Wikipedia:Workshop/Sample one-day workshop

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Attention workshop leaders/facilitators: This is a sample one day Wikipedia training workshop for new editors. New editors can use it as a self-training tool. Workshop facilitators can adapt it to their own time schedules, the interest of their trainees, etc. After a workshop facilitators can leave a link to the outline of their final agenda and any report on their workshop in the Archive section of Wikipedia talk:Workshop. (Feel free to create a Wikipedia:Workshop subpage for you and your participants to work their way through and link that page.



The purpose of this workshop is to acquaint new editors with the overall scope of Wikipedia, its policies and practices. We'll also explore handy links to its most useful features and resources, as well as do exercises to give you a taste of actual editing. Thus you will feel more comfortable when you start editing on your own. Don't worry if you do not finish all the exercises, you can always come back and do them later. Make sure you "watch" this page (click on the star above) if you are registered. Otherwise, you can find it at the workshop archive - or use the most current "one day workshop" linked from Wikipedia:Workshop.

Logistics[edit]

  1. Participant tools: laptops, netbooks or tablets; remind them to bring these more than once in announcements, preferably in bold! Hopefully power strips will be provided to plug them in. Pens, notepaper.
  2. Workshop presenters: Will have their online workshop outline with links to all topics to be followed and discussed as participants proceed through the workshop. (It helps if participants keep one tab open at all times to the workshop link and do their linking or sandboxing from second and even third tabs, toggling between or among them.) Workshop presenters can bring printouts of the agenda for anyone who comes without a computer and any other handouts they prefer. An overhead projector connected to the facilitator's computer which allows participants to watch the facilitator's cursor move through the lesson is very helpful, especially for larger groups and/or those which may have several participants who did not bring computers.
  3. Questions can be taken as needed, but try to keep to the time schedule.
  4. Break for lunch when it seems convenient between sections.

Introductions and agenda[edit]

  1. Trainer and participants introductions regarding Wikipedia editing experience, goals, subject areas of interest.
  2. Review agenda.
  3. Review difference between an "Anonymous IP," a registered Wikipedia:Editor, Wikipedia:Administrators and Wikipedia:Bureaucrats.

Principles and policies of Wikipedia[edit]

  1. Review principles, i.e., the Wikipedia:Five pillars
  2. Review Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and differentiate from the various unofficial Wikipedia:Essays. (There is also this Handy List of Policies and Guidelines.)
  3. Review What Wikipedia is not and discuss becoming a "Wikipedia first" editor in relation to "advocacy" on any subject. (See Wikipedia:Advocacy and associated links.)
  4. Overview of Wikimedia Foundation projects (Wikiquote, Wiktionary, WikiNews, WikiSource, Wikimedia Commons, etc.)

Navigating Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia:Navigation provides details of navigation in Wikipedia. Clicking on the various links helps you learn their functions.

Exercise #1[edit]

  1. Review the side bar to the left of every page. Click on each link, or at least the ones you do not understand.
  2. Every article or project page has the following tabs on top: Talk - Read - Edit - View History - Star (check to watch page) - Move (hidden beneath arrow). Every talk page has a tab for the article or project page, the Edit, Read, View History and Watch Tabs, plus an additional New Section tab which is an alternate way to create subsections of the article or project.
  3. Registered users have a "personal portlet block" on the top right of every page that includes: UserName - My talk - My sandbox - My preferences - My watchlist - My contributions - Log out
  4. Click on the article Glacier. Click on each tab on article or project and talk pages.
  5. When you click on history, first look at all the "External tools." Then review what each section of each line of an edit summary is for.

Core content policies[edit]

Core Content Policies are:

  1. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
  2. Wikipedia:Verifiablity
  3. Wikipedia:No original research

Note that there are special rules to study for Biographies of living persons and Article titles.

Should you create an account?[edit]

  1. Review Wikipedia:Why create an account? and discuss the various benefits of editing as a registered user, versus editing as an "Anonymous IP." Particularly important are privacy, ability to have a Wikipedia:Watchlist, and to make your own subpages, like a Cheatsheet and Sandboxes.
  2. Review Wikipedia:Username policy. Discuss types of names to avoid.

Exercise #2[edit]

Whether you choose to create an account now, later or not at all, go to Wikipedia:Why create an account? and click on "create an account now." Once your account is created open both your User and your talk page and type in a few words temporarily to change the titles of the pages from red (signifying empty) to blue (signifying in use). To create your own "Sandbox", type this template onto your edit page: {{My sandbox}}. If you are a registered user you will have a "My sandbox" in the tabs at the top of your user talk page. To learn how to create other user subpages like a "Cheatsheet" see Wikipedia:Subpages.

Editing basics[edit]

Some useful links for self-teaching are:

  1. Wikipedia:Annotated article which shows you many of the main features of an article such as the lead, table of contents, section headers, images, external links, etc.
  2. Wikipedia:Tutorial on html editing and formatting, linking, citing sources, using talk pages, etc. For future study, see Wikipedia:How to edit a page and Wikipedia:Manual of Style.
  3. Help:Contents/Getting_started and Help:Contents which link to a variety of pages explaining these topics.

Exercise #3[edit]

  1. Find a sandbox. If not registered, go to Wikipedia:Sandbox. If registered, create one at the "New Section" tab on your talk page.
  2. Go to the Save an edit exercise and copy it to a sandbox; do this for every exercise.
  3. Note the editing tool bar that helps insert various wiki markup functions such as bold, images, signature, etc. Their actual use will be referred to during the workshop.
  4. Go to and do the Apply bold and italics exercise.
  5. Go to and do the Create section headers exercise.

Linking in Wikipedia[edit]

There are four types of links, explained in detail in Wikipedia:Tutorial/Wikipedia links.

