Wikipedia:Essay directory

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This is a descriptive directory of

information pages located in the Wikipedia namespace. There are currently around 2,142 essays
, with over two dozen categories to separate them for searching.

You can also search essays by: A Special:Search, just include the words "Wikipedia essays" (with your other search-words) to hunt a topic inside an essay (note search may result with many non-essays).

List of Wikipedia essays

About essays

About Wikipedia

Privacy and security

  • Advice for parents – offers a brief introduction to Wikipedia for parents and legal guardians.
  • Guidance for younger editors – advice for young editors about what they should be aware of.
  • How to not get outed on Wikipedia – for some editors of Wikipedia, having their "real life" identity discovered can be a major problem, threatening their well-being, careers, or even personal safety. There are a variety of steps you can take to help protect yourself from this happening.
  • IP edits are not anonymous – editing Wikipedia with an IP address as your identifier is often less anonymous than editing with a normal account.
  • On privacy, confidentiality and discretion – everyone should be careful about revealing and handling personal and/or private information, as your rights to privacy may not extend as far as you believe.
  • Personal security practices – intended as a guideline for user security concerns and practices on Wikipedia. It adapts some information from the Wikimedia foundation's privacy policy to address some personal security concerns that may arise in the course of editing Wikipedia.
  • Protecting children's privacy – all users, including children, are permitted to edit anonymously without submitting identifying information. Reasonable efforts to discourage children from disclosing identifying personal information are appropriate.
  • Responding to threats of harm – anyone who observes potentially suicidal or violent behavior should notify Wikipedia administrators quickly. (Editors may not provide counselling services or professional referrals).
  • User account security – editors should use a strong password to avoid being blocked for bad edits by someone who guesses or "cracks" other editors' passwords.
  • Why create an account – you don't need to be registered to edit; however it does provide additional features and privacy.
  • Wikipedia is a volunteer service – editors on Wikipedia are mainly volunteers. Editors can contribute as much as they want, and for however long they desire.
  • Wikipedia is anonymous – Wikipedia can be anonymous. Still, there are various ways your identity can be revealed.
  • Wikipedia is in the real world – your activity here has real consequences, because Wikipedia is in the real world.

About editors

  • Competence is required – not every person belongs on Wikipedia, because some people are not sufficiently competent.
  • Disruptive user – examples of what would make someone a disruptive user.
  • Editorial discretion – common sense and Wikipedia policy dictate that editors must practice discretion regarding the proper inclusion of relevant and well-sourced content.
  • Editor integrity – editors have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of Wikipedia and respect intellectual property rights of the sources they draw upon when they create and improve encyclopedia pages.
  • Editors matter – Wikipedia's most important resource is its contributors.
  • Editors will sometimes be wrong – individual editors, and even groups of editors, are sometimes wrong.
  • Expert editors – expert editors are important to Wikipedia.
  • conflict-of-interest
    guideline by supplying approved drafts of articles about themselves.
  • Here to build an encyclopedia – the distinguish constructive and non-constructive behaviour of editors.
  • Honor system – how editors are trusted to obey all the rules and do the right thing. There is no central authority and no police force, just the assumption of good faith.
  • IP users – guest users or unregistered users are users who edit Wikipedia without registering for an account.
  • IP addresses are not people – with some exceptions, unregistered users can edit articles and participate on talk pages in the same way as registered users.
  • Levels of competence – all editors go through a series of levels in their understanding of Wikipedia.
  • New account – a new account is a registered user which has too few contributions to obtain a definite reputation, or is registered too recently for it.
  • Newbies aren't always clueless – just because someone is new, does not mean they have no idea what they are doing.
  • Paid editing (essay) – some editors (usually for money) create or edit Wikipedia articles for an individual or entity.
  • Retiring – sometimes active users decide to retire from or leave Wikipedia, and may return at any point.
  • Single-purpose account – many single-purpose accounts turn out to be well-intentioned editors with a niche interest, a significant number appear to edit for the purposes of promotion or showcasing their favoured point of view.
  • User rights are not a golden ticket – user rights, as they appear in the log, do not denote a hierarchy of Wikipedians. Rollback, sysop, checkuser, oversight etc. are not special groups. While we call these privileges, they are not a measure of status.
  • block users
  • Wikipedians – the volunteers who write and edit Wikipedia's articles, unlike readers who simply read them.
  • You are not irreplaceable – how every good-faith editor is important to the overall success of Wikipedia, but that all editors must edit responsibly and be civil, regardless of their other contributions. Additionally, Wikipedia can still function without any single editor.

Contributing to Wikipedia

  • Contributing to Wikipedia – the main "how-to" page that provides information, links, videos and other resources on the basics needed to comprehend, comment on, and edit Wikipedia.
  • Eight simple rules for editing our encyclopedia
    – some basics about contributing and interacting with others.
  • Everything you need to know – a quick overview of some of Wikipedia's most important policies.
  • Frequent mistakes – a few common mistakes everyone should try to avoid.
  • Plain and simple overview
    – the policies and customs that have developed over the years which reflect the experience of thousands of editors who are constantly learning and refining how to create balanced, accurate articles.
  • Plain and simple conflict of interest guide – for editors who want to engage with the Wikipedia community about a subject with which they are affiliated.
  • Plain and simple guide for medical editors – explains the extreme importance of medical content and gives advice on editing medical content on Wikipedia.
  • Primer for newcomers
    – a blunt introduction intended to help newcomers that covers the basic mechanics of Wikipedia.
  • Simplified Manual of Style – the basics of commonly used style guidelines.
  • Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia
    – some basics about contributing and interacting with others.


