Home > Store

Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-33123-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-33123-7

Sams Teach Yourself Wikipedia in 10 Minutes gives you straightforward, practical answers when you need fast results. By working through the 10-minute lessons, you’ll learn everything you need to know to take advantage of the Wikipedia encyclopedia–and all of Wikipedia’s incredible resources.

Tips point out shortcuts and solutions

Cautions help you avoid common pitfalls

Notes provide additional information

Plain English explains new terms and definitions

10 minutes is all you need to learn how to…

  • Navigate the Wikipedia site and discover its latest capabilities
  • Use Wikipedia for fast, efficient research
  • Verify Wikipedia information and check references
  • Edit, correct, improve, and discuss existing Wikipedia articles
  • Write new Wikipedia articles, and add images and media to them
  • Find word definitions in Wiktionary and quotations in Wikiquote
  • Download Wikimedia Commons photos you can freely reuse
  • Read and edit free textbooks with Wikibooks
  • Link to Wikipedia content on your own website
  • Participate in the Wikipedia community

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Getting to Know Wikipedia

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

What You Need to Know Before You Use This Book 1

About the Sams Teach Yourself in 10 Minutes Series 1

Special Sidebars 2

1 Getting to Know Wikipedia 3

Welcome to the World of Wikis 3

How Wikis Work 3

Wiki History 4

Wikipedia: The World’s Largest Encyclopedia 5

How Wikipedia Works 5

Issues with Wikipedia 7

Accuracy 7

Depth of Coverage 8

Beyond the Issues 8

Other Wikipedia Sites 8

Summary 10

2 Navigating the Wikipedia Site 11

Welcome to Wikipedia’s Main Page 11

Navigating Wikipedia 14

Featured Content 15

Topic Portals 16

Browsing by Category 17

Using the A-to-Z Index 18

Timelines 19

Outlines 19

Glossaries 20

Wikipedia in Different Languages 21

Summary 23

3 Searching for Information 25

Conducting a Search 25

Viewing Search Results 26

Searching from Search 26

Searching from Go 27

Conducting an Advanced Search 28

Searching Other Sites 30

Fine-Tuning Your Search 30

Wildcards and Fuzzy Queries 30

Exact Phrases 31

Boolean Searches 31

Intitle Queries 32

Summary 32

4 Reading a Wikipedia Article 33

Behind the Articles 33

The Main Article 34

Finding Additional Information 37

Footnotes and References 38

Discussions and History 39

Summary 39

5 Verifying Information and Checking References 41

How Accurate Is an Article? 41

Referencing Sources 42

Verifying Information 44

Summary 45

6 Going Beyond an Article 47

Reading Related Articles 47

Viewing Related Web Pages 49

Summary 50

7 Tracking Changes to an Article 51

Viewing an Article’s History 51

Examining the History Tab 52

Comparing Revisions 53

Filtering the Revision History 54

Searching an Article’s History 55

Keeping Track of New Changes 56

Viewing the Watch List 56

Viewing History via RSS Feed 57

Summary 58

8 Discussing an Article 59

Viewing a Talk Page 59

Entering a Discussion 61

Responding to an Existing Topic 61

Entering a New Topic 62

What’s Allowed–and What’s Not 63

Summary 63

9 Editing an Existing Article 65

All About Editing 65

Making Your Edits 66

Understanding the Wiki Markup Language 68

Article Links 68

Category Page Links 69

External Links 69

Book Sources Link 70

Image and Sound Links 71

Headings 72

Citation References 73

Text Formatting 74

Variables 74

Categorizing an Article 75

Comments 75

Table of Contents 75

Citing Sources 76

Summary 77

10 Contributing a New Article 79

Is the Topic Available? 79

Creating the Article 80

Structuring the Article 81

Summary 82

Table of Contents 82

Sections and Section Headings 82

Images 83

Citations 83

Appendixes 84

Tips for Writing a New Article 84

Summary 85

11 Incorporating Pictures and Other Media in

Your Article 87

Uploading Pictures and Other Media Files 87

Image Formats 89

Adding Images to Your Article 89

Basic Images 89

Aligning the Image 90

Creating a Photo Gallery 91

Inserting Audio Files 92

Inserting Video Files 93

Summary 93

12 Finding Pictures in the Wikimedia Commons 95

Understanding the Commons 95

Copyright and Licensing 96

Finding Media in the Commons 97

Browsing for Media 98

Searching for Media 99

Viewing Media Files 99

Downloading Files for Your Own Use 101

Using Files in Wikipedia Articles 101

Uploading Files to the Commons 102

Image Files 102

Audio and Video Files 103

Making the Upload 103

Describing Your File 105

Summary 105

13 Asking Questions at the Reference Desk 107

Understanding the Reference Desk 107

Asking a Question 109

Responding to a Question 111

Summary 112

14 Looking Up Words in the Wiktionary 113

Understanding the Wiktionary 113

Browsing the Wiktionary 115

Searching the Wiktionary 116

Understanding a Wiktionary Entry 116

Contributing to the Wiktionary 119

Creating New Entries 119

Editing Existing Entries 120

Summary 121

15 Finding Quotable Quotations with Wikiquote 123

Getting to Know Wikiquote 123

Looking Up Quotes 124

Browsing for Quotes 124

Searching for Quotes 125

Viewing a Quote Page 126

Creating and Editing Quotes 128

Editing Existing Quotes 128

Creating New Entries 129

Summary 130

16 Getting the Latest News with Wikinews 131

Understanding Wikinews 131

Reading Wikinews Articles 132

Sharing a Wikinews Article 133

Writing and Editing Wikinews Articles 135

Writing a New Article 135

Editing an Existing Article 137

Summary 138

17 Reading and Editing Books Online 139

Understanding Online Collaborative Books 139

Using Wikibooks 140

Browsing and Reading Wikibooks 140

Printing a Wikibook 143

Editing a Wikibook 144

Starting a New Book 145

Using Wikijunior 146

Using Wikisource 148

Using Wikiversity 150

Summary 151

18 Linking to Wikipedia Content on Your Own Website 153

Why Link to Wikipedia? 153

Creating a Link 154

Summary 155

19 Using Wikipedia for Research and School Papers 157

Trusting Wikipedia–or Not 157

Using Wikipedia as a Starting Point 158

Researching Citations 159

Researching Additional Sources 159

Researching an Article’s History 160

Referencing Wikipedia–or Not 161

Wikipedia: Not a Primary Source 161

Citing Wikipedia 162

Summary 162

20 Participating in the Wikipedia Community 163

About the Wikipedia Community 163

Welcome to the Community Portal 164

Discussing Things at the Village Pump 165

Other Ways to Communicate 166

Discussion Pages 167

User Pages 167

Mailing Lists 168

Getting Help with Wikipedia 168

Summary 169

21 Using Wikipedia on Your iPhone 171

Wikipedia on Safari 171

Wikipedia Applications 173

Wiki Mobile 173

Wikipanion 174

Summary 175

Index 177


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020