Help:Tutorial/Create an article

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This tutorial presents the mechanics of creating an article. If you are creating an article, and it is your first, please read about writing your first article. Civicwiki has attempted to make creating (and editing) articles easy.

This tutorial is a detailed set of instructions for using the SemanticWiki form we have created for article creation.
You can always

Who may create an article

Anyone may create an article, but you must be a registered user to publish your own article.
A registered "user" may also edit an article.
Anyone may register. To register, start here.
Any CW visitor may submit an article. It must be approved by an editor before it is published.

If you are a "user", click "Add Article(registered)" on the left sidebar to initiate your article.
If you are a visitor, click "Add Article (visitor) on the left sidebar.

Catalog your article:

The window at the top of the form lists all the categories (topics and subtopics) that currently exist. It is important to select the proper category to catalog your article.

The category selection box on the form allows assignment to only one category and that is all that is required. Select the best fit. There will be a few instances in which you will want to catalog an article under more than one category. That is your choice. It is discussed below.

To assign it correctly, you must be familiar with the top level categories. For that matter, the fact that you want to write an article for CW assumes that you are familiar with the CW mission. That familiarity can only be obtained by reading a few things - the main page, about CW, the CW mission, and the introductions on the portal pages for each top level category.

Links to the portals are visible on the top-right of the main page. They are also listed here:
Inalienable Rights
America's Heritage
American Independence
Federalism and Democracy
Economic Freedom
The Issues

Select the intended category by clicking the circle next to the category name

Assigning an article to more than one category

Several of the top level categories overlap, which may warrant assigning an article to more than one category. An article can be assigned to any number of categories. To assign to multiple categories:

  1. Edit the article by clicking the tab "Edit with form".
  2. Scroll to the text box at the very bottom of the form.
  3. Enter a category tag for each additional category desired. Here is a sample category tag for a fictional category called "addcat": [ [Category:addcat] ]
  4. Save page

Text boxes

Most of the rest of the article form is boxes for typing text. Each such text box has a help bar at the top of the box that provides buttons and drop-down lists of buttons and instructions for how to format your article, insert links, images, references, etc. The best way to become familiar with it is to explore it.

Create a Summary

Next is the summary text box. A summary is not mandatory, but is advisable.
The Summary text box is for typing a short summary or abstract of the article. The current use for summaries is to place them on the Civicwiki main page or on the portal page in the sample article box accompanied by a link to the article page.

Dividing the article into sections

The body of the article itself is divided into sections. It is not mandatory to have more than one section, but articles with more than one simple point to make will likely benefit from using sections. If you are familiar with Wikipedia articles, you haves seen sections.

Why use sections?

  • You may want others to be able to link to a specific paragraph or point that is buried in a long article. If the article is divided into sections, others can link to a specific section using the url for the article with "#sectionname" appended to it.
  • An expandable table of contents is inserted at the top that shows the list of links to each section.
  • Using the form, infoboxes can be inserted on the right side of each section. (see below)
  • Section headers provide an easy visual way to find information in a long article.

Wikipedia inserts section breaks using 2nd level headings (see help menu above) and they appear as a bold heading underlined by a page-wide separating line. That approach can be used in CW articles by simply inserting a 2nd level heading to indicate a new heading, but the CW article form provides a more flexible approach. (see below)
There are two ways to divide an article into sections.

  1. Using the form to add and rearrange sections.
    The box for typing text for the first section is next below the summary box.
    You can (and probably should) give this, and any other section, a heading by inserting a 2nd level heading as described above. Below the heading line, simply type the text for the section as you would any wiki page.
    Add a section by clicking on the 'Add NEW section' box. That will drop in a template for the new section (along with its two infobox templates) below the current section.
    You will see three buttons near the top-left of the 1st infobox template. These allow you to
    - insert a new section above the current section,
    - delete the current section, or
    - rearrange the order of sections by sliding the current section up or down in the order.
  2. Inserting a 2nd level heading as described above in the Help menu.
    You can elect not to use the form for adding sections and simply insert 2nd level headings (see the help menu above). These create new headings on wiki pages. Unlike in Wikipedia, however, sections created this way in Civicwiki do not result in 'edit' buttons to the right of the section. Also, the only option for editing an article is to 'edit using form'. If you have not used 'Add NEW section' to divide the article into sections, the form will treat the article as a single long section for editing purposes.

Inserting infoboxes

If you are familiar with Wikipedia articles, you are familiar with the infoboxes that appear on the right side of many of the articles that add image, graphic, and textual information to the article. The article form attempts to make this easy for you by providing an infobox template.

  • The article form provides templates for two infoboxes in each section.
  • Each infobox will accommodate an image, a caption for the image, and descriptive text.
Note that an image is not required. You can leave that blank and simply type in descriptive text that can be formatted the same as the main text in the article.