Wikipedia Article Assignment

Overview

In this assignment, you’ll be practicing collaborative writing skills by creating a new feature-length or extensively editing an existing article on Wikipedia. This assignment invites you to consider the promises and perils of community-based collaborative composition by engaging in the drafting and revision process of Wikipedia where your group’s writings will be live, editable, and up for discussion among the wider Wikipedia community of contributors, editors and administrators. There are a lot of technical logistics for this project; further, because writing wiki texts is an extended process that requires acquisition of new skills and competencies, allow for a large amount of time when carrying out the processes of creation, extension, and revision.

Logistics

Here are a list of the steps you (and your group) will need to take to complete this assignment:

• By week two you should identify idea/location/individual /thing/etc., that you’d like to create or expand on Wikipedia. This means sitting down, brainstorming, gathering ideas, and checking Wikipedia for existing articles. There is nothing wrong with working on an article that already exists; however, you’ll be expected to make substantive contributions to that article. In other words, it would be wise to choose an underdeveloped or completely non-existent article to work with on this assignment. “Stub” articles are ideal candidates for development. To identify these articles, you’ll need to spend a good deal of time as a group figuring out your collective interests and what you’d like to develop.

• During week three you’ll want to be working together, as a group, to identify the portions of the page you’d like to expand or create. Obviously, the sections you chose will vary greatly based on the subject you’ve chosen; however, my advice to you is to check other feature articles that are comparable and see what their section headings include. After you’ve decided on the sections to write, you’ll need to spend some time deciding how to divide your labor across the group. Who will do what? You might decide to have everyone write a portion of the entry; alternatively, you might have particular individual/s write, and other ones responsible for uploading, hyperlinking, and including pictures in the actual post. How you divide up the labor of this assignment is entirely up to your group; however, suffice it to say that everyone should be pulling a roughly comparable load of work.

 

As I said before, this assignment will require you to create a lot of smaller writing tasks; however, there are a lot of them . . . as such, you’ll want to ensure that you’re staying on schedule throughout and that everyone in the group is pulling their weight. If you are having difficulty with someone in your group, please try to work it out among yourselves. If that doesn’t work, feel free to get with me and let me know what trouble you’re having.

The Product
A Wikipedia article of ~3000 (3000 words of new text – this means if your article already existed and was 1000 words long, the new and improved version revised by your group should be at least 4000 words long) that provides information to a particular discourse community about a particular issue. The use of at least two images as well as other relevant media are required (c.f., a map for a specific location). This article or revision should adhere to the Wikipedia position on neutral point of view and should contain references/citations whenever relevant.

Deadlines
Wikipedia Article Proposal: Nov. 13

Wikipedia Article: Nov. 27

Wikipedia Article Proposal Guidelines:

  1. Topic for the article
  2. Creating New or Revising Existing Article
  3. Group work Division
  4. Bibliography of Existing sources on the topic
  5. Schedule-
  6. Section Headings/organization Scheme
  7. Images
  8. Other Multimedia/Hyperlinks
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