Science Fiction, Fall 2019/R1 Wikipedia Contributions

From Gerald R. Lucas
Syllabus R1 R2 R3 L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10  
86228 humn 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.


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 and significant: 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 or entries dealing with an author or text (short story or TV episode) that we have studied for the class, anything from creating an article for Sterling’s “Maneki Neko” or Butler’s “Bloodchild” to editing an existing entry on Pratt or “The Cold Equations” — anything related to our study. 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] Once you have chosen your article or articles, be sure to assign them to yourself under the Student tab on WikiEdu — I’ll remind you about this on a weekly lesson.

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.

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. Our librarian support this semester is Deborah Stanfield, who can assist with your research.