User:Freshgavin/Sandbox/Reference desk

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Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk

The Ref Desk works like a real library reference desk, where people ask questions about various topics that aren't easily found in available materials (such as Wikipedia). Before asking a question, try the search box first. For example, to find out more about the Seven Wonders of the World, enter "Seven Wonders of the World" into the search box. Questions about article creation and the inner workings of Wikipedia should be asked at the help desk.


How to ask
We get many questions each day, and we understand that it can be a bit confusing to a new user.

Guidelines that will help get your answer quickly:

  • Search first! Wikipedia is very large, and chances are, you can find your answer within our articles. Be careful with spelling!
  • Check a search engine, such as Google. The Internet is even bigger than Wikipedia, and search engines help you get info quickly. With the right search string, there are few things that a search engine can't tell you!
  • Prepare your question. Make sure you understand your question, and research on any background that may be useful, first. Providing extra info with your question (such as Wikilinks) will help to get your answer quickly!
  • Be specific, and include both a title, and a properly worded question.
  • Don't use all capital letters, LIKE THIS. Typing in caps makes it appear as if you are YELLING, and, as in a real library, we keep yelling to a minimum.
  • Don't provide contact information, such as your e-mail address, home address, or phone number, for your own safety. Bookmark that page and check back later by doing a find (Ctrl+F) on the title of your question (write down the title). After a few days, your question and answers will be moved to the archives, so look there if it's no longer on the desk.
  • Don't repeat posts, and don't post the question on more than one subpage.
  • Don't hold private conversations. Keep chat to a minimum and move private conversations to users' talk pages.
  • Don't expect homework answers. However, if you show us what you've done so far, we'll help you find the solution yourself.
  • List your location, where relevant. The users of the ref desk are from all over the world, so please be clear when your question deals with local issues.
  • Sign your question, with ~~~~ (four tildes), so your screen name or IP address will be added along with the date and time.
  • Be courteous, and leave a quick "thank you" to let us know when you are satisfied with the answer.
The Ref Desk is split into topics:

Mathematics desk


Computers and technology desk

Computer science, hardware, software, computer tech.

Language desk

Language and linguistics for all languages

Humanities desk

History, art, politics, literature, religion, philosophy, law, music, fashion, culture, and society

Science desk

Science, engineering, medicine

Miscellaneous desk

Subjects that don't fit into the other categories


Other places to ask questions
Help desk
For questions and problems related to article creation, and operating the program to use Wikipedia.

New contributors' help page

Services to answer newcomers' questions.

Village pump (technical)

For more difficult Wikipedia issues such as bugs, special features, and scripting.

Help manual

Information and instructions on every aspect of Wikipedia.

Citing Wikipedia

How to cite Wikipedia as a reference.

General complaints

Discussing things that need to be improved.

Resolving disputes

Resolving disputes between users.


Articles and projects that need your help.

Wikipedia department directory