  • Articles must be written – how articles should be created before they are linked in other articles.
  • Avoid vague introductions – how the lead section of articles should summarize the contents of the article.
  • Be a reliable source – the best way you can be a good source is by strictly adhering to the guidelines pertaining to them.
  • Best practices for editors with close associations
    – suggestions for how to edit successfully, if you have a close association or involvement with the topic you are editing.
  • Cohesion – how text and other information is organized and structured within articles.
  • Concede lost arguments – how making explicit concessions when an argument is lost is good.
  • Don't lie – how editors should refrain from lying at all times.
  • Editing Wikipedia is like visiting a foreign country — editing in Wikipedia-land is going into a different world, from which you return (usually) a better person.
  • Explanationism – the concept of Wikipedia's purpose as being, to some degree, based in explanations.
  • Every edit must stand on its own feet – how small changes are good, but each change must improve the article and preserve its integrity.
  • Honesty – how honesty is expected in all processes of Wikipedia, including content discussion, the dispute process and all other functions of the community.
  • Gender-neutral language – how gender-neutral language should be used where this can be done with clarity and precision.
  • Introduction to structurism – an editing philosophy emphasizing interconnection, organization, and uniformity as the best way to improve the usefulness of content across all Wikimedia projects.
  • Most ideas are bad – how most proposals are bad and how to handle that point.
  • News policy abuse – breaking news should not be covered by a new Wikipedia article.
  • Not editing because of Wikipedia restriction – how some articles should not be written, although we'd like to write them.
  • Oversimplification – how not to oversimplify material in the effort to make it more understandable.
  • Paradoxes – explains the major conceptual contradictions within our project.
  • Paraphrasing – how editors should generally summarize source material in their own words.
  • Readers first – how, whenever we write something, we should always put our readers first.
  • Responsible tagging – the best care should be taken to add only the most relevant and specific tags, and to leave an explanation on the talk page so that others can understand what the problem was/is.
  • Statement of principles – by the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, as updated by the community since then.
  • Student assignments – students that edit Wikipedia as part of an assignment should improve Wikipedia without any serious violations of content norms.
  • Snowball clause – you should use common sense and not follow a process for the sake of it; but, when in doubt, allow discussions to take place.
  • Tagging pages for problems – "tags" (template messages) should be used to clearly identify problems with Wikipedia pages and to indicate to other editors that improvements are needed.
  • Tendentious editing – how to recognize bad editing, how to avoid it, and how not to be accused of it.
  • Time management – your time reading and editing Wikipedia may be limited. Thus, you should focus your editing toward the most enjoyable and productive goals.
  • Too long; didn't read – the cause of excessive length, suggestions on how to reduce it, and a reminder to always exercise civility with other editors when paring.
  • What "Ignore all rules" means – how most rules are ultimately descriptive, not prescriptive; they describe existing current practice.
  • Words of wisdom – editors should remember that the goal is encyclopedic information, and should attempt to set aside their egos while they are here at Wikipedia.
  • Writing about women – the subtle and more obvious ways in which titles, language, images and linking practices on the English Wikipedia can discriminate against women.
Discussions and consensus
  • Adjectives in your recommendations – editors choose to put adjectives in their recommendations (sometimes described as votes or !votes); there is disagreement on if this is a good practice or not.
  • Avoiding talk-page disruption – how best to use clear, expository, and even-handed responses in clashes over a new contribution.
  • Arguments to avoid on discussion pages – while involved in a discussion, there are arguments that can make or break a case.
  • Arguments to avoid in edit wars – when an edit war takes place, arguments should be productive and should be aimed at reaching an agreement, and not about acting superior, having it one's way, or otherwise discounting the other(s) involved.
  • BOLD, revert, discuss cycle – making bold edits is encouraged, as it will result in either improving an article or stimulating discussion. If your edit gets reverted, do not revert again. Instead, begin a discussion with the person who reverted your change to establish consensus.
  • BRD misuse – two types of editors exhibiting behaviors that misuse the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle.
  • Confusing arguments mean nothing – a confusing argument has little to no meaning and can be ignored in Wikipedia discussions.
  • Contributing to complicated discussions – when you lack requisite knowledge required to contribute to a discussion productively, it's often better to stay silent or at least acknowledge your ignorance. Educate yourself when it's an efficient use of your time.
  • Closing discussions – when and how discussions should be closed.
  • Discussing cruft – many Wikipedians use "cruft" as a shorthand term to describe content that is inappropriate for Wikipedia.
  • Don't bludgeon the process – it is not necessary or desirable to reply to every comment in a discussion.
  • Don't restore removed comments – users may remove comments from their own talk page. There is no need for others to replace those comments.
  • Don't revert due solely to "no consensus" – if the only thing you have to say about a contribution to the encyclopedia is that it lacks consensus, it's best not to revert it.
  • Don't drink the consensus Kool-Aid
    – speaking out against consensus and policy is not disruptive if it is done with civility.
  • Editors can change their minds – how, if an editor changes position during Wikipedia discussions, all it means is the discussion process is working.
  • Follow the leader – it is not necessary to agree with the nominator or the first editor to comment. Do not be ashamed to be in the minority.
  • Do not use edit history to escalate the conflict – if the user has already removed one's uncivil comment, pulling it from edit history "for open discussion" may just escalate the conflict.
  • I just don't like it – expressing a like or dislike for the issue in question is not a helpful or useful argument in a discussion.
  • IPs are human too
    – unregistered users can edit articles and participate on talk pages in the same way as registered users. Their input is just as important in building consensus.
  • Method for consensus building – the basic recommended consensus decision-making process.
  • everything
    " argument are urged to provide more detail of their argument.
  • Notification – if you begin a discussion of another user on a common notice board, it is expected that you will notify the subject user by posting a message on their talk page.
  • Polling is not a substitute for discussion – how some decisions on Wikipedia are not made by popular vote, but rather through discussions to achieve consensus. Polling is only meant to facilitate discussion, and should be used with care.
  • Provide diffs – editors making claims about the conduct of other editors should always provide diffs as evidence during discussions.
  • Read before commenting – familiarize yourself with a discussion before participating in it.
  • Wikipedia:Reducing consensus to an algorithm – a tongue-in-cheek "formula" for predicting the strength of an argument in a content dispute based on how well sourced it is.
  • Shadowless Fists of Death! – it is best not to mindlessly quote policy or guideline titles at other editors in arguments. It's obnoxious and counter productive. Explain thyself.
  • Sham consensus – a consensus may not be relied on if it violates a policy, a guideline, or an ArbCom decision.
  • Silence and consensus – how consensus is assumed when there's no evidence of disagreement.
  • Supervote – several varieties of supervote, and how most of them are problematic.
  • meatpuppetry
    to coordinate the actions of multiple editors to circumvent the normal process of consensus is inappropriate.
  • What is consensus? – disputes on Wikipedia are settled by editing and discussion, not voting.
  • What "no consensus" means – a "no consensus" result's meaning differs depending on the nature of the discussion.
  • Wikipedia is not Whack-A-Mole – editors should not rush into a discussion pointing at lots of policies without expanding on why they're doing so.
  • Wisdom of the crowd - why in large discussions we can trust more in a count of editors on various sides to determine consensus.

