How does a wiki differ from a traditional essay?

From LitWiki


(n.) A collaborative Web site comprises the perpetual collective work of many authors. Similar to a blog in structure and logic, a wiki allows anyone to edit, delete or modify content that has been placed on the Web site using a browser interface, including the work of previous authors. In contrast, a blog, typically authored by an individual, does not allow visitors to change the original posted material, only add comments to the original content.

The term wiki refers to either the Web site or the software used to create the site.

Wiki wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian. The first wiki was created by Ward Cunnigham in 1995. (1)


A wiki is a website that allows site visitors to write, delete, add and edit website's content with or without a previous registration. Wiki is an extremely popular tool of webmasters who want to attract more visitors to their websites and lure with an opportunity of free expression and collaborative authoring.

The perfect example of a wiki is Wikipedia, a website that features a free encyclopedia made by internet users and writers.

Wikis exist just on any topic be it related to colleges and universities, the business world, politics, art or society. Please refer to some examples of wikis.

1. Wiki about books and journals, very much preferred by college and university students with small budgets.

2. Wiki that features quotes and sayings of famous people, leaders and gurus of writing.

3. Wiki that features articles, magazines, coursework and study program for educational community.

4. It is a wiki-based online dictionary and an educational portal. Students can use that website for learning, studying, and essay referencing.

Wiki, thus is nothing else but an offspring of Traditional Essays and Narrative Essays based on the internet technology. Wikis are written usually in HTML, and usually in English.

Due to the fact that Wikis can be written by students, professors, writers, politicians, managers, internet surfers, or businessmen who do not necessarily have to disclose their true identity, Wikis cannot be used as reputable writing and referencing sources. University Professors do not allow wikis in writing college term papers or essays. (3)


To Write a good Traditional Essay one has to engage in the sequential process and go through all 5 steps:

Step 1. Analyze the Essay Question.

Discuss: Make observations about the subject by using facts, arguments and reasoning.

Describe: Illustrate the topic using words.

Show: Set forth clear position or idea. Support it with facts and reason.

Explain: Make the essay plain and understandable. Present logic, causes and reason.

Step 2. Organize the essay through the formal outline as the one below:



a. Body Paragraph One.

b. Body Paragraph Two.

c. Body Paragraph Three.

d. ...Body Paragraph X...Referred transition.


Step 3. Write the introduction.

The writer states clearly what the essay is about and what they are trying to prove. Traditional essays urge the writer to restate the essay question. The writer has to maintain third person perspective and avoid meaningless statements such as "the essay will speak about" or "the essay is going to" The essay topics will be presented in the body paragraphs.

Step 4. Write the body paragraphs.

The first body paragraph includes the topic sentence, supportive evidence and a closing sentence. The same format applies to all body paragraphs. The essay may have as many body paragraphs as necessary to answer the essay question.

Step 5. Write the conclusion.

The writer summarizes the subject of the essay by restating the question in a different way. In conclusion, the writer expresses their personal opinion and conclusion about the essay question. Essay conclusion in a traditional essay is a summary of the body of the essay to prove the writer's point.(2)