Wikipedia:Write good edit summaries
|This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
A good edit summary consists of many elements, each and every one being extremely essential.
Good Edit Summaries
One of the frequent mistakes done by editors in Wikipedia is providing extremely long edit summaries. This should be avoided at all costs. Edit summaries are what the name implies: summaries, not essays, and thus, short and clear. If an edit you made is quite significant, report it on the Talk Page thoroughly and simply give a brief description of what you did in the edit summary.
Should be as brief as possible, whilst maintaining clarity. Removal of auxiliary verbs is a way to acieve this. Also, avoid expressing extreme feelings in edit summary, as they are extremely unhelpful.
Content & Formatting
A good edit summary is never written in all caps. If one should express disdain for a specific edit, they should probably include it in the talk page, and not the edit summary.
Good Edit Summaries
- Fixed link -for fixing broken links or bad markup.
- Removed (extreme) POV -for removing (extremely) biased statements.
- Added prod/db/wikify... template -for adding templates of different kinds.
- rvv -for reverting vandalism.
- Removed (inappropriate) link -for inappropriate external links.
- Added information/details/trivia... -for adding encyclopedic content.
- Fixed grammar -for improving grammar.
- Typo -for fixing typos.
- Tone -for improving the tone of text.
- Rewrote section/article -for rewriting when texts reads like an essay/advert/blurb...
- Formatting/Wikifying -when wikifying.
- WP is not a dictionary/a crystal ball/censored etc. -when removing inappropriate content.
- Added image/sound file -when providing media file links.
- Stub sorting -when sorting an article according to stub type.
- Categorising -when categorising.
- Provided link(s)/reference(s) -for adding external links.
- Added internal link -for adding internal links.
- Posted message -when posting a message to another user.
- Question -when posting questions on other user's pages or to the reference desk/village pump.
- Reply -when replying to questions.
- User page edit -when editing your user page.
- Warning user -when warning vandals.
- Wrote essay -when writing essays.
- Markup -when correcting markup.
- Factual error -for fixing obvious factual errors.
- Added content -when making major addittons.
- ... and misc -for other kinds of edits.
When not to give edit summaries
Generally, when you create or upload something, an edit summary will be filled for you, so don't bother writing one. Also, when using anti-vandal tools, such as VandalProof, edit summaries are already filled in.