Development of Wikipedia

  • 100K featured articles – the challenge of accomplishing the goal of 100,000 more Feature-quality articles.
  • A navbox on every page – navigaton box templates can be useful as a tool for navigation.
  • Acronym Overkill – articles should reflect acronym use in 3rd party sources.
  • Adding images improves the encyclopedia – adding images to articles and essays is an easy way to improve the encyclopedia.
  • Alternatives to the "Expand" template – better ways to say "this article needs more information" than using a template.
  • Amnesia test – you should forget everything you know about the subject before editing.
  • An unfinished house is a real problem – unfinished articles are not harmful; however, they should be made accurate and readable before saving.
  • Articles have a half-life – the time it takes for a substance to degrade to half its former quantity and what to do about it.
  • Avoid mission statements – why organizational statements generally should not be included in articles.
  • Avoid template creep – why it is best not to overuse templates.
  • Beef up that first revision – new page patrollers judge the articles by their first mainspace revisions; they prefer these to already contain basic context, assertion of notability, and sources.
  • Build content to endure – take steps to ensure that content you write will not degrade or become outdated over time.
  • Categories are different from articlescategories and articles serve different purposes in Wikipedia.
  • Categories versus lists – the category system causes more problems than it solves.
  • Categorising fiction
    – categorising fictional constructs on Wikipedia can be problematic.
  • Common-style fallacy – Wikipedia has its own set of policies and guidelines for article content and naming, which are distinct from each other. Facts on a subject are drawn from reliable sources, but no particular subset of them dictates how Wikipedia must write. Style is a matter of Wikipedia community consensus, based on general-audience style guides, not mimicry of any particular genre (or trademark).
  • Concept cloud – how brainstorming can help editors to overcome editorial struggles, and conceptualize, in a material way, the way an article is formed.
  • Complete bollocks – articles that are obviously false should be treated differently from similar articles.
  • Creating controversial content – how new articles or facts that are especially controversial can survive severe dispute.
  • Don't demolish the house while it's still being built – how a short article should be marked as a stub, then edited, and expanded, rather than simply deleted.
  • Don't hope the house will build itself – how a little planning and a little effort is all that is needed to prevent an article from being deleted.
  • Don't include every update – newly released information is good, but can end up as clutter if everything goes into an article.
  • Don't panic – you should always keep an eye on yourself when you are involved in a dispute.
  • Don't overuse quotes – many articles use quotations to represent opinions of significant people. This is a mistake.
  • Editing on mobile devices – the challenges of editing with smartphones.
  • Editors are not mindreaders – how can someone distinguish the incomplete, unreferenced article you've just created but plan to improve from one that will never be improved?
  • Featured articles may have problems – featured articles are not necessarily to be emulated; focus on our policies and guidelines.
  • Give an article a chance – why it is best not to nominate newly created articles for deletion.
  • How to contribute to Wikipedia guidance – the creation of new guidance and to the improvement or updating of existing guidance.
  • Run an edit-a-thon – an "edit-a-thon" improves the encyclopedia and can be a great way to help new Wikipedians learn to edit.
  • Ignore STRONGNAT for date formats – provides a rational argument for refusing editors who insist on using a date format that matches the most common style in a particular country.
  • Keep it short and simple – rules and procedure pages should be simple and short, or else people will not read them.
  • Let the dust settle – it is best to wait until things have calmed down before creating an article about current topics to Wikipedia. For breaking news, use Wikinews or current events.
  • Merge Test – If a merge will result in an article too large to comfortably read or the deletion of encyclopedic content, it should not occur.
  • Myth vs fiction – be careful when using the words "fiction" and "myth." While related, they are not interchangeable,
  • "Murder of" articles – articles titled "Murder of [victim]" are a possible solution to the notability guidelines that would bar articles on the perpetrator or victim.
  • Not everything needs a navbox – navigation-box templates can be useful as a tool for navigation, but use them sparingly.
  • Nothing is in stone – how easy it is for Wikipedia to change, and how all Wikipedians should pay attention to the changes.
  • Main article fixation – about how editors may insist that their contribution appear in the most prominent article.
  • Permastub – some stub articles have no reasonable prospect for expansion.
  • Potential, not just current state – why it is best to keep articles based on their potential notability and verification, not just how they look now.
  • Presentism – judging historical events by current standards, should be avoided; explain what reliable sources have said regarding changed standards.
  • Printability – editors decide whether or not any given type of article-namespace redirect is suitable for an offline, CD/DVD or print version of Wikipedia.
  • Proseline – why articles being comprehensive and up-to-date is perfectly reasonable and okay to a point, but "proseline" (timelines) tends to degrade the quality of the articles.
  • Pruning article revisions – for publicists who may want tips on legitimately reporting clients' achievements and have their articles stay in Wikipedia, not deleted.
  • Put a little effort into it – when creating a new article, even if it is a stub, try to put in at least a little bit more than just the absolute minimum.
  • Redirects are cheap – redirects take up minimal system resources, so it doesn't really hurt things if there are a few of them scattered around.
  • Restoring part of a reverted edit – it is sometimes better to remove the content that is objectionable instead of entirely reverting an edit.
  • Robotic editing – the manual performance of the same or similar edit to multiple, perhaps numerous pages.
  • Specialized-style fallacy – Wikipedia has its own set of guidelines for article layout, content formatting, and page naming. Facts on a subject should be drawn from reliable sources, but how content is styled is a matter for the Wikipedia community, which strongly favors the style found in general-audience works over highly specialized ones, because of the breadth of our audience.
  • Temporary versions of articles – reasons for and against temporary versions.
  • There is a deadline – the preservation or survivability of the knowledge is at stake. Contribute it to Wikipedia before it's too late.
  • There is no deadline – Wikipedia is a work in progress. Don't rush to edit; it's not a competition.
  • The deadline is now – when an article contains unverifiable content, it needs to be corrected now before someone reads it and is misled by it.
  • The world will not end tomorrow – an encyclopedia should not begin to move at lightning speed to keep up with the rat race of the outside world.
  • Using sandboxes for article changes – advice on how to use sandboxes for rewriting existing articles
  • Vital Direct – about development of vital articles.
  • Walled garden – articles should have outgoing and incoming links to the wider encyclopedia.
  • What an article should not include – some things rarely, if ever, should appear in the saved version of an article.
  • Wikipedia is not being written in an organized fashion – Wikipedia grows organically, thus the quality of pages is varied.
  • Writing better articles – advice on how to write an effective article, including information on layout, style, and how to make an article clear, precise and relevant to the reader.
  • Wikipedia is not about YOU – Wikipedia is not the place to promote a topic with which you have personal involvement.
  • Wikipedia is not a fan website – Wikipedia is a user-edited website, but it is an encyclopedia, not a fan website.
  • Wikipedia is not a newspaper – Wikipedia is not a journal of current news.

Removal or deletion of content

  • AfD is not a war zone – how articles for deletion (AfD) discussions should remain calm and civil, and editors should avoid adhering too strongly to either deletionism or inclusionism.
  • AfD stats don't measure what you think - the agreement of a user's AfD !votes and AfD outcomes is not easy to interpret and is frequently used in misleading ways.
  • Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions – arguments that should generally be avoided, or at the least supplemented with a better-grounded rationale for the position.
  • Arguments to avoid in deletion reviews – all should try to make clear, solid arguments in deletion reviews, avoiding short one-liners or simple links.
  • Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions
    – the strongest arguments are those that explain clearly how they are based upon that policy.
  • Arguments to make in deletion discussions – some arguments that have successfully saved articles from deletion in the past, or otherwise supported one's cause, and therefore, may support yours.
  • Avoid repeated arguments – avoid repeating statements previously made in AfD discussions.
  • Baby and bathwater – good-faith editors can mistakenly delete content that is actually properly sourced, and citations which are valid, by misunderstanding our sourcing-related policies and guidelines.
  • Before commenting in a deletion discussion – there are several things you should be aware of before you comment in a deletion debate in order to best make your case.
  • Content removal – when removing content from a page, it is important to be sure there is consensus to do so.
  • Delete the junk – we don't need to keep an article with no merit in itself just because it might, theoretically, be possible to make a good article on the subject.
  • Deletion and deletionism – the processes used on Wikipedia for removing articles, images, miscellaneous pages, user pages, stubs, and categories.
  • Deletion by redirection – redirecting an article is often an appropriate course of action to be taken when an article clearly fails to meet the general notability guidelines for inclusion.
  • Deletion is not cleanup – if an article on a notable subject can be improved through normal editing, do not put it through a deletion discussion.
  • Does deletion help
    – whether or not articles add to a reader's knowledge without misleading or biasing them in any way is the main criteria for deciding to delete. It may sometimes be better to have an imperfect article than no article on a topic.
  • Don't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argument – editors in the midst of a dispute should not offer links to policy, guideline, or essay pages in place of reasoned rebuttals.
  • Do not write articles using categories – an example of how not to use categories to mention every aspect of the topic covered.
  • Drafts are not checked for notability or sanity - draft deletion criteria are different to article deletion criteria
  • Field guide to proper speedy deletion – a quick guide to understanding the speedy deletion criteria, and how to apply it properly.
  • Help, my article got nominated for deletion!
    – new editors who decide to be bold sometimes encounter the deletion process because the new article may be at odds with a Wikipedia policy.
  • How to save an article proposed for deletion
    – the best ways to save an article that has been proposed for deletion.
  • How to delete a page – how to ask for an article to be deleted, because only administrators can delete articles. Note that removing all text from a page does not delete it, it just leaves a blank page, which is discouraged.
  • Identifying blatant advertising – to locate, identify, and respond to articles, pages, and content that are blatantly created as an advertisement or promotion.
  • Immunity – the idea that an article cannot possibly be deleted, either because no one will dispute the fact that it belongs, or that it meets inclusion criteria so well, no one will dare think of deleting it.
  • Introduction to deletion process – an overview of the guidelines and policies relevant to deletion, as well as the overall process.
  • Liar Liar Pants on Fire
    – calling an editor a liar is not a valid argument in AfD discussions (or anywhere else, for that matter).
  • NPOV deletion – Controversial, barely notable subjects are difficult to describe in a neutral fashion.
  • Overzealous deletion – overzealous deletion goes against Wikipedia's "assume good faith" principle.
  • Relisting can be abusive – editors should not relisting a deletion discussion if a consensus has been firmly and recently established.
  • Revert only when necessary – editors should revert vandalism upon sight, but revert an edit made in good faith only after careful consideration.
  • So your article has been nominated for deletion – a tutorial for users whose articles have been nominated for deletion, with an eye toward users new to Wikipedia in general.
  • Viewing deleted content – normally, only administrators have the right to view deleted material.
  • Why was the page I created deleted? – how to find out why a particular page or file was removed, and what you can do about a deletion you disagree with.
  • What to do if your article gets tagged for speedy deletion – why an article was tagged for deletion, and what your recourse is.
  • When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork – when an event article of borderline notability that could potentially become notable in the future is nominated for deletion, the best solution is to transfer it out of article space without deleting it so it can potentially be re-added at a later date.

