Wikipedia editing basics: Citing sources (part 1)

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Wikipedia editing basics: Citing sources (part 1)

Wikipedia editing basics: Citing sources (part 1)


This tutorial demonstrates the bare essentials of how to cite sources with footnotes on Wikipedia pages. You can try out the mechanics of creating footnotes in your own user sandbox page. If you don’t already have a sandbox, go to the page ”Help:Sandbox tutorial” for instructions on starting one. Now, let’s edit the sandbox. First we need to create a section for the footnotes. Create a section at the bottom of the page, by adding two equal signs, then the name of the section — say, ”Notes” — then two more equal signs. Now we have a special bit of code beneath the section header — a template — to mark where the footnotes get displayed. It’s the word ”reflist” inside two sets of curly brackets. Now let’s add a citation. This page includes the claim that “Being bold is important on Wikipedia”. We should back that up with a footnote saying the “Be Bold” guideline, which says that when you find a problem on Wikipedia, you should just be bold and fix it. In the most basic form, a footnote consists of the text of the footnote between opening and closing ”ref” tags. So right after the sentence about being bold, we had a ref tag, then our citation — Be bold guideline, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, retrieved on such and such date — then a closing ref tag. Now enter an edit summary and save the page, and we can see the result. The numbered superscript appears where we added the ”ref” tags, and that links to the corresponding text of the citation in the notes section. The next tutorial demonstrates how to use the ”cite” function in the editing toolbar, which is a way to automatically create well-formatted footnotes. Until then, be bold, and cite often!

4 thoughts on Wikipedia editing basics: Citing sources (part 1)

  1. They are a pos ..they allow people to changer or block usernames without basis of facts. That have no known facts to block. If a person or persons doesn't like that you have the truth/facts they can block you from editing. Hence the Facts can never come out. This is a pos place. A nonfactual/untruthful area

  2. Ref/citation UI should be smart enough to accept source URL and instamagically populate all appropriate fields.

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