Monika Sobejko, Developing Academic Literacy by Writing for Wikipedia

Many teachers of academic writing want to help students bridge the gap between writing for personal purposes and writing for academic purposes. The latter seems considerably more challenging, and decidedly less familiar. One way of facilitating students’ initiation as academic writers is to ask them to write a Wikipedia article, which requires several academic writing sub-skills, such as summarizing or paraphrasing. Students need to be able to demonstrate critical thinking while choosing a suitable topic, and assessing the reliability of their sources. Then, they must show their familiarity with the genre conventions of Wikipedia. This article focuses on a project done witha group of archaeology students of the Jagiellonian University. The students were asked to choose and research a topic, and later write a short Wikipedia article, based on what they had found out about their respective topics. The article presents the benefi ts and potential difficulties of this project, and I will share my students’ perspectives as well.

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