Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reyman, Jessica, 1977-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Rhetoric; Internet--Study and teaching; Communication of technical information


This thesis is a case study of how Wikipedia editors use article "talk" pages to collaborate. A review of related literature provides background on how Wikipedia has rapidly grown into a community of volunteers to make it the largest online collaboration project ever. To perform the analysis, four diverse articles were chosen to examine the discussions and dialogue from their most recent or selected "talk" page. The information resulting from this study has provided both qualitative and quantitative data for analysis. By codifying terms deemed as potential barriers to participation (expertise requirements for Wikipedia policy and subject-matter) Wikipedia's low-barrier-to-entry, which is articulated through its open editor policy, can be more clearly determined. Furthermore, this study seeks qualitative data regarding Wikipedia's civility policy as demonstrated by editors themselves, as well as strategies for reaching consensus. In doing so, future contributors can be informed to better understand how Wikipedia's editors act as a community in attaining the goal of continuous improvement.


Advisors: Jessica Reyman.||Committee members: Philip Eubanks; Mark Van Wienen.||Includes bibliographical references.


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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