Wikipedia:School and university projects/Piotrus course intro boilerplate

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This is a boilerplate wiki-syllabi for any course which is going to ask students to do something on Wikipedia. It is divided into several sections. First, 'Introduction for students' which introduces them to Wikipedia. Second, 'Assignment', outlines instruction specific to a working paper assignment (to be written by a group of students as a major assignment). Third, 'Stages and deadlines', describes the stages and deadlines as applicable for a short, 1.5-month term (if you are teaching during a regular term, just spread the deadlines around...). Fourth, 'Important tips' contains various tips for the students. Fifth, 'Grading' explains my grading policy, elements of which you may find useful (in particular, the checklist for article quality). The last sections contain the list of students and articles they are working.

This is a revised, LONGER version of my old boilerplate syllabus. This boilerplate is designed for courses where students work in groups and have several weeks to improve an article to a good article status. If you just want your students to do a few smaller edits, you may still find the information in its 'Exercises' section of use, but otherwise, I consider it obsolete.

All text in <bold comments like this> are examples to be replaced by whatever you want when you copy this boilerplate. Feel free to replace anything else, change anything else, and do whatever you want with this boilerplate. In particular, note that this syllabus has details on deadlines and grading that may not be compatible with your course.

You can easily create a course page by replacing the YOUR_PROJECT_TITLE one of the boxes below (but leave the code in front of it unchanged!).

This will create a new page at Wikipedia:School and university projects/your course name or User:your username/your course name (if you followed the instructions, automatically replacing the generic text with, well, your course name and username, when applicable). Whether you want to create your course page in the WP:SUP space or your userspace is totally up to your preference.

The created page will be empty, fill it in with this template by copying and pasting it there. To do so, click 'edit this page' and copy this boilerplate (from introduction to category) to your project page prior to using it in a specific page. When you are done, save the page. This assumes some basic wiki-editing competency without which you should really not be here... but don't worry, it is a skill easy to gain - just spend few minutes at Wikipedia:Tutorial and come back here.

Either way, once you are done, go to Wikipedia:School and university projects and follow the instructions there to add your course to the official listing (while not obligatory per se, it is good form and you may find that interested editors will volunteer to help you). If you would like to use this syllabus but find the instructions too confusing, ask for help at Wikipedia talk:School and university projects.

This page has information on the online writing assignment taught on Wikipedia by <instructor> for the <course, university, timeframe>.

The goal of this assignment is for several groups of students to choose an underdeveloped or missing article on Wikipedia, related to <course subject>, and improve it to Good Article status during the duration of the course (<duration>).

Introduction for students[edit]

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. It has many millions (!) of editors (Wikipedians), many of whom are students like you. The vast majority of them are volunteers who find editing this site to be an enjoyable experience, even a hobby. Therefore I hope you will enjoy this exercise and the course! After all, there are not many exercises that tell you to do something that over a million people think is 'fun'. :)

Wikipedia:Tutorial is the best place to start your adventure with this wiki. Please familiarize yourself with instructions for students and if you have any questions, check the Wikipedia:FAQ/Editing or Help:Contents and if you cannot find what you are looking for, ask the friendly people at Wikipedia:Help desk - or just <contact me - replace Piotrus with instructor username here>.

Before making any major edits, it is recommended that you create an account (video tutorial). You definitely need to have an account before attempting to do any wiki-related coursework (otherwise we will be unable to confirm if you have completed the exercise). After you create an account, if you know your group already, add your name to the relevant section of this page.

Remember that Wikipedia is not a project limited only to our university. We are guests here and we should all behave accordingly. Please make sure you read Wikipedia:Wikiquette. Please try to think what impression you want other Wikipedians to have of our university — and of yourselves.

