CIS-A2K/Education Program/Documentation

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CIS-A2K

CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.
Quick links

This pages is created to work on a brochure/handout that can be given out to all the students enrolled in the India Education Program. This brochure will include all the topics that will help students understand how Wikipedia works and will assist them in their in-class wiki assignment. It should serve as a reference guide for all the students.

After reading this document, you will be able to understand how Wikipedia works, create a Wikipedia user account and user page, understand Wikipedia's user interface, understand Talk page/Discussion page, understand and create a Sandbox, and all such concepts that you need to know while working on your Wikipedia class assignments, or while contributing to Wikipedia in general.

Overview of Wikipedia[edit]

What is Wikipedia?[edit]

Wikipedia is a free, collaborative, multilingual, and also the largest online encyclopedia in the world, supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is created and maintained by more than 100 thousand contributors from around the world. Every month Wikipedia receives over 388 million unique visitors. Wikipedia features more than 16 million articles in over 260 languages. It is free to use, free to edit, and free of advertisements.(Data from July 2010)

How does Wikipedia work?[edit]

Everything on Wikipedia has been written by people like you. In fact, Wikipedia would not be the world's largest online encyclopedia without people continuously contributing information, images, and data. Wikipedia grows by nearly 1200 articles per day and over 4 million contributions per month. (Data from July 2010)

Many contributors (Wikipedians) share an aspiration to provide free knowledge to everyone. While the social aspect of working toward a goal is fun, most active users are driven by their passion to distribute free knowledge to the world. By allowing everyone to access, download, and reuse content, Wikipedia provides many options for sharing and distributing free knowledge. That is the reason why people all over the world volunteer their time to protect and improve the quality of Wikipedia articles. Moreover, most people who participate in making Wikipedia better find that it is both an entertaining and rewarding exercise.

A question may arise here, as to who decides what gets published on Wikipedia? With an infinitely large number of Wikipedians, growing enormously, and creating so many new articles and editing existing articles, so often, it is almost impossible to have a team large enough to review and validate every single change made to the encyclopedia. Hence, Wikipedia relies on the input from contributors around the world to create the world's largest repository of encyclopedic content.

Core Wikipedia Policies[edit]

Wikipedia: Five Pillars[edit]

  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
  • Wikipedia has a neutral point of view.
  • Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify and distribute.
  • Editors should interact in a respectful and civil manner.
  • Wikipedia does not have firm rules besides the 5 general principles presented here.

Wikipedia: Referencing[edit]

References on Wikipedia are important to:

  • Validate what you are writing
  • Say where the information came from
  • To cite different points of view
  • To enable readers to consult the original source independently
  • To acknowledge the source and avoid plagiarism

Referencing needs to be done when:

  • Giving facts and figures
  • Using someone else's words
  • Referring to someone else's work
  • Quoting exact words
  • Copying unique phrases

Reliable Sources: It is important to refer sources that are reliable such as:

  • Books
  • Aacademic publications
  • Newspaper and journal articles
  • Web pages

Unreliable Sources: You should not use unreliable sources for referencing such as:

  • Social networking sites
  • User generated sites like Craigslist, open wiki, movie database, Zomato
  • Personal or group blogs
  • Personal websites

So, wherever possible give reliable sources as references, an encyclopedia can not be made based on imaginations or opinions.

Wikipedia: NPOV[edit]

Editing from a neutral point of view means representing fairly, proportionately and as far as possible without a bias. Neutral point of view basically means:

  • Impartial tone or non judgmental language
  • Good and unbiased research
  • Giving Positives and Negatives

"Neutral point of view" is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies. The other two are "Verifiability" and "No original research". These three core policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. Because these policies work in harmony, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should try to familiarize themselves with all three. The principles upon which this policy is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, or by editors' consensus. No personal opinions should be included in the article. Only content that can be factually supported should be included.

Wikipedia: Plagiarism[edit]

Plagiarism means to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own use (another's production) without crediting the source, according to the Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Copying text from other websites, books, journals, offline resources, or from any other sources which is not under free license constitutes plagiarism. Other than hardcore facts and figures, copying from anywhere word for word would come under plagiarism.

However, copying from other Wikipedia articles is allowed. But it is recommended that only parts of other articles should be copied and, these parts should be linked to the source article in the edit summary.

What happens if a student violates these rules?

The plagiarized content added might get deleted by another Wikipedia editor or a bot.The student may be warned, but warning will be given only once on the user talkpage. A deletion notice may be placed on the article page or the article discussion page. If repeatedly plagiarized material is being posted despite appropriate warnings the student might get blocked from editing.

