What is Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the largest writing collaboration in human history. Joining the community of 22,285,175 registered users from all over the world can be a bit like traveling to a foreign country. Like any community, the people writing Wikipedia have developed social norms and procedures for keeping everything working towards the community's common goal: an encyclopedia encompassing all of human knowledge. As you begin to contribute you may find some policies that seem strange or have some interactions with other community members that are frustrating. Just remember that all of it is subject to change and there are resources to help you.

Contributing to Wikipedia

The best place to start is probably the Wikipedia essay "A Primer for newcomers" which explains and greatly expands on the basics mentioned in the "Contributing to Wikipedia" section of the general About Wikipedia page.

Talk pages

Every page on Wikipedia has a "Talk" page, which is a page just for discussion about the main page. You can access the Talk page in the upper left-hand corner of the page. Before making a significant change to a page check the talk page to see if there are any outstanding disputes related to the current content of the page or other useful information to take into consideration for your own edit. If, once you have made a change, it is reverted or otherwise removed, the Talk page is where you should probably go to discuss why the edit was removed and what can be done to get that content productively incorporated into the page.

Getting help

There are many useful resources to consult when you get stuck or have a question about something. The first place to go for new users is probably the Wikipedia Teahouse, a place set aside for friendly contributors to answer questions from new users. There is also a general Help guide with links to all the various resources you might need. You might also want to visit the New contributors' help page for some help topics tailored to most common needs of new contributors.