You should expect that the course lecturer, other students, your friends, and even (or especially) other Wikipedia editors (not affiliated with our course) will leave you various messages on your talk pages. When working on the exercises below, you should log in to Wikipedia and check your messages as often as you check your email (I strongly recommend you read 'as often' as 'at least daily'). Whenever you have a new message and are logged to Wikipedia, you will see a large orange message, 'You have new messages', on every Wikipedia page you access. To make this message disappear, you should click on it and read the message. Note that it is customary to leave new messages at the bottom of the talk/discussion pages, and to reply to somebody's messages on their talk pages. If you want to leave somebody a message, make sure you are editing their talk page, not their user page. Remember to sign your talk and discussion messages (you may want to watch this tutorial on using talk pages).

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.

Please direct any questions to <my talk page - replace Piotrus with instructor username here>. You are welcome to send emails, or drop by to see me during our office hours, and ask about Wikipedia how-to; but please try to find the answer first on the Help:Contents.


<This assumes your students will be working in groups to start or improve a Wikipedia article. In addition, this assignment involves student making smaller edits from early on in the course, and interacting on Wikipedia talk page(s) through the course.> Now that you are familiar with the Wikipedia environment, it is time to jump into your assignment.

Project overview:

456154654Your assignment is to choose an underdeveloped <your course area>-related subject to research and write about on Wikipedia. You will perform a literature search on that insect, and work with an assigned group to create a new article or expand an existing one, following any and all Wikipedia standards first and foremost. During the active project phase, you will monitor and respond to feedback on your article, and assist other groups by reading and commenting on their work.

Project details:

This assignment is worth x points.

During lecture, you were assigned to a group and given a group number. This is your Wikipedia assignment group, and it is composed of the people you work with for the duration of the semester. You were given time during lecture to meet with your group and discuss options and schedules. You and your group will choose a <your course area>-related article and create or expand it. Once you have chosen your article, you will write up a one page proposal, outlining important information about it, what points you will cover in your article, and a short list of resources. You then need to make an appointment to meet with me in my office and discuss your proposal as a group. The deadlines for this assignment are listed below.

Once you have gotten my approval, work together to create an interesting, in depth article about your chosen subject. Make sure you familiarize yourself with encyclopedia-type writing before you begin. Writing for Wikipedia is very different from writing an essay, although not that far from writing a descriptive scientific paper, and you need to fit in with the proper format. Please read the following guidelines to get a handle on how you should write your article BEFORE you start writing:

  1. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, which summarizes what Wikipedia is, and what it is not;
  2. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, which describes Wikipedia's core approach to neutral, unbiased article-writing;
  3. Wikipedia:No original research, which explains what is, and is not, valid encyclopedic information;
  4. Wikipedia:Verifiability, which explains what counts as a verifiable source and how a source can be verified;
  5. Wikipedia:Citing sources, which describes what kinds of sources should be cited and the manner of doing so; and
  6. Wikipedia:Manual of Style, which offers a style guide.

Wikipedia maintains a high standard of writing, and has taken great pains to improve these standards. You need to follow their directions to the letter, since deviating from these standards will invite article deletion.

Regarding the length of the article, quality of sources used, and such, see the articles your colleagues in the past have written during those courses: here, here or here.<you may want to keep those as examples or replace with your own past courses or others you prefer>

Feel free to include photos, but remember that not all pictures on the web are free for the taking. Familiarize yourself with Wikipedia's Copyright Policy to ensure you are not doing anything wrong (copyright violation, in the real, world, means what plagiarism in academia). Remember that any violation will be caught and dealt with by the plethora of editors on the site (and you do not want your group article to suddenly sprout a copyvio template like [ this 2009 group did...).<again, this is an example you may want to change if you have something better you are more familiar with>

Your article must include at least one academic book or journal source per group member. However, keep in mind that this is a minimum requirement. You should also include a list of external links giving the reader more information on your subject, and link to your page from other Wikipedia pages, so your page is not an orphan. To answer that question in your head: yes, you can go on someone else's article and link to your own. That's the beauty of Wiki!

You are welcome to use Wikipedia:Peer Review and related tools (see tips section below) and seek creative comments on your article. In other words, if you can get other Wikipedia editors to help you, I am totally fine with that.