Anatomy of Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia User Interface[edit]

Add a screenshot of Wikipedia India article and explain the following:

  • Discussion tab
  • View history
  • Edit tab
  • Languages
  • Search box
  • Info box

<<+ Screenshot>>

Structure of a Wikipedia Article[edit]

A quality Wikipedia article is the result of a well defined structure, encyclopedic content and an active community. Providing a clear article structure helps readers find information and assists editors in keeping all aspects of a topic well organized. Most quality articles have the following structure:

  • Lead Section that summarizes the key points covered in the article. Note that the lead section is without a header.
  • Table of Content
  • Information Box
  • The body of the article is follows the lead section and includes specific headers and subheaders. A geographic location, for example, might have the following headers: history, geography, climate, economy, civic administration, demographics and culture.
  • Appendices and Footnotes appear after the body of the article. These may include bibliographies, links to other Wikipedia articles, notes and references, relevant publications, and websites.
  • Content: Many Wikipedians consider content an important factor in evaluating an article's quality. Following four guidelines have been created by the Wikipedia Community to ensure consistent quality.
  1. Provide Sources: Writers are encouraged to provide sources for further information. Every fact should be reliable from a verifiable source.
  2. Neutral Point of View: Articles must be written fairly, without bias. They must present previously published notable views.
  3. No Promotional Content: Promotional material, how-to instructions, resumes and sales catalogs do not belong in Wikipedia.
  4. No Original Research: It is not appropriate to include your own ideas or personal opinions on a subject. (Wikipedia calls this original research.)

<<+ Screenshot>>

Life of an article[edit]

Although the articles in Wikipedia should be detailed and well written, no one is expected to write a comprehensive article in just one draft. Articles typically start small and then mature through extensive collaboration, often following a pattern like this:

  • Most successful articles start small and consist of a summary of the topic (overview), a statement that tells why the topic is noteworthy ("the first...", "the biggest...", "the capital of...", etc.), and a source outside Wikipedia confirming the existence and importance of the topic (a credible publication or website). This basic article is called a stub. If any of the three items are missing, the community may assume the topic is not important and delete the article.
  • As other users add text and images to an article, it matures from a topical overview to a more detailed article that captures various perspectives such as historical (for example "in 1923, new factors..."), or global (for example "in Europe, this was viewed as..."). More active contributors might nominate their article for a Wikipedia peer review process. The Wikipedia peer review process involves close scrutiny of the article's quality from a broad group of Wikipedians. The process is applied to articles that have undergone extensive work. The review process involves addressing comments, questions and suggestions from the peer reviewers. Based on the feedback, the writers plan an improvement strategy using the article's Discussion page.
  • Finally, an article reaches a level where it is so well-written, sourced, and comprehensive, that only experts can add much value to it. These articles might be designated as good articles (GA).
  • A few articles could be recognized by the community as being of the highest quality. These are designated as featured articles (FA). Featured articles are displayed on the Wikipedia main page. It takes time and effort to write articles at this level. Collaborating to create a featured article is gratifying and also enhances your status in the Wikipedia community. Just as all other articles, a featured article continues to be edited.


What makes a quality article[edit]

A quality Wikipedia article is the result of a well defined structure, encyclopedic content, and an active community:

Structure: Providing a clear article structure helps readers find information and assists editors in keeping all aspects of a topic well organized. One way to learn about structure is to study featured articles, Wikipedia's finest articles. You can access all featured articles by going to the Wikipedia main page. Most quality articles have the following structure:

  • Lead section that summarizes the key points covered in the article. Note that the lead section is without a header.
  • The body of the article follows the lead section and includes specific headers and subheaders. A geographic location, for example, might have the following headers: history, geography, climate, economy, civic administration, demographics, and culture.
  • Appendices and footnotes appear after the body of the article. These may include bibliographies, links to other Wikipedia articles, notes and references, relevant publications, and websites.

Content: Many Wikipedians consider content the most important factor in judging an article's quality. To ensure consistent quality, the Wikipedia community created these four guidelines.

  • Provide Sources: Writers are encouraged to provide sources for further information. Every fact should be verifiable by a reliable source.
  • Neutral Point of View: Articles must be written fairly, without bias, and present previously published notable views.
  • No Promotional Content: Promotional material, how- to instructions, resumes, and sales catalogs do not belong in Wikipedia.
  • No Original Research: It is not appropriate to include your own new ideas on a subject (Wikipedia calls this original research), or your personal opinions about a subject.

Community: All contributions to Wikipedia are freely licensed to the public. That means that no editor owns any article. All contributions can and will be heavily edited by many different users. In other words, everybody can join in the decision making process. The community also uses Discussion to agree on the content structure for the article. For times when consensus is hard to reach, check out the various options available at Help > The Wikipedia community. Some writers and editors have years of experience with Wikipedia and their experience can be a valuable resource for resolving conflicts.


