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I am a Virginian over 60 years old, with a wide ranging interest in U.S. history and politics and a personal library of over 500 volumes in the field of U.S., Southern and Virginia history. It is periodically updated based on book reviews published in the Washington Post the New York Times, and C-SPANs Book TV. My wife will not let me accumulate more books, so I rely more and more on e-books for the classics like the Federalist Papers and Democracy in America as I replace them on my shelves with newer volumes such as Eric Foner's Reconstruction (2005 ed), always maintaining below the agreed-upon 500 limit.

Schooling. I have had a career in public education. Besides teaching public and private high school in several regions of Virginia, I once taught five years as an adjunct assistant professor of U.S. history in a state community college. As a part of my continuing education over forty years, I have received at G.I. Bill or employer expense, graduate credit in U.S. history courses wherever I have attended university: The College of William and Mary for a masters, James Madison University for a masters, Old Dominion University, and George Mason University. My employer-compensated graduate work at the University of Virginia was in Special Education courses relating to learning disabilities and emotional disabilities for certification in the Virginia post-graduate teaching license.

Professional Development. I have earned recertification credits for state teaching licensure for research seminars at employer expense at the Library of Congress, the Library of Virginia, the Teaching American History (TAH) grant at George Mason University in a year-long cohort, weekend history seminars at the Virginia Historical Society and Mount Vernon, the week-long George Marshall Foundation at Dodona and the Virginia Military Institute campus, and independent research at the Society of the Cincinnati's Anderson House in Washington, D.C.

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Article interest[edit]

Documents & histories[edit]

History of the United States Constitution, United States Constitution

Nineteenth Amendment

History of Virginia, United States, Territories of the United States

Confederate States of America, American Civil War

Virginia Conventions, Virginia Ratifying Convention, Virginia in the American Civil War

Elections & battles[edit]

United States presidential election, 1860 at the onset of the Civil War

37th United States Congress elected at the onset of the Civil War

Battle of Fort Pulaski 120 day joint operation to close Savannah GA

Bombardment of Cherbourg post-D-day joint Normandy campaign


Pauline Maier, professor at MIT, U.S. history - Revolution, Constitution

Morton Deyo, "destroyer sailor", WWII Admiral at Normandy and Okinawa

Robert E. Lee, Virginian, commander, president of Washington College at Lexington VA


Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps

Territories of the United States on stamps

History of Virginia on stamps

Puerto Rico on stamps



For philosophers, I rely on Machiavelli in the 17th Century, John Locke in the 18th Century, John Stuart Mill in the 19th, and John Rawls in the 20th.
To explain who we Americans are, see the works of Lawrence Kohlberg, Benjamin Bloom, Eric Hoffer, Studs Terkel, Robert Coles, David McClelland, Peter Drucker.
For an overview of the United States itself, see Joel Garreau, Nine Nations of North America, Edge city: life on the new frontier and Howe and Strauss, Generations: the history of America's future, 1584 to 2069.
History through television
popularizing great American stories
The nation-state can briefly be explained reading two volumes. The Federalist Papers teaches how to think about a nation-state conceived in the promise of personal liberty, democracy and republican government. How can the government be inclusive when the participants have a history of conflict among diverse geography, economies, populations and cultures. It is unrelentingly balanced, it looks at people in practice, and it anticipates effects in future society. For a treatment of how the United States began healing from its four years of bloody civil war by a retired foreign service officer who saw some of that in his own time, there is Jay Winik's April 1865: The Month That Saved America.
I am of the "television generation". I have been influenced by (1) Walter Cronkite’s ‘You Were There’ (CBS) 1950s, (2) Walter Cronkite's ‘The Twentieth Century’ (CBS) 1960s, (3) Steve Allen’s ‘Meeting of the Minds’ (PBS) 1970s, and (4) Ken Burns ‘The Civil War’ (PBS)1980s.

