltoff”. All work done via browser at github.com … but that’s just a guess, because student doesn’t actually say how it was done.

Satisfactory: something in between

Excellent: README.md provides a proper introduction of student to the class. It also demonstrates experimentation with 4 or more aspects of the Markdown syntax. Examples: section headers, links, bold, italic, bullet points, image embed, etc. The student describes how they got the changes into README.md and offers a few reflections on their GitHub workflow and their experience with Markdown.


  1. Perhaps add a picture of yourself to your repo and embed it in your readme. ^
Benjamin Soltoff
Benjamin Soltoff
Assistant Senior Instructional Professor in Computational Social Science & the College