How to Prevent Your wikiHow Article from Getting Deleted

Nine Methods:DuplicateAdvertisementCharacter ArticlesDangerousUniversally IllegalIncompleteNot a How-toSexually Explicit/ChargedJoke

You wrote an article and suddenly, you notice that it's been nominated for deletion! Don't be discouraged. A nomination is just that; it means the community will review the article and decide whether it should get deleted or not. Here's how you can increase the odds that it'll stay.


  1. 1
    Avoid the temptation to remove the NFD tag. It's probably driving you nuts, but even if you remove it, someone will put it back and let you know that it can only be removed by an admin, after at least a week has passed.
  2. 2
    Understand why the page was nominated for deletion. Each NFD tag explains what aspect of the deletion policy the article violates. Studying the policy is your best bet in keeping your article on wikiHow.
  3. 3
    Edit the page so it doesn't violate the deletion policy anymore. See below for specific steps based on each reason.
  4. 4
    Leave a neutral and detailed discussion page comment explaining:

    • What you did to change the page
    • Why your article doesn't violate the deletion policy anymore
  5. 5
    Contact people on the help team and admins and ask them for feedback on your article. Explain that the article is being considered for deletion, and that you're looking for suggestions for ways to keep it on the site.
  6. 6
    Understand that some articles just don't belong on wikiHow. It's nothing personal; the deletion policy was developed by the community itself, and its purpose is to make sure wikiHow remains a trusted, credible site that can be maintained by volunteer editors. Some topics just don't lend themselves to that goal. Even if a page you started gets deleted, you're still welcomed to write and edit more articles that do abide by our deletion policy.

Method 1

  1. 1
    Understand why duplicates aren't allowed. wikiHow has a rule that we can only have one article per topic. Since this is a collaborative project, we want people to work together to build one high-quality page on a particular topic, rather than each person making their own page. Plus, it gives our readers a single place where they can find all the advice we have on a single topic.
  2. 2
    Read our merge policy and try to think of how your articles is different.
  3. 3
    Consider asking for a title change. Since judging duplicates is based on titles rather than content, can you think of a title that better reflects the uniqueness of your article?

Method 2

  1. 1
    Look over our brand name policy and external links policy; your article got nominated for deletion because it probably violated one or both of them.
  2. 2
    Remove all links on the page that aren't consistent with the guidelines in How to Publicize Yourself the Right Way on wikiHow.

Method 3
Character Articles

  1. 1
    Understand that we have particularly high standards for "Be like..." articles. Without those standards, we end up with too many low-quality pages that our volunteer community has a hard time maintaining.
  2. 2
    Follow the steps in How to Write a Character Article (a "Be Like" Article) on wikiHow if you want your page to stay.

Method 4

  1. 1
    Add safety information to your article. Outline specific ways a person following the steps can protect their own safety and the safety of others.
  2. 2
    Look for any indication that what you're instructing is a common practice. For example, many people believe the practice described in How to Co Sleep Safely With Your Baby is life-threatening, but it can be shown that co-sleeping is practiced by many people around the world and thus providing instruction on it is reasonable.

Method 5
Universally Illegal

  1. 1
    Point out examples of many countries in which the steps you're giving are not illegal. For an article to be deleted on these grounds, the practice needs to be illegal in most parts of the world.
  2. 2
    Consider whether the practice is illegal under all circumstances. Picking a lock, for example, is only illegal if you're picking someone else's lock without their permission. Therefore, the act of picking a lock itself is not universally illegal. But something like stealing is.

Method 6

  1. 1
    Add more details. You can even use information from other websites, but only if you put that information in your own words, and you give those websites credit as outlined in How to Reference Sources on wikiHow.
  2. 2
    Consider asking if your article can be labeled a stub, instead of getting deleted. A stub is an article that doesn't give the reader enough information for the reader to complete the task from start to finish. Think of the stub tag as an invitation for readers to add their own knowledge about the topic.

Method 7
Not a How-to

  1. 1
    Try editing the article so that every step begins with a verb. This isn't a strict rule, but is an easy way to show people that your article is instructional in nature. If that's not working too well, though...
  2. 2
    Explain how each step clearly and discretely brings the reader closer to accomplishing the goal outlined in the title. Ultimately, that's what it means for an article to be a how-to. Here are some examples of articles that might not be obviously instructional, but really are:

    • Articles on topics like knitting, crochet, programming, and mathematics may call for patterns, abbreviations, and formulas that instruct without using action verbs. Example:
    • Conditional phrases. Example, "If the top turns brown, remove it from the oven immediately."
    • Some steps involve observing to make sure you're on the right track, especially when images are provided for reference, especially with recipes and crafts. Example: "After 15 minutes, the mixture should thicken to the consistency shown" or "After unfolding the flap, the creases should look like this".
    • If the action verb is the same for every step, it can be excluded altogether, as it's probably implied by the nature of the article. Example: Instead of writing "Sign A like this...Sign B like this..." you can exclude the word "Sign" and go directly to the letter.
    • A step can begin with a heading that briefly describes a process or technique. Example: "Binding. This part of the process will ensure that your book doesn't fall apart. Weave the thread through each hole, starting at the top and crossing over the previous stitch."

Method 8
Sexually Explicit/Charged

  1. 1
    Don't bother arguing that wikiHow should include more sexual articles. You may have a valid point, but the discussion page of your article is not the most effective place to voice your suggestion. Since wikiHow's policies are decided by consensus, you can actually propose an official policy change and, if you get enough support, the change will stick. The formal process for doing that is described in wikiHow:Policy Proposals/Amending Policy and Achieving Consensus. Note that it's not an easy process, but if you feel strongly about the topic at hand, it might be worthwhile.
  2. 2
    Edit the page to make it sounds as "clinical" as possible. What's the driest, least explicit way you can describe the task? Are there any slang terms you can replace with more objective terms? Like switching out "sex" for "physical intimacy"?

Method 9

  1. 1
    Understand why your article is a joke topic. Things like "Switch Places With Justin Bieber" and "Marry Your Kitten" are unachievable and funny. However, there are funny yet achievable topics like "Pull A Prank" and "Be Funny Without Telling Jokes".
  2. 2
    Remove all funny/unnecessary content. Example:
    1. Enjoy the show of your victim crying and screaming in horror. To:
    2. Leave the scene.
  3. 3
    Suggest a title change if your title itself is a joke. Can "Be a Funny-***" be changed to "Be Funny"?
  4. 4
    "Joke" is the most common reason for NFD, and a lot of them end up not being deleted, so good luck!

Article Info

Categories: Article Deletion