Political values. (1) Evaluating candidates and their "issues" across American history based on how each campaigned to address elements of the Preamble of the Constitution. They seek an office where they will publicly swear to uphold the Constitution, as required of all elected Federal and state officers of Government: their platform must address, at each and every election, how they will

(a) promote nationalism, (b) establish justice, (c) insure domestic tranquility,
(d) provide for common defense, (d) promote the general welfare, the things people can not provide for themselves, and
(e) secure the blessings of liberty for us now and later for others: the First Amendment freedoms of self expression and voluntary community in religion, speech, press, assembly and petition ... and an assessment of their success by the time they stand for re-election. The most important election of your life is the next one, otherwise, democracy fails.
(2) following Thomas Aquinas, the values of a good war, when, and if the nation is to go to war include (a) just cause to defend innocent or avenge injured, (b) justly waged by legitimate authority, (c) as a last resort (d) proportionate to injury, (e) with lawful combatants, (f) saving noncombatants. So, not that the nation will not have war, only that a good war is hard to find.

Strategies for classroom[edit]

I recommend: (1) Backward planning from explicit objectives. (2) Comprehensive survey of curriculum as in "Interactive Notebook", with formats and prompts supplied in inclusive classrooms (3) Democracy in Action curriculum that fosters group collaboration to consensus with a written outcome and "minority reports", (4) Kagan curriculum asking big picture questions with diverse learning groups of four, pairing AC and BD skill levels, then four-person summaries. (5) teaching across the curriculum, especially history-English using (a) paragraphs, (b) short answer identify and significance and (c) 5-paragraph essays, and history-Algebra I (d) charts, (e) graphs, ((f) pictographs, (6) "watering up" the curriculum using mnemonics and graphic organizers. (7) summary activities of "foldables" and tri-fold brochures with class presentation. (8) Scaffolding essay writing, using repeated themes found in the Declaration of Independence: security and liberty.

The Civil War[edit]

One-stop Civil War store. The single volume to read on understanding the Civil War is Michael Shaara's "The Killer Angels", and see the movie based on it, Gettysburg.

Ken Burns called Killer Angels the "life-changing inspiration" for his PBS Civil War series, which is, in its turn, the best one-DVD set survey of the defining moment in American history. But for transitions, music is contemporary to 1860-1865, played on instruments then extant. Narrative scenes are filmed in their seasons in those places, songbirds are indigenous to the area in each season. David McCullough narrates, historians offer interpretation, supporting cast read primary documents. Scholarly inclusive history at its empathetic best.

Chamberlain and Oates. One of my favorite pairings in history comes from the fight at Little Round Top, Gettysburg.

Both Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Me) and Col. William Calvin Oates (AL) fought their troops well, and both were beloved by the men of their commands.
Both returned home to their respective states after the war.
Both were active in their respective state majority parties. Chamberlain as a Maine Republican, Oates as an Alabama Democrat.
Both objected to the Gilded Age political corruption, and ran as reform candidates for Governor. Both were elected.
Both sought to 'take care of their troops', the veteran citizens, in a post-war civilian setting as they had as uniformed officers in camp, on the march and amidst combat.
Both could get nothing accomplished in the face of corrupt political machines running the legislative majorities of their own respective party.

With apologies to Plutarch, one day I would like to see a "parallel lives" biography for them, akin to Brian Dirck's "Lincoln & Davis: imagining America 1809-1865". The point would be to survey American history forward fifty years, 1863-1912. It would be a difficult project for whoever might undertake it, addressing a violent time of men raised in violence, robber barons, industrial unions, racism and populists.


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Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
TVH is a major contributor to the excellence of the United States Constitution article. Through a series of carefully crafted tweaks and major edits, the article is moving forward to (once again) receive a well-deserved WP:FA designation thanks to TheVirginiaHistorian's efforts. Thank you. S. Rich (talk) 02:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

