Wikipedia:WikiAfrica/Incubator/Step by Step Guide

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WikiAfrica Incubator

African-Incubator-logo-notext.png Welcome to WikiAfrica Incubator.

The WikiAfrica Incubator is designed to support new authors as they create their first articles in Wikipedia.


If you are newcomer of Wikipedia and you would like to write something about Africa, you can start your article here and we try to help you write it in compliance with Wikipedia principles and rules.

If you have any questions related to writing articles, you can ask them on WikiAfrica Help desk.

If you have any ideas for the development and improvement of WA-Incubator, you can write them on WikiAfrica Village pump.


A Step by Step Guide to Creating Pages in the Incubator

Getting Started

  • Create an account by clicking the link to “Log in/ create account” in the upper right corner of the main Wikipedia page. If you need help, see Get Started for the basics of Wikipedia.
  • Once you have created an account, Wikipedia strongly recommends that you make 10 edits to existing articles before starting your own. This will help you learn the basics and guidelines of Wikipedia while helping other authors too. Click here for articles about Africa needing expansion.
  • Choose a topic to write an article about. Make sure that you have done research on this topic and have gathered information from multiple secondary sources (see Reliable Source for more on this). Also, search Wikipedia and WikiAfrica to make sure there are not already articles on this topic.
  • Go to the WikiAfrica Incubator. While articles by new users may be quickly deleted in the main namespace, the Incubator allows more experienced users to clean up and expand new articles. With this collaboration, your article will be brought up to Wikipedia standards before it enters the main namespace. Click “start your article here” to create an article in the incubator
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  • After reviewing the rules for the Incubator, scrolled down to “Create a new article in the WA-Incubator.” Type in your article name after the backslash exactly how you want it to appear on the page. The article name cannot be changed once created. Capitalization and spacing should be exactly how you want it to appear in the title; in the example below, the artist’s name is capitalized and spaced appropriately. Click “start an article in the WA-Incubator” when you are ready.
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Editing Your Page

  • You will now see the editing page for your new article. The incubator provides helpful tips and text already programmed in. You may use this markup or create your own. Make sure the template {{WA new}} stays at the top of the page.
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Using Templates

Using a template can be a helpful tool when creating articles. For example, the template {{Infobox Artist}} is a nice way to easily organize biographical information about an African artist at the top of the page. Templates are always coded using double curved brackets, and will take given parameters and plug them into an existing formula. For example, {{Infobox Artist}} takes the artist name, date of birth, hometown, and other parameters and formats them into an information box. Just fill in the information for each parameter.

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Wiki mark up
  • Other helpful pieces of Wiki mark up are using apostrophes to create ‘’’bold’’’ or ‘’italic’’ text and [[double brackets]] to link to other Wikipedia pages.
  • To create sections and headers, use double or triple equal signs. The more equal signs, the lower level a subsection will be. In this example, Career is the highest section (with ==) while Education and Exhibitions (with ===) are nested under it. Use * to create bulleted lists.
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Citing sources
  • It is very important to cite your sources on Wikipedia. Whether you are paraphrasing or directly quoting a source, you must provide reference information so other users may verify that the information in your article is correct. To add an inline citation, click “cite” and choose a template from the drop down menu.
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  • When you select a template, such as “cite web,” you will be asked for relevant source information, which the template will then format appropriately into a citation. The title and URL are required, but give as much information as possible. Use the template {{reflist}} at the bottom of your article to keep track of your inline citations. It is also helpful to name a source. If you will be making multiple inline citations to the same source, naming it will make it easier to cite later in the article.
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  • To cite a previously named reference, click “named references” under “cite” at the top of the editing space. Choose the name you would like to cite, and click insert. Wikipedia will then know to use your previously entered source information. It will show up in text as <ref name=refname/> .
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  • You can link to pages outside of Wikipedia using [single brackets] . These external links may be interesting or informative pages that you did not necessarily use as references, but that contribute to the article topic. Inside the brackets, type the URL address of the link and then a space, followed by what the link text should appear as. In the example below, the link will go to the URL listed but appear as “Artist Blog.”
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Publishing Your Article

  • When you are done editing, click the “show preview” button. This will not save your work, but will show you how your mark up will appear on the published article. This allows you to fix formatting, broken links, or typos before the article goes live. If you are happy with the preview, click “save page” to publish. It is also helpful to check “watch this article,” which will add it to your watch list. Your watch list can be accessed from the upper right corner, and tracks any changes made to the articles you choose to watch.
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  • You’re all done! Keep an eye on your article to keep improving it, and take some time to add to other articles in the Incubator on subjects about which you are knowledgeable.