Once you begin writing your article, you are required to respond to any comments on your paper and act accordingly (make proper changes, defend your choices, etc.). These comments will give you substantial feedback on your work, and allow you to make your final product better. (Besides, I'm going to spend the semester reading your work and commenting on it--if you listen to my feedback, you'll end up with a much better grade. It's like I'm pre-grading it for you! Who's the greatest? Yep, me.)

Finally, you will read and evaluate/comment on your classmates' articles. Please make your comments constructive and useful. You will not get credit for such comments as "good article!" or "I liked it!" Suggest something that can be realistically improved, compare their article to yours and see if your group has learned any tricks that can help them. Also refrain from any abusive or inappropriate language. Remember, you are the face of our University for the semester--make us proud.

At the end of the semester, you will turn into me the following items in a print-out version:

  1. A print out of constructive comments you made when reviewing the work of another group, so I can give you the points for reviewing other articles. Please highlight your user name for clarity. Label that page(s) as: Review of other group work.
  2. A print out of constructive comments you made on your own group article's talk page, and on the talk pages of other editors (if relevant). Label that page(s) as: Communication during our group work. Note that only on-wiki communication is accepted, off-wiki communication like emails and such will not be graded.
  3. Each member of the groups should fill out the group percentages form to grade the other members of the group. Fill out the form (anonymously) and either place it in the folder, or hand it to me personally. Make sure you have your groups number on the form!

Stages and deadlines[edit]

<replace all dates with dates for your course, I am leaving the dates below to give you an idea of a time ranges I used for a course in which students had slightly over a month to work on this assignment. Also, keep in mind that this list of deadlines is very specific with regards to particular sub-assignments, and contains some grading elements>