A very beautiful Nectarine Pie.jpg For your excellent work on the Constitution of the United States. Well done. ArtifexMayhem (talk) 18:44, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Human Rights Barnstar Hires.png The Barnstar of Liberty
For excellent contributions on United States Constitution and related articles. Tomwsulcer (talk) 03:07, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your great effort of creating and building the Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps article.
Gwillhickers (talk) 12:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
BoNM USA Hires.png The USA Barnstar of National Merit
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For your enduring efforts in creating, building and composing the Territories of the United States on stamps article.
-- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:03, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
You have a long record of diligent scholarship, editing, writing and patient contributions to sometimes trying discussions. Thank you. Donner60 (talk) 21:23, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For fighting for the truth on American Civil War articles. Greetings! I saw your talk page discussions on various ACW articles and can say that I was very much quite pleased with the way you carried yourself and your steadfast determination in the fight for the truth and objectivity. Oorah, sir. I salute you! Illegitimate Barrister 09:56, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Thank you for your contribution to a successful mediation. [Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/United States, Dec 2014-Aug 2015, "the United States ... is a federal republic[16][17] composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major territories and various possessions.[fn 1][fn 2]."] Sunray (talk) 06:37, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Barnstar-stone2-noback.png The Epic Barnstar
for excellent work on the Virginia Conventions

Edit articles[edit]

STEP 1. Read the article through. Don't add to section-one something that is in section-three. Of course your idea is important. So have others before you. STEP 2. Read the Talk page on the Discussion tab. STEP 3. Read a couple of the linked WP articles and their Talk pages. Now you have some idea of who you are dealing with when you start into a discussion.

The idea of Wikipedia is to build a collaborative encyclopedia. Some of my first lessons in editing came from senior editors who reverted my contribution then boxed my ears with a curt directive where to go to learn more Wikipedia (WP). Some editors were simply summarily dismissive. They had no patience with the oldie-Newbie who would presume to stick a toe in their Wiki-waters. It took a good online fight or two for me to figure out most editors are honorably committed to the cause that the Wikimedia Foundation has in mind. Yes, you can donate $5 to the 501 public charity. Do so. Editors may be gruff, but most read what you say and respond directly, intelligently, helpfully. They are also, gasp, persuadable. While deferential sycophants will be scoffed at ("Get a room."), democratically show respect and patience.


An introduction is found at WP:STUDENT. From my personal observations:

(1) attitude adjustment. Assume good faith, that's how we become collegial. We can imagine the co-editors and audience.
(a) worldwide editorship and readership makes Wikipedia multicultural, easy to be literally mis-understood and figuratively mis-taken.
(b) editors are diverse
- Nobel prize-winners exploring a hobby to
- PhDs writing up a dissertation-lite, to
- Park rangers interpreting a historical shrine, to
- drive-by adolescent pranksters.
(c) English wikipedia writers are
- native-speaking English (American, Commonwealth) just learning composition,
- collegians practicing sourcing research,
- linguists sharpening fluency in a third language, and
- oldie-newbies in decline.
(2) take the time to explain concisely. Self-expression and self-discovery is incidental to Wiki-editing. Write an encyclopedia.
(3) use references to reliable sources in discussion. Lead others to sources which influenced you. Let the sources do the heavy lifting.
(4) avoid soapbox. See, the other fella believes what he believes, just like you believe what you believe. Sincerely. Respect it.
(5) get knowledgeable. Run a GOOGLE search. Hits give the terms to explore Wikipedia. Then drill down using links, index and 'See also'.
(6) wield code and argot credibly. It took a while to find the Wiki Syntax to participate as an editor. They follow.

Over-arching guidelines[edit]

An online encyclopedia must be accessible or it cannot achieve its reason for existence. One which aspires to be accessible internationally adopts a style to accommodate a wide variety of browsers and pipelines.

  • For historical and biographical narrative, an article should be no longer than 10,000 to 12,000 words. The word count for each article is in the screen-left menu under the Wikipedia globe logo. See Toolbox > Page size. If you find your enthusiasm taking flight, adding sections which inflates the article over that, some of your sections should be spun off into their own stub article.
  • For illustration of narratives, the upper limit for images should be an image-to-text ratio of 1 : 350, no more than 1 : 300. See image guidelines below for coding. If your enthusiasm over-populates an article, some of your illustrations should be ganged into image galleries for use by other editors in other articles.
  • Connect with other articles with inline links explaining terms and describing individuals, and use a "See also" subsection above the "References" subsection to link to other related WP articles. Use an "External links" subsection below the references section to link to related articles online.

