Critique of the Wikipedia Article “Narváez Expedition”

     For this assignment, I chose to critique the Wikipedia Article entitled “Narváez Expedition”. While originally reading the article, I thought that some of information was irrelevant to the topic of Narváez’s expedition. The article included small details and tidbits of information such as the four surviving travelers being the first to see the Mississippi River as well as details on the short stops in Hispaniola and and Cuba. After rereading those sections, however, I changed my opinion and figured that “relevant information” does not mean that information has to be the most significant detail in the article. I came to the conclusion that all of the information and data provided through the article pertained to Narváez’s expedition in some way. One question that I did have pertaining to this prompt while reading the article was if everything that happened after Narváez’s death relevant to this article. Sure, the expedition continued after Narváez’s death and Narváez’s brief leadership influenced the expedition even after his death, however, I had a hard time accepting the article’s title of “Narváez Expedition” when so much information was given past his death and under different leadership. According to the Talk page, I was not the only one asking this question.

     As for claims made in the article, I could not point out any instances in which I felt the authors and editors strongly favored one position over another. I believe that it is hard to be biased in an article like this one because most of the information is strictly factual. I do not believe that certain viewpoints could even be underrepresented or overrepresented in this article because a lot of the information are dates and details that could be fact checked through journals, published primary sources and travel logs. I was particularly suspicious about two sections of the article that had significantly less information and data attached than others. The sections entitled “South Texas” and “Southwestern North America” were comprised about 2 or 3 sentences each, describing what appeared to be an important part of the journey. Both sections began to describe the interactions between the Spaniards and the indigenous people in the surrounding areas, but neither section does the topic justice. Because of the known rough relations between Native Americans and Europeans throughout the time period this lack of information and underrepresentation of a very large theme made me, a first time reader of the article, question if the information was purposefully left out or if there really is little known about the relations of the indigenous people and the spaniards at the time (which I personally find hard to believe).

     The article’s talk page addressed a lot of the same questions I asked myself while reading the article. Like I previously mentioned, users on the talk page, questioned the relevancy of all the information written after Narváez’s death to the article. Other than debating on if the article should be temporarily shortened to resolve the prior issue, user’s mostly used the page to discuss factual accuracy throughout the article. Finally, I found myself thinking about how closely the book translate the same topics and themes I’ve read in the book, A Land So Strange, thus far. I tend to think that a lot of information gets lost when it gets translated to Wikipedia, but in this circumstance, I was thoroughly surprised to see so much detail placed into the Wiki article.

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