Difference between revisions of "November 29, 2019"

From Gerald R. Lucas
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Revision as of 11:43, 29 November 2019

Wikipedia Article Improvement

I just had a student post to my talk page about his Wikipedia project: “I need some assistance with the final article. To be quite honest I don’t even know where to begin.”

Oh, no. My first reaction to this is “OK, there are two weeks left in the semester — why are you asking me this now?” I think this should be obvious, but beginning is maybe not obvious to everyone. I think I need a guide — maybe a step-by-step summary up top leading to a more detailed how-to. This should be required reading and introduced early in the semester. Wikipedia has already done much of the work for me.

Any article development should begin with research. That way, two important aspects can be established: 1. notability and 2. critical sources (working bibliography). I had a couple of students unable to find sources for their project — mostly short stories in my sf survey. If the first step was to establish notability, this problem could be avoided.

Once notability has been confirmed, a layout should be established. The best way to go about this would be to find a model article that is closely related to the one you’re writing or improving. For example, if the article is about a novel, you should use the book infobox and the model article structure. If you are improving an existing article, it may already have these components. If not, consider those that are missing as guides for what you should add.

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