Can I put “edited a Wikipedia article” on my resume?

The assignments for my Extinction class have been pretty awesome so far. The first one was to critically analyze the science portrayed in XMen: First Class. The second and third assignments involved finding, summarizing, and evaluating primary scientific literature (which I find cool, but I recognize that I might be completely alone in that). The fourth, and current, assignment, is to update and improve a Wikipedia article on an endangered species. I’ve never done this before, and for someone (and I think I’m not alone in this because our generation was practically nursed on Wikipedia) who has used it as a source on school topics and movies and celebrities and important works of fiction and really anything I’ve ever googled, it’s really weird – and also insanely cool – to be able to change an article that other people might use at a later date.

But it’s also scary. On most articles that are really popular, mistakes can be fixed in no time, so it’s sort of hard to completely screw up an article and expect it to remain screwed up for any length of time. A kid in my recitation said that he and his friends had once tried to edit an article, and succeeded, only to find it corrected a couple of hours later. But with small, less-viewed articles – like the one on the Mountain Plover that I’m editing for class – it becomes a lot easier to intentionally misdirect anyone who stumbles across the page. That’s a scary thought. Wikipedia is an incredible resource, but it’s also one built by humans, so it’s bound to err occasionally. This project for Extinction, however, is hinting that it might be easier to err than we thought, and it might also be getting easier to not realize when we have erred.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About mjpwoodruff

My biggest dilemma throughout life has probably been figuring out what I’m most interested in out of all the things I’ve ever come across and thought was worth a second glance. I have lists on my phone for all the books I haven’t bought and want to read, all the music I’ve tagged and want to listen to, all the fleeting thoughts I’ve had that could lead to an interesting topic for further daydreaming, etc. I probably visit as often as I visit social media sites. A short list of things I’ve considered majoring in: film, poetry, neuroscience, composing, screenwriting, anthropology, biology, history, journalism, sociology, forensic science, political science. The only thing I’ve found in common with all of these things so far is that they all relate to humans, how they work, and how they interact. I love bees, morning drives into New York City, and ultimate frisbee. I also sell Girl Scout cookies, if you’re into that. - Maggie Woodruff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s