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Writing a New Article on wikiHow: Tips & Best Practices
Last Updated: March 31, 2023
Article outline, writing tips.
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Hannah Madden is a writer, editor, and artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, she graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Hannah enjoys writing articles about conservation, sustainability, and eco-friendly products. When she isn’t writing, you can find Hannah working on hand embroidery projects and listening to music. This article has been viewed 375,780 times. Learn more...
Becoming an author on wikiHow is probably easier than you'd think—just create a new page, type in the title of an article you want to write, and write to your heart's content. Starting an article that will actually help readers takes more work than many people expect, though. We ask that you do not use chatbots or auto-generated content tools in creating your article. Your article should be real, human, and come from you! A strong article involves understanding wikiHow's most basic policies, putting yourself in the readers' shoes, doing some research, and organizing your writing. By taking the time to learn these skills, you'll not only help more people, but you'll also develop practical writing skills that you can apply in many other areas of your life.
Use the article below and the wikiHow Writer's Guide to increase the chance of your article passing the quality review process.
Things You Should Know
- Pick a topic that hasn’t been written about on the site yet.
- Create an outline filled with actionable, specific steps. Tell your reader exactly what to do and how to do it.
- Back up all your steps with quality references that you cite throughout the article.
- Make sure your article is formatted correctly, and proofread it before publishing it on wikiHow.
- If we already have an article on the topic you want to write, but it's incomplete, inaccurate, or messy, feel free to completely rewrite it from scratch!
- If you're not sure whether the article you want to write is the same as an article we already have, take a look at the Merge Policy or ask the Help Team.
- If you don't feel ready to write an article at this level of detail, that's totally okay. You can write a basic outline for others to build on, or you can spend time improving existing articles on wikiHow instead.
- Is there anything other people do that repeatedly frustrates you, and makes you think: If only they had the right guide or information, they could avoid that pitfall?
- Is there anything you've had to do in the past that was difficult or challenging for you? What did you learn from that experience? How did you adapt? Is there any advice you could share with others going through the same thing?
- Maybe you have a dream of visiting London, so you create an article titled “How to Visit London.”
- Or, maybe you’re going skydiving for the first time, so you write an article called “How to Skydive for Beginners.”
- What kind of emotions is my reader feeling?
- What does my reader want to learn?
- How can I provide the information my reader wants?
- Keep an open mind when you Google your topic. Your audience might not always be who you expect!
- In general, a “Parts” article covers sequential steps, while a “Methods” article covers a topic that has multiple different methods to choose from.
- You'll indicate whether the article should be Parts or Methods at the very bottom of the article, with either __ Parts __ or __ Methods __ (note: this is 2 underscores on each side of the word).
- An article with at least 10 steps.
- Each step has at least 4 sentences.
- The article tells the reader something that other articles on the web don't.
- For instance, if you’re writing about “How to Walk a Dog,” you might have headers like, “Gathering Supplies” and “Walking Around the Block.”
- Format your headers like this: === Gathering Supplies ===
- This first sentence will automatically be bolded to draw the reader’s attention to it. Use a # in front of each step (the numbers are automatic).
- For example, if your article is about planting succulents, one step might start with, “# Fill a pot with potting soil.”
- Or, if your article is about walking a dog, a step might start with, “# Buy a harness and leash.”
- Avoid steps starting with “Research this.” They are researching; that's what they're doing on wikiHow.
- For instance, in “# Buy a harness and leash.” your wrap text might say, “A well-fitting harness will give you extra control over your dog and help you lead them as you walk. Be sure to pair that harness with a sturdy leash that’s made for your dog’s size.”
- Try to stay away from "robot language." This is when you don't provide an article or possessive like a/the/your. It's pretty common for writers to do this in the step title (the bold part of the step), but it makes your writing seem a little stilted/impersonal. For example, “Place chicken in water” should be “Place the chicken in the water”; “Express feelings” should be “Express your feelings.”
- Use a #* to make a sentence into a substep.
- To continue the example from above, you might use a substep to include additional information about harnesses or leashes, like, “#* Most harnesses come in sizes small, medium, large, or extra-large. Be sure to follow the size guide to get the right one for your dog.”
- Format the Tips and Warnings like this: == Tips == and == Warnings ==
- Use a * before each tip and warning to automatically make it a bulleted list.
- A list of existing articles on similar topics will come up. If there's already a title that means the same thing as yours according to the Merge Policy, click on it. This will allow you to edit (or rewrite) the existing article to make it better.
- Otherwise, select “None of these are exactly the same” and then click “Write My Article.”
- “Have you ever been super excited to go to a party where all your friends will be, and maybe some crushes too, only to show up and freeze the second you walk through the door?”
- “Do you ever wonder how astronauts get ready to go into space?”
- “Are you wondering what to do with that big chunk of top round steak you found on sale at the grocery store?”
- Avoid referring to the article with phrases like “follow these steps” or “here are 3 methods” or “see below.” Instead, the introduction should be able to stand alone as an introduction to the topic at hand.
- It’s okay if you don’t catch everything right away—you can still edit your article after it’s been published.
- Don’t be surprised if your work gets edited or rearranged at any point. Since anyone can edit on wikiHow, other readers may add to your work.