Wikipedia User Account & User Page[edit]

Creating a user account is a good first step when you begin contributing to Wikipedia. An account allows you to create new articles (pages), upload images, and rename pages.

Wikipedia User Account[edit]

It is possible to edit Wikipedia without having an account. However, an account provides with numerous benefits as follows:

  • With an account, you have an identity on Wikipedia, since every edit is assigned to your account username. In the absence of an account, these edits are assigned computer's Internet protocol (IP) address. The Wikipedia community distrusts edits edits from an IP address, especially it is traced to a school or company network, where unregistered users may make edits based on their biased interests.
  • On the other hand, an identity will help you to interact with others that edit the same articles, and thus become a trusted member of the community.
  • As you get accustomed to Wikipedia, you’ll find that you have more to say in discussions and you might help others solve problems.
  • An account will also allow your mentor to view the Wikipedia contributions attached to your user account, based on which s/he will be able to assess your wiki assignments.
  • An account will also allow you to access special features such as My Watchlist. A Watchlist allows you to follow the articles that you are editing and bookmark other interesting pages. (Note: You can add a page to your watchlist by clicking on the star icon at the top of the article.)


Try it!

Create a Wikipedia user account. It’s easy and takes less than a minute!

  1. Click Log in/create account, located at the top right side of the page.
  2. Choose your Username.
  3. Select your Password.
  4. Add you E-Mail Address(optional).
  5. Click Create account.

<<+ Screenshot>>

Video: Wikipedia Username

Video: Nice people

Wikipedia User Page[edit]

A User Page on Wikipedia is like short profile where you can add information about yourself, your interests and hobbies, and so on. For instance, “Hi, My name is ABC and I’m a student at XYZ College. I like to read, listen to music and play video games. Post your comments and suggestions on my talk page.”


IMP: Add this code: Template:User WikiProject India Education Program at the end of your user page to show that you’re a member of Wikipedia IEP.

Try it!

Create a Wikipedia user page.

  1. Click on your Username which appears next to the bust icon.
  2. Click Edit to write about yourself.
  3. Add this code: Template:User WikiProject India Education Program at the end of the page to show that you’re a member of Wikipedia IEP
  4. Click Save at the bottom of the screen when you’re finished writing.

<<+ Screenshot>>

Communication on Wikipedia[edit]

Understand Talk page/Discussion page[edit]

Every user account and article has a talk page/discussion page associated with it.

Every user account has a My talk page. My talk page is a place where other contributors can leave messages for you and you can respond. Many contributors leave welcome greetings to new users. Others might use the space to start a conversation with you, help you edit articles etc. When someone has left you a message that way, you will see an orange information notice the next time you log in or view a page on Wikipedia.

Every article has a Discussion page. Article discussion page is a place where contributors collaborate to write articles. Usually contributors discuss how should they structure the article, share additional references, share external links, discuss why a particular section was deleted or added etc. Article discussion page is also called as article talk page.

The talk page associated with an article is named "Talk:Example", where "Example" is the name of the article. For example, the talk page for discussion of improvements to the article India is named Talk:India.

<<+ Screenshot>>

Click here for video tutorial.

Talk Page Use[edit]

  1. To discuss a new topic, start a new section by going to a new line and typing a title such as this: == Can you please help? == or with a suitable title you wish to raise.
  2. To respond to already existing discussion, add your comment below the last entry in the discussion.

Sign your message on talk pages[edit]

You should sign and date your messages on all talk pages. To do this easily, type four tildes (Nitika.t 10:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)) at the end of your comment, or just click the signature button on the row of buttons above the edit box. This will be automatically converted into a user signature and the date and time.

<<+ Screenshot>>

Wikipedia Editing Skills[edit]

Understand & Create Wikipedia Sandbox[edit]

Sandbox is a place where you can:

  • Explore how to write an article
  • Explore how to add references
  • Explore wikimark up
  • Explore how to add citation
  • Explore how to add a table
  • Explore how to add headings
  • Etc. Etc.

Sandbox is a simulation of the article main space where you can play around and learn how to write an article on Wikipedia. To start with use the sandbox to write your article. Do not forget to click Save page when you are done editing.


Try it!

Create a Wikipedia Sandbox.

  1. Go to your User page. In the search box you will see a URL like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:YourUsername
  2. Add a name for your sandbox at the end of this URL like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:YourUsername/testspace
  3. Click on “Start the User:YourUsername/testspace page
  4. You are now in your sandbox!

