Developing Academic Literacy by Writing for Wikipedia

Monika Sobejko

Abstrakt

DEVELOPING ACADEMIC LITERACY BY WRITING FOR WIKIPEDIA

Many teachers of academic writing want to help students bridge the gap between writing for personal purposes and writing for academic purposes. The latter seems considerably more challenging, and decidedly less familiar. One way of facilitating students’ initiation as academic writers is to ask them to write a Wikipedia article, which requires several academic writing sub-skills, such as summarizing or paraphrasing. Students need to be able to demonstrate critical thinking while choosing a suitable topic, and assessing the reliability of their sources. Then, they must show their familiarity with the genre conventions of Wikipedia. This article focuses on a project done witha group of archaeology students of the Jagiellonian University. The students were asked to choose and research a topic, and later write a short Wikipedia article, based on what they had found out about their respective topics. The article presents the benefi ts and potential difficulties of this project, and I will share my students’ perspectives as well.

ROZWIJANIE KOMPETENCJI AKADEMICKICH PRZEZ PISANIE ARTYKUŁÓW DO WIKIPEDII

Wielu lektorów, prowadzących zajęcia z pisania akademickiego stara się pomóc studentom w pokonaniu bariery między pisaniem podejmowanym, aby osiągnąć cele zwane osobistymi lub prywatnymi, i tak zwanym pisaniem o charakterze akademickim. To ostatnie wydaje się stanowić o wiele większe wyzwanie. Aby ułatwić stu dentom postawienie pierwszych kroków w roli autorów  tekstów akademickich, można zaproponować im zredagowanie krótkiego artykułu do Wikipedii, co będzie od nich wymagało zademonstrowania kilku umiejętności związanych z pisaniem akademickim, takich jak streszczanie i parafrazowanie. Wybierając artykuł i oceniając wiarygodność źródeł, będą musieli wykazać się umiejętnością krytycznego myślenia, a podczas tworzenia artykułu – znajomością konwencji dotyczących wybranego gatunku, czyli tekstów z Wikipedii. W moim artykule opisuję projekt, który zrobiłam wspólnie z grupą studentów archeologii Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Poprosiłam studentów o wybranie tematów i zebranie literatury dotyczącej tych zagadnień. Następnie studenci mieli napisać krótkie artykuły poruszające wybrane przez siebie kwestie. Wskażę potencjalne korzyści i trudności związane z tym projektem, a także przedstawię opinie studentów, którzy wzięli w nim udział.

Słowa kluczowe: kompetencje akademickie, pisanie akademickie, Wikipedia, krytyczne myślenie / academic literacy, academic writing, critical thinking
References

Badger, R., White, G. (2000). A process genre approach to teaching writing. ELT Journal, 54, 153-160.

Fessakis, G., Zoumpatianou, M. (2012). Wikipedia uses in learning design: A literature review. Themes in Science and Technology Education, 5, 97-106.

Hoey M., (2006). Textual Interaction: An Introduction to Written Discourse Analysis. London–New York: Routledge.

Lillis, Th., Scott, M. (2007). Defi ning academic literacies research: issues of epistemology, ideology and strategy. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 1, 5–32.

Miller, J. (2014). Building academic literacy and research skills by contributing to Wikipedia: A case study at an Australian university. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 8, 72-86.

Schmidt, A. (2016). Writing for the world/ A world of writing skills: A Wikipedia Project. Retrieved in June 2018 from http://www.anthonyteacher.com/blog/writing-for-the-world-aworld-of-writing-skills-a-wikipeda-project.

Tardy, C.M. (2010). Writing for the world: Wikipedia as an introduction to Academic Writing. English Teaching Forum, 1, 12-19.

Wikipedia (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia [accessed: 15 Oct. 2018].

Wikipedia: Summary style (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Summary_style [accessed: 15 Oct. 2018].

Wikipedia: Tutorial (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia: Tutorial [accessed: 15 Oct. 2018].

Wikipedia: Writing better articles (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Writing_better_articles [accessed: 15 Oct. 2018].

Wikipedia: Your fi rst article (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Your_fi rst_article [accessed: 15 Oct. 2018].

 

Additional materials

Questionnaire (adapted from Schmidt, 2016)

1. Do you think this project was benefi cial to you?

2. Do you think a reader will fi nd it useful?

3. Are you satisfi ed with your article?

4. Will you tell other people about your article?

 

Links to some of my students’ articles

Note: Not all met the requirements of Wikipedia editors after uploading. Often, students had problems with referencing their sources, and sometimes with writing ‘in the genre’ (e.g., some students had diffi culty providing a well- ritten lead section). If any such projects are done in the future, these aspects of students’ writing will need more attention. On the whole, it is diffi cult to say if and how long these articles will remain on the website – they might be removed, improved (some already have a history of editorial changes), or merged with other articles. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo%C5%A1tice_pottery [accessed:15 Oct. 2018].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ob%C5%82azowa_Cave [accessed:15 Oct. 2018].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_graphite_pottery [accessed:15 Oct. 2018].

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną formą czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna.