Education/Archive/Case Studies/copyediting

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Adrianne Wadewitz
Visiting Assistant Professor
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Course name
Argumentative Writing

Course level (undergraduate/graduate)
Advanced undergraduates

Learning objectives
Writing Skills Development    
Media and Information Literacy   
Critical Thinking and Research Skills   
Wiki Technical and Communication Skills   

Discipline of course

Class size

Individual or group assignment

Duration of assignment
1 week

Assignment handout


Students are asked to copyedit Wikipedia articles, engaging editors in conversation about their writing and improving the clarity of the language of the material.

In doing so, they must consider the global audience of Wikipedia and the challenge of communicating with anonymous Wikipedia editors. Hopefully, by the end students will realize that copyediting is a painstaking, necessary, and sometimes politically fraught process.

In Argumentative Writing, students learn to write in different, voices for different audiences. In learning about the specific voice on Wikipedia, they learn about the “authoritative” voice and how its tone can convince, even if the content is questionable. The ways in which tone and content reinforce and/or undermine each other is a crucial media fluency for students to learn.

(CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Joseph C. Jones