  • On Monday, May 10, we will have a segment introducing this assignment. Students who by that time have created a Wikipedia account and made at least one constructive edit to Wikipedia will receive an extra credit point (1P) (please share this edit with the class during the lecture, after I introduce the Wiki assignment)
  • Start. Get familiar with Wikipedia. Make some trial edits, however minor. Demystify the process. Leave behind any sense of intimidation. As Wikipedia puts it, learn to be bold. Learn basic editing skllls. The three students who have made the highest amount of constructive edits to Wikipedia before next Monday (the 17th) (mainspace edits or constructive talk page comments count) will receive an extra two credit points (2P).
  • Before Monday, May 17, everyone should have created a Wikipedia account, finished the Wikipedia Tutorial (including making an edit in the Wikipedia Tutorial Sandbox) (1P), made at least one constructive edit to a Wikipedia article (outside the sandbox - subject doesn't matter) (1P), make a constructive comment to a Wikipedia's article discussion page (1P) (make sure to add a constructive edit summary), joined a group (that includes adding yourself to the linked section below) <you will want to replace the word course in the preceding link with your course name if you change the "Editors in course" section name below> (1P) and informed the course instructor <(Piotr Konieczny - User:Piotrus (User_talk:Piotrus) replace Piotrus with instructor username here> about your account name, which group you've joined and the edit(s) you made (1P). Don't forget to sign your posts on talk and discussion pages properly. You should do so before leaving a message on the course instructor talk page. Finishing this assignment on time is worth 5% of the course grade. If you successfully post a diff of your edit to <the instructor's Wikipedia talk page replace Piotrus with instructor username here>you will earn one extra credit point (1P).
  • Plan. But minor edits alone won't get us much closer towards Good Article status. We need to have a sense of what more needs to be done, and an overall plan for the article. Look at models and guidelines (e.g. Manual of Style or the Guide for nominating good articles). What sections are required? What will be the article structure? What information is needed? Who in your group will write what?
  • Research and list 3–5 articles on your Wikipedia user page that you think would make good articles for your group main assignment. Link them (so they are blue links like this one). Share them with your other group members by posting the link to your userpage on their talk pages, and ask your instructor for comments. Posting this question to your instructor and all other group members on their talk pages (don't forget to sign and link your userpage) is worth one extra credit point (1P)
  • Before Monday, May 24, each group should have an article selected. You should inform the instructor of your article selection (you can email the instructor or post a message to his talk page, or talk to him before or after the class). Make sure it is listed next to your group in the Articles edited section of our wiki page. (2P) Also, find a Wikipedia article that is missing one or more inline reference (different from the article your group is working on; and don't forget about the edit summary); find and add a reliable inline reference to it (2P). The citation you add should have at minimum the following elements: author's name, title, publishing venue, date, link (if it is online). At that point I am assuming you have already done the citing sources part of the Wikipedia tutorial. Finally, you should post some constructive suggestions on how to improve the article further on the article talk page (1P). Finishing this assignment on time is worth 5% of the course grade.
  • Before Wednesday, May 26, you should have a plan (who will read what, who will work on what aspects of the article) in place. You should post a preliminary "to-do" list on article's discussion page and inform the instructor that you have done so. The "to do" list should consist of a list of what points you will cover in your article, how it will be structured, who will work on what sections, and a short list of resources. This list should be about one page in length if you need a yardstick. Each group member should participate in creation of that list, describing their own tasks. If the article does not exist, you should stub (start) it (see what makes a good stub and you may want to watch this "article creation" tutorial). Finishing this assignment on time is worth 5% of the course grade.. Groups which create very good to do lists and stubs may receive up to 2 extra credit points (2P).
  • As another extra credit 2P activity, post a constructive question, related to your project, to Wikipedia:Reference desk. Report what answer you got on your article talk page and notify the instructor about your report with a diff. (Note: it may take a day or so for a reply to be posted to your question at the reference desk)
  • Share. You will need to divide up the tasks that we've identified in the planning stage. Who is going to do what and when?
  • Research. This is vital. A wikipedia article is worth nothing unless it comprises verified research, appropriately referenced. This will entail going to the library, as well as surfing the internet!
  • Assemble and copy-edit. As the referenced research is added to an article, we need to ensure that it does not become baggy and disorganized, though there will be moments when it is obviously in a transitional stage.
  • As yet another extra credit 5P (!) activity, before Wednesday, June 1, you can nominate your article for Wikipedia:Did you know. All group members who were involved with significantly improving the article up to this point will receive 5P each IF the article is approved by the Did You Know reviewer. You are more than welcome to see me during the office hours to talk about how to get your article passed for the Did You Know. Getting an article to appear on the front page is cool, and it has been done many times by your peers. Why not give it a try? (Here is a link to a useful handout])
  • Also, revisit your first edits. Have they been retained? Have they been improved by others? Post a report on your userpage, and notify the instructor for another extra credit point (1P). If you improve the edit yourself and discuss it with other editors that might have disagreed with it previously, you may receive another extra credit point (1P).
  • Informal Reviews. Before Saturday, June 4, each of your members should look at an article being developed by others, review it on that article's talk page, and write a summary for your own group (on your own article's talk page) saying whether anything that group has done is valuable for you. You should try to review different articles if possible. Finishing this assignment on time is worth 5% of the course grade.
  • You should read and comment on the feedback your article received. Incorporate constructive suggestions into your article.
  • Good article nomination. Before Monday, June 6, at the latest as there's a backlog of articles to be reviewed, and because a nomination can easily be put on hold until the article is improved in line with a reviewer's suggestions.
  • This means your article should be mostly finished by then! But it doesn't mean your work is done, FAR FROM IT! You are responsible for keeping daily track of comments by reviewers (which will include the instructor), answering them and addressing them (if they are reasonable, when in doubt, ask the instructor). Here are some sample Good Article reviews and related discussions: example1, example2, exampe3. Finishing this assignment on time AND subsequent interaction with Good Article reviewer is worth 5% of the course grade.
  • Course instructor (Piotr Konieczny) <replace with your name> will do the final assessment of your work after Monday, June 20 (beginning of the finals week).

