User talk:Equus Ferus

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Welcome to Wikipedia![edit]

Hey there! Welcome to Wikipedia! I've been asked to help you with whatever issues you are having. Remember, if you have any urgent queries, you can always add the word help surrounded by curly brackets ({{}}) to your talk page and someone will be along shortly. However, if it's non-urgent, feel free to message me on my talk page and I will get back to you.

Now! The best place to start if you're looking to write an article is our Article Wizard. It will format your article for you and give you step-by-step instructions on common pitfalls and how to avoid them. This should mitigate the chances of your article(s) being deleted.

The last thing you'll need to know for now is that you have a conflict of interest. You should update your userpage to reflect this (just a quick sentence saying: I volunteer here etc.). That way when people come to visit you, they'll know where you stand on things and that will make your stay here a lot more comfortable.

Good luck and happy editing! PanydThe muffin is not subtle 18:42, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Article ideas[edit]

Hi Equus, my first suggestion for writing an article is to start by swiping ideas from other high-quality articles. The other big thing is to remember that you can't copy any copyrighted material verbatim from another source, so a cut-and-paste from the organization's web site is a bad thing to do. You can, of course, say it in your own words and cite to your information with a footnote (see WP:CITE for instructions. Not the clearest article on wikipedia, but it will get you there). Finally, remember that this is an encyclopedia with a very strong "no advertising" policy and it insists on a neutral point of view (see WP:NPOV. This means you have to write in a very objective style, like a scholarly study, and not in a promotional tone that might be used for advertising or a press release. For example, for ISPMB, it is a non-profit organization (presumably) so it's helpful to look at articles on similar topics. In that realm, a short, simple article about an organization is Appaloosa Horse Club. It's not a top-notch article, but an OK example of a short and simple article written by a fan of Appaloosa horses where I kept going in and toning down the excess enthusiasm (grin). A better one is probably American Quarter Horse Association. If you want to see a top-quality article that passed Good Article status (among the better articles on wikipedia) see American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, it's a lot longer and more detailed article than you probably want to try for right now, but it is a great example. Don't worry too much about the conflict of interest thing if you are a volunteer or member of a group, be open about it, but don't let it stop you from contributing. I like what you have on your user page to explain who you are, and the best way to avoid COI problems is to write as if you are someone who isn't a member of the group, just an interested writer, and then ask other people to review and edit what you contribute and take their suggestions in good faith. Montanabw(talk) 22:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


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Hello, Equus Ferus. You have new messages at Panyd's talk page.
Message added 23:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

PanydThe muffin is not subtle 23:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Some tips to help you out![edit]

Hi Equus Ferus, I "found" you while stalking Montanabw's talk page, and thought I'd drop a few of my own (and Chzz's) notes on your talk page with some help on writing articles :o)

First of all, it may be best for you to do a bit of reading, starting with the Wikipedia manual of style, which will give you a lot of information about how Wikipedia prefers its articles to be written. It's not as hard to follow as it might look; quite a bit of the information there probably won't be vital for you at first.

Second, I recommend you make a user sandbox - which is just an area you can use to practise in, and to make notes in, and to get things ready in. If you click this red link: user:Equus Ferus/Sandbox, that will let you create that page (it gives you an edit window to start work in). Anything, anywhere, on the help and information pages which gives you an example, try it out in your sandbox until you're familiar with it.

For your article, the next thing you want to do is start collecting as much information as you can about it. Google searches (particularly in Books and Scholar) will be your best friend for this! Once you've found the information, the next most important thing is to start writing up each fact in your own words (very important, this), and make a note at the same time of exactly where that information came from. Build in the references as you go along; I'm going to copy in, down below this, a whole heap of help on doing references, which was produced by one of our best teachers (Chzz).

Here's another place that you'll find incredibly useful - citation templates which you can copy and paste into your sandbox, between <ref></ref> tags; you just fill in the blanks from your sources into the template, and you'll end up with nicely formatted inline citations :o) It all helps. Remember to add a references section to your sandbox (make a new line, and put ==References== on it, and type {{reflist}} on the next line, so that you can see how your citations look as you do them. Remember to save your page often! You don't want to lose your work.

