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A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Wikipedia Articles

by gerryywilson
wikipedia

Welcome! This guide will walk you through how to write a Wikipedia article.

This guide assumes that you have some basic familiarity with:

The first paragraph of an article’s first section (“lead” section) will often consist of about three paragraphs: an introduction to what the subject is; a brief description of what it does (if applicable); and additional information about where it came from. This kind of introductory material can appear anywhere within the body text so as to maintain continuity, though nearly all articles begin their lives with such paragraphs acting as introductions at both their beginnings and ends. An exception may

If you are not familiar with these concepts, you should read Wikipedia’s guide to writing articles.

Article titles

The first thing you need to do is choose a title for your article. This can be a difficult task, as the best title is both concise and informative. The following suggestions may help:

If possible, make sure the title is short and easy to remember. It should also avoid using ambiguous or confusing terms. For more tips on choosing a good title, see Wikipedia’s guide to titling articles.

Lead section

Once you have created an article, start by writing the lead section. The lead section should be short, typically between 8-12 sentences. Each sentence should introduce a key idea of the article, or expand on its definition for those who are not familiar with it. The lead section is not always written in first person, but should always be concise and to the point.

After the title comes the lead section. This should briefly introduce the topic of the article, without going into too much detail. In most cases, the lead section can be summarized in a single paragraph.

The lead section should also include the article’s main points, in a neutral and unbiased tone. It should not include any opinions or personal views. For more information, see Wikipedia’s guidelines on leads.

Body of the article

After the lead section comes the body of the article. This is where you will provide more details about the topic of your article.

Organize the body of your article in a logical way, and make sure to link to related articles as needed. You should also use citations whenever possible to back up your statements with reliable sources. For more information on how to start a Wikipedia page for someone, see Wikipedia’s guide to writing articles.

Formatting and style

There are many guidelines on how to structure an article; this is one of the most comprehensive available. The following suggestions represent the consensus of the community, as established at WikiProject Articles (see WP:WPA). Different subject areas may have different standards for their articles, although these conventions may serve as a guideline for all articles just as well.

These guides also provide guidance on referencing articles, which helps give credit to sources and maintain the accuracy of information.

Article templates

For some article types, there are standardized templates that you can use to add style and formatting to your article. For example, if your article is about a film or TV show, you should add {{infobox film}} to the top of your page. To learn more about infoboxes and other useful templates for every type of article, see Wikipedia’s list of page templates.

Remember that the most important part of writing an article is making sure it’s informative and accurate; everything else follows from that. Use a clear, concise style to explain what your subject matter is and why people might be interested in it. Remember to consider your audience as well: try not to use too many technical terms or abbreviations, and avoid assuming prior knowledge on the reader’s behalf. For more information about writing Wikipedia articles, see our guide to wiki-writing .

Conclusion

The conclusion should summarize the main points of the article, and should not include any new information. For more information, see Wikipedia’s guideline on conclusions.

References

At the end of the article, you should include a section entitled “References.” This should list all of the sources that you used to write the article. See Wikipedia’s guide to referencing articles for more information.

You may also want to include a “See also” or “Further reading” section which can provide readers with additional reading on the subject. However, you should refrain from adding too many links, as this results in an unhelpful list of sources.

Before you submit your article for review, be sure to proofread it thoroughly for any spelling errors and/or typos. You can also have other people read over your draft to give you feedback before making it public. Once it’s ready, press the “Publish” button at the top of the page to make your article go live!

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