Creating a Wikipedia page is much more than just heading over to the site and clicking “Create Page.” Although literally anyone can edit and create content to their liking, there are certain rules that can get your Wikipedia submission rejected time after time. After all, the website wouldn’t be very reliable if you could just include poorly-written, non-researched material on a page. Thus, Wikipedia created guidelines that are more or less enforced stringently. If you fail to follow even one of the guidelines, you could be looking at rejection after rejection after rejection. But, knowing is half the battle, and it’s important for you to know that three of the most common slip-ups include a lack of references, a lack of notability, and too much bias in the writing style.
Wikipedia relies on outside sources to establish its credibility. After all, without proper sources, Wikipedia really would be full of semi-literate musings on the human condition. Fortunately, they require that you provide adequate references for the page to be acceptable. But, a reliable source isn’t the easiest thing to find. The source has to include information that has been covered extensively elsewhere as well. For instance, the Olympics are covered extensively in all kinds of different press outlets. However, a reliable source also needs to be independent of the subject of the Wikipedia article. Therefore, it might be against the rules to use a quote from the International Olympic Committee when writing about the Olympics.
Notability kind of falls into the same category as a reliable source. Notability is, in fact, established by finding reliable sources. If it maintains significant coverage in a wide swath of different publications, then it might meet the notability standards. Of course, writing about certain notable events can still get your Wikipedia submission rejected. That’s largely because everything that has significant coverage isn’t always notable. For instance, a small apartment fire might make it in the newspapers and on the 11 o’clock news, but it won’t have lasting impact for a wide range of different individuals. Thus, it’s important for subjects to have both significant coverage AND relevance beyond current events.
Perhaps the most difficult rule to comply with is maintaining an unbiased tone. Unless you have practice in writing with an almost clinical indifference, you run the risk of having your page rejected. Biases can show up subtly or they can be more obvious, but it’s important to strike them from your Wikipedia writing style. This is particularly true for entries that read like copied and pasted versions of an “About us,” page from a website. Blatantly using Wikipedia as a promotional tool is patently unacceptable. No articles can appear to outright condemn or endorse any of their subjects.
Staying away from these missteps can ensure that you won’t be getting your Wikipedia submission rejected. Of course, these aren’t all the rules that you’ll have to follow, but they do make up the crux of acceptability for Wikipedia submissions. As long as you can use reliable sources, establish notability, and keep the tone unbiased, you should be able to keep your submission from being rejected. If you still have difficulty getting your article on the website, it might be time to hire a professional Wikipedia writer.
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