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Wikipedia edit-a-thon: Teaching yourself

This guide provides information on why editing Wikipedia is important, how to learn to edit Wikipedia, and how to host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon from preparation, set up, and the actual event.

Learning to edit

Learning to edit Wikipedia can seem daunting. Use the resources on this page to learn the basics of Wikipedia editing. Once you've got the basics down, go out and teach others to edit as well!

Create an account

The first step to editing Wikipedia is creating an account. Go to Wikipedia's Create account page to get started. Remember that your username is publicly visible and all edits you make will be attributed to your username. View Wikipedia's Username policy to learn more about usernames.

Art + Feminism Resources - Learning to Edit

Learning to edit

There are a variety of ways to add information to Wikipedia; you can add citations, add information to a page, or create a whole new page. Use the resources below to learn the basics of editing Wikipedia. These resources may also be helpful for teaching others the basics of Wikipedia.

Basics of editing - Visit Wikipedia's Help:Editing for a basic introduction to editing Wikipedia. There are two different interfaces users can choose from to when editing. Wiki Markup is Wikipedia's primary editor and it works like a plain text file and editing is done using simple code. The VisualEditor is Wikipedia's secondary editing interface and it looks more like a word processor where edits are made using a toolbar or popup interfaces. Beginning editors may find themselves more comfortable with the VisualEditor as it looks less intimidating.

Minor edits - A minor edit is an edit that does not substantially change the page such as typographical fixes, corrections of formatting errors, or fixing small misinformation errors. Visit Wikipedia's Minor edit page to learn more. Completing minor edits is a good way for new Wikipedians to get used to editing.

Major edits - Major edits are those that may have a significant impact on the Wikipedia page such as adding or removing large swaths of information. Visit Wikipedia's Editing policy and Talking and editing page to learn more.

Adding Citations - Adding citations is an important thing a Wikipedia editor can do. Citations help others find where information came from and improves the reliability of an article. Visit Wikipedia's Referencing for beginners page to learn more.

Sandbox - All Wikipedia accounts come with a Sandbox that allows a user to experiment with editing Wikipedia without actually editing Wikipedia. A user is also able to draft articles in their sandbox and then have it published. Visit Wikipedia's Sandbox page to learn more about how to use the sandbox.


Wikipedia has tutorials for learning how to use Wiki Markup and the VisualEditor. The tutorials go over the basics of editing, linking to other Wikipedia pages. publishing changes, and creating new articles.

View Wikipedia's Wiki Markup tutorial.

View Wikipedia's VisualEditor tutorial.

The Wikipedia Adventure Game

The Wikipedia Adventure is a game that allows users to learn to edit Wikipedia in an hour by completing a variety of missions.

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