Wikis are a great tool for student projects. Teachers often think of them when they want students to do something collaborative, but, wikis are also a great tool for individual work; particularly for research papers.
Working in a wiki makes it easy for students gather background research. The commenting features are a great way for peers and teachers to provide constructive feedback and suggest additional resources in real-time, as the paper is evolving, instead of waiting until the end of an assignment to offer feedback. Most wikis have automatic revisioning features, too, which save before and after versions each time a change is made to the wiki.
Wikis provide a way for students to incorporate different types of media into a research paper or project. Adding pictures, links, video and other media into a paper provides opportunities for students to express themselves in multiple ways tapping into their higher-level thinking connecting images, music, and video to the research and writing they are doing. Students today live in a multimedia world and research papers in wiki format are a way for them to connect the world they live in outside of school with the assignments they need to complete to get through school, and, hopefully, a way of engaging them in the work they are doing in the classroom.
Research paper wikis are easy and enjoyable. Furthermore, the dull and tedious task of conveying factual information is brought to life in a wiki by adding the interactivity of the internet to research.