Wikipedia:Instructional material

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A short video about the satisfaction editors get from contributing. (1:23 min)

This page provides links to instructional material useful for Wikipedia users, especially new users. The intent is to provide a quick directory of such materials Wikipedians have found useful, including tutorials and manuals on Wikipedia itself, and books, videos, and documents available on and outside Wikipedia. Because Wikipedia runs on the MediaWiki software, much of the training material for new Wikipedia users is also useful for users of other MediaWiki wikis, and vice versa.

Wikipedia's how to articles

Contributing to Wikipedia is the main page that provides information, links, videos and other resources on the basics needed to comprehend, comment on, and contribute to Wikipedia. Aside from the "Contributing to Wikipedia" page there are some shorter, topic specify and more comprehensive introduction pages as listed below. See also Help:Getting started for a more comprehensive listing of guides. To browse all "help" and "how to" related pages see the help menu or help directory.

About Wikipedia
  • Introduction — What is Wikipedia and how you can contribute.
Short tutorial
  • Tutorial — A simplified guide to editing Wikipedia.
Quick introductions
Comprehensive overviews
How-to book
  • The Missing Manual — A comprehensive how-to guide (book) that explains everything about contributing for novice to expert editors.
  • Tutorials and quickstart guides for the WikiEducator wiki - relevant to Wikipedia because that wiki also uses the MediaWiki software.
  • A number of tutorials appeared in the weekly internal newsletter, the Signpost. The January 14, 2008 issue had first of these.
  • The "Bookshelf" project -- a collection of various instructional materials about the Wikimedia world.

Screencasts and Videos


and script
(associated wikiproject)
Topic Date Time Audience
Editing basics: citing sources, part 1 Text formatting 2010-10 2:03 Beginner
Editing basics: boldness and links Text formatting 2010-10 3:37 Beginner
How to start a sandbox article Article creation 2010-09 2:11 Beginner
How to use talk pages Collaboration 2011-02 2:30 Beginner
How to use watchlists Collaboration 2011-01 2:10 Beginner
How to add an image Images 2010-09 1:25 Beginner
How to use bold and italics Text formatting 2010-09 0:55 Beginner
How to link text Text formatting 2010-09 0:55 Beginner
Uploading files to Wikimedia Commons (using the Upload Wizard) Images 2011-03 2:48 Beginner
Category explanation and how to use the HotCat gadget
(WikiProject Categories)
Categories 2010-03 5:45 Intermediate
How to create a Wikipedia article - Right to science and culture Article creation 2010-02 8:15 Intermediate
The steps in creating a user account on the English Wikipedia New account 2008-12 2:40 Beginner


Available screencasts on how to edit Wikipedia
Subject/link Length Author Date
Creating a new user account (WP version) 2:35 BillWedemeyer December 8, 2008
Start editing 7:15 BillWedemeyer December 8, 2008
Creating a new article 3:42 BillWedemeyer December 9, 2008
Cheatsheet 3:26 BillWedemeyer December 9, 2008


An administrator of a public wiki recorded some MediaWiki training videos, to help people learn how to edit on his wiki. Most of the material in the videos applies to any MediaWiki site, including Wikipedia; many of the examples actually feature Wikipedia. You can view the videos from the wiki page, or download the videos in high resolution (.avi files), or download lower resolution files in Quicktime format.

In addition, there are some screencasts posted to YouTube.

Other videos

  • How to create a Wikipedia article - at Howcast (video 3:36m).
  • Wikipedia beneath the surface - from North Carolina State University (video 6:41m).
  • "Wikis in Plain English", May 2007. In this case, "plain" may be a bit repetitive, but for those who prefer pictures to words, this is a good, brief introduction to the concept of a wiki. (And no, editing a wiki isn't normally done in rotation, as the video happens to show.)



  • Phoebe Ayers; Charles Matthews; Ben Yates (2008). How Wikipedia Works:. No Starch Press. ISBN 978-1-59327-176-3.
  • John Broughton (2008). Wikipedia: The Missing Manual. O'Reilly Media, Inc. ISBN 978-0-596-55377-7.
  • Andrea Forte; Amy Bruckman (2005). Why Do People Write for Wikipedia? (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing.
  • Dan O'Sullivan (2009). Wikipedia: A New Community of Practice?. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4094-8606-0.
  • Joseph Michael Reagle, Jr.; Lawrence Lessig (2010). Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01447-2.


  • Henriette Fiebig (ed.). Wikipedia: das Buch.
  • Ziko van Dijk. Wikipedia. Wie Sie zur freien Enzyklopädie beitragen. Open Source Press, Munich 2010.
  • Nando Stöcklin: Wikipedia clever nutzen – in Schule und Beruf. Orell Füssli, Zürich 2010, 149 S., ISBN 978-3-280-04065-2 (CHF 26.90)

Other languages

  • Esperanto:
    • Ziko van Dijk. Vikipedio por vi. Espero, 2008.
  • Swedish:


  • Mizanur Rahman. MediaWiki Administrators' Tutorial Guide: Install, manage, and customize your MediaWiki installation. Packt Press. Published March 2007. ISBN 978-1904811596
  • Daniel Barrett. MediaWiki (Wikipedia and Beyond). O'Reilly. Published October 2008. ISBN 978-0596519797.

See also

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