STA 01 – Wikipedia

Due Oct 4 by class start (noon) Post response to class blog, but use the WordPress embargo feature so that it won’t be published till class starts (in case several of you end up working on the same pages, and also just because you should learn how to use this feature.)

The purpose of this assignment is to understand how Wikipedia works, and what tools to use to evaluate individual Wikipedia entries.

Part 1: Good and Bad Wikipedia Articles

spend about an hour surfing through Wikipedia, and identify two articles (preferably both on historical topics):

  • one excellent article
  • one lousy article

What makes one good and the other rotten? Very briefly describe their virtues and failings.

Part 2: Edit Histories and Discussion

Now look through both the talk page and the edit history (for both the excellent and lousy articles). What do you learn from looking at these? Des it give you any insight into the circumstances that create good and bad entries? Are there any broader implications for the Wikipedia project? In no more than two paragraphs, describe what you learned from the history and discussion.

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