Style manual[edit]

One easily accessible Wikipedia style manual for an article is the Philosophy style. Editors should contribute in article edits and Talk so as to advance an article from C-class or B-class article to Good Article GA-class.

nationalist floor leaders from biggest states
most speeches, they seconded one another's motions
Here follows, the Philosophy style guideline for the body of an article, reflected in the Table of Contents
once applied in the article on the U.S. Constitution, later sub-divided in parts to History of U.S. Constitution.

> publishing history (biography)

  • History : first government, convention, ratification and beginning, historical influences

> structure and arguments (philosophy)

  • Original text : authority and purpose, national government, federal relationships
  • Amendments : procedure, successful, unratified

> rhetoric and style (list of works)

  • Judicial review : scope and theory, establishment, subsequent courts

> reception and legacy (criticism)

  • Civic religion : making a nation, the shrine
  • World wide : national constitutions, translations, commemoratives
  • Criticism : philosophy, convention calls, non-amendment, democracy, polity

To do

_ document unsourced statements
_ footnote consolidation and coding
_ conform illustrations WP:ACCESS
_ expand sections on references, fundamental law, criticism

Rendering quotes[edit]

Quotes may be rendered by quotes, quotes in italics, green italics, blockquote and quotation box.

  • quotes in italics. ''"..."'' Can be useful on a Talk page.
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, ..."
  • green italics. {{Gi|...}} Can be useful in discussion on a Talk page.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, ...
Likewise, {{tq|…}}, “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent,...”
  • block quote. <blockquote>...</blockquote> For lengthy quotation excerpts.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

  • quote box. {{quotation|...}} For lengthy quotation excerpts. a blue color is rendered by pipebgcolor= #c6dbf7

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

--"Mega 'Zines'", Macworld (1995)[1]


Underlining may be made by <ins>...</ins>, useful for highlighting the change in language among competing proposals on an article Talk page.

Alternative C: The American Civil War, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was fought from 1861 to 1865 between opposing factions of the nation to determine the survival of the Union.


Link to other WP articles. These appear in blue inline text. A direct link is double bracketed, thus: [[U.S. Constitution]]. If enthusiasm creates a sea of blue, limit the links to one, two maximum per sentence, say, three per paragraph.

Article sections[edit]

Link to a relevant section so that the click takes the reader to the spot. Use ARTICLE#SECTION to take them there. Both article and section must be precise: copy-paste if need be. Click "Show preview", and on the link in the preview, click to see where it takes you. Back-arrow to the previous screen to return to the preview page before you click "Save page". Remember to note what you are doing in the "Edit summary" box behind the / * SUBSECTION TITLE * / for future reference by your self and other editors.

Don't send readers to [[Charleston]] Charleston for disambiguation between WV and SC, when you mean
[[Charleston, South Carolina|Charleston]] Charleston, the Charleston in South Carolina, or
[[Charleston#Civil War (1861–1865)|Charleston]] Charleston, the Charleston SC in the Civil War, or
[[Second Battle of Charleston Harbor#Siege|Charleston]] Charleston, the Charleston SC siege during the Civil War.

Generally, link back from the linked article in its "See also" section. If there is none there, add one using a ==See also== level header, just above the Footnotes/References section.

Word definitions[edit]

Definitions once in Wikipedia are migrating to a sister project, Wiktionary. A link to a definition at Wikipedia may simply be redirected to a technical term without notice, leaving the interested reader awash in technical argot, when what they needed was a definition for a word of arcane vocabulary. The Articles Congress called for a proposal to issue from a Convention of state delegates for the sole purpose of meeting the "exigencies" of government and preserving the federal Union. The link in Wiktionary is coded thus: [[wiktionary:exigency|exigencies]] to produce exigencies.

Comparing usage frequency[edit]

To compare terms frequency in various languages over time, see [|Ngram Viewer] out of Harvard University. Webpage guidelines suggest after 1800 for English due to the limited number of published books. Basically you can play with the parameters to get interesting insights. It is as addictive as advertised. For example, comparing “American Civil War”, set smoothing to 0, from 1860 in 50 year increments, from the corpus of English. The article title "American Civil War" was challenged.

