PePiPoo Helping the motorist get justice

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> Article guidelines , A guide to creating and editing articles
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This article outlines the purpose of the articles section and provides brief guidelines for writing and editing articles.

Table of contents


Background

In the past the basic information PePiPoo visitors were looking for has been exclusively contained in posts in the forums. It's not always easy to find, and often involves reading through a number of lengthy threads to find changes and updates to the original posts. The articles section is designed to make it easier for people to find specific information they need.

The idea behind the articles section is to separate basic factual information (which should go into the articles section) from discussion of individual cases, specific points and other topics (which should go into the forums). The article manager we've chosen also importantly features that enable members to contribute to the articles, and so expand the range of knowledge and experience available in the articles – features you may be familiar with from 'wikis' such as Wikipedia.


How you can help

We strongly encourage you our members to contribute to the articles wherever you can!

At the moment much of the content consists of important forum topics that have been converted into articles with a minimum of editing. Many are therefore not ideal as articles, which is where members can make an immediate contribution to improving them. It's also the reason there are some obvious gaps in the coverage of the articles - if the information wasn't previously concentrated in a single (or very small number) of forum topics, it hasn't been converted into an article. Again members can make an important contribution by writing articles to fill these gaps, perhaps based on information they've gleaned from the forums the hard way!

When you submit or edit an article the changes will appear as soon as one of the moderators is able to review and approve it.


Creating and editing articles

To create a new article go to the appropriate category for your article and click the New Article button. There may be protected categories where you can't create articles, but anywhere you see a New Article button you can!

With the exception of a few protected articles, every existing article has a button that says Edit Article. This button lets you do exactly that: edit the article you're looking at. When you edit an article it doesn't alter the existing version; instead a new version is created, with your changes. You can see any of the previous versions by clicking on the Options button and selecting Article history. I's also possible to revert to a previous version, so you don't have to worry about "spoiling" an article in some way - we can always go back to an earlier version if necessary.

The guidelines on structure and formatting below are based on those used by Wikipedia and outlined in their editing tutorial [1]. If you're unclear about anything here, or would just like to see examples of well-structured and formatted articles, we'd recommend you have a look around Wikipedia. The basic structure of an article could contain some or all of these elements:
  • Introduction
    A brief outline of the subject of the article.
  • Table of contents
    Useful for longer articles with multiple headings
  • Heading(s)
    The core of the article, under one or more headings
  • See also
    Links to related articles
  • References
    A list of the references cited by the article
  • External links
    A list of links to sources external to the articles section
Formatting

Basic formatting
Formatting the text in articles works in exactly the same way as it does for a forum post; you have the option of using the WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") editor, or formatting your text using BBCode tags like [ b ][ /b ] directly.

Headings
Headings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up the article by inserting a heading for each section.

Headings can be created like this:
You typeYou get
CODE
[anchor title="Test header"][size="3"][b]Test header[/b][/size][/anchor]
Test header


The headings can then be used to automatically generate a table of contents, with links that take the reader straight to each of the headings. You insert a table of contents into the article like this:
You typeYou get
CODE
[toc]Contents of this article[/toc]
Contents of this article

Tables
It is often helpful to be able to organise information into a table. You can do this using these three tags:
  • Start and end the table
    CODE
    [table][/table]
  • Start and end a row within the table
    CODE
    [tr][/tr]
  • Start and end a cell within a row
    CODE
    [td][/td]
The example below shows the text you would type and the table that would be displayed as a result:

CODE
[table border="1"][tr][td][b]Level[/b][/td][td][b]Maximum fine[/b][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Level [b]1[/b][/td][td]£200[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Level [b]2[/b][/td][td]£500[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Level [b]3[/b][/td][td]£1,000[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Level [b]4[/b][/td][td]£2,500[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Level [b]5[/b][/td][td]£5,000[/td][/tr][/table]





LevelMaximum fine
Level 1£200
Level 2£500
Level 3£1,000
Level 4£2,500
Level 5£5,000


Formatting conventions
It is a wiki convention to mark in bold the names of an article's subject when they are first mentioned in the article.

Another wiki convention is to italicize book, movie, and similar titles. If the first mention of the subject of an article is also a book or movie title then bold italics is used.

It is usually preferred that the names of chapters (e.g. in a book), television episodes or similar are mentioned "in quotes" rather than being italicised. If the first mention of the subject of an article is also one of these things, then it is "emboldened and quoted".


Article links

Linking articles together is very important. These easily-created links allow users to access information related to the article they're reading and can greatly add to the articles section’s utility.

When to link
If you're trying to decide whether to make a link or not, ask yourself "If I were reading this article, would the link be useful to me?" Usually link the first, and only the first, occurrence of a word/term in the article, that does not have an implicitly understood definition.

It's also important to know when not to link. Where possible articles should be complete in their own right; sending someone on a long chain of links to find a specific piece of information isn't very helpful, and will frequently leave the reader lost and confused. If the information you're linking to is reasonably concise and essential to the article then you should incorporate it into your article (provided of course you are not prevented from doing so by copyright) . When you do this you should always cite the original source and add it to the References section of the article.

How to link
When you want to make a link to another article, you have two choices: you can use the article ID, or its title. You can find an article’s ID by hovering your mouse cursor over it’s title in a category list and looking at it’s URL (or link) in your browser’s status bar, or when reading an article by looking at the URL for the article in your browser’s address bar. In both cases you’ll see that the URL ends with something like "&id=26", which tells you that article’s ID is 26.
  • CODE
    Visit my [article title="How to post an image"]article on posting images[/article]
  • CODE
    Visit my [article id="26"]article on posting images[/article]
You should always use meaningful text for the link; in the example above the link will appear as "Visit my article on posting images", which is a lot more helpful than something like "To visit my article click here".


Other links

You can create links which go outside the article system (such as to forum posts), and indeed to sites which are external to PePiPoo. These are created in just the same way as external links are in forum post. Normally, all such external links should be listed together under an "External links" heading at the end of the article. Avoid creating a link to an external site where it is possible to accomplish the same thing with an internal link to another article.

It is usually a good idea to provide a short description just after the external address. This description will be displayed as the title of the external resource, rather than the actual name of the resource, for example: Google search engine. You would create this link like this:

CODE
[url="http://www.google.com"]Google search engine[/url]

It is recommended that you use this format, as raw URLs are ugly and often give no clue to what the site or resource actually is.


Citing sources

You should always cite sources for the information you contribute. All sources should be listed in a section called "References". If any websites would be of particular interest to a reader of an article, they should be listed and linked to in the "External links" section, and books of particular interest should be listed in a "Further reading" section, but only if they were not used as sources for the article. Citations help our readers verify what you've written and find more information.


Copyright

Do not submit copyrighted material without permission. When adding information to articles, make sure it is written in your own words. Remember that all information found on the Internet is copyrighted unless the website specifically states otherwise.


References

1. Wikipedia editing tutorial


External links

Last update: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 - 11:33 by Fredd    Created: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 - 13:24 by Fredd    Edits: 3    Views: 7,577
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