  1. Internal "Wikilinks" that link from a word or phrase in an article to another article, just like most of the links in this workshop outline.
  2. Category links that some times appear in articles or talk pages, but usually are at the bottom of an article to put the article in a category listing.
  3. InterWikimedia links create short links between different projects, like Wikipedia and Wikitionary.
  4. External links to websites outside of Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Tutorial/Citing sources shows how to make external links which are both for citing sources and any "External links" section of an article.

Exercise #4[edit]

Go to and do the Wikipedia article links exercises.

Citing sources[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Verifiablity and Wikipedia:No original research all information which you put into Wikipedia must be from a "reliable source." See Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. Therefore every piece of information you add must have a reference. Wikipedia:Citing sources provides various templates for making references. The below exercise teaches you the simplest way to make a reference.

Exercise #5[edit]

Go to and do the Citing sources exercises.

Searching Wikipedia for help[edit]

See Help:Searching for detailed and advanced information on searching. A couple of easy tips below.

  1. Go to Wikipedia:Help and type your question in the search box.
  2. Searching editing or policy issues: type into the search box WP: (for Wikipedia) and the issue you need help with and it usually will take you straight to the relevant page. For example, WP:quotation marks will take you to that information at Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Typing WP:columns will take you to Wikipedia:Columns where you can learn to format columns. Type WP:dispute to get to Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.
  3. Searching for categories: You may want to do this either to find out if an article already exists on a topic or to find categories you want to add an article to. To find them, type in Category: and then what you are looking for. For example, Category:Siamese cats will bring you to Category:Cat breeds originating in Thailand; notice the name correction. Category:Health care will bring you to Category:Healthcare; notice the spelling correction. Typing Category:station wagons will bring you to Category:Station wagons.

Exercise #6[edit]

Go to and do the Searching Wikipedia exercise.

Getting help from others[edit]

  1. Leave questions at Wikipedia:Reference desk, Wikipedia:Editor assistance or the appropriate Wikipedia:Village pump.
  2. If policies seem contradictory or ambiguous, you might ask a question at the relevant policy talk page.
  3. Seek Wikipedia:Mentorship through the Wikipedia:Adopt-a-user program.

Collaboration with other editors[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: Assume Good Faith - assumption that editors' edits and comments are made in good faith, even if the views look slanted or erroneous.
  2. Wikipedia:Consensus means that editors on an article use the Wikipedia:Talk page to try to reach agreement on structure, content, references, balance of ideas, etc. in an article. If one disagrees with how other editors on the articles are editing, one can seek opinions and consensus from the broader community through a variety of Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
  3. Review Wikipedia's BOLD, revert, discuss cycle. Review Wikipedia:Revert. Note that it is considered Wikipedia:Edit warring when one does not follow these policies.
  4. Wikipedia:Civility means no personal attacks, harassment, legal threats, etc. And no Wikipedia:Vandalism, be it out of anger and frustration or just for fun. Editors can be blocked from editing for short or long periods of time for bad behavior.
  5. Wikipedia:Dispute resolution is an important page to visit for guidance whenever you have a dispute. It lists the best sources for advice, asking for assistance or other opinions, and reporting behavior that clearly violates policies.
  6. Wikipedia:Noticeboards are used to seek advice about issues and resolve conflicts, or to deal with problematic behavior by other editors.
  7. Wikipedia Wikiprojects allow you to work with editors worldwide on articles of common interest, seek advice and solve problems. There are Wikiprojects covering the broadest issues: science, humanities, arts, etc.; and ones covering narrow issues: specific animal species, individual countries, music genres, etc. However, avoid Wikipedia:Canvassing, which is asking a number of individual editors, especially those who have never edited the article in question, to support you on an issue.

Exercise #7[edit]

Go to and do the Editing talk pages exercise.

More editing exercises[edit]

For those who quickly finish earlier exercises, want more advanced exercises or want to practice after the workshop.

  1. Go to and do the Article Clean Up exercise.
  2. Add one or more Wikilinks to an existing article.
  3. Go to the side panel and click "What links here." If you need more information read Wikipedia:Backlinks.
  4. Find and re-write a poorly written paragraph of an existing article, using existing sources.
  5. Correct an incompletely formatted reference in an existing article.
  6. Add a sentence or two of information to an article, using existing references which you have studied or new references you have found.
  7. Add a relevant category to an article. (Hint: Look at articles on similar topics for ideas of categories that might be added.)
  8. Look for Wikiprojects you might be interested in at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory.
  9. Check out the Wikipedia:Typo Team and the Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors as easy places to start editing.
  10. Attempt to de-orphan an article at Wikipedia:WikiProject Orphanage
  11. Adopt a typo on the Wikipedia:Lists of common misspellings page.

More training opportunities[edit]

  1. Learning by doing will be your primary method of learning to edit Wikipedia. Think of it as a Wikipedia Adventure!.
  2. Explore various other outreach and training modules as linked from Wikipedia:Workshop training resources section.
  3. Join an active Wikipedia Wikiproject to work with others on articles of interest.
  4. Find any local Wikipedia Meetup at Wikipedia:Meetup or the Wikimedia Meetup listing. (If there isn't a group, find some local active editors and start one.)
  5. Join a local Wikipedia chapter. Many have training and working and social events and meetups.
  6. Organize your own "self-help" workshop with others who are interested in editing Wikipedia.
  7. As editors become more experienced, have an "edit-a-thon" where editors edit articles of their choosing or all edit articles on a specific topic or improve one article together. (See Wikipedia:Collaborations.) Have a social event later to make it a more fun day.

Wrap up[edit]

Share your experiences about the training and your thoughts on continuing to learn to edit in the future.