The Wikipedia entry project has been challenging for me. I am not used to writing an article that does not have my own voice in it somewhere. This was just strictly conveying information to a person that might not know what my topic is or how to use it. It is a good thing I enjoy a good challenge. This project has helped me to advance my skills in research and in rhetorical knowledge.
I started this project with a very basic outline. I figured since the project seemed like such a daunting task, I would start small and slowly build up to what the article needed to be. My basic outline turned into an outline with more detail and slowly turned into a complete, well organized outline that was extremely useful when I wrote my first draft. This process worked well for me and I will be using it again with any other writing tasks I receive that seem impossible to me.
Source of photo: http://blog.hostlife.net/archives/746
Speaking of daunting, impossible tasks, this project required me to do research. I have always hated research, but now I believe that is because I did not know how to properly research a topic. I learned how to use other methods of searching besides Google and I learned how to find and decide if a source is reliable or not. I also learned to get creative with my sources, since there wasn’t much out there about my topic. The only way to get better at something is to practice and this project gave me great research practice. These are skills I never had or needed before, so I am grateful for this project because these are extremely important skills to have.
Source of photo: http://www.grammarch.org
The most challenging aspect of this project was that I had to keep my audience in mind. I had to write a paper that in no way had my voice in it. In other words, it sounded nothing like the reflection I am writing right now. One can clearly tell that this was written by me because it has my voice in it. The article I wrote was supposed to just convey information to a group of people and not sound biased. I also had to use aspects of writing that are specific to the Wikipedia community. Like, a table of contents, pictures with captions, and footnotes (which I’m not sure I used correctly). This was all extremely challenging for me because I have never had to write anything like this before. I have not exactly mastered this skill yet, but doing this project has helped me realize it is something I need to work on and gave me a bit of practice.
These are all skills that I can, and definitely will, use in other classes. I have two essays coming up that require research and also, they are addressing a certain audience, so this Wikipedia project could not have come at a better time. I will keep using and practicing these skills each time I write a paper because these are basic and vital writing skills to have.