<<+ Screenshot>>

Understand how to add an edit[edit]

Every page has an "Edit " tab which lets you edit the page you are looking at. It is Wikipedia's most basic feature, and allows you to make corrections and add facts to articles. If you add information to an article, please provide references, because unreferenced facts can be removed. So be clear and provide references. To practice editing, go to the sandbox and click the "Edit" tab. When you click the "Edit" tab, that will open an editing window containing the text for that page. Type in something fun and interesting, or just replace words with your own words. Now click the Save page button and see what you have done!


Wiki Markup[edit]

Wiki markup is used to format an article on Wikipedia.

  • How to add bullet list?
  • How to ass numbered list?
  • How to write in bold/italics?
  • How to add headers?

Wiki Markup basic cheat sheet: Wikimarkup Cheat sheet

<<+ Screenshot>>

Understand edit summary[edit]

Your first practice edit (above) left off two steps that you should do if you are editing an article or other page that people will read. So click the "Edit" tab again, enter some text, and then do those two additional steps. First, any time you edit a page, it is considered good etiquette (or "Wikiquette") to enter an explanation of your changes in the Edit summary box, which you'll find below the edit window. It's okay for your explanation to be quite short. For example, if you are making a spelling correction, you might just type "typo". Also, if the change you have made to a page is minor, such as correcting a spelling or grammar error, it's helpful if you check the box "This is a minor edit". (This box is only available if you have logged in.) For your sandbox edit, you probably want an edit summary such as "Testing".

Show Preview[edit]

Second, you should always use the Show preview button. After you've entered a change in the edit box for the sandbox, click the Show preview button instead of Save Page. This lets you see what the page will look like after your edit, before you actually save. We all make mistakes; this feature helps you catch them before other people see them. Using Show Preview before saving also lets you try format changes and other edits without cluttering up the page history. Do not forget to save your edits after previewing, though!

A four-line window. The top line says "Edit summary (Briefly describe the changes you have made)". The second line is a blank input area. The third is one checkbox for "This is a minor edit" and another for "Watch this page". The last line contains buttons "Save page", "Show preview", "Save Changes", and a non-button "Cancel".
Edit commands


Save the page[edit]

Done the edit summary? Previewed the page? Then you're ready for the final step: click the Save page button.


Your Support System[edit]

Campus Ambassadors[edit]

Campus Ambassadors are students, staff, faculty, and local residents who provide face-to-face Wikipedia training and support on university campuses, particularly in classes where the instructors are interested in incorporating Wikipedia-editing into the curriculum. Campus Ambassadors do in-class presentations that introduce students to Wikipedia-editing, run labs/workshops on the technical and cultural aspects of Wikipedia, and in general offer in-person Wikipedia mentorship to students. They also lead outreach efforts at college/university campuses to spread the word about Wikipedia and recruit additional instructors and Ambassadors. They also help instructors who are interested in incorporating Wikipedia-editing in their teaching plans.

Online Ambassadors[edit]

Online Ambassadors serve as mentors, advisors, and helpers to the professors and students who are using Wikipedia in the classroom. The "Online Ambassador Program" has been coordinated by WMF through the Global Education Program. Their role is to keep the newcomers from being "bitten" and help them learn both the how and the why of editing Wikipedia and participating in the community.

Help Page[edit]

Links to IEP Page[edit]

Do's & Don'ts for students[edit]

Do's Don'ts
* Add this code: {{User WikiProject India Education Program}} at the end of your user page to show that you’re a member of Wikipedia IEP. * Do not copy paste from other sources like text books, magazines, websites, white papers etc.
* Add this code: {{User WikiProject India Education Program}} at the end of your article discussion page to show that a student involved in IEP is working on this article. * Do not use blogs, twitter, Facebook as your reference.
* Refer to multiple resources to write your article. * Do not summarize, condense or write a synopsis of another article on Wikipedia.
* To start with write only in your sandbox. Only after getting your sandbox approved by your Online/Campus Ambassador that you should start editing the article space. * Do not start writing in the article space until you’ve got your Sandbox approved by your Online/Campus Ambassador.
* Check your talk page on regular basis for any comments/suggestions/help from other editors. * Do not use pictures by other people taken from the internet or scanned from printed material, unless they have been compatibly licensed. Ask first at Media copyright questions
* Check the discussion page of your article on regular basis for any comments/suggestions/help from other editors on the article you’re working on. Other editors might be leaving messages on discussion page to collaborate with you and plan your article structure, discuss and build consensus on article content or provide additional references etc. * Once your work is deleted/reverted by someone else don’t the same things again. Firstly try and understand why your content was reverted/deleted and then take an appropriate action.
Select stub/start articles. Editing these articles will give you the opportunity to add lots of content, references etc. Do not select a Good Article, Featured Article or any other well written article to edit as a part of in-class assignment. These articles are very well written and students will not have enough content to add to these articles.