Hello and welcome to Wikipedia! I saw your contribution to The Whitsun Weddings page; I hope it will be the first of many. As you've probably noticed, the pages on Philip Larkin's collections are very much in need of loving care and attention!
In the box above you'll see lots of helpful pages on the various advice, guidelines and rules that have been evolved in Wikipedia. One that I would draw to your attention before you expend an awful lot of effort would be No original research. It says "Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source".
In the case of the Whitsun Weddings page, an unsourced contribution like yours is unlikely to do reverted immediately, but sooner or later, when someone comes to make a thorough job of that page, what you've supplied is likely to be replaced—possibly following your contours—with something citable. In the meanwhile, most editors are going to regard what you've put in as better than nothing—but any editor would be within their rights to remove it en masse. Since you clearly know your Larkin, it would be a great shame if your efforts were to go to waste!
If you have any questions about Wikipedia in general or specifics, feel free to ask me a question on my talk page. If I can't answer something I'll probably be able to to find someone who can. Happy editing! Yours almost-instinct 13:22, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
- I haven't done much contributing that involves literary analysis, mainly because I don't have access to Books on Books. However I think that the best way to go would be something like: (a) work out what in general you want to say (b) go to the sources you have and find passages that support it (c) then, when writing on whichever WP page, try to express yourself in the same terms that the source uses. In uncontentious stuff like identifying themes, don't worry about finding alternative views. In the fulness of time, another editor will come along and if they disagree with you, they'll add material in a similar manner; then, later still, a third party will attempt to smooth the different approaches together. Such are the benefits of the collaborative process. By starting off with self-sourced material, you will give yourself much better foundations, and will find expanding your contributions much easier, I think. Furthermore, it will be easier for others to take up the baton. Well, there's my advice! almost-instinct 21:33, 8 February 2010 (UTC)