Ready to get your students writing and editing Wikipedia biographies for women journalists? Feel free to copy and paste the sample assignment description below, or click here for a Google Docs version of the assignment.
Sample assignment description:
In this project, our class will improve representation of women journalists on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia created and edited by volunteers from around the world. Wikipedia is amazing, and has become the de facto internet authority on relevance — but it also often reflects societal biases related to race and gender. This is true when it comes to which journalists have Wikipedia pages — but we’re going to help fix that problem!
We’ll collaborate with Women Do News, a non-profit organization that promotes the creation of Wikipedia pages documenting the lives and careers of notable women journalists.
We’ll start with a basic orientation to Wikipedia. Then each of you will pick a woman journalist to research from Women Do News’ list of nominees. Once you’ve identified at least three high-quality sources of information, you will write a draft Wikipedia article about your journalist. Using only what you find in third-party sources, craft the introduction and sections where applicable. Your bio might be short — and that’s ok! The important thing is that you have a strong first one or two sentences that establishes what makes the journalist noteworthy, and that you rely on strong citations.
Please write the initial draft in either Google Docs or Word and bring it to class on XXX. We’ll do a bit of peer workshopping. Then you will post your drafts to Wikipedia, using the drafts created in their system, for review by Women Do News.
In the process of completing this assignment, students will:
- Discuss Wikipedia’s gender gap
- Evaluate primary and secondary sources for credibility
- Author a draft of a Wikipedia page