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Writing for Wikipedia

Aug 17, 2007
The idea of information sharing is powerful and this power is growing with increasing collaborations between people of all ages and ethnicities all around the globe. And no one has heralded the spirit of sharing information like Wikipedia.

Writing for Wikipedia is a great way to give back to a community that gives you so much-the internet and the people who create educational, informative material that you can use free of charge. Whether you've used Wikipedia in the past or not at all, you should think about contributing to this amazing entity.

Writing for Wikipedia is actually quite easy; here are some easy steps to follow. Keep in mind that while you can edit a page anonymously, you will be more effective if you do so as a user.

1)Create a user account. You'll fill out a profile and write a paragraph or two on who you are and what you do.

2)Visit Wikipedia's Community Portal and scope out the help and resources section. You'll find guidelines, policies, a style manual, tutorials, editing tools, and much more.

3)After you've thoroughly read the guidelines and have a feel for Wikipedia's writing style, create your article or browse around until you find something you want to edit.

Note 1: always check to ensure the article isn't already written. If it is, make it better. If it isn't, write away.

Note 2: visit the "Talk Page" before you edit an article to see if there are any debates, discussions, or notes from other editors. This is especially important as there may be article issues you need to know about. After you're done editing the article, be sure to leave a note on the talk page telling other editors why you made the changes you did.

Note 3: Often, especially if you're a "newbie," you'll have to fight for the edit you make; be sure to have reputable sources that you can cite when you're in a discussion with another editor.

Note 4: Three of Wikipedia's main content-governing policies are:

--Include only verifiable information
In Wikipedia's words: "information on Wikipedia must be reliable and verifiable. Facts, viewpoints, theories, and arguments may only be included in articles if they have already been published by reliable and reputable sources. Articles should cite these sources whenever possible. Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed."

--Always strive for a neutral point of view (NPOV)
In Wikipedia's words: "all Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly and without bias. This includes maps, reader-facing templates, categories, and portals."

--No original research
In Wikipedia's words, "articles may not contain any previously unpublished arguments, concepts, data, ideas, statements, or theories. Moreover, articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published arguments, concepts, data, ideas, or statements that serves to advance a position."
About the Author
A.M. Brown authors an effective writing blog and writes everything from press releases and technical documents to website content for AM Professional Writing Services.
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