Hopefully this will give you a good start and make life easier for you.

One last thing to keep as a motto: "It's better to write one good, well-referenced, nicely-presented article than it is to create fifty unreferenced one-line stubs!" Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

How references work[edit]

Simple references[edit]

These require two parts;

Chzz is 98 years old.<ref> "The book of Chzz", Aardvark Books, 2009. </ref>

He likes tea. <ref> [ Tea website] </ref>
b) A section called "References" with the special code "{{reflist}}";
== References ==

(an existing article is likely to already have one of these sections)

To see the result of that, please look at user:chzz/demo/simpleref. Edit it, and check the code; perhaps make a test page of your own, such as user:Equus Ferus/reftest and try it out.

Named references[edit]

Chzz was born in 1837. <ref name=MyBook>
"The book of Chzz", Aardvark Books, 2009. 

Chzz lives in Footown.<ref name=MyBook/>

Note that the second usage has a / (and no closing ref tag). This needs a reference section as above; please see user:chzz/demo/namedref to see the result.

Citation templates[edit]

You can put anything you like between <ref> and </ref>, but using citation templates makes for a neat, consistent look;

Chzz has 37 Olympic medals. <ref> {{Citation
 | last = Smith
 | first = John
 | title = Olympic medal winners of the 20th century
 | publication-date = 2001
 | publisher = [[Cambridge University Press]]
 | page = 125
 | isbn = 0-521-37169-4

Please see user:chzz/demo/citeref to see the result.

For more help and tips on that subject, see user:chzz/help/refs.

Here's a little bit of magic which can save you an awful lot of time and effort![edit]

You might want to consider using this tool - (tools:~dispenser/cgi-bin/ - it makes your life a whole heap easier, by filling in complete citation templates for your links. All you do is install the script on Special:MyPage/common.js, or or Special:MyPage/vector.js, then paste the bare url (without [...] brackets) between your <ref></ref> tabs, and you'll find a clickable link called Reflinks in your toolbox section of the page (probably in the left hand column). Then click that tool. It does all the rest of the work (provided that you remember to save the page!) It doesn't work for everything (particularly often not for pdf documents), but for pretty much anything ending in "htm" or "html" (and with a title) it will do really, really well all by itself. For those it can't do by itself, it gives you a pull-down (or up) menu of templates to choose from, which you can then fill in manually. Often the problem is "No title found" - sometimes the title is obvious (especially if it's a pdf), bit, if not, just open the page yourself and choose something appropriate if there's not already a clear title there. Happy editing! Pesky (talkstalk!) 09:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Pesky. Everyone is giving me such good information now. It has all been really helpful. Trying to find out where the information I need is, as well as understanding it when you don't know what you are looking at or looking for, was hard. I think I will get the hang of it. Equus Ferus (talk) 15:04, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I have a question, Pesky. While reviewing the sources on the Wiki page for Velma Johnston, I noticed two dead links in the resources. I know what the links have changed to but have been trying to read about link rot and repair so I can fix them and I can't figure it out. It seems I can't just "edit" that section. How can I help correct these? Equus Ferus (talk) 15:57, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Hi Pesky (Equus, listen to Pesky, who is my adopted Wolfcub, by the way!) Anyway, to answer your question Equus, the dead links are in the footnotes to the Velma Bronn Johnston article, so you can't edit by clicking in the "References" section, you have to go into the body of the text where the footnote numbers appear and edit them there. For example " In 1923 she contracted polio and was confined to cast for six months.[2] " Footnote 2 is one of the tagged dead links. So you have to go to that sentence, where you will see the full footnote, and fix it there. Does that make sense? Montanabw(talk) 23:20, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Montanabw. Because of the Pesky's help earlier, it makes total sense. You guys have been fantastic help! Equus Ferus (talk) 02:29, 19 November 2011 (UTC)