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Introduction to Wikipedia , This page will be found at this version, July 7, 2009

Reading and using Wikipedia[edit]

  • Wikipedia and other sources
  • A free encyclopedia, free to read and to use, free of copyright (except for some Fair Use material)
  • A comprehensive modern encyclopedia, with world-wide coverage, and at least some information about almost anything a person might look for in an encyclopedia; larger than print encyclopedias; extensively hyperlinked and categorized; lists; images & other media; watchlists and other software tools
  • Verifiable, with references for the information, to check for accuracy and to find more material
  • Open content: anyone can contribute – widest range of interests and knowledge; numerous contributors; Wikiprojects encourage collaboration
  • Neutral and factual: all major points of view are covered in proportion, with sources for them (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view)
  • Uncensored: with respect to sex, politics, and other difficult topics
  • Open community: self-governing, with minimal structure; everyone is a volunteer
  • Comparison with Other free web sources
  • for quick basic information
  • for detailed information on movies
  • WorldCat for comprehensive information about books
  • Google News Search: for current events and Google News Archive for earlier ones.
  • Wikia for details on games and hobbies
  • PubMed+ for medical information from the National Library of Medicine
  • Biography Resource Center, Literature Reference Center
  • Newspapers: National Newspaper Index, New York State Newspapers, Newspaper Source, Custom Newspapers (Gale)
English Wikipedia contributors by country (2007)
Size of English Wikipedia by subject (2007)
  • Wikipedia's coverage
  • What are the problems?:
  • Accuracy; updating; stability; edit wars/WP:OWNership
  • Fairness; WP:COI
  • Poorly covered areas
  • Uneven depth in even fairly well covered areas
  • Spam
  • Where is it strong:
  • Classic literature and drama
  • History and Religion
  • Africa, most of Asia, Latin America
  • Where it is too difficult for most people?:
  • Mathematics, Linguistics, ...
  • Searching
  • Wikipedia Search box
  • Google and other search engines
  • Evaluating an article
  • Sourcing (Wikipedia:Verifiability; WP:RS); External links (WP:EL)
  • Article history (sometimes an old version contains useful information that has been dropped)
  • Talk page - Wikiprojects rate their own articles; discussion of article improvement
  • Examples:
  • Other parts of the system than articles
  • Commons: Pictures and media Files
  • Wikitionary; WikiSource (& related projects elsewhere, such as Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive)
  • other language Wikipedias
  • Discussing an article; Wikiquette; Consensus
  • Correcting/expanding an article; WP:CITE; WP:MOS
  • Writing a new article WP:FIRST
  • Researching an article with library and other resources

Writing for Wikipedia[edit]

A. Look over article before editing - The information may already be there
B. Look at recent discussions on Talk page
C. Get research information and bibliographic reference to source; WP:V; WP:RS; WP:NOR. See, e.g., Newsday? Google?
D. Edit this page tab; Editing sections; Write using your own words - (copyright/plagiarism)
E. Formatting your citation; WP:CITE; Reflist
F. Provide an edit summary; describe purpose of change on Talk page (sign with four tildes: ~~~~ ); WP:NPOV; WP:CIVIL; WP:CONSENSUS; try commenting about University Village, New York at Wikipedia:Peer review/University Village, New York/archive1
G. Show preview; when satisfied, save page. SELECT ALL and copy before saving in case of software problem
H. Wikify; pipes; Wikipedia:Tutorial; Wikipedia:Cheatsheet
I. History tab - see record of previous edits
J. Categories; External links; See also
K. Assessment - Stub; GA; FA - Look to Featured articles for good examples; Wikipedia:Article development
L. Examples

Recent deaths list:

A. Wikipedia:Naming conventions; Make sure that article does not already exist under different name (Use search)
B. WP:Notability; WP:COI; WP:NOT
C. Redirects
D. Searching and bluelinking your article's name in existing articles
E. Wikipedia:Layout

Example Stubs to add to[edit]

Places to look for possible article topics[edit]

Places to look for information for articles[edit]

Getting Help[edit]