Choosing your approach to editing articles
There are two types of Wikipedia articles that typically get used in article-writing events:
- Existing articles: The best type of articles for Editathons are existing short or under-researched articles that can be easily expanded. This is especially true if the event runners are not experienced contributors to Wikipedia. Existing articles have already been on Wikipedia for some time, so have been reviewed by at least one or two community members as Notable (eligible for inclusion in Wikipedia). For example, in 2017 the Art+Feminism Campaign shifted to encouraging expansion of articles. Since they mostly work with new organizers and contributors, they found fewer incidences of articles being nominated for deletion or negative criticism from community members.
- New articles: Encouraging new editors to write new articles can be challenging: new contributors don’t always know how to integrate articles into Wikipedia in ways that other editors acknowledge as quality work. Additionally, by starting with new articles, new editors have to engage in some of the more complex components of content writing (such as deciding the structure and scope of the page). Nevertheless, some editathons require starting new content, especially when the editathon is focused on a topic less covered on the projects.
When preparing suggested articles for new contributors, consider having 5-10 more articles than you expect attendees. This allows for attendees to have sufficient amount of choice among the articles, allows folks to work on different topics if they get stuck, and accounts for unexpected attendees at the event.