Help:Writing a technical article

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Starting point[edit]

See Help:Contents To start with, you can experiment with wikicode in the Wikiversity:Sandbox

See Help:Wikitext quick reference

When you are ready to start writing a new article, you might want to start in your userspace:

 [[User:Your Username/Article Name]]  or  [[User:Your Username/Sandbox]] 

and move it later.

See Also[edit]

Research Process[edit]

See also[edit]

Bibliography and Research Methods


Sources can be books, magazine articles, notable websites. (See below for instructions on citing sources used.) See below for resources on wikiversity.

Learning Resources[edit]

You can find some resources on Wikiversity itself; you should try to avoid replicating information already written about.

Finding Wikiversity Learning resources[edit]

Portals. Every Wikiversity learning resource should be linked to by at least one portal page. You can browse the Wikiversity portals:

Categories. Every Wikiversity learning resource should be in at least one Category. You can browse Wikiversity by category. See: Category:Categories.

Search. Try using the search feature to find learning resources. See: Wikiversity:Searching.

See also[edit]

English language resources[edit]

General Writing tips[edit]

Passive and Active Voice[edit]

Common Grammar Mistakes[edit]

  • It's vs. "Its It's is always a contraction of "it is"; its is possessive ("belonging to it")

Since the word it is a pronoun, it's not surprising that you might have assumed it's implied ownership. It's, however, is a contraction that means it is or it has. Its is a possessive pronoun. So, you might lament the fact that it's been forever since your last vacation but celebrate your company changing its stringent vacation policy.

  • Anyway or anyways Only the first is correct
  • Me or I When you're not sure whether you should use I or me in a sentence, try using both in a sentence "The dog followed Benjamin and me home from the store." (The dog followed Benjamin; The dog followed me)
  • Inside or outside the quotation marks periods and commas always belong inside quotation marks.
  • Loose vs Lose Don't lose your loose change
  • there, their and they're There was a time when the lowly rat was envious of their shimmering coats of fur but, now, they're all greasy and bald too.
  • Proper use of the word literally On my way to work this morning, I literally bought a coffee and drank most of it. It was mediocre; While drinking a mediocre coffee on your way to work might not exactly make for the best story, at least it's true.
  • Who and Whom
  • Which and That
  • Lay and Lie
  • May and Might
  • Fewer and Less Less refers to hypothetical quantities, Few and Fewer refer to quantifiable numbers
  • Since and Because “Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation.
  • Affect and Effect
  • Irony and Coincidence [1]
  • Passive and Active Voice


  • Semicolons (;)

Document Design[edit]


Citing Sources[edit]

See w:citation templates Usage

Page text.<ref name="test">
[ Link text], 
additional text.</ref>


<ref name="litreactor">[], Litreactor</ref>

Cite Web[edit]

See Cite Web Template


All parameters, horizontal format (delete the ones you don't need)

{{cite web |url= |title= |accessdate= |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth = |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |date= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= }}

All parameters, vertical format
{{cite web
| url = 
| title = 
| accessdate = 
| accessdaymonth = 
| accessmonthday = 
| accessyear = 
| author = 
| last = 
| first = 
| authorlink = 
| coauthors = 
| date = 
| format = 
| work = 
| publisher = 
| pages = 
| language = 
| archiveurl = 
| archivedate = 
| quote = 

Required parameters[edit]

  • url: URL of online item.
  • title: Title of online item.

Optional parameters[edit]

  • author: Author
    • last works with first to produce last, first
    • authorlink works either with author or with last & first to link to the appropriate wikipedia article. Does not work with URLs.
    • coauthors: allows additional authors
  • date: Full date of publication, preferably in ISO 8601 YYYY-MM-DD format, e.g. 2006-02-17.
    • OR: year: Year of publication, and month: Name of the month of publication. If you also have the day, use date instead.
  • format: Format, e.g. PDF. HTML implied if not specified.
  • work: If this item is part of a larger work, name of that work.
  • publisher: Publisher, if any.
  • pages: pp. 5–7: first page and optional last page. This is for listing the pages relevant to the citation, not the total number of pages in the book. This is especially useful for PDF format, where the page can be linked to with the #page=number anchor tagged on the end of the URL:
    pages = [ p. 123]
  • language: language of publication (don't specify "English" as this is the default).
  • archiveurl: URL of the archive location of the item (requires archivedate)
  • archivedate: Date when the item was archived (requires archiveurl), in YYYY-MM-DD format, e.g. 2006-02-17. Must not be wikilinked; it will be linked automatically.
  • quote: Relevant quote from online item.


<ref name="litreactor">
{{cite web
| author = GINGERICH, JON
| authorlink =
| title = 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes
| date = 2012-01-31
| work = Lit Reactor
| url =
| accessdate = 28 March 2014

Cite Template[edit]

See Template:Cite journal

See also[edit]

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]


  1. GINGERICH,JON (2012-01-31). "20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes". Lit Reactor. Retrieved 28 March 2014.