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How Wikipedia Works by Ben Yates, Charles Matthews, Phoebe Ayers

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Chapter 4. Understanding and Evaluating an Article

Once you’ve found the content you’re looking for, the next thing you need to know is what you’re looking at. With an understanding of namespaces and content types in Wikipedia, you can easily tell whether you’re looking at an article, a discussion page, a community page, or a user page; and once you know how to search and browse the site, finding articles on your topic is simple. The next step is assessing an article’s quality.

Understanding how to read all the components of an article—from its edit history to its discussion pages—is key for skilled and sensible reading of Wikipedia. Experienced editors and readers use many tricks to quickly evaluate pages and understand their state. It’s a matter ...

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