Wikipedia's code of conduct

  • Expectations and norms of the Wikipedia community – the general social norms that Wikipedia editors are expected to follow.
  • Good editing practices – an overview of behavioral policies such as consensus and civility, and their relation to other core policies.
  • Reasonability Rule
    – if an action cannot be considered "reasonable" or "acceptable" by an objective third person, that action should not be performed.
  • Settle the process first – when there are process issues with a discussion, those need to be resolved before the underlying question is debated.


  • A weak personal attack is still wrong – how the mild severity of a personal attack does not make the personal attack okay.
  • Advice for hotheads – how argumentative, cantankerous and curmudgeonly personalities can avoid getting themselves into trouble.
  • Accepting other users – how and why we work cooperatively with other users and assume good faith. Wikipedia is a collaborative project.
  • Apologizing – we should not be afraid to apologize, and a reminder to apologize with sincerity.
  • Civil POV pushing – how the dispute resolution process has a difficult time dealing with civil POV pushers.
  • Compromise – how negotiation skills often assist editors in delicate situations.
  • Divisiveness – why content on your userpage might be seen by some as "divisive", and how it is recommended that you expand and explain the content in question.
  • Don't retaliate - how retaliation and reacting while mad can get you in bigger trouble
  • Encouraging newcomers – why the more guidance you offer novice editors, the better they will get at using Wikipedia.
  • Keep it concise - AfD discussions are best served by keeping your comments short. The closing admin isn't grading you by volume.
  • Keep it down to earth – workable solutions that have a realistic chance at succeeding.
  • Pearl-clutching – a type of civil point-of-view pushing.
  • Thank you – we all like to be respected, and we all deserve respect.
  • Truce – when in a dispute, attempt to reach a compromise or declare a truce.
  • High-functioning autism and Asperger's editors – Autistic and Asperger's editors may have different wiring patterns in their brains, but that does not mean they can't contribute.
  • How to be civil – editors should offer constructive comments, forgive other editors, be polite, and walk away if they have to.
  • How to improve civility – you should treat your fellow editor as a respected and admired colleague, who is working in collaboration with you on an important project.
  • Imagine others complexly – how civility issues, misunderstandings, and discomfort on Wikipedia can sometimes arise from a failure to imagine others complexly.
  • Maintaining a friendly space – Wikipedia should strive to provide a respectful, transparent, and positive experience for everyone.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder editors
    – editors with OCD may have different wiring patterns in their brains, and you may have to learn how to interact well with them, but they can still make a valuable contribution to Wikipedia.
  • Responding to incivility – how to respond to incivility in a productive and meaningful way.