“The Great Rebellion” is more frequent in 1866, then behind 7:1. It closes in the 1940’s to within 2:1 behind, then falls off again. “The War of Northern Aggression” overtakes in 1866, peaks below in 1870, 1873, then falls to near zero permanently. “War Between the States” has a 1938 spike, overtakes in 1944, 1950, then spikes at 7:5 behind in 1952, 1956 before leveling of at 7:1 or less. Comparing “The Great Rebellion” and “War Between the States” shows lots of seesaw years, but the five-year trend line shows the North’s expression steadily dropping from 6:1 advantage, even in 1883, to a 3:1 disadvantage. Its greatest popularity was most popular, 5 times more than today 1930-1960.

Citations and Notes[edit]

Editing citations and notes is best done using the global "Edit" tab at the top of the article. This allows clicking on the "Show preview" button, and then clicking on the blue numbered and lettered inline marker. Broken links and omitted names will then be readable as you scroll down. Search on the last two words adjacent to the note, including the period. The highlighted box will show first the "Show preview" screen, then the code window at the bottom of the article.

The section for references is labeled “Citations” coded thus: ==Citations== to distinguish them from “Notes”. They appear inline text as numbers. They are placed inside of carets thus: <ref>AUTHOR, SOURCE, YEAR ISBN xxx-x-xxx-xxxxx-x PAGE</ref>. The ISBN shows as a link, for example: ISBN 978-0-521-88188-3. If the citation was taken from online, reference the date of your accessing the page, thus: Viewed December 24, 2011.

Notes for background which would interrupt the flow of the text, or explanations that are too detailed for encyclopedic narrative can be placed inside brakets thus: {{refn| group = lower-alpha |TEXT OF THE NOTE.}} They appear inline text as letters. They are aggregated in a section for “Notes” coded thus: ==Notes== placed just above “Citations”.


  • {{Citation needed}} identifies a questionable claim that lacks a citation to a reliable source. Well known information does not need a citation. If an editor in unfamiliar with commonly known material in a field, the answer may be to explain the background in a footnote [2].

After a period or comma, use the code {{Citation needed|reason=needs a reliable source for this assertion. It is inconsistent with public statements cited elsewhere.}} This leaves a record for future editors if you are not taking the time to immediately supply the needed citation.

The notation will show as Patrick Henry favored the Constitution in his private letters.[citation needed]

If you are critically reading an article of interest, but you bring no depth of knowledge to it, use {{Citation needed|date=February 2017}}.

This template places the article into Category:Articles with unsourced statements. Read into the field until you find an applicable source, return to the article, and provide it. Please remove the template when you add a citation in response to your tag or another's.

  • {{db-author}} is used when you are the primary contributor, and you have a good faith reason for speedy removal of the piece, such as merging the information with another article.

Image guide[edit]

Image guide - add, subtract, substitute. These article guidelines have been taken from WP style sheets, WP:ACCESS and WP essays. They should be followed until an editor consensus substitutes other WP manual elements. “Generally” denotes my contribution. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 22:19, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Add an image

Selection. Article images (a) relate directly to the text, (b) the text is referenced to a reliable source. For one-image template, see below.
Thomas More
patron of statesmen and politicians
Sizing. Minimize the graphic impact of the images on text. (a) Do not allow images to interrupt the flow of text. (b) Do not cross the 40% width on an Outlook browser. Generally that translates to a 2-row width gallery.
Caption for each image. (a) Concisely describe the meaning of the image. (b) Link the reader to additional WP articles or extended notes in the article for background. (c) Use a full-size title, generally one < small > font reduction for descriptors as space requires. Generally limit captions to 1-2-or-3 lines. (d) Detailed descriptions can be supplied by either (1) the image description, or more generally, (2) a footnote in the article,.
Alt attribute for each image. (a) Even an empty one is a substitute for the image for blind readers, search-spiders, and other non-visual users. (b) If additional alt text, refer to the caption or adjacent text.
Placement. Images are adjacent to text as spacing allows. (a) Images are within the respective sub-section or the section introduction, after the heading and other articles links. (b) They are not in the heading nor at the end of the previous section. (c) Images are spaced evenly in the text of each section, align images right to meet access standards.
All tables are collapsed to give accessibility to the text. (a) Title description enables those unable to see the image to gain some understanding of the concept. Charts or diagrams have (a) text equivalent, or (b) title description. See WP:ACCESS.


