Wiki Contributions and Reflection

Wikipedia homepage
Wikipedia homepage

My contributions to the LitWiki article for Technical Writing in the Digital Age were scattered as I did not focus on any one area to make my contribution. My general contributions included editing the entire article for any grammar problems I found. Another edit I did throughout the article was ensuring that headings were at the right sub-level. There were whole sections that used sub-heading 3 instead of sub-heading 2. While this is just a minor edit I made, I feel that it is an important contribution as consistency is not only required for a LitWiki or Wikipedia article but also adds to the credibility of the article. Another minor edit was adding clarity to the goals of technical communication section.

Picture of a LitWiki article showing three different levels of headings and sub-headings
Example of three different levels of headers and sub-headings

Specific Contributions

My first contribution to the LitWiki was starting the future trends section by documenting what the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting for the job growth of technical writers. Before, the section for future trends and challenges focused on the changing technology of the digital era and the challenges it would bring. Future trends and job growth are relevant to understanding how technical writing will change in the future.

My second contribution to the article was editing the user-centered design subsection of the User Experience section. This edit was significant because the subsection was inconsistent with the rest of the section. The section had two other sub-sections that used bullet points; however, for the user-centered design sub-section, the bullet points were divided into six different one-line sub-sub-sections. This is a valuable addition as it reduces excess headings in the article, increasing clarity and consistency.

Bullet points for the user-centered design section and the information architecture section
Change to the User-Centered Design section to be similar to the Information Architecture

My third contribution was adding to the examples of digital documents section by contributing the forum sub-section. While technical writers do not typically handle forums, they are an important form of digital document that has developed in the digital era as a supplement for technical writing. This is a valuable addition to make the LitWiki show how digital documents expand beyond technical communication and can act as a supplement for companies. 

Another edit I made was adding two different sources to the LitWiki. I added the article by Marissa Ellingson for the forum sub-section of the examples of digital documents subsection. I also added the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for explaining the goals of technical communication and future treads sections. This is a valuable addition as reputable sources that contribute to a LitWiki increase the credibility of the article.

Reflection

Contributing to this LitWiki was a very interesting experience. I used to work in the English Department of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I remember hearing professors complain that Wikipedia is not a valid source and that students cited it. Knowing what goes into contributing to a Wiki has developed my understanding of how easy it is to edit a Wiki, but also how many people check the Wiki for accuracy, and all the work that goes into sourcing the information for an article.

Wiki's can be used to provide a general overview of a field. They can also provide valuable sources for further information since everything is required to have a reputable source. Wikis provide an excellent place to practice technical writing skills. However, it is essential to remember the limitations as they are like forums where technical and non-technical collaborators can work together.

Theresa Baraga

I am working toward a Master of Arts in Technical and Professional Writing from MGA. Currently I am working as a tax accountant and am exploring 3D printing as a hobby.
Las Vegas, NV