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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Add Sourced Content

If an article doesn’t have sources, it’s pointless to spend a lot of time working on the organization or writing. The article may get deleted for lack of reliable sources, so you may be just rearranging junk in a garage so it looks aesthetically pleasing. Instead, devote your time to finding sources. If an article has little content, you need sources that provide more content. If an article has lots of unsourced statements, you need to find sources to do one of three things:

  • Support those statements, so you can keep them in.

  • Contradict those statements, so you have justification to delete them (by adding cited information that says the opposite).

  • Provide enough new content to supplant those statements, so you can move them to the article talk page, and invite others to add them back when they find sources.

Chapter 2 discussed how to add content, and listed a number of places on Wikipedia that can help you find it. Here are some additional considerations to think about as you look for and add content:

  • Don’t just use a search engine. There are lots of places to find sources. Chapter 4, on new articles, has a comprehensive list (Resources for Writing Articles). Most good articles aren’t built just by using a search engine like Google. Among the most valuable sources are online databases of articles available through schools and libraries.

  • Edit one section at a time, not the entire article, if you anticipate objections. If there’s any possibility that other editors who ...

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