Gallery sections illustrate aspects of a topic that cannot be easily described by text or individual images. (a) Collectively they must have encyclopedic value, adding to topic understanding. (b) The gallery is to be clear, precise and engaging. While 1750–1795 in fashion is the WP example of a “good use of galleries”, the arrangements violate accessibility guidelines. It is disruptive of the text continuity. Generally, there is not enough text to support the numbers of images at the published size.
Gallery captions connect the image to the text and to the gallery theme. (a) The gallery is titled unless the context is clear from the adjacent text. (b) Generally, if properly done, this can eliminate the clutter of level-5 Table of Contents categories. For gallery template, see below.

Overall view

Follow WP:ACCESS. Generally, as an editor begins an edit to a section, the effect of these guidelines should be reviewed and exceptions posted to the Talk page. Adjacent images can be resized or deleted if they have become redundant with the new image, or text can be extended.


Generally, editors are encouraged to find better images (a) in Wikimedia commons, or (b) download additional resources into Wikimedia commons and apply them to existing image galleries in the article. Take care that the image is copyright free. "Non-free" images get deleted by one of the Wiki bots that contribute to the quality of the encyclopedia. For an example of a misused image deleted, see my Talk page, November 26, 2011.


Since inclusion of every image is substantiated by scholarship cited in the accompanying text, any deletion needs to be substantiated with a preponderance of scholarship to justify its omission. The sources must demonstrate that the subject is not either (a) a substantial element of the time or (b) it never becomes influential in the future as it relates to the topic.
Editors who object to the inclusion of an image as being incomplete or partial can better serve the article by including the adverse point of view in the text, and either (a) provide a footnote in the caption with extended remarks with an WP article or external link, or (b) as space allows, directly add an exception in the caption with a link to another WP article.


When an image issue is raised, (a) Tag an image at issue with a “needs citation”. (b) Add a comment in the Talk section about what is found lacking, along with at least one source disputing the subject’s prominence or influence. (c) If possible, contact the editor who uploaded the image, telling them of your concerns. You may be able to resolve the issue at this point. (d) If a copyright violation is found, use WP guidelines for contact, notice and tag. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 22:19, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

One-image template[edit]

To make an image into an article illustration, (a) research the topic reading a related Wikipedia (WP) article. (b) Survey images in existing articles. (c) Read another source by library or online. (d) Read the existing text or write it. (e) Find an appropriate image from Wikimedia commons or public domain and import it. (f) Use this template. The article shows this sample.

U.S. Capitol, Washington DC
seat of the U.S. Congress[3]
Senate North Wing, and House at right
[[File:image1.jpg |thumb|200px|right|<center>'''[[caption title.1]]''', <small>tag. i.d.<br> caption description.1a [[link]]<br>description.1b <ref>note.1</ref></small></center>]]

(1) use the image code with prefix ‘file’.

(2) Image size is determined by (a) thumb|200px is variable, not to exceed 220px or width of 2-row gallery. Trial and error to fit. (b) thumb|upright is precoded.

(3) title is in bold, coded TITLE while writing on the WP edit page. Usually it is significant enough to have its own stand-alone article in WP, which is why it qualifies for illustration. Ta-dah, your judgment of its importance is confirmed by previous WP editors. If the subject is within an article, the coding is ‘’’your title’’’, where # marks the section with an [edit] tag in the referenced article.

(4) A tag identification is some modifier not central to the subject’s importance, but informative, like dates of life, office, place of origin abbreviated.

(5) Descriptions in small font coming from the < small > code at the i.d. tag. If it is short, there is no need. If so, remember to delete both start and stop.

(6) The description line may have an important aspect which the reader could benefit reading but the article cannot support, so the link code goes to the WP article. Space is at a premium in a caption, so a shorthand marker can be used using shorthand.

