Wiki for Digital Portfolio

PDF of Assignment Sheet

Wikipedia & Wikispaces

Another option for your digital writing and publishing portfolio is a contribution to Wikipedia or the creation of a Wikispaces site. In either case, you can choose to work with whatever topic you’d like. As with the Infographic assignment, this may require you to conduct a bit of outside research.

Wikipedia V. Wikispaces

You are likely familiar with Wikipedia but perhaps you have never contributed to the site. This could be a fun experiment for you. However, some topics will be more fitting for a Wikipedia entry than others. You could create a new page for a topic that doesn’t currently exist in Wikipedia and/or you could make short contributions to one or more pages already in existence. Content on Wikipedia should be balanced and impartial and is often supported by external sources (that are cited), so it is not a space for your personal opinions. If you feel like you don’t have something new to contribute to Wikipedia, you could opt to create a Wikispaces page. Wikispaces pages are somewhat more private but are meant to be collaborative spaces for building content. I expect you to create a few pages within your Wikispaces site and to get some content started that you could then share with others and they could eventually offer their own contributions.

Evaluative Criteria

I’m not requiring a certain length or number of pages/contributions. However, my hope is that you meaningfully contribute at least 200 words of content, even if that is spread among multiple pages on Wikipedia or in Wikispaces.


Your writing for Wikipedia should indicate your rhetorical awareness of purpose, audience, context, and genre. I will use the following criteria to evaluate your writing.

  • Meeting expectations of Wikipedia’s community (see 5 pillars of Wikipedia), including conforming to genre expectations of an online encyclopedia, not using Wikipedia as a soapbox or advertising platform, and being respectful in any correspondence that may result from your contribution.
  • Your writing should explain “major points of view in a balanced and impartial manner,” should “not presen[t] any point of view as ‘the truth’ or ‘the best view,’” and should “strive for verifiable accuracy” (“Five Pillars”).
  • When possible, your contribution should include references, which is also an expectation of the Wikipedia community.
  • When appropriate, your contribution should include internal linking to other entries within Wikipedia and external linking to websites outside of Wikipedia. (Please indicate this within the writing you submit by underlining words you intend to link and then putting the web address for where it would link in parentheses.)
  • Follow copyright laws. Don’t plagiarize.
  • “Be bold (but not reckless) in updating articles” (“Five Pillars”).
  • Write in error-free, clear, coherent, and cohesive prose.

Many of the above expectations are also true for Wikispaces, except there aren’t strict rules governing the site. While I expect your writing to be clear and for you to cite your sources, for instance, you do not necessarily need to present balanced and impartial views. You have more freedom (and thus my expectations are higher) for how you can organize information and create different pages.

Tips & Links to Good Help Pages on Wikipedia

Go here for help on formatting titles, headings, etc., and for help with layout.

Go here for help with how to format citations within your entry.

Draft Submission Policies: What & How to Submit

  • Draft Wikipedia Contribution (Online Component): Due as an online post to Wikipedia by midnight on Friday, November 15th. Post your contributions to the Wikipedia page(s) you selected/created. Then, take a screen shot (For PCs CTRL + ALT + PrtScrn; For Macs Command + Shift + 3) and save the image as a file or copy/paste that image into a Word document (because it could be taken down).
  • OR Draft Wikispaces Wiki (Online Component): Due as an online wikispaces that you share with Dr. Holmes via email.
  • Your Personal Back-Up Copy: This should be a MS Word (or equivalent type) document where you’ve typed out the content of your contribution to Wikipedia or Wikispaces.

DRAFTS DUE: By midnight, Friday, Nov. 15th

  • Email Dr. Holmes (aholmes@gsu.edu) the link(s) to the Wikipedia page(s) to which you’ve contributed OR the wikispaces site you’ve created, AND, in both cases, send a MS Word document with the content of your contribution typed out.

Portfolio Drafts

  • Link to the online content for your final portfolio draft (should you choose to include this component), and, when possible, also include the MS Word document.

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