How to Write a Wikipedia Article

Wikipedia is a web-based encyclopedia that anyone can edit, similar to most wikis. With over five million articles in the English language alone, Wikipedia is currently the world's largest wiki.


  1. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 1
    Begin. Go to Wikipedia's Main Page or, if you want to write your article in a language other than English, visit the international page and click on your language.
  2. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 2
    Search. First, you'll need to do a search to see if the article already exists - if yours is a popular or well-known subject, the chances are it already exists. In the box, type in your article topic. (e.g. "zero gravity marriage") and press Enter.
  3. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 3
    Results. If an article about your subject already exists, the article will come up now; if no such article exists, you will get a list of search results. Check this list - it may be that your article is written under a slightly different heading. If you are sent to an article that isn't the one you just typed in, check the top of the page. It may be that your search term was a redirect to another article, which means you can create it as a stand-alone article.
  4. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 4
    Think. If no article exists and you wish to create an article, first ask yourself the following questions:
    • Is it a worthwhile subject for an encyclopedia article?
    • Is it notable (will anyone else ever bother to read this)?
    • Is it verifiable (are there other references to it elsewhere on the internet, or in books)?
    • If the answer is 'no' to any of these, do not create the article. Articles that aren't notable or verifiable are deleted, and all your hard work along with it.
  5. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 5
    Create. If a 'Create this article' link is visible on the search page, click that. If not, look under where it says 'Search' - it'll say (e.g) "You searched for Underwater tennis" Click on the link of the title you typed in - i.e. click on underwater tennis. Then click on "Start the Underwater tennis article"
  6. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 6
    Log in / Create account. You can edit Wikipedia articles without having an account, but to create an article from scratch, you need an account. Click on "Log in or create an account". If you have an account, then log in now. If not, click on "Create one". Type yourself a username and password (twice), and click "Create account". Assuming no-one else has taken your name already, your account should be created successfully, and you can now create your article. Anonymous users can also submit an article through the Articles for creation system, but it won't appear as an article until a registered user approves it.
  7. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 7
    Find page in user space. The space for writing the article before you publish it is your userpage. Go to User:(your username here)/(your article name here), where you can edit. Click on the 'create' tab.
  8. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 8
    Start writing. You should now have a big empty box in which you should write your article. Write a short introduction (called a 'lead' section), and then the main body of your article. Make it a reasonable length, and informative (see Tips and Wiki formatting, below). When you have finished, click the 'save button'.
  9. Image titled Write a Wikipedia Article Step 9
    Proofread. Your article has not been published yet!! Have a good read, looking out for spelling or grammatical errors. If you are happy with it, click the 'move' tab. Remove the 'User:(your username here)/' bit so only the article name remains. Now you have a new article! Consider nominating it for Did you know. You can do this by typing WP:DYK in your search box and following the instructions located there.


  • Make your article a reasonable length: aim for more than 1500 characters to pass DYK (did you know), but less than 5000 words. If your article is too short, it may be merged into another article; if the article is too long, it may be split.
  • Remain unbiased - an article about how dreadful a certain football team is does not belong in an encyclopedia. However statistics and facts are allowed, so long as they are proven and truthful. Wikipedia does not allow for example "The X's suck", however you may for example "The X's have not scored a single point in the entire season of 1998" or along the lines. However you must cite your sources and double check that these sources are reputable and trustworthy.
  • Use wiki formatting (see below) to make your article look good.