Note: total amount of extra credit you can get from the activities listed above is 16 (16%). Extra credit is added, unweighted, to your final course score.

Important tips[edit]

Read the fine manual :)

Wikipedia:FAQ/Editing will give you all the information you need to edit pages and start your own. Read it! Help:Contents and Wikipedia:Tutorial are very useful, too.


I suggest doing some practice edits on various pages, just to get a feel for how things work. You can start by adding material to your user page, but try to edit real articles, too. If you add some constructive content to sociology-related articles, you may be eligible for extra credit.

If you are drawing a blank as to what you should edit for practice, there are many places you may want to check if you want to improve your Wikipedia-editing skills by editing Wikipedia. Feel free to check the following pages:

Create an account and sign in every time you edit

Whenever you edit, make sure that you are signed in (if in the top right corner of the screen you see "log in" button, you are not signed in!). If you are not signed in, course instructor (Piotr Konieczny) <replace with your name> will not be able to verify that you were the person who made the edit and give you points for it.

When creating a new account, think about the nickname you want to use here. Consider:

  • this is a publicly viewable project - do you want to use your real name (or pitt email "nick")?
  • you may want to keep editing Wikipedia in the future - chose a nickname that you won't find annoying in a few years...
Talk pages

Whenever editing a talk page, add four tildes ~~~~ to the end of all comments you make on talk pages. This will let people know who is talking. You can also just press the signature button (you may want to watch this tutorial on using talk pages).

Selecting an article

You can chose to create an entirely new article related to <globalization replace with your course theme>, if the topic you'd like to write about is missing. You can also expand an existing Wikipedia article related to <globalization replace with your course theme>, if there is ample room for expansion (rule of thumb: if the article has only a few sentences, it is a good choice for expansion, if it has a few long sections, probably not). Most articles assessed as a "stub" qualify for this assignment. There are hundreds of <globalization replace with your course theme> related articles to chose from: see here <in the preceding link, replace globalization with a keyword applicable to your course>.

If you are drawing blank on what article you could create or expand, here's an example of an article that should be created or expanded: <archaic globalization, core-periphery, deglobalization, developing country, economic globalization, European miracle, exceptionalism, history of globalization, Karimi merchants, most favoured nation, New Woman, Pax Britannica, Pax Hispanica, Pax Islamica, Pax Romana, postnationalism, social cycle theory, Staples thesis, Tabula Rogeriana, Third World, transnationalism, waves of globalization replace with articles applicable for your course, the current list is for my globalization course>. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Important tip: try to chose a subject that you are interested in. It's much easier to write about something interesting than it is to write about something boring!

As soon as possible, your group should agree on a topic and get in touch (by email) with the course instructor (Piotr Konieczny) <replace with your name> so he can verify it is a good topic. You may want to select one or more subjects and list them in the order of preference, in case your first choice is rejected, to save time.

What kind of an article are we writing?

We are not doing any original research. You will not be collecting data, analyzing it, or writing about your experiences. We will not be witting an essay with personal opinions or judgments. Instead, we will be writing an encyclopedic article, summarizing an existing, verifiable state of knowledge from a sociology <you will want to replace this with a keyword related to your course> related area. See Wikipedia in brief for a short list of what an encyclopedic article we will be writing here is.


The simplest way to understand the style you are supposed to follow is to examine articles that have passed GA or FA. You can see Wikipedia Good Articles from the section "Social science and society" here <you will want to replace this with a section related to your course>. Good sociology <you will want to replace this and the list that follows with a keyword related to your course> related ones include Social class in the United States, Anti-nuclear movement in Australia, African American culture, On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Other good examples include Featured articles from the section "Culture and society", for example: Society of the Song Dynasty, Max Weber, Fairy tale.

The technical details are explained in the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, but I find just looking at already-written articles much more helpful then studying the collection of the rules.

