Skip to Main Content

GEOG 110 (Harris): Editing Wikipedia

Resources for the annotated bibliography Wikipedia assignment in America’s National Parks.

Basic Intro Information

This guide is designed to introduce new Wikipedians to the basics of contributing to one of the largest open educational resources in the world. It provides a brief overview of editing existing entries and creating new entries.

This very basic introduction to editing can be supplemented with this helpful pdf brochure from Wikipedia.

All of the content below is sourced from the Wikipedia help documentation and Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam's Rewriting Wikipedia Project, especially their guide to How to Create Wikipedia Entries that Will Stick.

Editing Wikipedia

Editing a Wikipedia article in real time is easy, but the best thing for students to do is to work in their own 'Sandbox' - a space where they can freely edit and draft at will without actually making live changes to the formal Wikipedia article itself until everyone knows that they are ready to make the changes live.  

Students can edit in their own personal Sandbox in a very straightforward manner:

  1. Create a Wikipedia account
  2. Log in to Wikipedia with your personal account, easy access there is a link labeled 'sandbox' at the top right of every page between the "talk" and "preferences" links.  If your personal sandbox doesn't yet exist, you can easily create your own!


As an example, here is a link to my Wikipedia sandbox, where I have begun adding in information to the section on the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, complete with scholarly journal article sources in APA format.....

Sandbox Info (from Wikipedia)

Welcome to this sandbox page, a space to experiment with the process of editing Wikipedia.

To edit this sandbox, you can either edit the source code ("Edit source" tab above) or use VisualEditor ("Edit" tab above). Then make your changes, and click the "Publish changes" button when finished. You can click "Show preview" to see a preview of what you are about to save, or "Show changes" to see what you have changed.

Edit source code or Edit page visually

Any user can edit this page and it is automatically cleared regularly (anything you write will not remain indefinitely). Click here to edit a clear sandbox.

If you are logged in, you can access your personal sandbox ("Sandbox" link at the very top of the page, next to your username).

Please DO NOT place copyrighted, offensive, or libelous content in sandboxes.

For more information on what is a sandbox, see Help:My sandbox. For information and resources on the basics needed to comprehend, comment on, and edit Wikipedia, see Contributing to Wikipedia or our tutorial. If you have questions, you can find help at the Teahouse.