Understand How Wiki Works

In a wiki, each page is dedicated to deliberating on a specific topic, which is determined by the page name. Everyone who views the page is welcome to edit the content of the page, making contributions in any way that (they think) helps.

Wikis are designed for collaboration, and the catchword is "Be Bold." Provided you understand the basics, you may edit any page in which the edit button appears. Go ahead and create content or edit someone else's work. Wikis develop faster when people fix problems, correct grammar, add facts, etc. As long as you are being constructive, others will respect you for what you contribute, particularly when you bring solid facts and help with research. Always work toward the final version of the page. Don't insert asides or comments that someone will have to remove later.

In a wiki, some of the things you write may be edited mercilessly, and this is usually a good learning experience. Absorbing the criticism, praise, and best ideas of others will strengthen your intellect and broaden your perspective.

How is our BossierAIM wiki different?

An individual student is responsible for each encyclopedia page.
Students will receive a grade for their work on the wiki.
We welcome minor edits (similar to the peer revision process that we use in writing) but expect that the major portion of the page will be developed by the assigned author.



Wiki Etiquette

Be Respectful

Use this wiki as an extension of the classroom; posts and comments should be focused upon the assigned topic. Use language appropriate for a school writing assignment. Do not use wiki posts or comments as a chat room. (No IM language.) Inappropriate content is not tolerated and will be removed from the site as soon as it's noticed. As an editor, you can relocate, revise or remove any content or contributions which give offense or are out of place.

Use the Discussion page for comments about an article. Do not insult students or their writing. Use constructive/productive/purposeful criticism, supporting any idea, comment, or critique with evidence. Only respond to posts that you have fully read, rather than just skimmed. Recognize your own biases and keep them in check. Don't label or personally attack people or their edits. Terms like "racist", "sexist" or even "poorly written" make people defensive and hinder productive discussion. If you have to criticize, you must do it in a polite and constructive manner.

Don’t delete other students' contributions unless you are confident you know what you are doing. If you do make a major edit, use the discussion area to explain your changes. Many times a posting can be improved by amending or editing it, but deleting content upsets people, and they may feel they've wasted their time. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you.

It’s alright to make corrections. If you’re only correcting spelling, typos, and small formatting changes, add "Minor edit" in the note at the bottom of the Page edit box. (Yes, others may edit your work and you might not agree with every change, but that's the nature of collaboration. It doesn't mean that your fellow students dislike you or think you're stupid.) Others may disagree with your changes and ask why you made them. If so, be prepared to give concrete reasons for your edits.

Give praise when due. Has someone added useful content to the page or spent a great deal of time cleaning up the page so it's easier to read? Praise helps let people know their contributions are valued—and makes them want to contribute again. Recognize the best work: work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced.

Be Responsible

Each article should aim to cover its topic beyond a cursory description and teach something about greater context. It is important to distinguish fact from opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and others are entitled to disagree with it. If you are presenting your opinion, state that clearly. The article should present facts and reasonable interpretation or inferences. Opinions are better suited to the Discussion page.

Even if you think you know something, cite references to prove to the reader that the fact is true. If part of your entry has been deleted or modified by others, recheck your facts. Did you sufficiently substantiate the facts or were the facts that you incorporated unclear in their relationship to the entry?

Only post pieces that you are comfortable with everyone seeing; save other pieces as drafts. However, don't feel that you must have completed research before you can post. Wikis are by nature works in progress, so please tolerate our imperfection and help us improve.

If you are adding incomplete material or you are not sure of the accuracy, indicate this using the notation ''(Please Fix).'' Someone else may be able to confirm or correct the information. While you continue to research, it's much more useful to have this notice on the page than to have inaccuracies or false information.

Contribute only original material. Don’t cut and paste from any source. Do not plagiarize; instead expand on others' ideas and give credit where it is due. Use MLA format to cite sources - point the reader to authoritative references, so that facts can be verified. Correctly cite any images, sound, video, or files that you post. Consider Fair Use guidelines for copyrighted material, even with citation, because your page will be available to the public on the web. Don't post copies of primary sources. Don't copy lengthy poems, speeches or other text; instead, provide a link to the original source.

Avoid statements that will become outdated quickly. Rather than using "now" or "this year," provide a specific date in your text.

Proofread for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Use precise language. Remember that the quality of your writing may affect the meaning and accuracy.



Be Safe

Do not post any information more personal than your login name (FirstnameLastinitial-Schoolinitials). Do not post pictures of yourself. Use your profile page to describe yourself and your interests, but remember that this will be made public and maintain our privacy policy.

Do not reveal anyone else's identity in your comments or posts.

Do not access another student's account. A portion of your grade may be based upon usage, so always log in with your own ID.


Style Guidelines

Format Issues

Identify yourself at the top of your page using your login ID (FirstnameLastinitial-Schoolinitials).

Use section headings to clearly identify subtopics.

When you edit text, rather than appending the new text at the bottom of the page, please place and edit your comments so that they flow seamlessly with the present text. Avoid disjointed comments about a subject or lists of facts.

When you make a change, this is publicized to the recent changes page, and also appears on the site's front page. Provide an edit summary at the bottom of the Page edit box. If you are creating a new page, enter the text "New Page." When changing an existing page, give a brief synopsis of the change you have made.

Create links to relevant topics referenced in your article. The link text should be the title of the other entry or a close variant, not a "click here" phrase. If possible, highlight and link the title word when it is used naturally in your text. Otherwise, add a link with the text "See --title--."

For each image, provide a caption that identifies the subject and gives credit to the source. Place images near the text that they support, but try not to interrupt a paragraph.

Resize images before uploading them. For web display, you can set the resolution at 72 pixels/inch. This saves space on the server and makes downloading faster for our viewers.

Include a Bibliography of resources that may be helpful to the viewer interested in further reading.

Include a link from your article back to the main Encyclopedia page.

Writing Conventions

Write in a manner that is easy to understand; avoid slang, jargon or colloquial phrases.

Avoid peacock terms and weasel words. Peacock terms include superlatives and adjectives that “show off” the subject of the article without containing any real information. Weasel words offer an opinion while omitting substantial justification. They are used to disguise a particular bias or point-of-view.
Peacock Terms
Weasel Words
an important...
...has been called...
one of the most prestigious...
some people say...
a significant...
legend has it that...
the greatest...
it is believed...

Avoid first person pronouns.
DO NOT USE am, is, are, was or were except as a helping verb occasionally.

Avoid use of contractions.

Use consistent verb tense. Past tense is appropriate for writing about historical events, and present tense is traditionally used for writing about literature.

Use correct punctuation and capitalization. Writing several paragraphs as one all-lowercase, run-on sentence is unacceptable. So is writing in ALL CAPS, WHICH IS LIKE SHOUTING!

Spellcheck your writing in a word processor before contributing. Then copy and paste it into the wiki Page edit box.


Some fun wiki terms

From www.wikipatterns.com

maintainer - a person dedicated to ensuring a certain level of quality for a section or page

wikifairy - someone who improves a wiki by organizing content, adding images, or aligning format of various pages

wikignome - someone who continuously performs small edits (correcting misspellings, sentence fragments, broken links, etc.) to improve a wiki

I would love to have a couple of volunteer wikignomes...might be worth bonus points! -- - michellebozeman michellebozeman Dec 5, 2007

wikitroll - someone who disrupts work on the wiki by posting inflammatory comments or deleting others' edits