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Helping students get started
These printable PDF documents have instructions related to the basics of Wikipedia.
- Wiki markup quick reference – a one-page quick reference (included in the Welcome to Wikipedia brochure) to help you remember the most frequently used wiki markup codes.
- References – explains why references are important, what the expectations for sourcing on Wikipedia are, where to place references, and the basics of adding "ref" tags.
- Reference formatting – explains in more detail how to create footnotes for citing sources, and how to cite the same source multiple times.
- Using talk pages – explains how to use talk pages to communicate with other editors.
- Choosing an article – explains the Dos and Don'ts of choosing an article to work on.
- How to get help – explains the recommended way to get help and feedback. It also includes a glossary of additional help resources you can avail yourself of.
- Avoiding plagiarism – explains what plagiarism is on Wikipedia—including "close paraphrasing"—in addition to why and how to avoid it.
|Editing basics: Sandboxes
||Editing basics: bold and links
|How to start an a sandbox page to play around with wiki markup or start an article draft (1m 16s)
||How to use the most basic features of wiki markup to create bold text and links to other pages (3m 37s)
|How to use a watchlist
||How to use talk pages
|How to use a watchlist to keep track of pages you are interested in or have edited (2m 16s)
||How to interact with other editors using talk pages, including article talk pages and user talk pages (2m 43s)
|Editing basics: citing sources
||Citing sources with RefToobar
|How to add citations using "ref" tags (2m 3s)
||How to use the "Cite" tool for inserting automatically formatted references (2m 25s)
|Uploading files such as images to Wikimedia Commons, using the upload wizard, and adding them to articles (2 min 41 sec)
Article-writing tutorial videos
|A demonstration, recorded live, of how to create a Wikipedia article (7 min 50 sec)
||A look at how to assess the shortcomings of an article and improve it (4m 22s)
|An exploration of the standard article assessment system, with examples of each quality level (11m 30s)
||A trip through the history of an article, from humble beginnings to Good Article status (6m 25s)
Places for general Wikipedia help
For most kinds of help on Wikipedia—technical questions; policies and guidelines; etiquette; conflicts with editors; feedback and reviews of your work—the first place students should turn is the course talk page. Part of your role to as a Wikipedia Ambassador is to keep an eye on the course page and help students find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. There are a number of places you can turn to if you don't know the answers to students' questions.
Places to get help
- Article talk pages – The talk pages of articles are typically where discussions about the content of articles take place. Other editors may leave messages about your work here. If someone reverts changes you make to an article, the talk page is where you should start a discussion. Put it on your watchlist!
- Wikipedia Campus or Online Ambassadors – If your class is working with one or more Wikipedia Ambassadors, the Ambassador(s) to meet with you or talk with you by email to discuss problems and questions about Wikipedia.
- Course talk page – This is the main place for discussing your assignments, posting problems or questions that come up, and giving and receiving feedback about your articles. Put it on your watchlist!
- Wikipedia:Help desk – This page is an additional forum for getting help from Wikipedians.
- Help:Contents – The is the hub of Wikipedia's extensive collection of help pages. You can browse or do a search for the particular topic you're looking for help with.
- Wikipedia:Teahouse – This is a friendly space for newcomers where you can ask questions and get to know other editors.
- IRC channels – These are chatrooms where experienced Wikipedians can often give you immediate help or advice. #wikpedia-en-help and #wikipedia-en-classroom are good places to start looking for help.
- WikiProject talk pages – These are message boards for users interested in editing articles about particular topics.
Looking for immediate help? Click the big purple button on the right.
Enter your Wikipedia username, fill out the CAPTCHA, and click "Connect" to enter chat. Then explain what you need help with. There are usually experienced Wikipedians around who can try to help you.
- If you have conflicts with another editor that you don't want to post about publicly, try talking with the instructor or any other Ambassadors and experienced Wikipedians your class is working with.
- For subject-specific questions related to your course, try passing the questions on to the instructor or teaching assistants, or to other Wikipedians who are experts in that subject.
The main place to go for help with course-specific problems is the Education noticeboard.
Recognizing student contributions
When you're reviewing student work, you'll find some articles that are great—especially for new users. Please add any examples of good new articles, Good Articles, work that appears on Did You Know, or other forms of good contributions (videos, images, etc.) to this trophy case.
Analyzing student contributions