Writing for Digital Media, Summer 2019/RQ1 Wikipedia Contributions

From Gerald R. Lucas
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58774 & 59513 NMAC 3108.01–.02 Online Summer, 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.

Macon Cherry Blossoms

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 a local (Macon, GA) person, place, or thing: anything from the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park to the Cannonball House. Many articles already exist on Wikipedia that you could improve by filling in content gaps, or you could write an original article about Macon, GA.[2] The best articles will use local research to support them. 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.

Audio project introduction.

Wikipedia work will be detailed and supported by WikiEdu.org. 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. Click the star at the top of the page to follow it. You will then get notices on your watchlist whenever an update has been posted.
  4. Our librarian support this semester is Deborah Stanfield, who can assist with your research.