As part of our commitment to improving the quality of the resources we offer to instructors and students, we’ve revised and updated seven of our classroom handouts. The new versions explain Wikipedia’s policies and procedures in a way student editors can understand.
All of these handouts can be downloaded as single .pdf documents by clicking on the links to the right of each title. You can also download the full collection as a single .pdf at the end. They will be permanently linked alongside the other materials on our Instructor’s page, too.
Using Talk Pages (pdf)
Talk Pages are a student’s gateway to the Wikipedia community. Since your students will use talk pages to interact with your course page and each other, as well as other Wikipedia editors, this handout addresses the technical aspects of how to find, use, and sustain basic etiquette on their talk pages or those of articles they’re working on. Topics include setting up a new talk page, commenting on an existing one, and setting up e-mail alerts.
Choosing an Article (pdf)
This handout offers some collected advice from students and instructors on how to find an article topic worth adding or expanding. Divided into a “Do” and “Don’t” column, topics include comparing available literature to the literature presented on Wikipedia, how to find articles related to their topic area, and advice on starting their articles from scratch or from stubs.
Citing Sources (pdf)
Citations are the backbone of Wikipedia, and of most Wikipedia-based classroom assignments. This is a practical and advice-driven guide on identifying good sources, and how to cite those sources using Wiki markup. The handout introduces the citation toolbar and other areas to check for help.
Avoiding Plagiarism (pdf)
This guide introduces plagiarism policies on Wikipedia, with examples of appropriate and inappropriate (“close”) paraphrasing. We find students are often confused by Wikipedia’s paraphrasing policies. This handout contextualizes and offers examples for doing it right.
Moving Out of Your Sandbox (pdf)
Once students have created a few well-sourced paragraphs for their article with a good overview, they’re encouraged to move it out of the safety of their sandbox and into Wikipedia’s article namespace. This guide provides a technical description of how to do that through Wikipedia’s interface, and offers some guidance on what to expect once it enters the article namespace.
Polishing Your Articles (pdf)
This brochure explains some final steps for making a Wikipedia article better. Two topics are tackled: Uploading images to their article from Wikimedia Commons, and adding links to and from their article and other articles on Wikipedia.
“Did You Know” submissions (pdf)
Advanced classes may want to submit their article to Wikipedia’s “Did You Know” (DYK) process. Articles selected for DYK must be well-sourced and follow several other guidelines, all outlined in the handout. Successful submissions enjoy front-page status on Wikipedia.
Download the full series (pdf)
Download the full suite of our handouts for your course in a single .pdf file.
Let us know how you make use of these handouts, and tell us what changes or future topics you’d like us to cover.