Behavioural philosophy

  • Admitting you're wrong
    – how you can make friends and influence enemies on Wikipedia by learning when to admit you're wrong.
  • An uncivil environment is a poor environment – how being civil encourages others to be civil. Work towards building a collaborative workspace.
  • Avoid instruction creep – why guidance that is too wordy and tries to cover all the bases and every conceivable outlying case tends to become counterproductive.
  • Avoiding difficult users – since only a few users are difficult, they should just be avoided.
  • WP:AGF
    can be a tactic that will let you either discover common ground when you're really facing good faith, or empirically establish that you aren't.
  • Civility warnings – an explanation of best practice in leaving those notifications and warnings.
  • Drama – creating and spreading drama disrupts and harms Wikipedia – and it may get you blocked.
  • Don't be high-maintenance – editors should not threaten to quit, or otherwise make trouble, if you don't get your way.
  • Editors' pronouns – respect the pronouns that editors request for themselves. Alternatively, just refer to everyone as they.
  • Enjoy yourself – why editing should be fun.
  • Expert retention – how the issue of how to attract and retain expert specialists, given the anarchic and often frustrating nature of Wikipedia, is one that many Wikipedians feel needs to be addressed.
  • Expect no thanks – we should edit Wikipedia for the love of the project, not primarily with the hope of being thanked. However, a little more thanks would go a long way.
  • Expressing thanks – common methods for communicating your thanks to other users.
  • Failure – how failure is a good thing because people are prone to mistakes, and they learn as a result of them.
  • Ignore personal attacks – if someone attacks you personally, you should ignore it, rise above it, and continue to comment solely on relevant content.
  • Forgive and forget – how editors should stop fighting. Forgive others, apologize, and move on.
  • It's not the end of the world
    – how if people disagree with you or revert your edits, it probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
  • Nobody cares – how lack of action by others can mean a lack of interest.
  • Policy shopping – how it is best to present all justifications for a change at one time (not incrementally).
  • Reasonableness – how reasonable people with good intentions can still disagree over matters of substance.
  • Relationships with academic editors – Wikipedia is not a place to make an academic reputation, nor to post still-unpublished theories, and attempting academic defence of material is an emotional danger to one's self.
  • Staying cool when the editing gets hot – how editors should remain calm when in an editing dispute. Respond politely and assume good faith.
  • There is no seniority
    – The number of edits (or if the editor is a Wikipedia Administrator) does not mean that they are always right. Seniority does not add weight to arguments.
  • Taking the road less traveled – doing things differently from others can often yield better results.
  • The grey zone – how editors should not fall between the cracks.
  • The last word – the importance that you always ensure that you get "The Last Word".
  • The rules of polite discourse – how editors may need to take a "time out" and try to discuss the issue calmly.
  • There is no Divine Right Of Editors
    why no editor, administrator or otherwise, is superior or above the law.
  • Wikipedia is not about winning – how everyone should work together to build a reliable encyclopedia, not try to prove themselves to be "better" than others.
  • Writing for the opponent – how editors should represent all point of views neutrally and with due weight, even if you disagree with the view.
  • You can search, too – search engines exist for a reason, and it is not the other editors' job to use one for you.
Positive actions
  • WP:AGF
  • Assume no clue – you should assume that people don't know what they're doing before you assume bad faith.
  • Avoid personal remarks – all should focus on editing, stay civil, and not make it personal.
  • Call a spade a spade – why it's okay to call a spade a spade – to speak plainly – but remember to remain civil, and to stay focused on improving the encyclopedia.
  • Candor – how being honest and frank can be beneficial before an editing disagreement gets worse.
  • Deny recognition – how recognition is a motivation for vandalism. Trolls require food. Don't feed the trolls.
  • Don't link to WP:AGF – why it can occasionally be useful to link to Wikipedia:Assume good faith, but there are many reasons not to.
  • Don't overlook legal threats – when editors blank articles or make legal threats, they may have good cause. Stop and look carefully before assuming they're disruptive or wielding a banhammer.
  • Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass – if the debate has died, don't revive it.
  • Encourage full discussions – editors are encouraged to fully discuss all arguments in AfD discussions. If you bring up a point in the discussion, it is okay if someone else responds to it.
  • Get over it – editors should not get frustrated over a dispute. Get over it and move on.
  • How to lose – knowing how to "lose" a debate, with civility and grace, is sometimes as important as winning it.
  • Ignore all dramas – if the dramas prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them.
  • Just drop it – if you want an argument to stop, it is best that you stop arguing.
  • Keep it down to earth – editors should aim for workable solutions that have a realistic chance of succeeding.
  • Mind your own business – if editors are in a dispute that has nothing to do with you, then stay away.
  • Thank not criticize
    – why editors should focus on the positives of a user more than the negatives. Try earning them carrots rather than sticks.
Negative actions
  • Don't accuse someone of a personal attack for accusing of a personal attack – you should not retaliate if accused of a personal attack. Return to the discussion of the issue at hand.
  • Don't be a WikiBigot – intolerance on the basis of people's ethnicity, race or other characteristics is not acceptable.
  • Don't be an ostrich – why you should help other editors when they need help. Don't ignore them.
  • Don't be ashamed – sometimes, an edit made in good faith does not comply to policy or consensus. Don't be ashamed of making mistakes.
  • Don't be a fanatic – editors need to recognize that all Wikipedia editors are ultimately colleagues working together. Listen with civility, and try to find ways to respect and incorporate others' viewpoints and material as well as your own.
  • Don't be inconsiderate – if people were considerate, we wouldn't need any other policies about behaviour. If people are telling you that you're inconsiderate, chances are that you need to change your behaviour.
  • Don't be obnoxious – why it is best to avoid behaving in away that is unpleasant and offends or annoys other editors.
  • Don't be prejudiced – how every user should give every other user a fair chance.
  • Don't be rude – why it is crucial that everyone be considerate to others in all situations.
  • Don't call editors trolls – why calling an editor a troll can be viewed in itself as disruptive.
  • Don't call a spade a spade – how editors are unlikely to listen to anything further that you say once the dispute escalates to name calling.
  • Don't call the kettle black – someone will call other people names while at the same time reminding them to not make personal attacks.
  • Don't come down like a ton of bricks – editors should not create rancor amongst good faith contributors. People are not obliged to memorize policies and guidelines before editing.
  • Don't cry COI – why it is best not to attack editors because they are paid editors or have a conflict of interest.
  • Don't cry wolf – why you should not make accusations of harassment or personal attacks lightly.
  • Don't demand that editors solve the problems they identify – Identifying problems is a valid way to contribute to Wikipedia, even if one does not know how to or wish to go the extra mile to solve them.
  • Don't edit for power – you should not edit Wikipedia just for power or to become an admin. Edit Wikipedia to build an encyclopedia!
  • Don't enlist the masses
    – calling uninformed fellow editors in simply for the safety in numbers does not make you a winner.
  • Don't give a fuck – the idea that attachment to things (articles, policies, AfDs, etc.) which are essentially beyond your control is a stumbling block to being a good Wikipedian.
  • Don't ignore all rules if your decision is biased – why it is best not to ignore a rule solely because you like (or dislike) the subject.
  • Don't take the bait – how goading others into making uncivil comments is a common tactic. Don't be fooled.
  • Don't template the regulars – when dealing with experienced users, it is generally more effective to write them a short personal message than to apply a standardized template.
  • Don't fight fire with fire – all should stay civil, even under the most intense flames.
  • Don't remind others of past misdeeds – you should not criticize a repentant editor in good standing for past mistakes or behavior that have stopped reoccurring.
  • Don't throw your toys out of the pram – why temper tantrums and expressions of anger are counter-productive.
  • Don't help too much – you should help newcomers when they need it; however, don't spoon feed them.
  • Don't overwhelm the newbies – why you should not ask newcomers to read all the policies and guidelines.
  • Don't shoot the messenger – how you should research thoroughly what is ultimately the cause of a conflict before you mouth off about it.
  • Don't shoot yourself in the foot – you should consider your own actions before bringing attention to the actions of others.
  • Don't spite your face – when faced with enforcing a solution that will predictably escalate the evident problem beyond present levels, back off and seek other, less inflammatory, actions to go about solving it.
  • Don't stuff beans up your nose – if you tell people not to do something, your advice may backfire and instead tempt them to do it.
  • Don't teach the controversy
    (which doesn't mean what you think it does); neutrally document the conflict.
  • Don't tear others' heads off
    – all should be careful with taking preventative action against newcomers.
  • Griefing – griefers are similar to trolls, with the main difference being that griefers will sometimes act in groups, in the form of tag team editing.
  • No angry mastodons – there are several ways to de-escalate conflicts instead of flipping out.
  • No, you can't have a pony – when discussion doesn't go your way, stamping your feet and becoming an impediment to further discussion won't help.
  • Passive Aggressive
    – being passive aggressive to other editors, especially newcomers, makes you look unprofessional and mean.
  • Tag bombing – adding multiple tags without explaining the reason is disruptive.
  • Witchhunt
    – accusations against other editors should not be made in the absence of any value in doing so.
  • You can't squeeze blood from a turnip – how some troublesome users do not want to change and the community's energies are limited.


  • Block on demand
    – how a self-requested block will be done by some, but not all, Wikipedia administrators.
  • Don't lower the boom just yet – why administering sanctions with a light hand, combined with ongoing monitoring and coaching, can be more effective than coming down hard like a ton of bricks.
  • Disruptive sanctions – how restricting an editor's ability to contribute to the encyclopedia is inherently a measure of last resort.
  • Give 'em enough rope – why it may be better to just unblock them and make it clear that this is their last chance ... and see what happens.
  • Guide to appealing blocks – understand, in full, the reasons of your block before requesting an unblock is your best bet.
  • Hate is disruptive – there's nothing radical about sanctioning users for hateful speech or actions
  • I have been blocked – a block is a measure used to protect Wikipedia from possible improper activity in breach of editorial policies.
  • Sanctions – sanctions act to limit or remove user privileges and may lead to blocks and bans.
  • Sanctions against editors should not be punitive – administrative sanctions against editors are not punitive, and are imposed solely to prevent harm to the encyclopedia.
  • Standard offer – discusses a process an editor that gets hit with a siteban or an indefinite block can do.
  • Suicide by admin – refers to a set of actions by Wikipedia editors that lead to an editor being blocked indefinitely.

