Week 1

Purpose: Basic background information on what Wikipedia is/is not; connect with Wikipedia Ambassadors; create a user account; choose an article to improve.

Time: Two-weeks with work being accomplished at home; 20 points.

Task: Complete the eight items to gain an understanding of the overall project.

  1. Watch Wikipedia : Tutorial is the best place to start your work with this wiki .
  2. Next create an account .
    • While obtaining an individual account is not a requirement to be successful in this project, it is recommended.
    • Look over Section 1-1.3 of Wikipedia's username policy.
    • This video will give you step-by-step instructions for registering an account, once you have chosen a username.
  3. Look over Wikipedia : Wikiquette
    • Remember that Wikipedia is not a project limited only to our school. We are guests here and we should all behave accordingly. . Please try to think what impression you want other Wikipedians to have of our school — and of yourselves.
      • Can you answer the following questions?
        • What should you refrain from doing if you get into an argument/disagreement with another Wikipedian?
        • What is the Golden Rule you should always remember?
        • What are "scare quotes" and why should you avoid them?
        • Why should you always be prepared to apologize, and forgive and forget?
        • What do you think is the most important thing to remember while on Wikipedia?
  4. Take a look at the information Wikipedia provides about userpages.
    • The “Creating a userpage” document will walk you through the steps involved in setting up your userpage.
    • Review this WikiMarkup Cheatsheet as you begin your edits.
    • Remember NEVER enter personal information about yourself. Think of the userpage as a place to write notes about the project.
  5. A sandbox is a great way to experiment in Wikipedia before making live edits to articles.
    • A sandbox is a sub-page of your userpage that can be used for drafting articles or any other purpose relating to Wikipedia. These pages are not live articles, so they do not have to meet the Wikipedia Manual of Style guidelines.
    • You can experiment in the main Wikipedia Sandbox.
    • Or you can create your own sub-page on your userpage. See this tutorial to get started.
  6. It is important that you read about the Five Pillars of Wikipedia.
    • Read at least the introductory sections (and more, if you desire) of the following articles:
      • Neutral Point of View Policy
      • No Original Research Policy
      • Verifiability Policy
        • Can you answer the following questions?
          • Why is Wikipedia considered an online encyclopedia in the First Pillar?
          • What does Wikipedia try to strive for in their articles in the Second Pillar?
          • In the Third Pillar ot states that it is a free content. Why should they make a site of information that you can edit?
          • The Fourth Pillar stands for "respect to other wikipedians". Why do you think they stand for this?
          • Why should Wikipedians have no strict rules?
  7. Some other useful tips: Whenever you are done with an edit and want to save a page, fill out the edit summary box and view a preview of the page after your edit to make sure it looks as you actually want it to look. Only then click the "Save Page" button. You may find the page history tool and watchlist tools to be very useful when you want to check what changes by other editors have been made to the article(s) you are working on.
  8. As a team decide on a topic within American government, civics, and economics that you would all like to gain more knowledge about. Then search within Wikipedia for the referenced topic. Once found make sure that the topic either doesn’t have a substantial article already written about it. A topic that is listed on the history stubs page on Wikipedia is a good place to start. Enter your proposed topic on the team article site for final approval. One topic per team.

Assessment: Team Topic entered; 10 points

You are welcome to send emails to me, or ask a direct question during class time, and ask about Wikipedia how-to; but please try to find the answer first on the Help : Contents .