Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Adolescent Literature Spring 2012 (Adrianne Wadewitz)

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Course description[edit]

In this course we will explore the birth and evolution of adolescent literature in English. In particular, we will look at how this genre approaches questions of gender, sexuality, race, and civic engagement. In doing so, we will think about how adolescent literature differs from and is the same as children’s literature, what debates rage around the censorship of adolescent literature, how historical, cultural, and social contexts shape this literature, and to what extent and why adolescent literature also appeals to children and adults. We will also read a variety of genres, from speculative fiction to romances to graphic novels.


In this semester-long assignment, you will contribute to a Wikipedia article on one of the texts or one of the authors we are studying in this course, expanding the world's knowledge of this topic!

In this assignment, you will be practicing several skills:

  • Learning to write for a global audience, some of whom will react to your writing in real time
  • Learning to write collaboratively and to negotiate
  • Understanding the difference between summary and persuasive writing
  • Learning how the construction of information changes knowledge
  • Contributing to the largest reference work in the world
  • Improving research skills
  • Gaining media literacy, such as how Wikipedia’s legitimacy differs from that of other reference works
Judy Blume is one of the authors that has done the most to shape adolescent fiction.

Unlike many papers you have written in the past, your Wikipedia article will not argue for a particular position. The aim is for you to do research on a topic and summarize the reliable, published material on that topic. We will talk more in-depth about what it means to write an encyclopedia article, but you should be aware that the writing I am asking for in this assignment is much different than the writing I am asking for in the essays—for Wikipedia, you must summarize other people’s points of view. In your persuasive essays, you must present a debatable thesis. We will work at differentiating these two over the course of the semester.

While many of you probably use the English Wikipedia every day to look up plots for movies or background material for your papers, we will be contributing to it and reflecting on how it is constructed. At the end of the semester, you will write a short essay about your perceptions of Wikipedia, its reliability, and your experiences with the assignment.

Editing a wiki is often a demanding experience the first time. I have structured this assignment to slowly introduce you to wikicode and wikiculture—it is imperative that you keep up with the timeline and turn in the small assignments on time. You cannot catch up at the end of the semester in a mad rush. Much help is available—from myself, from our Campus Ambassador and Online Amassadors, and from Wikipedians in general. Take advantage of it!

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Wadewitz (talk)
Campus Ambassadors
Brenda Burk (username: Bburk) and Justin Anthony Knapp (username: koavf)
Online Ambassadors


Jan 9: Wikipedia essentials[edit]

Presentation by myself and Campus Ambassador (~15 minutes)

Jan 16: Exploring Wikipedia[edit]

Assignment 1 due
  • Create a Wikipedia account, play in the public sandbox, create a userpage on the Simple English Wikipedia, sign up on the list of students on the course page, and read Five pillars.

Jan 23 or 25: Basic editing, part 1[edit]

Presentation by Campus Ambassador and myself in a computer lab (~1 hour)

Jan 30: Practicing wiki skills, part 1[edit]

Assignment 2 due
  • To practice editing and communicating on Wikipedia, introduce yourself to one of the class's Ambassadors and leave a message for a classmate on their talk pages.

Feb 8: Sourcing and community norms[edit]

Due date for choosing a Wikipedia article. Choose one of the Wikipedia articles from the list provided by the instructor. Add your username and article to the table below, following the sample.

Presentation by myself (~45 minutes)

Feb 13 or 15: Basic editing, part 2[edit]

Presentation by myself and Campus Ambassador (~45 minutes)

Feb 20: Practicing wiki skills, part 2[edit]

Assignment 3 due

Mar 5: Bibliography[edit]

Assignment 4 due
  • Research the topic of your article and create a bibliography of at least 10 scholarly peer-reviewed books and articles that could potentially be used as sources for your article. Place this list of sources on the talk page of the article, alerting the editing community there that you plan on improving the article.

Mar 19: Outline[edit]

Assignment 5 due
  • Post an outline of your planned revisions to the article to the talk page.

March 20 – Apr 9: Editing[edit]

  • Add material to the the article per your outline, following the conventions of Wikipedia. Be sure to post to the talk page to alert the community to your intentions. Try to edit in small increments to avoid procrastination. By the end of the semester, you need to have added at least 1500 words to the article.

Apr 9: Peer review[edit]

  • Due date for peer reviewing two of your classmates' articles. Sign up for articles to review in the table below. eave suggestions on the article talk pages.

Apr 16: Copyediting[edit]

  • Due date for copyediting two of your classmates' articles.

Apr 23: Wikipedia contributions due[edit]

  • All work to be considered for grading should be completed by 11:59pm.

Apr 30: Reflective essay due[edit]

  • Turn in your reflective essay on Oncourse.


This table will list each article that a student is working on, and which other students will be peer reviewers for the article.

User Article 1st reviewer 2nd reviewer Improvement
User:Fallscarlett13 Forever... (novel) User:Katierenee88 User:Dreams-in-Shadows [1]
User:EmWriter90 Speak (novel) User:Rowenator User:CamMarie [2]
User:LoversSpat Luna (novel) User:HaddaBeMe User:Rowenator [3]
User:Grapefr00t Feed (Anderson novel) User:LoversSpat User:dmbfan85 [4]
User:dmbfan85 Little Brother (Cory Doctorow novel) User:Grapefr00t User:veganchic [5]
User:Kida5887 American Born Chinese User:LoversSpat User:Veganchic [6]
User:Crazykaystar The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian User:CamMarie open [7]
User:Katierenee88 Louisa May Alcott User:dmbfan85 User:Crazykaystar [8]
User:ELL1015 Judy Blume User:Grapefr00t User:Bookworm1989
User:Bookworm1989 Laurie Halse Anderson User:EmWriter90 User:Dreams-in-Shadows [9]
User:Dreams-in-Shadows Julie Anne Peters open User:Katierenee88 [10]
User:HaddaBeMe Maria Edgeworth open User:Bookworm1989 [11]
User:Rowenator M.T. Anderson Fallscarlett13 User:Kida5887 [12]
User:Veganchic Gene Yang User:Crazykaystar User:Kida5887 [13]
User:CamMarie Sherman Alexie Fallscarlett13 open [14]

Article banners

To mark each article the subject of a student project, add the following code at the top of the talk page for each article: {{ WAP assignment | course = Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Adolescent Literature Spring 2012 (Adrianne Wadewitz) | university = Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis | term = 2011 Q3 | project = }} That will result in the following banner (and make the articles easy to track):


Wikipedia contributions will be graded as follows:

  • 5 points x 5: Early Wikipedia exercises
  • 15 points: Peer reviews and copyediting
  • 25 points: Reflective essay
  • 85 points: Wikipedia contributions


Add your username to the list here using the format for Example User below: