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SubGenius Wikia Clench:Writing a Good Article

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This is being reviewed by any editor who wants to. Comments and suggestions on this article can be made at Forum:Writing_a_good_article.

Please understand that these guidelines are the ideal, they are not meant to discourage you from editing. If you want to make a contribution to this wiki without doing all of this, go ahead. We'd rather have incomplete contributions than no contributions at all!

How to write a "good" article ("good" is in quotes for "good" reason)

Articles should try to avoid excessive redlinks (that is, links to articles that do not exist). Redlinks should either be to an article you plan to create as soon as possible (i.e., hopefully within less than a day), or an article you think really needs to be here. As for what to do with existing redlinks, if the topic in question is within the purview of this wiki (i.e. related to the Church of the SubGenius or related to a rival cult, notable kook, or interesting/relevant conspiracy theory) go ahead and create an article about it... otherwise if it's not related to SubGenius-y stuff you can either link to an article on another wiki (such as Wikipedia or any of the other wikis on Wikia), link directly to a website rather than a wiki, or remove the link entirely. If you have common nonsense or uncommon sense you should probably be able to figure out what is best to do on your own. To find redlinks in existing articles, check Wanted Pages.

Secondly, every article should have at least one picture in it, so it isn't just words, and having at least one video is also a plus. Images can not only enhance an article, they can make it more likely to be found by search engines (see here). Pictures and videos should be at least somewhat related to the topic of the article. Try and get permission for any copyrighted picture and give credit to the copyright holder. As for videos, try embedding ones from YouTube, Wikia has tutorials about how to do that... you can also embed from other websites (Wikia has a list of them somewhere) but YouTube is usually the easiest to embed. But if you aren't sure how to embed links, you can simply link to the video and another editor can do this for you.

Third, articles should link to each other. The reason for this is simple; it helps people find other articles and keeps them on this wiki. Ideally, for every article you create on this wiki, you should create links to it in other related articles. There should be at least one link to every article (articles with no links to them in main space are often called "orphans"). Articles should generally have several links to other articles...if you mention anything that there is an article about, such as the Conspiracy, "Bob" Dobbs, SubGenii, the number 23, etc., you should turn the mention of it into a link (typically the first mention of it in the article). However, if you don't make links, other editors are encourage to do so. And you may certainly add appropriate links to an already existing article. Keep in mind, though, that excessively links can be distracting.

Copying articles from other wikis, websites, etc. word-for-word is highly discouraged, although it isn't outright forbidden. Just try and do it as little as possible, only when absolutely necessary (try changing words around, paraphrasing, making things sound sillier, putting in links to other articles, replacing factual content with stuff you just make up at the exact moment you are typing it). Try to write as much of the article as possible yourself. If you find an existing article that appears to be copied word-for-word from elsewhere, you could rewrite all the parts that look like they are copied from elsewhere, using your OWN words and ideas, and change some things around, add stuff you made up, and remove anything boring. And of course once it's completed it should ideally have several links to other articles and also have at least one picture in the article. But remember that if you use information from other sources that's copyrighted, even if under a CC or GNU license (this includes other wikis), you are legally required to give credit to the contributors. Sometimes the easiest way to do this for admins is to export an article from one wikia and import it here and then adopt it to this wiki. An admin may be able to help you do this. To avoid accusations of direct copying, you can put a Construction tag like this {{Construction}} at the top of the article.

Most articles should have "truthiness", that is have a feel that they make sense and could be true even when they don't and aren't. They can be about halfway between extremely sensible-sounding English that makes perfect sense, and complete nonsensical gibberish word salad verbal diarrhea... as long as it's entertaining. Try to strike the right balance somewhere in between. Basically, they could, in effect, BE complete nonsense, except with enough proper grammar and punctuation that they SEEM to make sense if you don't think too hard about it. A well-written article could be self-contradictory and put forth ideas that are completely insane, while being written well enough to sound sensible and persuasive if the reader isn't paying too close attention. However, information that is intended to help the reader (accurate links, for example) should generally be accurate--see the link to rules below.

Articles should also try and put forward the SubGenius perspective on things, if there is any SubGenius perspective on a given topic and you know what it is. If you don't know something, just make it up. Finally, articles can be full of jokes that are disguised as being serious, jokes that aren't obvious.

You should add relevant categories to articles (linked there is a list of categories that currently exist). For instance, an article about a book should be in the Books category, an article that relates to the Cthulhu mythos should be in the Cthulhu category, an article about a god should be in the Gods category, an article about a slogan should be in the Slogans category, and so on. Again, this is an ideal not a requirement, but is encouraged.

Lastly, make sure to follow the rules.

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