Wikipedia article, or essay?

In Wiki Education’s Wikipedia Student Program, college and university instructors assign their students to edit Wikipedia as part of the coursework. For most courses, this replaces a research paper or the literature review section of a longer analytical paper, related to the course topic. But for some courses, Wikipedia also becomes an object of study for students.

That’s the case for New York University Clinical Associate Professor David Cregar, who teaches in the Expository Writing Program. His course, “We are not in a post-fact world”: Wikipedia & the Construction of Knowledge, focuses on both having students contribute to Wikipedia and contextualizing Wikipedia in the broader knowledge landscape. Student Audrey Yang fulfilled the second part of the assignment in a creative way — by creating what looks like a Wikipedia article, called “Wikipedia & the Structure of Knowledge” (but, it notes, “From Fake Wikipedia, not a real encyclopedia (but still free)”). Audrey’s reflection of how Wikipedia compares to the Library of Babel contains all the hallmarks of a Wikipedia article: a table of contents, edit buttons on section headers, citations, wikilinks, and even a talk page, complete with notes from her thought process as she wrote the essay!

This example of an end-of-term reflective essay is particularly fun and creative. Download this PDF to see Audrey’s work. And many thanks to Audrey and Professor Cregar for sharing it with us!


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