Multiple accounts

  • Clean start – how a user who is not under current restrictions or blocks may stop using their current account and start using a new one.
  • Consequences of sockpuppetry – why the use of a second account, unless explicitly permitted by the rules, is a violation known to many as sockpuppetry.
  • Dealing with sockpuppets
    – sockpuppetry is a problem at Wikipedia, and you can help make a difference by reporting them to the correct admin board and by proper conduct when dealing with them.
  • Lurkers – why one should never assume a user is a sockpuppet; it can create bad feeling and violates our "Assume good faith" policy.
  • Obvious sock is obvious – if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
  • Signs of sockpuppetry – there are many possible signs of sockpuppetry or other multiple account usage. Still, none of them are absolute proof sockpuppetry is occurring.
  • Sleeper account – a sleeper account is still enabled and it is still possible to use it. However, any such use of an account must conform to Wikipedia guidelines, particularly those of sockpuppetry.


  • Basic copyright issues – the basic requirements for uploading images to the English language Wikipedia.
  • Close paraphrasing – closely paraphrased material that infringes on the copyright of its source material should be rewritten or deleted to avoid infringement and to ensure that it complies with Wikipedia policy.
  • Copying text from other sources – with the exceptions of short quotations and text copied from a free source, text from other sources may not be copied into Wikipedia. Doing so is a copyright violation and may constitute plagiarism.
  • Copyright on emblems – explains the status of flags, coats of arms, seals, and similar official symbols, as well as drawings of such emblems, under United States copyright law.
  • Declaration of consent for all enquiries – discuses the process of uploading media which protects both the uploader and Wikipedia users by making clear to both how shared content can be used.
  • Donating copyrighted materials – the process of how editors who would like to grant permission to Wikipedia to use their own previously published work can do so.
  • Quotations – the guidelines of how a brief excerpt from an original source can be used in Wikipedia articles.
  • Mirrors and forks – publications that copy Wikipedia content should follow the licensing terms; however, many others fail – accidentally or intentionally – to place the notice required by these terms.
  • Multi-licensing – it is best to use multiple licensing for one's contributions made to Wikipedia so that they are in the public domain or licensed under alternative licenses in addition to the CC-BY-SA license (and GFDL, often).
  • News agencies and fair use – Wikipedia's non-free content criteria requires fair use images.
  • Plain and simple non-free content guide – Wikipedia's copyright guidelines are probably the most complicated part of the whole site. This is a breakdown of what the rules are and what they mean.
  • Restricted materials – how free images may still have restrictions independent of their copyright status, but they are still considered free.
  • Spotting possible copyright violations – a guide to spotting violations of the Wikipedia copyright policy that are simple copy-and-pastes from other websites.

Wikipedia's content protocols

Neutral point of view

  • Advocacy – Wikipedia is not a venue for raising the visibility of an issue or agenda.
  • Activist – advice for determining if an article is being unduly influenced by activists, as well as advice on how to deal with the various problems caused by violations of Wikipedia's policies.
  • An interest is not a conflict of interest – a conflict of interest can be cited as a cause for some other violation, but the existence of a conflict of interest by itself is not a policy violation.
  • Avoid thread mode – don't "However" a position in the middle of stating its case.
  • Be neutral in form – how being neutral in both content and in form is an asset.
  • Coatrack
    – articles about one thing shouldn't mostly focus on another thing.
  • Controversial articles – controversial articles, by their very nature, require far greater care to achieve a neutral point of view.
  • Criticism – articles should include both positive and negative viewpoints from reliable sources, without giving undue weight to particular viewpoints, either negative or positive.
  • Describing points of view – article should represent the POVs of the main scholars and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue.
  • Let the reader decide – you should not consider a statement neutral just because you agree with it.
  • Endorsements (commercial) – how commercial endorsements of goods, services, businesses, companies, nonprofits, and famous persons present special editorial challenges that require particular care.
  • External criticism of Wikipedia – how criticism of Wikipedia from professors and journalists may be biased.
  • Neutral and proportionate point of view – Wikipedia does not aim for the midpoint between them. Rather, it gives weight to each view in proportion to its prevalence in reliable sources.
  • Neutrality of Sources
    – how to deal with sources that are reliable but non-neutral.
  • content policies, namely NPOV, Verify, OR and BLP
  • Partisanship – how Wikipedia's coverage of political issues needs to adhere to NPOV in the face of partisanship.
  • Systemic bias – how systemic bias created by the shared social and cultural characteristics of most editors results in an imbalanced coverage of subjects and perspectives on the encyclopedia.
  • What is fringe? – how fringe theories range from theories that almost qualify as alternative mainstream theories to things that have just barely too many scientific chops to be called pseudoscience.
  • We shouldn't be able to figure out your opinions – your editing trends should not reveal your personal beliefs
  • Why Wikipedia cannot claim the Earth is not flat – ten types of arguments commonly used by advocates of fringe concepts, and advice for the neutrally-minded editor or administrator on how to defuse them.

