Help:New Article

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I thought this
was supposed to be

RationalMedia Foundation (RMF)

So you want to create a new article?

Is it needed?[edit]

First check that it doesn't already exist — search for the subject. You'll probably find that there are related subjects already there to which you could add a contribution. Don't forget to check other relevant namespaces before re-searching.

There is a category (Category:Articles needing expansion) which is added to articles in need of expansion i.e. where the subject would be improved by application of some (your?) expert knowledge.

If you still think that you have a valid article subject, decide where you want to put it, then — STOP.

Is it relevant?[edit]

Read RW's standards and What is an RW article?

Once you have read and absorbed the RW ethos (such as it is) you are ready to start:

Let's begin[edit]

Starting out[edit]

  • It is best to start in a sandbox - a subpage of your userpage, especially if your juices are flowing and might result in a large article. In order to make such a page search for User:Your username/sandbox and create the page. If you would like other people to help write it as well, you should start a draft.
  • Decide on a title
    • This will be in large bold letters at the top of the page and also in any category you assign it to; so make sure it's relevant and spelled correctly.
    • Only use capital letters where "required" - this makes the article title easier to link to if it occurs in text elsewhere. E.g. this help file should have been called "new article" or "New article", not "New Article".
    • If possible, make your article title singular; use "crank" rather than "cranks" for example, since it is easy to link to the plural by leaving the "s" or "es" outside the square brackets.
  • The easiest way to create the page is to "search" for the title using "Go" and click on "create this page". (Make sure your title's pretty though.)

Go on...[edit]

  • Type your words of wisdom!
    • It is customary for the first mention of the subject within the body of the article to be in bold type. Use three apostrophes before and after it to do this: '''word for bolding''': word for bolding.
  • Don't forget to include citations, if you have any.
  • If your article is only a start on the subject and you believe that other input might help to improve it then include at the end: {{Stub}}. This will transclude (import) a box saying STUB and add it to the list of articles for expansion.
  • All articles are patrolled at intervals by a 'bot' - an automatic program that, in this case, measures the length of the article. Articles below a certain length are presumed to be Stubs, and therefore to be in need of expansion, and will be categorised as very short articles; slightly longer articles will not be stubbed but will still be flagged. If you consider that an article, although very short, is not in need of expansion, a brief description of a topic with deeper reference elsewhere for example, then the expression: {{nostub}} should be placed on the page, normally at the foot, this will cause the bot to ignore the article. The expression will not be visible on the page. You should only do this if your "relatively short" article is fairly complete on its subject, is well-linked to the rest of the wiki, and properly categorized.

Some basic "wiki-fu"[edit]

  • Whenever possible Without exception you should put your article in a category. This is simple: add as many of these: [[category:the relevant cat]] as required, down the end of your page. A list of categories is at Cat list. You should try to be as specific as possible when including categories. For example, your article on France should not go in Category:Countries, Category:Geography, and Category:Europe—it should go into Category:European countries. However, you'll want to do this after it is out of your sandbox. Otherwise your (incomplete) article will show up in the sidebar navigation templates.
  • Links are good, for references and explanations, but try to avoid links without valid targets, these are redlinks and are anathema. If you do create an article with red links it is considered good form to write a stub for the red links you have created - if it is relevant.
    • If the wording in the article isn't quite what you want to link to, you can use a "pipe": the | character. The target comes first and the wording you want to use comes after the pipe. [[Help:Links|Links]] will display as Links, for example.

Uploading your article[edit]

  • Remember: apart from the "Essay" namespace, once you've clicked that "Save page" button it's fair game for anyone to edit, so make it purrfect [sic] before you Select, Copy and Paste from your word processor.
  • Once the edit box appears, click on it and Paste your masterpiece.
  • please click for a preview first - it's not always obvious where your formatting won't translate how you want it - , check and edit, repeat as often as it takes before finally clicking Save.

Further advice[edit]

  • Take note of the copyright © advice on the edit page.[1]
  • Within seconds you'll have typo, spelling, grammar and general nerdy geeks landing on it. Don't worry that no-one actually reads it for a while, if it's any good (or really bad) the talk page should open up sometime during the next few hours and keep you occupied.
  • Create links to your new article from other relevant articles which mention the subject. This will help raise the profile of your article and more users will find it.
  • It's a good idea to create redirect pages for variants on the article title. For example, if the title is a singular noun, users may also search for the plural form or other variants. Creating a redirect page only takes a few moments, and may prevent a duplicate article being written on the same subject. See here for more information.
  • Forget not: unless it's an essay, once you've saved it, it's not yours any more; your baby's left home, watch her grow!


  1. Copyright material is OK only if you have the copyright owner's explicit permission to reproduce. If you have this permission it must be included either in the body of the article or as a reference.

See also[edit]