Help:How to explore Ballotpedia
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Library of Tutorials
Navigating Ballotpedia is easy once you get the hang of it. Most of the articles are cross-referenced. This means that you can follow links within an article to find more information about different aspects of ballot drives.
For example, a link from an article about an Alaska initiative would lead to an article about initiative law in that state.
There are often more links towards the ends of articles: for other articles of interest, relevant external web sites and pages, and reference material. At the end of the article are relevant categories of knowledge which you can search and traverse in a loose hierarchy for further related information in a field.
You can add further links if a relevant link is missing; this is one way to contribute.
On Ballotpedia's Main Page, on the right side, you will find links to five large Portals on the wiki. On these Portal pages, you will find links to the pages about that subject.
In addition, at the bottom of the Main Page, you will find a linked list of current News stories about state and local politics, that are of national importance.
Finally, the map is clickable and will take you to a portal designed just for each state. You will find links to many articles on each state's portal page, including the state's legislature information, as well as current news stories that relate to that state's political activities.
Articles on Ballotpedia are grouped by a system of categories and sub-categories or articles. If you scroll to the bottom of any article, you will see the list of categories which include this article. Click on the category, and you will see a list of all of the other articles included in that category.
Contents and index browsing
Ballotpedia contains a huge amount of information on all sorts of initiative and referendum law and ballot drives (past and current).
To help you find your way around this world of knowledge, Ballotpedia has many pages that organize its contents.
If you'd just like to see the big picture, then check out the [[Special:allpages|index of all articles].
This page automatically updates every time a new article is added to Ballotpedia. To find this list in the future, look in the "Toolbox" section on the left hand of your screen. Under "Toolbox", click on "Special Pages", and then click on "All Pages".
Every article has a list at the bottom of all the major categories it belongs to.
Each of these categories can be browsed and is linked to related categories in a loose hierarchy or web. Much more information on categories can be found here.
Searching for articles
One of the easiest ways to explore Ballotpedia is to just search for the articles you are interested in. Just type, click search and you are on your way.
If you'd like to see the articles that have recently been worked on, then click on the Recent Changes button. You'll find that on the left side of your screen in the "navigation" menu box.
Another nice way to explore Ballotpedia is to click on What links here under the Toolbox on the left hand side of the page. This allows you to backtrack and see all articles that link to that page.
If you are looking to contribute but don't know where to start you should have a look at our How to contribute to Ballotpedia page. You can also look at our special pages which will show a number of pages that need cleaning up or their own articles from the Wikipedia counterparts under the Special Section-Wanted pages.
- Wikipedia Article about exploring Wikipedia (7/27/07)