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[[Category:Intro editing help]]
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Revision as of 11:37, 23 August 2013

Editing Help
1328101905 Help.png
Editing guide
Textual standards
Visual standards
Glossary of terms
Edit review process

This page gives you the basics of editing and formatting an article. For more advanced style guidelines, see our visual style guide and textual style guide.


Bold and italics

The most commonly used wiki tags are bold and italics. Bolding and italicizing are done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

  • If you type ''2 for italics'', you'll see this: 2 for italics
  • If you type '''3 for bold''', you'll see this: 3 for bold
  • If you type '''''5 for bold italic''''', you'll see this: 5 for bold italic

On Ballotpedia, the first mention of an article's subject is written in bold. For example, the article on Arnold Schwarzenegger begins:

Arnold Schwarzenegger was first elected as Governor of California in the 2003 recall elections and won re-election in 2006.

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Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings 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. If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents will be added automatically. Headings are created like this:

== Heading ==


=== Subheading ===


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Indenting improves the readability of a discussion. Each reply should be one level deeper than the first statement.

Plain indentations

The simplest way of indenting is to place a colon (:) at the beginning of a line. The more colons, the more indentation. A new line (pressing Enter or Return) ends the indented paragraph.

This is aligned all the way to the left.
: This is indented slightly.
:: This is indented more.
This is aligned all the way to the left.
This is indented slightly.
This is indented more.

Bullet points

You can also indent using bullets for lists. To insert a bullet, use an asterisk (*). Similar to indentation, more asterisks means more indentation.

* First list item
* Second list item
** Sub-list item under second
* Third list item
  • First list item
  • Second list item
    • Sub-list item under second
  • Third list item

Numbered items

You can also create numbered lists using the number sign (#). Again, you can affect the indent of the number by the number of #s you use.

# First item
# Second item
## Sub-item under second item
# Third item
  1. First item
  2. Second item
    1. Sub-item under second item
  3. Third item
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Other project pages

In addition to Talk pages, we use a few other pages to talk with each other. These different areas are often referred to as namespaces — as in, "the Talk namespace."Pages in the Ballotpedia namespace (like this one!) provide information about Ballotpedia and how to use it.

Content written in a Template page will be displayed in articles that contain the template reference. For example, the content written in Template:Protected will appear in any article that contains the {{protected}} tag.


How to create 5 kinds of links

Links are important, but too many links can be distracting. Therefore, only link the first occurrence of a word. A red link goes to a page that doesn't exist yet. When you find a red link, you can start the article with something as simple as a single sentence. We can return and add information later.

Links between Ballotpedia articles

Links between Ballotpedia articles are easy to create, give users access to related information, and greatly add to Ballotpedia's utility. To link to another Ballotpedia page (called a wiki link), put it in [[ ]] brackets, like this:

[[Ballotpedia]] = Ballotpedia

To link to an article but display a different name for the link, add the pipe "|" divider followed by the alternative name. For example:

[[Ballotpedia|This link goes to the Ballotpedia page]] = This link goes to the Ballotpedia page

Links between wikis

Interwiki links allow links to be placed amongst separate projects, set apart from other links by their light blue color. This is possible between Sunshine Review, Ballotpedia, and Judgepedia. To create one, simply add the namespace before the page title.


A full list of sites that may be linked to with interwiki links can be seen at: Special:Interwiki.

Links outside Ballotpedia

To link to a website outside Ballotpedia, include the address with just a single set of [ ] brackets.
[ Here's the title for the link] = Here's the title for the link

Sometimes you'll want to add a citation inside the article text.

  • At the place you want to add the citation, add ref tags around your source (e.g. <ref>YOUR SOURCE</ref>). A small link like this one [1] will appear next to your text, taking you to the reference section at the bottom of the page.
    • For proper citation format make sure to add the details of the source: newspaper or website name, the name of the article or the website page/section, and the publication date or date accessed.
    • Example: <ref>[ ''Name of paper'',"Name of article," Month Day, Year]</ref>
  • Second, copy the following text to the bottom of your page if it isn't there already. This tells the page where to add your citations:


We place articles in categories with others in a related topic. Just type [[Category:]] at the bottom of the page and put the name of the category between the colon and the brackets. For example: [[Category:State ballot measures]]

Every article should have a category, and it's very important to use the correct categories so others can easily find your work. The best way to find the proper categories is to look at articles on similar subjects and check which categories they use.

See also

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