STA # 1: Learning about WIkipedia

The articles I choose for this assignment were the ones on Franklin D. Roosevelt and Pierre Corneille. The first part of this assignment will consist of my assessment of what qualities make the FDR article better than the one on Pierre Corneille. The second part will explain my reasons why these qualities seem to be and involves. However, while I will be labeling these articles “good” and “lousy” that does not necessarily make them so. As Wikipedia states, “…encyclopedia articles focus on factual information to cover the thing or concept for which the article name stands.” Therefore I have based this assessment on their ability to provide information on their topic to the viewer.

Part 1: What aspects makes an article better then another?

One aspect that makes the article on FDR better than the one on Pierre Corneille is the amount of information present on the FDR article. As viewers look upon the FDR article they are treated to information ranging from his personal life such as how he became a paralytic, his affair with Lucy Mercer,  as well as information about his political life such as the formation of the “New Deal” and his Foreign policy before and during the Second World War. Pierre Corneille’s article on the other hand does not share this abundance of information. Viewers only have access to basic information such as were he was born, information on his most famous play du Cid, and a list of his other work. Viewers have access to only bibliographical information while the FDR article provides a huge cashe of information about not only his personal life, but on other things such as his policies and ideals. This in my assessment makes Cornellie’s article “lousy” and FDR’s article “good”.

Another aspect that makes the FDR article better then the Pierre Corneille one is that the FDR article is that it is able to provide the viewer with information without having to actually read the article. This is primarily due to the amount of visual and audio media that the article displays. Readers are able to gain a personal sense of the 32nd president by looking at his pictures, seeing who he was affiliated with, and by listening to the speeches he had made. Immediately a viewer gains a sense of importance that FDR had during his time.

They gain a sense of his political values while listening to his “fear itself speech” showcasing the type situation that FDR had to deal with during the depression. They also give the viewer a sense of the relationships he harbored with other political figures of the time, such as Stalin and Churchill. Without reading the article, the Viewer is able to gain some knowledge about FDR.

The Pierre Corneille article on the other hand does not give the reader as much information as the FDR article does. While it does contain images of the posters for his plays the viewer does not get any information which this man is without reading the body of text associated with them. On top of that, the visual media that is provided does not give the viewer a personal connection to Pierre Corneille thereby making it a “lousy article”.

Part 2: Developed or Underdeveloped

Upon looking over the talk section for both articles it becomes clear why one can be deemed “good” and the other one lousy. In FDR’s article, the talk section is filled with concerns about the how the article can be improved or mistakes that other users have found in the article. For example, one user caught an error in the article in the fourth paragraph were it says “Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterward.” But as the user states this does not make sense because Roosevelt died during the course of the war. Another user notes that on the map that shows where FDR visited during his presidency, the map missed out on marking the Crimean Peninsula. This mistake was actually corrected and the map now highlights this area. In contrast, Pierre Corneille’s talk section only has one section where one user calls for a correction in the date that Le Cid was first performed.

This is similar when one looks at the edit history section for both articles. FDR’s article has more edits then Corneille’s, which suggests that there is a more active user base working on the FDR article then the other. It seems as if that the more people who are able to provide insight and knowledge on a topic the “better” the article will become. This is most likely due to the fact that FDR is more renowned then Pierre Corneille. People have more of an interest in him, thus there is a lot more time and effort put into FDR’s article then Corneille’s. When you look at other articles on Wikipedia the most well known ones seem to be more developed then the articles which are not as well known.

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