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I encourage all editors to become familiar with Wikipedia’s behavioral guidelines and policies, including:

From personal observation I have found that it is common to ignore policies that were written to facilitate a positive experience for Wikipedia’s volunteer editors; or worse, to manipulate and used such policies as a sword to intimidate or bully.

Be nice to the Newbies[edit]

Throughout the entire process of NP patrol, it is important to remember not to bite the newbies. Far from being a monolithic horde of vandals, trolls, and spammers, the available evidence seems to indicate that newcomers write most of Wikipedia's content. If you see a new user or IP address contributing, {{welcome}} or {{welcome-anon}} them if you're so inclined, and include a pointer or two of feedback about how they can make their contributions even better. Most will gladly welcome the support.

It is also important to assume good faith as much as possible, or, minimally to assume incompetence instead of malice. For example, remember not everyone is as computer-literate as you; some people will accidentally blank or damage pages when attempting to cut and paste material from Wikipedia. Others may not understand that, yes, their changes really are visible to the entire world; consider using {{Uw-draftfirst}} to suggest that new users work on their article as a userspace draft.

Please do not be too hasty with certain speedy deletions, especially those lacking context (CSD A1) or content (CSD A3). Consensus has generally developed that writers unfamiliar with Wikipedia guidelines should have ten to fifteen minutes to fix the article before it is nominated for speedy deletion. If you see a page that has been tagged too hastily, please notify the tagger about their hasty deletion with the {{uw-hasty}} template. The template {{hasty|one hour after creation UTM}} can also be added to the tagged article to flag that it was hastily tagged.

Improving new pages[edit]

  • Wikipedia:Editing policy
  • Stubs, which are the beginnings of meaningful and encyclopedic articles but which need a little help (a little wikifying, as it were). The basics of wikifying stubs:
  • Style problems. First, try to fix any style problems yourself. If you cannot, add one or more specific cleanup tags for pages which need tidying up. In particular, the following tags are common:
  • {{cleanup|date=August 2017}} -- for general problems
  • {{wikify|date=August 2017}} -- for articles that need appropriate formatting or linking
  • {{internallinks|TOPIC}} -- a variant of wikify for pages that are properly formatted, but need linking to other related topics.
  • {{unreferenced|article}} -- for articles that conspicuously lack references
  • Mistitled articles. Usually it's straightforward to move a page to a more appropriate title (WP:Name) using the "move page" function. Sometimes you'll find that an article under the other title already exists, in which case you should try to merge any new material from the newly created article into the old one, leaving a redirect in place of the new page.
  • Categorization Check that the article has been assigned to a useful category and if not, either tag it with {{uncat}} or try to find a category for it. If the article links to other Wikipedia articles, you can check their categorizations for ideas, or assign the article to one of the fundamental categories.
  • Orphaned articles Checking the "What links here" link will tell you if any other page points to the newly created article. Sometimes orphans result from a mistitled article (see above). Other times you'll want to find a related article and link the new one to it. It may be helpful to search for mentions in other articles. If none are found, an {{Orphan}} tag can be placed.
  • Articles without sources The best time to ask for sources is when an article is fresh and the contributor is still around to ask about the origin of the information in it. Tag articles with {{unreferenced}} and let the contributor know with {{subst:uw-unsourced1}}, or try to find some yourself. If there aren't any, it might need to be deleted.
  • Foreign language articles. Tag the page with {{notenglish}} and list it at Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English. Do not run the page through an online translator and submit the results.
  • Wikipedia:Official names



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