- Be sure that you have permission to use the images that you are uploading. This means that you either need to own the image (meaning you created it or took it), or you purchased the image from a stock photo site or similar.
- Don't be afraid to briefly teach readers why something works. Often, background information on why something is the case enriches the step. Try including “why” information in your wrap text after you've adequately explained the how.
- Similarly, we've found that readers prefer to have “Preparing” sections at the end of the article (even when it seems out of order to do it that way).
- The bottom line is to answer the reader's “question” (How do I do something) as quickly as possible. When you start with “Understanding the Thing” or “Preparing to Do the Thing,” you're delaying giving the reader the information they're here for.
- Try not to over-promise, either. You don’t want to tell readers that you have a miracle cure for an ailment, when actually, it’s just an herbal supplement that may or may not work.
- Set aside 2 hours or more to fully write and publish a wikiHow article. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Writing a wikiHow article is just like any other skill: it takes practice! If your article isn’t perfect the first time, that’s totally fine—we all start somewhere. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- ↑ https://www.wikihow.com/wikiHow:Writer%27s-Guide
About This Article
Writing a new WikiHow article can be a fun exercise, so choose something you know a lot about and follow style guidelines to get started! Pick a topic you're familiar with, which will make it easier for you to include all relevant information. Research your topic to find information to back up the points you plan to make. Before you start writing, make an outline of the article, including all of the methods or steps you intend to include. Then, fill in the details of each step using your research. Finally, go to “Help Us” at the top of the page and select “Write an article” to publish your piece. For tips on how to edit your article before publishing it, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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move to sidebarhide (Top) 1The basics 2Search for an existing article 3Gathering references 4Things to avoid 5And be careful about... 6Are you closely connected to the article topic? 7Create your draft 8And then what? Toggle And then what? subsection 8.1Keep making improvements 8.2Improve formatting 8.3Avoid orphans
To write a new article from scratch, you'll need to create and confirm a Wikipedia account. Method 1 Proposing a Draft Download Article 1 Launch the Wikipedia Article Wizard. To start creating, writing, and submitting a proposed article as a non-autoconfirmed user, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation.
1Structure of the article Toggle Structure of the article subsection 1.1Introductory material / Lead 1.2Paragraphs 1.3Headings 1.4Images 1.5Standard appendices 2Size Toggle Size subsection 2.1Articles covering subtopics 3Information style and tone Toggle Information style and tone subsection 3.1Summary style 3.2Inverted pyramid 3.3Tone
Here's how to do it. 1. Find a topic that interests you and which has either a bad Wikipedia article, or none at all. This is not hard, particularly if you fall outside the typical Wikipedian demographic (male, youngish, well-educated, and living in North America or Europe).
News: This type of article presents facts about something that happened recently or that will happen in the near future. It usually covers the 5 Ws and H: who, what, where, when, why and how. Feature: This type of article presents information in a more creative, descriptive way than a straight news article.
Make sure your article is formatted correctly, and proofread it before publishing it on wikiHow. Method 1 Article Topics 1 Write about something that hasn't been written about on wikiHow yet. Have an idea for a new article? Search through the wikiHow pages to make sure it hasn't already been created.
Wikipedia can be a good starting point, since many of its articles comprehensively cite the primary and secondary sources used. You can often find useful sources under the headings "References," "Further reading," and "External links" at the bottom of an article. Look for credible sources like scholarly journals and books.
To create a Wikipedia page you need to access a page title. Now for that four basic methods are followed. Method 1- Searching You enter the text in the search box and double-check of the title already exists. If it does, you will not be allowed to recreate a page.
5. Become a Wikipedia contributor. If you want to start a business page on Wikipedia, join the community first. Start by contributing to other pages before you sign up and create your business's ...
First, go to Wikipedia's "Writing an article" page. As you scroll down the page, you'll see a blue button that reads, "Article wizard: an easy way to create articles." Click this button (as long as you're autoconfirmed): Source: Wikipedia. Next, you'll be redirected to Wikipedia's Article Wizard.
When changing an article from the English Wikipedia, often your Simple English article uses 25% to 50% more words than in standard English. When the original English is poorly structured, you may need much more space. Please remember to use this guideline and all Wikipedia rules with common sense.
Instead, begin the entry on your works cited page with the Wikipedia page name in quotation marks. For the container name, use Wikipedia's full name. Here's what a Wikipedia citation looks like in MLA format: "Page name.". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Day Month Year last updated, permalink.
Step 4 - Write The Content. Now it's time for the biggest hurdle, which is actually writing the article itself. Gather all of your sources, and start drafting your article. Wikipedia biography pages all follow a similar format, which will help you structure your content: Biography. Early Life.
Wikipedia Writing Services. Our team of Wikipedia experts, talented writers, and editors provide efficient, high-quality articles in just a few days and at just the right prices. We create and maintain Wiki pages for our clients and offer the full range of Wikipedia page creation services.
Step-by-step process on how to edit or write for Wikipedia. The steps below will help you to write and publish an article on Wikipedia successfully. Step 1: Creating Your Account. Start by creating your account, which you can use to practice writing and editing a Wikipedia article or page. Ideally, I will recommend that you try to do at least ...
When making your own Wikipedia article you should aim for at least 100 words with three citations. You should draft your article in your sandbox. Tip: use an exemplar page as your guideline....