Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes


Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes gives you straightforward, practical answers when you need fast results. By working through the 10-minute lessons, you’ll learn everything you need to know to take advantage of the Wikipedia encyclopedia–and all of Wikipedia’s incredible resources.

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Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes gives you straightforward, practical answers when you need fast results. By working through the 10-minute lessons, you’ll learn everything you need to know to take advantage of the Wikipedia encyclopedia–and all of Wikipedia’s incredible resources.

Tips point out shortcuts and solutions

Cautions help you avoid common pitfalls

Notes provide additional information

Plain English explains new terms and definitions

10 minutes is all you need to learn how to…

  • Navigate the Wikipedia site and discover its latest capabilities
  • Use Wikipedia for fast, efficient research
  • Verify Wikipedia information and check references
  • Edit, correct, improve, and discuss existing Wikipedia articles
  • Write new Wikipedia articles, and add images and media to them
  • Find word definitions in Wiktionary and quotations in Wikiquote
  • Download Wikimedia Commons photos you can freely reuse
  • Read and edit free textbooks with Wikibooks
  • Link to Wikipedia content on your own website
  • Participate in the Wikipedia community
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672331237
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Pages: 189
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Miller has written more than 90 nonfiction books over the past two decades. His best-selling titles include Sams Teach Yourself YouTube in 10 Minutes, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics, Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource, and Speed It Up! A Non- Technical Guide for Speeding Up Slow Computers. He has established a reputation for practical advice, technical accuracy, and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers. For more information about Mr. Miller and his writing, visit his website at or email him at

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

What You Need to Know Before You Use This Book 1

About the Sams Teach Yourself in 10 Minutes Series 1

Special Sidebars 2

1 Getting to Know Wikipedia 3

Welcome to the World of Wikis 3

How Wikis Work 3

Wiki History 4

Wikipedia: The World’s Largest Encyclopedia 5

How Wikipedia Works 5

Issues with Wikipedia 7

Accuracy 7

Depth of Coverage 8

Beyond the Issues 8

Other Wikipedia Sites 8

Summary 10

2 Navigating the Wikipedia Site 11

Welcome to Wikipedia’s Main Page 11

Navigating Wikipedia 14

Featured Content 15

Topic Portals 16

Browsing by Category 17

Using the A-to-Z Index 18

Timelines 19

Outlines 19

Glossaries 20

Wikipedia in Different Languages 21

Summary 23

3 Searching for Information 25

Conducting a Search 25

Viewing Search Results 26

Searching from Search 26

Searching from Go 27

Conducting an Advanced Search 28

Searching Other Sites 30

Fine-Tuning Your Search 30

Wildcards and Fuzzy Queries 30

Exact Phrases 31

Boolean Searches 31

Intitle Queries 32

Summary 32

4 Reading a Wikipedia Article 33

Behind the Articles 33

The Main Article 34

Finding Additional Information 37

Footnotes and References 38

Discussions and History 39

Summary 39

5 Verifying Information and Checking References 41

How Accurate Is an Article? 41

Referencing Sources 42

Verifying Information 44

Summary 45

6 Going Beyond an Article 47

Reading Related Articles 47

Viewing Related Web Pages 49

Summary 50

7 Tracking Changes to an Article 51

Viewing an Article’s History 51

Examining the History Tab 52

Comparing Revisions 53

Filtering the Revision History 54

Searching an Article’s History 55

Keeping Track of New Changes 56

Viewing the Watch List 56

Viewing History via RSS Feed 57

Summary 58

8 Discussing an Article 59

Viewing a Talk Page 59

Entering a Discussion 61

Responding to an Existing Topic 61

Entering a New Topic 62

What’s Allowed–and What’s Not 63

Summary 63

9 Editing an Existing Article 65

All About Editing 65

Making Your Edits 66

Understanding the Wiki Markup Language 68

Article Links 68

Category Page Links 69

External Links 69

Book Sources Link 70

Image and Sound Links 71

Headings 72

Citation References 73

Text Formatting 74

Variables 74

Categorizing an Article 75

Comments 75

Table of Contents 75

Citing Sources 76

Summary 77

10 Contributing a New Article 79

Is the Topic Available? 79

Creating the Article 80

Structuring the Article 81

Summary 82

Table of Contents 82

Sections and Section Headings 82

Images 83

Citations 83

Appendixes 84

Tips for Writing a New Article 84

Summary 85

11 Incorporating Pictures and Other Media in

Your Article 87

Uploading Pictures and Other Media Files 87

Image Formats 89

Adding Images to Your Article 89

Basic Images 89

Aligning the Image 90

Creating a Photo Gallery 91

Inserting Audio Files 92

Inserting Video Files 93

Summary 93

12 Finding Pictures in the Wikimedia Commons 95

Understanding the Commons 95

Copyright and Licensing 96

Finding Media in the Commons 97

Browsing for Media 98

Searching for Media 99

Viewing Media Files 99

Downloading Files for Your Own Use 101

Using Files in Wikipedia Articles 101

Uploading Files to the Commons 102

Image Files 102

Audio and Video Files 103

Making the Upload 103

Describing Your File 105

Summary 105

13 Asking Questions at the Reference Desk 107

Understanding the Reference Desk 107

Asking a Question 109

Responding to a Question 111

Summary 112

14 Looking Up Words in the Wiktionary 113

Understanding the Wiktionary 113

Browsing the Wiktionary 115

Searching the Wiktionary 116

Understanding a Wiktionary Entry 116

Contributing to the Wiktionary 119

Creating New Entries 119

Editing Existing Entries 120

Summary 121

15 Finding Quotable Quotations with Wikiquote 123

Getting to Know Wikiquote 123

Looking Up Quotes 124

Browsing for Quotes 124

Searching for Quotes 125

Viewing a Quote Page 126

Creating and Editing Quotes 128

Editing Existing Quotes 128

Creating New Entries 129

Summary 130

16 Getting the Latest News with Wikinews 131

Understanding Wikinews 131

Reading Wikinews Articles 132

Sharing a Wikinews Article 133

Writing and Editing Wikinews Articles 135

Writing a New Article 135

Editing an Existing Article 137

Summary 138

17 Reading and Editing Books Online 139

Understanding Online Collaborative Books 139

Using Wikibooks 140

Browsing and Reading Wikibooks 140

Printing a Wikibook 143

Editing a Wikibook 144

Starting a New Book 145

Using Wikijunior 146

Using Wikisource 148

Using Wikiversity 150

Summary 151

18 Linking to Wikipedia Content on Your Own Website 153

Why Link to Wikipedia? 153

Creating a Link 154

Summary 155

19 Using Wikipedia for Research and School Papers 157

Trusting Wikipedia–or Not 157

Using Wikipedia as a Starting Point 158

Researching Citations 159

Researching Additional Sources 159

Researching an Article’s History 160

Referencing Wikipedia–or Not 161

Wikipedia: Not a Primary Source 161

Citing Wikipedia 162

Summary 162

20 Participating in the Wikipedia Community 163

About the Wikipedia Community 163

Welcome to the Community Portal 164

Discussing Things at the Village Pump 165

Other Ways to Communicate 166

Discussion Pages 167

User Pages 167

Mailing Lists 168

Getting Help with Wikipedia 168

Summary 169

21 Using Wikipedia on Your iPhone 171

Wikipedia on Safari 171

Wikipedia Applications 173

Wiki Mobile 173

Wikipanion 174

Summary 175

Index 177

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