Wikipedia/Writing an article on Wikipedia

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Writing an article
What is Wikipedia?
The structure of Wikipedia
The Five Pillars
The history of Wikipedia

Editing Wikipedia can be both enjoyable and rewarding. Working with other contributors in a collaborative environment to produce high quality content that may be read by millions of people is an experience worth treasuring. That said, Wikipedia has been developing for many years both as a project and as a community. The result is a complex and organic mix of policies, guidelines, practices and procedures, all of which are essential to guide the development of the project, and which even the newest contributer is expected to understand. Fail to work within this complex set of rules, and the result may be much less than enjoyable and rewarding: you can quickly find yourself on the receiving end of an escalating series of warnings, culminating in having your account disabled and prevented from taking part.

The good news is that it is not that hard to work within the rules. It just takes a bit of effort to get to know them before you start contributing, and that is what this course aims to do. By working through this material you should find yourself in the position of knowing as much about how Wikipedia works (and how to work within Wikipedia) as many experienced contributors. Thus you will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities Wikipedia provides, and well warned as to how to avoid many of the pitfalls.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Explain the major policies which guide Wikipedia content creation and user interaction
  • Give students the practical information required to allow them to create new articles and edit existing ones while meeting the expectations of the wider Wikipedia community

Syllabus[edit | edit source]

  • What is Wikipedia?
  • The structure of Wikipedia
    • Article and discussion pages
    • Mainspace, Wikispace and Userspace
    • Noticeboards
    • Online assessment
  • The Five Pillars
    • What being an "encyclopaedia" means in relation to content (COI)
    • What "free content" means in terms of Wikipedia
    • Interacting with other editors
    • Ignoring rules
    • Online assessment
  • Verifiability
    • Why it matters
    • What constitutes a reliable source
    • How to reference material
    • Online assessment
  • The notability guidelines
    • Online assessment
  • Copyright and the use of non-free content
    • Online assessment
  • Biographies of living people
    • Online assessment
  • The deletion process
    • Speedy deletion
    • Prods
    • Deletion discussions
    • Deletion review
    • Online assessment
  • Enforcement
    • Blocks and bans
    • Protection
    • Appeals
  • When things go wrong: what to do when things aren't going quite to plan.
    • Dispute resolution
    • Sockpuppetry accusations
    • Edit warring
    • Online assessment

Where to seek assistance[edit | edit source]

Useful links[edit | edit source]