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WIU Wiki Edit-a-Thon: Becoming an Editor

Here you can find information to prepare for the Edit-a-thon, March 28-30, 2017.

Before the Editing Session

Get Prepared!

Before you come to the editing session, you'll need to do a few things. 

  • Create a Wikipedia account.
  • Learn the basics of how pages are edited and created. There are many tutorials available that will walk you through this process. (See box on right.) This one is a good place to start. 
  • Practice making some small edits or adding citations. You might try Citation Hunt, which gives you a Wikipedia page to clean up.
  • Decide on a project. Will you create a page from scratch? Is there an existing article that you'd like to improve? Will you work alone or with a group?

Sources for Wikipedia

Finding Sources for Articles

Where will you get the information that you'll construct your article from? Not all sources are suitable for using in a Wikipedia article.

Identifying relevant sources - A Wikipedia community page on the guidelines for choosing sources appropriate for Wikipedia.

Google Books - Google Books can let you search the full text of digital and print books for mentions of your topic. You often can't read the whole book online, but it can help you identify books to look for in the library or request through ILL.

Library Reference Tools 

The library has several places to find high-quality reference information, which you can use to write Wikipedia articles. 

Ref Tools - These online encyclopedias and handbooks are great starting places. Select a source from the alphabetical list. 

Opposing Viewpoints - This database contains articles, editorials, and audio content on a wide range of controversial topics. 

CQ Researcher - CQ is another one of the library's go-to reference sources. Here, you'll find lengthy essays on topics going back several decades. 

JSTOR - JSTOR is an archive of journal articles in many different disciplines, with issues going back for decades. Articles on historical figures and topics can sometimes be found here.

Evaluating what you find

You can also find quality sources on the Internet. But you need to be careful that you're not relying on alternative facts. This guide can help you figure out whether a source is a good one. 


Helpful Tutorials

Learn about Editing!

Wikipedia editing can seem a little overwhelming, but luckily, there are tons of great tutorials out there. Here are some that we've pulled together to help. 

Wikipedia Background

Wikipedia (The Wikipedia page for Wikipedia. It gives an overview of the administration and editing process. Good overview.)

Wikipedia:Community Portal (This portal is a great place to find ideas for what to edit, and it also provides information about the community in general.)

Editor Integrity (Discusses the importance of using your editing powers for good, not evil.)

Wiki Gender Gap (This video from Art + Feminism describes the need for more articles by and/or about women on Wikipedia.)

Rules and Standards (Avoid editing blunders by watching this video.)

Anatomy of a Page (A close look at how pages are structured)

Editing Basics

Tutorial/Editing (A step-by-step guide from Wikipedia. This is a great place to start.)

Mark-up Cheat Sheet (While we strongly suggest that you use the built-in text editor rather than trying to learn Wikipedia's mark-up language, this sheet gives you some basic Wiki formatting.)

Creating a New Article (Another A + F video. This one shows you how to create a new page in Draft mode.)

New Article Wizard (Walks you through the process of creating a new article from scratch, including making sure it meets inclusion criteria).

Adding Citations (Adding citations to existing articles is a great way to get started with editing. Learn how to add citations here.)

Userpages and Sandbox (How to set up your personal Wikipedia space. This is where you can practice creating content before you actually edit live pages.)

Adding an Image (Learn about image issues--copyright, selecting an image, Wikimedia Commons, etc.

Citation Hunt (Go here to add a needed citation to Wikipedia.)