User:MosheZadka/People guide

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MosheZadka's guide on making people pages[edit]

This is not a substitute for reading the references: Wikiquote:Templates/People, Wikiquote:Guide to layout

  1. Introduction: you can almost always just copy the first couple of setences from wikipedia. Remember: we are not an encyclopedia, and this is not a biography. One sentence is enough for almost everyone, two sentences should be pretty much the maximum. In the event there is no wikipedia article, the following format usually works: '''Full Name''' (date of birth-date of death) is a Nationality occupation who did something notable.. As an example about myself (I'm not notable enough for wq, of course!):
    • Moshe Zadka (born March 10, 1977) is an Israeli programmer who has been involved in several free software projects (like Twisted).
  2. External links: Unless the subject has no wikipedia article (a rarity! If you add one more sentence to the introduction, it often makes a useful stub, which you can create in wikipedia), you'll certainly want this. Even if not, some sort of biographical source is highly recommended. You'll put the wikipedia box {{wikipedia}} or {{wikipediapar|Wikipedia Title}} first on the page, and then follow with other links. Wikisource and Gutenberg are also useful for old authors (and US presidents, for their inaugural addresses).
  3. A category: We have most popular occupations here under Category:Occupations. Choose the closest one, or create another if nothing fits. Especially popular: "Author", "Political leader", "Religious leader" and "Activist". Between those four, you'll only need to look hard in rare cases.
  4. The quotes: I left this for last, because this part actually requires work. Here are some sources:
    • NOT quote sites. This is first because you should realize they suck as sources. They are inaccurate, often horribly so, even barring any copyright problems.
    • Contemporary figures often have published interviews in various online magazines (CNN, MSNBC, About.com)
    • Contemporary figures often have blogs or wrote articles in online publications.
    • Really ancient figures might have stuff out of copyright: check gutenberg, wikisource and sometimes the web.
    • Speeches are often transcribed by advocacy sites.
    • If you have a book at home or access to a library by this person, now's the time to open it! :)
      • Here's a tip, if you find a book (physical or gutenberg/wikisource): Most quotable stuff is near the beginning. The first chapter, maybe the first couple of pages. The beginning has to draw the reader in, without assuming any knowledge of characters. Later on, authors build on dramatic tension and character identification already established, but the beginning often relies on pure wit.
    • The wikipedia article often has quotes.
    • Searching for the person's name on the web will sometimes find attributions to him by various journalists (again, should be notable newspapers). Searching google with site:gutenberg.org will sometimes find mentions of this person in other books, attributing quotes to him.
    • If any source is in a foreign language, automated translation is not so bad if you take the time to fix it and have some intuition about the language: this is especially useful when stealing quotes from our fellow wikiquote sites.
  5. Optional stuff: Check if commons has a picture: if so, use it! If not, check if wikipedia has a picture. The license is sometimes free, so you can upload to commons and use it. If it's a US gov. official, the USGov-PD stuff is especially good. Misattributions -- amazing when you have them, in fact some articles have no genuine quotes, and that's fine. Quotes about the person: search wikiquote for the person's name, perhaps someone said something about him. In those cases, make sure the name is a link to the article you're creating.
  6. Check yourself: Are the attributed quotes alphasorted? Are the sourced quotes chronosorted? Is the wikipedia link working (and does not land in a disambiguation page)? Is the category the one you wanted?
  7. Congratulations! One page down, millions more to go.