Becoming part of the Wikipedia family

Writing my first own Wikipedia article

First Thoughts and Preparation

When it came to writing my first Wikipedia article, the first question was the subject it should be about. Our requirement was to choose a topic which had to be relevant, liberal arts oriented and there had to be enough literature about it. That led me to check the core principles of Wikipedia again, where notability and verifiability are two important points. For my article I chose the theme of a seminar paper I wrote a semester before, which is a poem of the famous German poet Eduard Mörike: “Der alte Turmhahn. Due to the German content, I wrote my article in German. Checking the relevance, I had a look at the parent page of Eduard Mörike, where the most important works are listed. “Der alte Turmhahn” was mentioned but not further described and therefore I wanted to fill this gap. To verify my words I needed both primary and secondary literature.

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The Experience with and within Wikipedia

In this blog post, I am going to tell you my experiences with Wikipedia, which I made in the last three months due to my participation in the university course “Constructing Knowledge in the Digital Age: Wikipedia´s Contribution to the Humanities”.

My Article

I wrote a new Wikipedia article about Mary Rowlandson´s captivity narrative. Unfortunately, I had to write in German because the English article was already quite detailed. My article is therefore titled “Die wahre Geschichte der Gefangenschaft und Befreiung der Mrs. Mary Rowlandson“. Continue reading “The Experience with and within Wikipedia”

Experiencing Wikipedia

In this post I´m blogging about my experiences on contributing my first Wikipedia article.

For the University Seminar on `Constructing Knowledge in the Digital Age: Wikipedia´s Contribution to the Humanities´ I have written a WP article about the dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut in German language which is named Harrison Bergeron (Kurzgeschichte) on Wikipedia. The student´s task for the seminar was to create a complete new article or to complement an already existing article that deals somehow with topics of literature or social sciences. I´ve chosen to create a WP article about the short story because I read it recently and was fascinated on how Vonnegut displays the theme of totalitarianism, and the manipulation of society by a fictional government. Besides that there already existed articles about `Harrison Bergeron´ in English, French, Spanish and Russian but not in German. So this theme fitted perfectly to the assignment – I was about to create a WP article about a literary work with social and political background which wasn´t existing yet in my mother language. Continue reading “Experiencing Wikipedia”

How to be a Wikipedia Author

When I found out that I was supposed to write my own Wikipedia article in class, I was surprised and a little worried. I had heard from every professor that Wikipedia was not a reliable source for writing a research paper. However, who does not use it to get a first overview on any topic? I expected it to be quite complicated to write an article myself that would actually get published.
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Editing Wikipedia – What’s this all about?

“There’s enough editors for this, aren’t there?”

Wikipedia is a knowledge database maintained by its users, normal people like you and me. Not just researchers and scientists contribute to the never-ending catalogue of wisdom, everyone can, but not everyone does.

I’ll be the first to admit I stumbled into editing on Wikipedia by accident. What made me start doing it was a course at the University of Stuttgart, the course which this whole blog is structured by. I originally did not consider this course for myself, but due to another course being cancelled, I found myself attending nonetheless. It was a spontaneous decision, but not one I regret. Continue reading “Editing Wikipedia – What’s this all about?”