Verifiability and sources

  • Allowing forensic crime data – how, under certain circumstances, forensic crime data may be used as primary sources on crime articles.
  • Applying Reliability Guidelines
    – which policies and guidelines are the most relevant to evaluating a particular source.
  • Assessing reliability – there are a number of ways in which you, as a reader, can assess the reliability of a given article.
  • Bare URLs – why it is preferable to use proper citation templates when citing sources.
  • Blind men and an elephant – reliable sources may be considered credible ... until newer reliable sources contradict them.
  • But there must be sources! – why you shouldn't just insist there must be sources out there somewhere. Prove it by providing them.
  • Cherrypicking – when selecting information from a source, include contradictory and significant qualifying information from the same source.
  • Children's lit, adult new readers, & large-print books – children's sources, adult new reader sources, and abridged large-print media are questionable and need checking for reliability before being cited.
  • Citation overkill – when citing material in an article, it is better to cite a couple of great sources than a stack of decent or sub-par sources.
  • Cite tendentious texts directly – any text which takes a side on a difficult or controversial question – especially in cases where the text represents an extreme viewpoint – should be cited directly.
  • Citing textbooks – there are several situations in which textbooks should be completely avoided as your primary source of information about a subject.
  • Clones – websites that contain information that is directly copied from Wikipedia cannot be used to establish notability or verify the accuracy of any information on Wikipedia.
  • synthesis
  • Conflicting sources – if two reliable sources offer contradicting information on a subject and none of them can be demonstrated unreliable, then an article should cite both.
  • Dictionaries as sources – dictionaries and glossaries present a special challenge in determining whether one is primary, secondary, or tertiary.
  • Evaluating sources – when using primary sources, editors should stick to describing what the sources say. Any interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims require a secondary source.
  • Fruit of the poisonous tree – if an otherwise reliable source attributes information to an unreliable source, then that information is likewise unreliable.
  • Handling original research – material for which no reliable, published source exists is called "original research." There are various ways to deal with it.
  • Identifying and using primary and secondary sources
    – the best way to identify and correctly use primary and non-primary sources.
  • Identifying and using self-published works – a guide to identifying and correctly using self-published sources.
  • Independent sources – independent sources are not necessarily "neutral" in the sense of being even-handed. An independent source may hold a strongly positive or negative view of a topic or an idea.
  • Inaccuracy – addresses what editors should do with concerns about potentially inaccurate source material.
  • Interviews – interviews generally count as primary sources, but commentary added to interviews by a publication can sometimes count as secondary-source material.
  • Law sources
    – some law sources may not be reliable. Others may be very complicated to use.
  • Link rot – how there are steps to be taken to reduce or repair its effect, and why it is not good to delete cited information solely because the URL to the source does not work any longer.
  • Mine a source
    – how articles with "citation needed" tags often already have sufficient sources that simply have been under-utilized.
  • Wikipedia:More seasoning doesn't mean more flavor - What makes a source "good" and why less info isn't always worse info
  • Objective sources – you should be mindful that a reliable source to you may not be to others. Try to obtain objectively reliable sourcing.
  • Offline sources – even though Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, there is no distinction between using online versus offline sources.
  • Open government data – Wikipedia often uses open government data, but official does not systematically mean reliable, and often involves a conflict of interest. With increasing amounts of open government data, how should this be handled?
  • Party and person – explains the commonly misunderstood distinctions between "secondary source" and "third party".
  • Perennial sources – sources that editors frequently discuss on Wikipedia. Some of these are currently deemed reliable, some are currently deemed unreliable, and some may be reliable in some circumstances.
  • Perennial websites – describes websites that editors frequently inquire about, and how some are accepted, some are currently opposed for inclusion, and some depend on the circumstances.
  • Potentially unreliable sources – analyses specific examples of sources that might initially appear to be reliable, yet may not be.
  • POV and OR from editors, sources, and fields – how editors, sources, and fields can have a point of view and original research, and how even edits can have a POV, as long as the article in Wikipedia does not.
  • Reliable sources and undue weight – how an article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject.
  • References dos and don'ts – describes good and bad things about sources.
  • Significant coverage
    – if a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list.
  • Sourcing content about newer phenomena – some subcultures have been around for a long time and there is significant published material from which to describe these long-term subcultures on Wikipedia.
  • Templates do not excuse citations
    – why "citation needed" templates are not an excuse to make as many claims as you can without verification.
  • Tertiary-source fallacy – dictionaries, encyclopedias, and style guides do not magically trump other sources, policy, and reasoning.
  • The answer to life, the universe, and everything – why articles generally require significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the topic.
  • Third-party sources
    – every article on Wikipedia must be based upon verifiable statements from multiple third-party reliable sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.
  • Trivial mentions – how notability requires significant coverage by reliable sources. Trivial mentions are not enough.
  • Use of tertiary sources
    – how tertiary sources differ from secondary ones because they themselves do not provide significant analysis, commentary, or synthesis.
  • Using sources – references must be reliable sources, used in accordance with the three core content policies.
  • Verifiability, and truth – it is not enough for encyclopedic content to be verifiable via reliable sources. It must also conform to known, objective facts.
  • Verifiability, not truth – how editors may not add (or delete!) content solely because they believe it is true (or false!).
  • Verifiable but not false – a guide to limiting false information in Wikipedia.
  • Verification methods – explains common methods that Wikipedia editors use to make their articles verifiable.
  • Verifying different types of statement – describes what is required to verify different types of statements on Wikipedia.
  • Videos as references
    – it's okay to cite movies, documentaries, TV programs and other video as references.
  • Video links – how videos on user-submitted sites can sometimes be used as references or external links, but copyright infringement and unreliability will rule out the use of many of these videos.
  • When to cite – when a source may or may not be needed.
  • You are not a reliable source – quick list of reasons editor statements do not support content
  • You don't need to cite that the sky is blue – although citing sources is an important part of editing Wikipedia, do not cite already obvious information.
  • Alternative outlets – there are other places for potentially useful or valuable content which is not appropriate for Wikipedia.
  • Articles with a single source – if an article is based on only one source, there may be copyright, original research, and notability concerns.
  • Bare notability – editors should be cautious about creating articles that are borderline notable. A subject that seems to be barely notable may really not be notable at all.
  • Bombardment
    – editors should not indiscriminately add excessive references to an article in the hope that the weight of numbers will prevent it from being deleted.
  • Businesses with a single location – how a subject that meets all inclusion guidelines is likely to merit an article, even if one is yet to be created. This includes many businesses with one address.
  • But it's true! – just because it is out there, it is not a sufficient reason to keep information on Wikipedia.
  • Common sourcing mistakes (notability) – three commons mistakes to avoid when trying to demonstrate notability through citations to sources.
  • Cybermen
    and shouting "DELETE!"
  • WP:GNG
    leads to poorer arguments.
    and the terms "discriminate" and "indiscriminate" as they apply to collections of information.
  • Every snowflake is unique – many similar items can have encyclopedic articles of their own; each article's content should describe which peculiarities distinguish one item from the others, based on critical commentary found in reliable sources.
  • Existence ≠ Notability – how truth alone is not a valid criteria for inclusion.
  • Fart – just because a piece of trivial information was printed in a newspaper or gossip magazine, or on a website, there is no requirement for it to be included on Wikipedia.
  • Google searches and numbers – one fallacy in determining the notability of a subject is the view that the results of a Google search can be used to assess notability.
  • Handling trivia – trivia is information that is not important to the subject it is presented in relation to.
  • High Schools – how high schools and secondary schools are generally considered to be notable, but they must be able to meet the relevant guidelines for notability.
  • How the presumption of notability works – the presumption of notability is an assumption that can be rebutted during the deletion process
  • Inclusion is not an indicator of notability – why non-inclusion is not an indication of non-notability.
  • Inherent notability – ultimately, the community decides if a subject is intrinsically notable.
  • Insignificant – what is insignificant to some may be extremely significant to others.
    – castles, museums, tourist attractions, and other public attractions usually do have significant coverage.
  • Lipstick on a pig – describes articles whose subject does not meet notability guidelines, but have nonetheless been written with considerable care and effort, and may be embellished with sources, citations, or images.
  • Masking the lack of notability – how excellent prose and the sheer number of citations or external links have no effect on a subject's notability.
  • Make stubs – why make a red link, when you can make a stub?
  • News coverage does not decrease notability – articles that are subject to news coverage should not be nominated for deletion if they meet Wikipedia's general notability requirements and notability requirements for events.
  • No amount of editing can overcome a lack of notability – when notability is legitimately invoked as an issue in a deletion nomination, the problem usually cannot be solved by more editing.
  • No big loss – deletion of any good article is a loss for the wider community and the encyclopedia in the long term, as that is knowledge lost.
  • No one cares about your garage band – why it is best not to start an article on your band if you don't have much of an audience yet.
  • No one really cares – why it is best not to make an article on a subject so trivial or arbitrary that no one could ever conceivably care about it.
  • Notability and its Discontents - we can do better with marginalized subjects.
  • Notability cannot be purchased – how notability is not something which can be purchased through a third party.
  • Notability is not a level playing field – notability is not administered equally. In some areas, notability requirements are lower than others.
  • Notability is not a matter of opinion – during a deletion discussion, arguments for keeping the article should be based on reliable sources, not opinions.
  • Notability means impact – the concept of notability can also be described as a measure of the topic's impact, particularly with biographic articles.
  • Notability points – how everything has a certain amount of notability, and can be put on a (rough) scale.
  • Notability sub-pages – notability guideline sub-pages should be created only if there is a specific need to do so.
  • Notability vs. prominence – explains the differences and the similarities between these two concepts.
  • Obscurity ≠ Lack of notability – just because a topic is of little interest to the general public does not mean Wikipedia should not include it.
  • One hundred words – the general notability guideline provides inadequate guidance as to what level of coverage is significant.
  • One sentence does not an article make – one sentence "articles" and "essays" should be deleted as not worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia.
  • Overreliance upon Google – describes Google search limitations and provides examples for custom searches.
  • Pokémon test – a test that involves the comparison of the article nominated for deletion with an article for a character from Pokémon, to decide whether it is more notable.
  • Run-of-the-mill – there are some items that are very commonplace for which sources verifying their existence do exist. Since there are so many of these that can be verified given the same sources, there shouldn't be an article on each one, so only those with additional sources deserve articles.
  • Significant coverage not required
    – the requirement of significant coverage as a criterion for notability is completely unjustifiable and absurd.
  • Solutions are mixtures and nothing else – public relations slang, like "we offer solutions", is a good indication that an article is promotional and likely not notable.
  • Subjective importance – some subjects may seem notable because they are perceived as being important, but without meeting Wikipedia's inclusion criteria, they are not notable.
  • Up and coming next big thing - you may be convinced that something is about to break big, and Wikipedia will regret not already having an article on the topic. We won't.
  • WP:BLP1E
    policy and when it does and doesn't apply.
  • What notability is not – argues that notability is not objective. Notability is not permanent; it can change. Notability is not judged in isolation. Notability is not a meritocracy.
  • What is significant coverage? – editors have differing interpretations about how much detail is required for a source to qualify as "significant coverage".
  • Writing about breeds – a crash course (mostly for new editors) in how to write encyclopedically about animal breeds and related topics.
  • Wikipedia is not Crunchbase - discussion of problems with articles created to make businesses appear significant and important.
  • Wikipedia is not here to tell the world about your noble cause – it is secondary coverage in reliable sources which determines if a topic should be covered by Wikipedia, not how well-intentioned it is.
  • An article about yourself isn't necessarily a good thing – how you may face problems if there is an article about you on Wikipedia. So, please think about it before you really go out of your way to try to get one.
  • Anonymous dirt accretion method of biography writing – how WP:Eventualism does not apply to Wikipedia biographies. Wikipedia biographies need to be well rounded and fair to their subjects at all times.
  • Articles on suicides – an article about a notable suicide is not a biography, nor is it a memorial. Care must be taken both in articles and discussions not to cause further distress to the bereaved, and to stay neutral and to neither record nor synthesise original research.
  • Avoiding harm – contains a number of other ideas that were considered during the formation of the biographies of living persons policy. Many of them continue to resonate strongly with our current policy.
  • Borderline biographies – when low-notability biographies of living people are considered for deletion, closing administrators may wish to consider requiring a positive consensus to retain the article.
  • Current Events Editing – editors should refrain from making substantive changes to or creating new articles that are biographies of a living person where current events are the driving factor for edits.
  • Deletion of articles on living persons – a summary of policies relating to the deletion of articles on living persons.
  • Help with a biography of a living person – contains advice for people affected by being referred to in a Wikipedia article or on a talk page.
  • I look ugly in this! – how to handle cases where the subject of an article doesn't like the image of themselves.
  • I wouldn't know him from a hole in the ground – biographies must be on subjects that are notable. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information.
  • Not every story/event/disaster needs a biography – not everything in Wikipedia requires presentation in the form of a biographical article.
  • WP:BLP
    , writing about minors and persons legally judged incompetent should be especially protective of their rights.
  • Primer for women's biographies
    – how to appropriately write about women's biographies.
  • Signatures of living persons – how there is no consensus on reproducing signatures in Wikipedia articles, and why there is some concern regarding reproducing the signatures of living persons.
  • Smokers – smoking, or the use of other legal tobacco products, is not inherently important enough to mention and should not be included in biographical articles by default.
  • Victim lists – why lists of victims of an event are inappropriate unless the majority of listed victims have Wikipedia articles or sections of their own.
  • Who is a low-profile individual – a low-profile individual is a person, usually notable for only one event, who has not sought or desired the attention.
  • Your alma mater is not your ticket to Wikipedia – why it is best not add a name to the "notable alumni" section of that person's alma mater unless that person is actually notable.


