UESPWiki:Getting Started

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{{UESPWiki Trail}}
'''Welcome to [[UESPWiki:About|UESPWiki]]!''' This is a site devoted to documenting the [[:Elder Scrolls]] games. The site is set up as a wiki, modeled on [ Wikipedia]. This means that the entire site is a collaborative effort, to which anybody may contribute: just click "[[Help:Editing Pages|edit]]" at the top of any page to become a wiki editor! We always welcome new contributors who are interested in helping to improve the site.
==Getting Started==
If you are not sure where, what, or how to start editing, these are some pages that might help you out:
* '''[[UESPWiki:Helping Out|Helping Out]]''': Ideas on what can be done to help improve UESPWiki.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Task List|Task List]]''': Overview of ongoing projects on the site.
* '''[[Help:Editing Pages|Editing Pages]]''': Help on how to edit a wiki page.
* '''[[Help:Contents|Help]]''': A listing of all the available help pages.
* '''[[Help:Quick Editing Guide|Quick Editing Guide]]''': A quick editing guide for those who want to dive in quickly but need a couple pointers.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Mentor_Program|Mentors]]''': Ask another editor to become your mentor and help show you the ropes.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Sandbox|Sandbox]]''': Experiment with how editing works in our sandbox.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Style Guide|Style Guide]]''': Guidelines for how to write articles that conform to UESPWiki standards.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Policies and Guidelines|Policies and Guidelines]]''': Information on all of the policies and guidelines that have been adopted by the community.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Community Portal|Community Portal]]''': A page devoted to general discussion of the site. You are welcome to chime in with your opinion on any of the issues, or bring up any new ones.
* '''[[UESPWiki:Questions|Questions]]''': How and where to ask questions.
Some of the key ideas from these pages are summarized in the following sections.
==Creating an Account==
You are free to edit the site without creating an account, but if you're interested in doing more than just a few random edits, getting an account can be very useful. It's a [[Special:Userlogin|painless process]], it allows other editors on the site to get to know you better (for example, seeing where your interests lie), and gives you access to additional features.
See [ Why create an account?] on wikipedia for more about account creation.
==How to Contribute==
:''Main Articles: [[UESPWiki:Helping Out|Helping Out]], [[UESPWiki:Task List|Task List]]''
These are some basic ways that you can improve the site:
* '''Fix errors''' such as grammar or [[UESPWiki:Spelling|spelling]] mistakes. Large quantities of small fixes can greatly improve the quality of the site.
* '''Improve the content''' by adding missing information to articles, or by re-wording sentences and paragraphs so that they are easier to understand.
* '''Format pages.''' If you're good with [[Help:Formatting|Wiki markup]], you can look for pages that need to be improved visually.
==Editing Pages==
:''Main Article: [[Help:Editing Pages|Editing Pages]]''
If you have something to contribute, you should add it. Don't worry too much about making mistakes. Mistakes on the wiki are [[Help:Editing Pages#Reverting Edits|pretty easy to fix]], and we would rather have editors who contribute plenty of information and make a few mistakes than have editors who never add their information because they are too worried about not being able to do it perfectly. Remember that [[UESPWiki:Perfection Isn't Required|perfection isn't required]]. As you get more comfortable with the wiki, you'll probably want to familiarize yourself with the [[UESPWiki:Style Guide|Style Guide]] and maybe even a few other [[UESPWiki:Policies and Guidelines|policies and guidelines]] (nobody wants to be n00b forever!), but you're likely to learn as much from the experience of actually editing as from reading about it.
To edit a page, all you have to do is click the [edit] button on the top of the screen, make your changes, preview them, then click on the "Save page" button. Your contribution will automatically appear on the article. You can play around with the editing feature at our [[UESPWiki:Sandbox|sandbox]] – the place you can edit freely without worrying about messing things up.
It is possible that your first edits to the site will be substantially revised (or perhaps removed completely). It can take some time to learn UESP's formatting and organization, and while you are "learning the ropes" your edits may not fully meet the site's standards. If you don't understand why your contribution was altered, review the section on [[Help:Editing#After Your Edit is Saved|After Your Edit is Saved]] to learn more about UESP's [[UESPWiki:Patrollers|patrolling]] system and possible courses of action.
===Wiki Markup===
:''Main Article: [[Help:Formatting|Formatting]]''
You can edit casually with little to no knowledge of the wiki markup. However, if you want to become more serious about editing and be able to format your edits so that they look better, you will need to learn some basic wiki markup. We have a [[Help:Quick Editing Guide|quick editing guide]] which explains the more simple commands, a more general help page on [[Help:Formatting|formatting]], and you could also see Wikimedia's [ editing walkthrough] for more details.
===Discussion Pages===
:''Main Article: [[Help:Editing Pages#Editing a Discussion Page|Editing a Discussion Page]]''
[[UESPWiki:Namespaces#Talk Namespaces|Discussion pages]], also referred to as talk pages, are where editors discuss how they can improve the main article. Anyone can ask a question, answer an existing question, or contribute to an existing discussion. There are two kinds of talk pages: Regular talk pages, which are used to discuss articles, and user talk pages, which are used to talk with editors. The rules used on discussion pages are slightly different from those on article pages. In particular, contributions to discussion pages should always be signed (contributions to articles should never be signed).
==Keep In Mind==
:''Main article: [[UESPWiki:Policies and Guidelines|Policies and Guidelines]]''
Before you dive in and start editing, we do have a few things that you should keep in mind.
===Content Criteria===
:''Main article: [[UESPWiki:Style Guide|Style Guide]]''
Even though everyone can edit, this does not mean that the site is a free-for-all. Content submitted should always be informative, verifiable, professional, and legible, and content that does not uphold to these criteria will likely be removed. You should also integrate what you want to add into what we have instead of creating something separate from the current content or even a duplicate page. As for your tone while writing, make sure that it addresses the reader when necessary and not yourself.
:''Main article: [[UESPWiki:Etiquette|Etiquette]]''
We promote an atmosphere of kindness and friendliness, which is usually apparent when examining the community of the site. However, at times there are sometimes disagreements and even heated disputes among editors, but everyone here is expected to behave in a civil manner at all times.
The most important thing to do is to [[UESPWiki:Assume Good Faith|assume good faith]] with your fellow editors. Don't assume that others are acting in spite or malice. If another editor does something that is upsetting to you, leave a message on their talk page or where appropriate and politely express your concerns. You may have avoided a potentially embarrassing misunderstanding or a frivolous dispute.
===Common Mistakes===
:''Main article: [[UESPWiki:Common Mistakes|Common Mistakes]]''
There are some mistakes that are frequently made by new contributors to the site. Looking over this article may help you to avoid some of these problems.
==In Conclusion==
You now know the most important things that you need to know to contribute to the project. Do you feel like something is missing or not adequately explained? Leave a message on the [[UESPWiki talk:Getting Started|discussion page]] so that we can improve it. You should also introduce yourself to some of our active members in the project. Create a user page and/or user talk page, leave an introduction on the [[UESPWiki:Community Portal|community portal]], or join our [[:IRC]] channel and [ forums] and talk to everyone there.