If you want to learn how to write nicely, check this guide:

Getting the article assessed as a GA

At the top of this page you will find a "how to" for nomination. There is also a dedicated guide for nominating good articles. If you can nominate it sooner than the deadline, the better for you - every day gives you more time to read comments by the reviewers and address them. Remember: you may get max score (25%) even if you don't address all the comments of the reviewer in time (particularly if he posts them very late); but addressing them and passing through the GA process guarantees you the max score (25%) for this assignment. The assignment does not with the nomination, you will likely have to fix various issues pointed out by the reviewer. If the reviewer posts useful comments, you should do your best to address them; of course this mean you may disagree with him if you think you know better (reviewers are not perfect).

Useful links:

We don't own the articles

Wikipedia is a project with millions of editors, who collaborate on all articles. We don't own the articles we work on. Don't be surprised if you receive comments from editors who are not part of the course, or if they do edit your article. All editors are here to help; don't hesitate to get extra help - Wikipedia has ton of places you can do so.

Expect to interact (politely) with others

It is likely that over the course of the project, you will receive messages from editors outside our course, and that they will make edits to your article. Be polite in replying, and don't hesitate to ask them to explain something.

Work on Wikipedia

A. Don't work on a draft in Microsoft Word. Work on a draft in the article on Wikipedia. This way your colleagues (and instructor) will be aware of what you are doing the instant you do so, and can comment on it sooner.

B. Don't exchange comments by email. Exchange comments by using article's talk pages, for the same reasons as above (unless you are certain that your discussion have to stay private). If you like to receive email notifications, you can monitor the article's talk pages (and your own userpage talk page) by subscribing to that page RSS feed (see Wikipedia:Syndication).

Remember: gaining experience with wiki software may be more important to your future career than detailed knowledge of <globalization replace with your course theme>. Three years ago, Technorati's chief technologist states that in five years "knowledge of wikis will be a required job skill". Do the math.

Plagiarism and copyvio warning

Plagiarism is not only against university's and course policies, it is also against Wikipedia policies (see WP:PLAGIARISM). And attributing somebody doesn't mean cut and paste jobs are allowed (WP:COPYVIO). Violations of plagiarism/copyvio policies will result in lower grade and other sanctions (per university's policy). Please note that the course instructor is not the only person checking constantly for plagiarism and copyright violations; the Good Article reviewer will do so as well, and Wikipedia has a specialized group of volunteers specializing in checking new contributions for those very problems (you don't want your work to appear here or here!). In particular, note that extensive quoting is not allowed, and changing just a few words is still a copyvio (it doesn't matter if you attribute the source). Bottom line, you are expected to read, digest information, and summarize it in your own words (but with a source). For more info see: this plagiarism handout, Wikipedia:Copy-paste, Wikipedia:Quotations, Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing, a guide from Purdue University.

Getting extra help

You can always ask the course instructor (me) or Wikipedia:Ambassadors for help. You should not hesitate to ask your fellow students from other groups for help, for example if you see they have mastered some editing trick you have yet to learn. Wikipedia volunteers are often active in this chat help channel. We are here to collaborate, not compete. If you can lobby and get help/assistance/advice from other editors to improve your work (for example by using Wikipedia:New contributors' help page, Wikipedia:Requests for feedback, Wikipedia:Peer review, Wikipedia:Help desk or Wikipedia:Reference desk), I am perfectly fine with it. Be bold and show initiative, it usually helps. See also "how to get help" handout. <your policies towards getting extra help may differ...>

Advice from past assignments

This is not the first time I am running this assignment for my students. Based on my past experiences, here are common mistakes that tend to lower your grade:

