The following pages will give you guidance about the style and content of Wikipedia articles, and tell you about the Wikipedia community and important Wikipedia policies and conventions. This is a basic tutorial, not an extensive manual or interactive learning environment. If you want more details about any information in the tutorial, there are links to other resource pages throughout the tutorial. To read them as you go along, you can open them in a separate browser window or tab.
A short video about that "Edit" button and what it can do when you are bold!
As a new contributor, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of this project called Wikipedia. Don't worry too much if you don't understand everything at first, as it is acceptable to use common sense as you go about editing. Wikipedia not only allows you to create, revise, and edit articles, but it wants you to do it...be bold! You just need to remember that you can't break Wikipedia and although there are many protocols, perfection is not required, as Wikipedia is a work in progress. Collaborative editing means that incomplete or poorly written first drafts can evolve over time into excellent articles.
The goal of a Wikipedia article is to create a comprehensive and neutrally written summary of existing mainstream knowledge about a topic. Accordingly, Wikipedia does not publish original research. An encyclopedia is, by its nature, a tertiary source that provides a survey of information already the subject of publication in the wider world. Accordingly, and because Wikipedia is open to editing by anyone, we require that information be verifiable in reliable sources. Ideally, all information should be actually cited to reliable sources to evidence it is verifiable. When adding content and creating new articles, an encyclopedic style with a formal tone is important. Instead of essay-like, argumentative, or opinionated writing, Wikipedia articles should have a straightforward, just-the-facts style.
Wikipedia does not have many hard-and-fast rules; however, policies, guidelines, and formatting norms are developed by the community to describe the best practices, to clarify principles, resolve conflicts, and otherwise further our goals. General social norms should be followed by all editors. The Wikipedia community is made up of people from different countries and cultures, with different views, perspectives, opinions, and backgrounds, sometimes varying widely. Editors should treat each other respectfully, work together collegiately, and avoid behaviour that would be widely seen as unacceptable, disruptive, tendentious, or dishonest.
Note: To view this information in an article style format, see contributing to Wikipedia. Wikipedia also has "topic specific tutorials"; and The Wikipedia Adventure a comprehensive and fun 7-mission interactive guided tour, which covers all the essentials about editing and the expectations and norms of the Wikipedia community.