Editing a Wikipedia article

When I initially learned about this Wikipedia assignment I thought it was a daunting task. I’ve used Wikipedia in the past for a jumping off point for research assignments or just for light reading. I didn’t even know that wikipedia was open for edits from anyone. I guess I had alway seen the edit button but thought you had to have special privileges to edit an article.

I started the assignment off by figuring out an article to edit. I decided to edit the McClintock High School page because it was pretty lacking. I am aware of some really great accomplishments by the Speech and Debate team and thought this would be a nice addition to the article. Especially since, currently, the article is very sports driven. I proposed my edit on the talk page and waited for feedback.

When I did not hear any feedback I went ahead and made my edit.

Overall I found the process to be pretty straightforward. It was very much like the sandbox used in our training modules. I was very nervous about making my edit. For some reason I really got in my own head about it and thought it would be really hard or that I wouldn’t do it right. 

I think the training modules really helped my overall confidence. I knew exactly what I was doing and knew that the hardest part would be getting myself to press that edit button. Once I got past that point it was fairly simple. I found that actually completing the training modules was much more stressful than editing the article itself.

This could be for a few reasons. One being on the talk page there were no objections made to my edit. Second my article was really underdeveloped so I could have found any relevant fact about my high school and added it with seemingly no objections. Lastly the training modules are there to prepare you for various scenarios that I actually did not encounter.

Some of these scenarios include your work being reverted. This simply means that your edit will be deleted. Another scenario is there being objections to your edit on the talk page. There are various reason someone could object to your potential edit. The potential for disagreement made me highly anxious. But none of this actually happened to me.

I want to take some time to reflect on the training I received in order to be able to complete this module. I thought the training was pretty fantastic. I had no idea what to expect going into the assignment so I started the training modules early in the semester. You get to learn about the history of Wikipedia as well as some interesting facts about the editing process. The most interesting thing I learned was that anyone can edit articles. I mentioned this already but I had no idea this was possible until the training modules.

There were modules to help you pick your article. This was something I stressed out about as well. I had no idea what kind of article to pick or where to start. The training module helped but what inspired me most was seeing a post on Facebook from someone who was previously on my high schools speech and debate team. I saw their post while I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and didn’t really think anything of it. Then when I was brainstorming ideas for this assignment I decided to look up the wikipedia page for my high school. I noticed it was underdeveloped and I remembered the training modules said these were good articles to edit. I bookmarked it and kept it on my list. Ultimately it beat out all my other ideas.

Overall I can say I’m very proud of myself. I really did not expect to learn so much and also complete the task at hand. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a topic or something else would go wrong. I feel like it was a huge success and I feel so thankful for this assignment because I learned a skill that I can use as long as Wikipedia is around. Editing articles could potentially become something I do for fun in my free time. I don’t really see that happening but it is nice to know i have the option.

The next time I come across an underdeveloped article I might just take the time to add an edit. Wikipedia has been such a great part of researching and learning for me that the least I could do is make Wikipedia even better. I believe in one of training videos it talk about how when you edit a Wikipedia article you are making Wikipedia better. I like the idea of that because I’m a broke college student so I can’ t donate money to Wikipedia. I hope this post inspires people out there to make their own wikipedia edits.