(7) Often an important topic requires explanation, or criticism is important to understanding. Footnotes are the perfect place can expand the narrative. Use < ref > the footnote text, along with any WP links or [url.External NAME-THE-LINK]] < /ref >.

Double image template[edit]

U.S. Capitol
Freedom Triumphant
in War and Peace
Double image templage.

Triple image template[edit]

U.S. Capitol seats the Congress:
the Senate, left; the House, right
The White House used by the U.S. President
Supreme Court and offices for nine Justices
Triple image template.

Table row templates[edit]

Purchase negotiation, J. Monroe
1953 issue
Louisiana Purchase
1903 issue
Lewis and Clark
1954 issue
Table row template.
Thomas Jefferson
1904 issue
Louisiana Purchase map
1904 issue
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signing
1953 issue
Alternate coding template

No image template[edit]

German immigration
Irish immigration
No image template.

Gallery template[edit]

A gallery section illustrates aspects of a topic that cannot be easily described by text or individual images. Collectively they must have encyclopedic value, adding to topic understanding.

political philosophers
towards the social contract

Sample of the template can be seen nearby in "political philosophers" for an hypothetical article on "the social contract".

There is no free image for John Rawls available for Wikipedia use. The Widener Library is across a yard from Emerson Hall, home of Harvard University's Philosophy, so it serves as a placeholder.

Use this gallery template. The coding here shows two images at "File:". Lines of code are without breaks for each picture, a title line and two lines of description, one with a link and one with a footnote. The "File" line code is continuous. see the code as elsewhere on WP, by clicking on [edit]. Then you can copy-paste syntax code onto your work document. Leave the original User-page unchanged by clicking on the "Cancel" link found under the "review of edit summary".

|<center>'''gallery title'''<br>title description
|< gallery perrow=2>
File:image1.jpg |<center>'''[[image title.1]]''' <small>tag.1 i.d.<br>description.1a [[link.1]]<br>description.1b
File:image2.jpg |<center>'''[[image title.2]]'''<small>tag.2 i.d.<br>description.2a [[link.2]]<br>description.2b

(1) the gallery title connects the sourced text to the encyclopedic matrix
(2) each caption connects the image to the text and to the gallery theme.
(3) for most browsers, the gallery per row limit of 2 keeps the images within the 40% screen width of WP guidelines.
(4) default aligns right to meet WP:ACCESS standard.
(5) the file name has no brackets next to "File:" as is found in one-image templates.
(6) the template provides for bold titles, small font identification tag and two lines of description, WP link and footnote.


On a talk page, to ping an editor you are addressing such as @TheVirginiaHistorian, use @{{Ping|TheVirginianHistorian}}

Talk page clean up[edit]

When the talk page is looking a bit long and that most of the traffic was recent. If you desired, you could set the |age=720 (30 days) and let CB3 run once. You could then set it back to |age=2160 which would return it to the 90 days you currently have set. Doing this would clean a bunch of the older stuff off of your page. Most of it looks like stuff you probably have already dealt with. — Makyen (talk) at BotIII with the archive function Talk.

Elegant citations[edit]

When you edit, do you see a bar above the edit window with a set of buttons including "Cite"? If so, move your cursor to the point where you want to add the reference, and then click "Cite". If you then see a dropdown menu on the next bar, labelled "Templates", use that to choose between web, news, book, and journal (ie journal article). Then fill in the boxes which apply to your reference. If you might want to use the ref another time, give it a name in the "Ref name" field. There's a "More fields" option at the bottom if you want to add further fields. You can check the reference by hitting "Preview" and then "Show parsed preview". To re-use an existing reference, go to "Named references", and choose between the refs you have named. If you don't see this, go to "Preferences" and look under the "Editing" tag, "Editing" section. Tick the boxes for "Show edit toolbar (requires JavaScript)", "Enable enhanced editing toolbar" and "Enable wizards for inserting links ...". As far as I know that will make the system work for you. I hope that helps. It makes it much easier to add references elegantly. PamD



  1. ^ Quote Reference here
  2. ^ explanation
  3. ^ Congress and Capitol footnote