  • read the "getting extra help" tip above
  • try to complete the extra credit assignments outlined here
  • complete WP:TUTORIAL and edit some Wikipedia articles "for fun" early on; experience gained will be very helpful
  • work on a draft on Wikipedia, in the article; don't work in Microsoft Word or such
  • keep an eye on your userpage discussion page, and on article's discussion page, where other group members and other Wikipedia editors - and the instructor - may leave you tips, advice and other comment
  • remember its a collaborative assignments. Work with your colleagues from the first day on a single wiki-draft. Groups whose members work alone and try to combine their parts a day or so before the final submission don't do very well.
  • don't focus solely on your own sections. Help your teammates by proofreading their section, see if they have trouble with things you've figured out.
  • image questions? See this image uploading handout, this uploading image video tutorial, Wikipedia:Images, and in particular, the Wikipedia:Finding images tutorial and the Wikipedia:Picture tutorial. Try to avoid looking for images on "the web", focus on the Wikipedia's sister project, Wikimedia Commons, which has millions of images that can be used on Wikipedia without any restrictions.
  • reference questions? Revisit the Wikipedia:Tutorial/Citing sources and watch a video tutorial on how to add footnotes and proper references to your article. Or see here if you are not afraid of a little coding.


<You may want to pay special attention to this, as your grading policy may be quite different from mine>

This assignment is worth 50% of the final score. Out of that, you get 25% for finishing things on time, and 25% by getting the GA status. Your 0-50% is then weighted by your activity, assessed both by the instructor and your colleagues.

Getting an article assessed as a good article by the Wikipedia good article reviewer guarantees the group the unweighted 25% score from this assignment. If you have submitted your article for GA assessment on time but your article didn't finished going through the assessment process in time, due to the failure of the external Wikipedia reviewer to react promptly, or if I think the reviewer treated you too harshly and I am happy with your work, you may still get the unweighted 25%. If the article is assessed below the GA class, the unweighted score will be lower (see table below):

Here is a description of quality classes for an article. What we are aiming at is the GA-class (or above, but the GA-class will guarantee you max points). Read carefully what the lower classes (B, C, start, stub) lack and make sure your article is better!

Article's quality class Course credit points earned
stub class 1
start class 6
C-class 15
B-class 20
Good Article class 25
Featured Article class 50

The grade for this assignment is further modified as follows:

  • you can get up to 25% unweighted score points by finishing the five 5% worth stages described above on time.
  • so, the 25% from finishing the five stages on time and 25% from getting the Good Article potentially earns the group the full unweighted 50% score for this assignment, HOWEVER
  • the 50% will than be weighted based on individual students participation, incorporating the number and quality of that students edits to Wikipedia, and how each other member of that student group valued his or her input and contribution. The weight is calculated as follows: 75% is based on my impression of your work, 25% on the assessments of your colleagues.

What this means is that if a group had members who worked hard throughout the term (logged in regularly, discussed the article development with other group members and other interested Wikipedia editors on article's discussion page, and so on), and members who did very little worked (logged in rarely, did not participate in discussions, and so on), their end grades for this assignment will be different. For example, if the end unweighted grade was 40%, members who did not contribute much to the group project may see their grade be much lower - 30%, 20% or in case they did almost no work, close to 0% (in other words, students who join the group and don't contribute to the group project should not expect to get a good grade from this assignment - remember: I can see how hard you are working).

Example: you get 40% unweighted score. I and your colleagues rate your activity as 4 out of 5, so 80% of 100%. Your score of 40% is multiplied by 80% yielding the final grade of 32%.

To avoid getting your grade weighted down, read the tips above, and in particular, follow those simple steps:

  • log in and make edits to the article regularly, preferably several times a week
  • discuss the article with other group members on article's discussion page, where the instructor can see that you are actively engaged in planning and developing the article

It is therefore NOT recommended that some group members specialize in tasks such as library research or off-wiki writing, which the instructor cannot verify.