Wiki formatting

Putting in:

  • section headings between two equals signs, e.g.: ==Hello there==;
  • subheadings between three equals signs, e.g.: ===Hello there===;
  • italic text between two apostrophes (NOT double quotes) - e.g. ' ' Hello there' ' makes: Hello there;
  • bold text between three apostrophes - e.g. ' ' ' Hello there' ' ' makes: Hello there;
  • bold "and" italic text between five apostrophes - e.g. ' ' ' ' ' Hello there' ' ' ' ' makes: Hello there;
  • internal link in a Wikipedia title between doubled square brackets (check spelling and caps), e.g.:
    • [[Hello there]] would link the Wikipedia article: "Hello there";
      • [[Say Hello in Different Languages|Say Hello]] would link in a wikiHow article to: Say Hello and
  • external web-link entire URL between single square brackets (check spelling & punctuation) - e.g. [] (with "http://") will link to the webpage at Basically, external links are set up like internal links, only with one set of brackets, and a space instead of a | separator;
  • "block indent" of unnumbered line or paragraph, put a colon (:) beginning the line (2 colons = double indent) actually skips lines;
  • bullet points, use a star (*) beginning each line;
    • more bullet points within a bulleted list, use a double star (**) beginning each line
    • (That was done here and the one above for example).
      • Third level bullet points within a bulleted list, use a triple star (***) beginning each line
      • (That was done here and the one above for example).
  • Note: an extra "Enter" among bulleted, "starred" lines does not disrupt that list.
    • But, that would disrupt a numbered list... See the note at the end of the numbering section.

Automatic wiki numbering:

  1. numbered list, put a hash (#) beginning each line.
  2. insert a new numbered line, strike "Enter" where you want the line and put a hash (#) and write your text and it will automatically renumber all the lines below. That's the basics of numbering!
  3. (That was done here and the one above for example).
  4. "extra touches," see below:

    • bullet point list within the main numbered list, put a hash and a star (#*) beginning each line
    • (That was done here and the one above for example).
  5. To add extra blank lines as above before the bulleted sub-list, and also below before the indented numbered list use <br><br> at the end of the line before where extra lines are desired.
  6. To do a numbered list within the main numbered list:

    1. put a double hash (##) beginning each line
    2. (That was done here and the one above for example).
      1. Third level numbering put a triple hash (###) beginning each line
      2. (That was done here and the one above for example).
  7. Note: If you put an extra "Enter" between two numbered lines, the list will start over numbering at number one, so that is why <br> is used instead of "Enter " to add blank lines.
    • "br" means line break (to break the line and go to the next line) so several of them will make several blank lines...
    • Use this extra formatting for a good reason not for fun.


  • Do not write anything not notable - e.g. the results of the local school festival. It's boring and no-one is ever going to read it, and an administrator will delete it as vanity.
  • Don't write anything unverifiable - e.g. a new word that just you and your friends use. Administrators will check your article, and if it is not verifiable, it will be deleted.
  • Recognize that Wikipedia is a social group, with potential committee-style negotiations to get information accepted; if someone gets a bad attitude, the information will almost certainly be rejected. Wikipedia can sometimes seem more about consensus than about truth: if the majority of people consider something to be false, it can get deleted, even if you know that it is true.
  • Sometimes, the objections to new information in Wikipedia become rationalized censorship, and it may get deleted. Wikipedia needs to be understood by the masses; submitting highly intellectual or specialized articles may be called vanity and runs the danger of "casting pearls before swine" and your article may be heavily edited, or in extreme cases, deleted.
  • Don't write any original research. You may be Albert Einstein, but don't put anything on Wikipedia until somebody else publishes it. Even that way it's not recommended to write an article because you have a conflict of interest (COI).
  • Don't write anything that breaches copyright - this includes using images off the Internet. You may put it in your own words and give the source as a reference for important information or to give a direct quote from with a citation.
  • In some cases it is better to have an outside entity write your article. This is due to the fact that a third-party may be more disinterested and write in a more neutral and objective way. Additionally, Wikipedia editors strive for what is called the Neutral Point of View (NPOV). Articles must be encyclopedic in style and should not take a for or against stance on the subject matter. In other words, the goal in Wikipedia writing is to remain unbiased, much like a traditional encyclopedia article.
  • Don't try to re-create a deleted article unless you have a good reason--like if the article was not done properly before, but now you are doing it correctly--otherwise it will be deleted again, and you may be blocked by an admin for doing edits that are not conductive to the best interests of Wikipedia. Pages can also be deleted if they were previously deleted per consensus.

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Categories: Wikipedia | Wikis