New Media, Fall 2019/R1 Wikipedia Contributions

From Gerald R. Lucas
Syllabus R1 R2 R3 L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10  
85288 nmac 4460.01 Online Fall, 2019

In this Wikipedia writing requirement, students find topics that aren’t covered well on Wikipedia. They research those topics with quality sources, and construct a well-referenced encyclopedia article.

High Tech 01.jpg

The aim of this requirement is to write an original article or make major contributions to an existing article or articles on Wikipedia — the most popular and arguably the most successful crowd-sourced project on the Internet. Instead of just a paper that satisfies a classroom requirement, you will be working on something real-world with a public significance: collaborating to create knowledge that can benefit everyone. Even though you are students, your participation has a very real significance in this course.

For this class, contributions[1] will be an entry about a book that takes a topic in new media for its subject.

You can choose to write or add to a Wikipedia article about any approved new media text, like Negroponte’s Being Digital, Lessig’s Remix, Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, Lanier’s Who Owns the Future?, or create a page from scratch, like Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck. Many articles already exist on Wikipedia that you could improve by filling in content gaps, or you could write an original article about a text that is missing.[2] This is just a sample of several of dozens of books you could choose from.[3] I have begun a list of available articles on WikiEdu.[4]

Obviously, you should pick a book you want to read and research. You may work collaboratively on this project.

Once you have chosen your article or articles, I will have to approve it and then officially assign it to you on Wiki Edu. Wikipedia work will be detailed and supported by Students will complete training, discussions, and other activities via their web site each week as integral components of this assignment. First, you must enroll using your Wikipedia login. Just follow the directions on your syllabus.

All project articles must appear in the Wikipedia mainspace by the end of class to count for credit.

While assignments dealing with the wiki will be on WikiEdu, I will attempt to link everything from this site on your syllabus. See the lesson breakdown for more details and specifics as you work your way through training.

Wikipedia Resources

MGA Resources


  1. Consider the amount of research and writing that would go into a research paper. I’m not interested in length or the word count, but I am interested in consistent and contentious work. Also, work on this project should be on-going throughout the semester — not a last-minute sprint to meet the deadline.
  2. We will talk more about choosing an article, but keep the following in mind as you consider: avoid good or popular articles (Featured or Good articles); avoid controversial topics; look for red links, or articles that are needed but not written yet and start- or stub-class articles; pick only a notable topic — or one that has coverage in at least 3 reliable sources beyond trivial mentions.
  3. See my new media bibliography for more ideas.
  4. Please note, you must be a member of the course before you can view this list. You will do that in the first lesson.
  5. Our librarian support this semester is Deborah Stanfield, who can assist with your research.