Here is a checklist for article quality. If your article follows those guidelines, even if the official Wikipedia reviewer fails to pass it as a Good Article, you may get your unweighted 25%:

  • Paper is on one of the subject that was approved by the instructor
  • Paper includes intro summary (lead in the Wikipedia terminology), at least 3 body paragraphs per group member, conclusion, and bibliography
  • There are no grammatical/spelling errors throughout the paper (that does include absence of spurious capitalization, like Sociology instead of sociology and so on)
  • Introduction summarizes the subject properly and does not include unique information not present in the main body of the article
  • Conclusion sums up the paper without ending abruptly
  • Paper is structured logically, and there are no weird gaps (Note: "weird gaps" occur for example when you chose to write about a historical trend, but your group "forgets" to research few centuries in the middle; or when you are presenting an overview by country, but decide that few random countries are enough, because you use an arbitrary "two countries per group" member rule instead of thinking which countries are important to cover for the subject discussed)
  • Sources used are reliable
  • In-paper citations are present and used correctly according to Wikipedia format see Wikipedia:Citing sources
  • In-paper citations are done in a consistent format, and provide all the necessary information (in brief: author's name, publication title, publisher information, page number if source has pages, URL if source is online, see ASA style for details)
  • Body of the paper explores the chosen subject in adequate detail. (Note: “adequate detail” means I shouldn’t be able to do a quick literature search and find information not included in the paper. I want you to search current and past literature, books, newspapers, websites, etc. and summarize all the information you find into an easy-to-read and understand paper. If you are missing major bits of information, or have included incorrect information without citations to back up your findings, you will lose major points here).
  • Paper should conform to Wikipedia writing standards (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:No original research)

With regards to getting the full activity score:

  • Your group members will expect you to be easily reachable to discuss the paper, and come to their meetings
  • Your group members will expect you to do "your share" of the work
  • I will grade your activity based on two primary factors:
  • Whether you contributed to your paper on a regular basis (every few days) or not
  • Whether you were active on the article's talk page. This means that I see that attempted to address and fix any and all comments/suggestions given by me, your colleagues, the reviewer and the Wikipedia community. If the change was not made, adequate explanation was given (which did not include "this is for a research assignment, so leave us alone")

How to fail the assignment:

  • plagiarism, or extensive quotations
  • letting others do all the work and hoping you can still get some points
  • missing deadlines
  • logging in an editing only at the very end of the course, where you discover you are not sure how to edit Wikipedia, and that your contribution does not really fit the articles your other members were working on
  • not participating in the talk page discussions

Editors in <course>[edit]

<this looks scary only because it is not filled in, it is very easy to use - see example> Course instructor: <User:Piotrus (Piotr Konieczny) replace Piotrus with instructor username here>

Max 5 students per group. You DON'T have to give your real name below, but if you don't, do email your instructor (Piotr Konieczny) <replace with your name> with your name and account so I know whose account is whose. I recommend using your first name and initial.

Please add your username and name below by adding your username and first name to [[::User:|]] ([[::User talk:|talk]] · contribs) (name) so that it looks in the edit mode like this {{user|Username}} (Name). Once you do so, it will look much nicer, like this: Piotrus (talk · contribs)

Group 1

  1. ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) ()

Group 2

  1. ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) ()

Group 3

  1. ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) (), ? (talk · contribs) ()

Articles edited[edit]

Group projects[edit]

List here the article your group is editing, Once you do so, it will look much nicer, like Education (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Group 1: [[:]] (edit | [[Talk:|talk]] | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) (improved to )

Group 2: [[:]] (edit | [[Talk:|talk]] | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) (improved to )

Group 3: [[:]] (edit | [[Talk:|talk]] | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) (improved to )

Individual extra credit edits[edit]

Extra credit edits (the students have the opportunity to earn extra credit with sociology-related <you will want to replace this with a keyword related to your course> wikipedia editing).

What to do for extra credit? Edit <sociology of globalization replace with your course theme> related articles and inform the instructor; they will be graded just like the regular assignment. You can start new articles or improve the existing ones.

Some highlights:


Post them at the discussion page of this article and/or email your course instructor!

Copyright notice[edit]

Wikipedia copyright: by taking this course, you agree that your work on Wikipedia will be contributed to under a free and open license used by that project.