  • Wikibreak – refers to a period when even an editor must be parted from Wikipedia—though, presumably, only temporarily.
  • WikiBullying – refers to using Wikipedia to threaten and/or intimidate other people, whether they are Wikipedia editors or not.
  • WikiCrime
    – refers to an act that deliberately and seriously hurts the objective of creating quality articles.
  • Wikiderata – a prose poem of advice, support, and philosophy about Wikipedia.
  • WikiFauna – a listing of characterizations related to the culture of Wikipedia and its users about themselves that other editors may find helpful to understand.
  • WikiHate – refers to a counterproductive attitude and behavior pattern that takes away time from many Wikipedians.
  • WikiLawyering – refers to a pejorative term which describes various questionable ways of judging other Wikipedians' actions.
  • WikiHarassment – refers to a pattern of repeated offensive behavior that appears to a reasonable observer to intentionally target a specific person or persons.
  • Wiki-Hell – refers to the many negative situations editors will deal with daily.
  • WikiLove – refers to a general spirit of collegiality and mutual understanding among wiki users.
  • WikiPeace – refers to the idea of to making Wikipedia a more peaceful place for everyone.
  • Wikipediholic – refers to someone who has Wikipediholism, or obsession (addiction in some cases) with Wikipedia or other wikis (see Wikipediholism test).
  • Wiki-POV-railroading – refers to the use of bullying tactics to discredit an editor with an opposing viewpoint or eliminate them from a discussion.
  • WikiRose – refers to an editor who will stop whatever they're doing, and give their time for other editor's benefit.
  • Wikiville – refers to Wikipedia as a town, and all the users as the citizens that have positions within the community.

Essays in a nutshell

  • Article writing – a small listing of essays about editing, formatting, short articles and the use of templates.
  • Civility – a small listing of essays about etiquette, as well as positive and negative interactions.
  • Consensus and discussion – a small listing of essays about interaction procedures during talks with other users.
  • Removal or deletion – a small listing of essays about the removal of Wikipedia content.
  • Notability – a small listing of essays about the criteria of content inclusion and removal.
  • Verifiability and reliable sources – a small listing of essays about the merit of references and other resources.

How-to pages

  • For a listing of "help" and "instructional" pages, see the Help directory.

Humorous material

Wikipedia and User essays by category

The following is a list of Wikipedia and User essays categories.

User essays
are similar to essays placed in the Wikipedia namespace; however, they are often authored/edited by only one person, and may represent a strictly personal viewpoint about Wikipedia or its processes. The author of a personal essay located in their user space generally has the right to revert any changes made to it by any other user.
To display all subcategories click on the "►":
Wikipedia essays(48 C, 2,094 P)
User essays(13 C, 2,328 P)
Reader help(3 C, 26 P)
Wikipedia help(39 C, 62 P)
Humorous Wikipedia essays(1 C, 184 P)
WikiProject advice(6 C, 35 P)

Historical essays

The Wikimedia Foundation's Meta-wiki was envisioned as the original place for editors to comment on and discuss Wikipedia, although the "Wikipedia" project space has since taken over most of that role. Many historical essays can still be found within Meta:Category:Essays.

See also

  • Advice pages – about guidance pages written by WikiProjects.
  • Community standards and advice – a descriptive directory of community norms and advice for editors.
  • Editor's Index to Wikipedia
    – lists hundreds of essays, as well as guidelines, policies, help pages, and more.
  • List of guidelines – a comprehensive descriptive directory of guidelines.
  • List of policies – a comprehensive descriptive directory of policies.
  • Manual of Style contents – a comprehensive descriptive directory of the pages which make up the Manual of Style.