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LITS Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon 2021: Training

How to Edit Basics

Editing Wikipedia is done in two main ways: by editing/improving existing articles or writing new articles and adding them to Wikipedia. If you are new to editing Wikipedia, it may be best to start by improving existing articles. Writing new articles is best left for experienced editors.  

Editing Existing Articles

Here are some easy and quick ways you can improve/edit an existing article.  If you'd like additional information on editing, please check out this slide deck.

Link one article to another. If you can link one Wikipedia topic to another - it creates another access point for the public.

Cite to verify statements which do not yet have a source. Everything on Wikipedia needs to trace back to relevant and reliable sources.  Try to use accessible, independent, up-to-date secondary sources.  For medical articles, see   Wikipedia:Reliable sources (medicine).  Try to avoid sources such as:  social media, original research, dense and difficult scholarship or articles behind paywalls (This may be unavoidable).              

Add sentences based on sources. Keep in mind:

  • Please only summarize and paraphrase the information found in the source being cited, to avoid plagiarism and copyright issues.
  • The source cannot attest to more than it claims.
    • For example, a source that says 'A' can only anchor 'A', not 'A therefore B'. To write 'A therefore B', you will need a source that says 'A therefore B'.

Add templates to an article to make them easier to find, read, and improve.

  • You can add an infobox to the top of an article. An infobox summarizes key facts about the article's subject, and looks different based on topic. It can include an image or a map if appropriate and available.
    • The infobox should only summarize information which is in the body of the article. If you have new facts to add, write and cite that information in the body of the article then use the infobox to summarize.
    • There are many kinds of infoboxes. Use an infobox appropriate for the article's subject. Take a look at similar pages in editing view to see what others have used, or look on Wikipedia:List of infoboxes for infoboxes which are bolded and/or have a higher transclusion count (=more frequently used). Commonly used infoboxes include infobox song (example), infobox film (example), infobox musical artist (example), infobox person (example), infobox radio station (example).
  • You can add these templates to the bottom of an article, if applicable:
    • {{authority control}} - if the article is about a person or an organisation
    • {{stub}} - if the article is small and needs more development.