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Undergraduate Research in History


Wikipedia Edits

This is a guide for Boston College's undergraduate student population in how to approach historical research.

Basic Guide to Wikipedia Editing

Sample Wikipedia PageThis is a basic guide to Wikipedia editing for history students at Boston College. It will take you through basic commands in Wikipedia, how to set up a reference, the anatomy of page, and the design of the info box.

For the full set of Wikipedia tutorials, head over to Wikipedia:Tutorial.

Where necessary, we use the Wikipedia page on Gertrude Bell as a sample. 

What's on This Page

This page has a lot on it. You can use the following anchors (links down the page) to jump straight to a relevant box.

    Setting up an Account


    This is a quick chart to the basic commands you'll likely want as you edit a page in Wikipedia or build a new one. 

    Function What it shows when editing What it shows on the page
    Bold '''Bold text''' Bold text
    Italic ''Italic text'' Italic Text
    External link [ link title] link title
    Internal link [[Link title]] Link title
    Insert image [[File:Example.jpg|thumbnail]] Wikipedia example image
    Insert Footnotes* <ref>Insert footnote text here</ref> [1]
    Insert Notes {{efn|This would be a note}} [a]
    Sign talk comments
    (with time stamp)

    --Username (talk) 12:21, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

    *Note that Wikipedia requires you to cite to where you got your information using references. Check out the information below for how those citations are coded.

    Wikipedia:References and Citations

    You can check out the full Wikipedia guide for setting up references. That said, here's a sample of what's going on:

    Function What it shows when editing What it shows on the page

    <ref>{{citation |last1=Meyer |first1=Karl E. |first2=Shareen B. |last2=Brysac 
    |title=Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East |location=New York
    |publisher=W.W. Norton & Co. |year=2008 |page=162}}</ref>

    Sample Wikipedia reference


    {{|last1 ... |first1 ... |first2 ... |last2 ... |title ... |location ... |publisher ... |year ... |page}}  
    Citation {{cite book|first=Gertrude|last=Bell|title=Poems from the Divan of Hafiz|place=London|date=1897}} Sample citation in Wikipedia

    example of wikipedia markup with two referencesBreakdown of markup for journal article:

    (Example on right with two references: one web and one journal article)

    {{cite journal : opens the citation and tell Wikipedia how to format the subsequent tags

    |last1= : the last name of the first author

    |first1= : first name of the first author

    |date= : the date of publication

    |title= : the title of the journal article

    |url= : clean URL where readers can access the article

    |journal= : title of the journal

    |volume= : journal volume number

    |issue= : number of issue in volume

    |pages= : page range for article

    |doi= : this is the document object identifier

    |access-date= date you accessed the article last

    }} : closes the reference

    Anatomy of a Wikipedia Page

    There are a few parts to your page that you will (almost definitely) want to have using the Gertrude Bell Wikipedia page for samples:

    Function What it shows when editing What it shows on the page

    Short description

    {{short description| ...}}
    Sample in coding: {{short description|English writer, traveller, political officer and archaeologist}}

    Not visible on page
    Date guide

    {{Use dmy dates|date=July 2018}}
    Sample in coding: {{birth date|1868|07|14|df=y}}

    14 July 1868
    Infobox person {{Infobox person ... }} See below
    Table of Contents Automatically generated when more than three subheadings used. Sample Wikipedia TOC
    Subsections ==Early life== Example of subheading

    Sub, subsections

    ===Cairo and Basra=== Example of sub-subheading
    Notes ==Notes==
    Sample of Notes in Wikipedia
    References ==References==
    Sample of reference header in Wikipedia
    Bibliography ==Bibliography== Sample bibliography header

    Writings by ...

    ===Writings by ...=== Sample bibliography heading for writings by

    Biographies of ...

    ===Biographies of ...=== Sample biographies of header

    Other sources

    ===Other sources=== Sample other sources header
    External Links ==External links==
    {{commons category|... }}
    {{wikisource author}}
    Sample external links header
    Authority Control {{Authority control}} Sample Authority control box
    Categories {{DEFAULTSORT:Bell, Gertrude}}
    [[Category:1868 births]]
    [[Category:1926 deaths]]
    Sample categories box in Wikipedia

    Setting up an Info Box for a Person

    To create the infobox that appears on the right of a Wikipedia page for people (or movies, etc.) copy and paste the "Infobox" coding below. Fill in information you know and leave any you don't blank. 

    {{Infobox person
    Example of Wikipedia info box for a person | name               =
    | image              =
    | imagesize       =     
    | caption            = 
    | birth_name         = 
    | birth_date         = {{birth date and age|YEAR|Mo|Da}}
    | birth_place        = [[City]], Country
    | death_date         = 
    | death_place        = 
    | occupation         =
    | nationality  = 
    | education    =
    | era          =
    | known_for    =
    | years_active       =
    | parents      =
    | children           = 
    | relatives          = 
    | website            = 
    | signature          = 
    | spouse             = 
    | works              = 
    | awards             =