Writing and Editing Wikipedia: Some Basic Guidelines


When writing a Wikipedia page, there are several things that you will want to keep firmly in mind, first among them being that whatever you write or change, the article should read objectively. This is not the place for opinions or promotion, either on behalf of yourself or a particular cause. The article should read in a similar way to a news article in the paper, with as little in the way of biased language as possible. If the article in question seems to personal for an editor, it is probably too personal for Wikipedia. It is important to stick to only the facts.

If you are in the process of editing a page, the above also holds true. It is very helpful when an editor removes spam, which here means biased or otherwise inappropriate language. For example, if a previous contributor has added a section about how completely crazy a certain senator to said senator’s bio, that section would be considered spam, and it should be removed. Even if the senator in question does have a history of mental health issues, those should be detailed respectfully, relying only on official diagnoses or publicly available knowledge, and using dispassionate, professional language.

According to GetYourWiki.com spam might also be an overly lengthy explanation, as is often seen in plot summaries of television shows or movies. You can help edit these articles by paring down the summaries to the bare essentials. There is no need to detail every twist and turn of the plot; in most cases, a basic rundown of characters, setting, and premise will do just fine.

It is also critical to include sources for your work when writing and editing articles. The lack of good sourcing is currently the major criticism leveled against Wikipedia as a reliable, “serious” source. When you cite sources, you not only help the people reading your article- you help anyone who might want to correct or expand upon what you have written. Be sure to cite everything in the proper format, and seriously consider adding in-text links for especially contentious information.

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