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Adoption school for Scribbleink[edit]

This is the centralized page for mentoring Scribbleink in the processes, policies, guidelines and practices of Wikipedia.

Scribbleink goals[edit]

  • "I'd like to take the next step and start editing regularly, for which I seek a mentor." - Scribbleink
  • "That's great! Much appreciated. My current goals are to improve existing articles, e.g. Indian art, and to create ones on an on-need basis, e.g. Wikipedia:Requested_articles/Culture_and_fine_arts/Visual_arts. I'm reading up on paintings in my spare time and I thought that would be the best place to start contributing new content." - Scribbleink

Program goals[edit]

By the end of the mentoring program, the subject should have a working understanding of...

  • Core policies
  • Wiki formatting, layout and style
  • How to create new articles
  • How to effectively use talk pages
  • Where to look, or who to turn to, for help

You should feel free to continue editing, and contributing to Wikipedia in other ways, during this program.


Each lesson should be completed by reading the recommended background material, asking questions, and completing the assignments which will consist of answering questions and completing various activities. The lessons can be worded on sequentially or concurrently.

Lesson 1 - Core policies


Read the following and ask any questions below. Then answer the question at the bottom of the lesson.

  • Brief - Brief overview
  • Wikipedia:Five pillars - Core foundation principles
  • WP:NOT - What Wikipedia is not
  • WP:LOP - Summary of policies with links to the TL;DR versions
  • WP:COPYRIGHT - Copyright policy
  • Help:Edit summary - This is not a policy per se, but is a widely used (and expected) practice. I would like to see you start using edit summaries consistently as it will help you become a great editor. Routine edits can have brief summaries; for very minor edits (correcting typos, spacing, punctuation) you can check the "This is a minor edit" box at the bottom of the edit window. Major edits and edits that may be controversial should have more detailed edit summaries. You can also add links to edit summaries, in the same way you add links to articles and talk page discussions. [[ ]] for (internal) Wikilinks and [ ] for external links.

Your questions?[edit]

  1. I cannot presently think of a way to verify whether the coverage of an article is comprehensive enough. Do you have any suggestions or links to relevant policies?
    That's a difficult question to answer and I'm not aware of any guidelines that instruct how to do this. Articles should be concise, but cover all of the major aspect of the subject. An article should be able to answer the basic questions that a reader would have when looking for information on a subject. (If I can expand on this, I will later).
  2. In your experience as an editor on Wikipedia, have you come across a situation where an author of an article has chosen to divulge a sufficient number of reliable sources that support his viewpoint, but stopped short of providing the same level of detail for other viewpoints? Would this be an example of bias, or would it be undue weight?
    Yes, and I've been guilty of doing it myself. It is a matter of WP:UNDUE weight. In my mind, this is the beauty of a collaborative project. If my biases creep in, I can be certain that someone with different biases will help push things back toward a neutral presentation of the content. Here is a humorous essay that describes this process: WP:POLE. Everyone has biases, but we have to do our best not to introduce those biases into articles. Another useful essay to read is Writing for the opponent.

Assignment questions (open book)[edit]

1. What is Wikipedia's main purpose?

To be a compendium of information that is presented from a neutral point-of-view, using reliable and verifiable sources, without any bias, and without giving undue weight.
Yes, that's a good summary of what the project is about. At another level, it's about the democratization of information, which many view as empowering and kind of cool.

2. Who's in charge of Wikipedia?

All the users of the Wikipedia community, including you and me, are responsible for its well-being.
Correct, with a few exceptions. The Wikimedia Foundation owns the software, servers, trademark and other non-user-contributed assets. They also manage some of the overarching legal aspects and preserve the founding charter of "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit".

3. Is Wikipedia a good place to publish press releases?

I don't believe so, because press releases are intended for news and media organizations, of which Wikipedia is neither(based on WP:NOTNEWS).
Definitely not. Wikipedia is open to everyone, but it is not an open publishing platform like Blogger or WordPress. It is never a suitable platform for promoting businesses, products, people, or ideologies.

4. How are decisions made at Wikipedia?

Most decisions on Wikipedia are made by consensus. I say most because there are well-defined exceptions(see WP:CONEXCEPT).
Yes, exactly. Consensus is not simply a majority, nor is it unanimity.

5. What is original research?

Research that originates from a primary source (first-hand), does not borrow from existing publications and sources, and is intended to create new information.
Yes. Editors can also engage in original research through WP:SYNTH. It's important not to combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources. It's difficult, but essential to try to take yourself out of the equation when writing.

6. Is it ever OK not to follow a policy? (cite the policy that supports your answer)

According to WP:IAR, if a policy were to interfere with my improving and/or maintaining Wikipedia, I shouldn't follow it. Are there other examples?
Correct. IAR compliments WP:BEBOLD, so one has to be cautious not to ignore all rules in a reckless fashion.

7. Give three ways to ensure that we are editing neutrally?

  1. When presenting opinions, do not masquerade them as facts (and vice-versa).
  2. Avoid using language that is partial to one side more than the others.
  3. Do not skew a super-majority toward a tiny minority so that their weights are equalized (a.k.a. undue weight).
Good answers.
Guestbook barnstar.png Core policies YesY
Congratulations on completing the Core policies module of your adoption school.

Open discussion[edit]

Here we can have ongoing discussion in lieu of using the talk page.

  • Thanks for the resources below. The new editor toolbar from wikEd are a bit overwhelming for now, but it's nothing I can't get used to over time.
 Done updating my preferences. In my opinion, Jimbo's head was far too realistic on a retina display(see also Uncanny valley). scribble · ink chat\contrib 08:31, 7 January 2014 (UTC)