Help:Talk page (Content articles)
|Glossary of terms|
|Edit review process|
- Standard talk pages, which are used to discuss a Ballotpedia article, a template, a category, etc.
- User talk pages, which are used to communicate with other users or leave them messages.
This article is about the talk pages attached to standard content articles on Ballotpedia.
When a new article is created, an associated "talk" or "discussion" page is automatically created to go with it.
If no one has ever edited that "talk/discussion" page, the link to the discussion page that you observe when reading the article itself will appear in red. If someone has added some content to the talk/discussion page, that tab will show up as blue when you are looking at the main article.
The purpose of an article's talk/discussion page is for editors who are working on that page, or who are thinking about working on that page, to discuss the article with each other. Talk/discussion pages should generally not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views about the subject of the article. Rather, these pages should in general be used to discuss the article and how to improve it.
When other editors/users of Ballotpedia refer to these pages, they refer to them sometimes as "the article's talk page" and sometimes as "the article's discussion page." Both terms mean the same thing.
Accessing a talk page
To access a talk page look for the tab labeled discussion. This tab/link is found at the top of the article, when you are reading the article. When you are logged-in to your user account, the "discussion" tab is located in between the tab labeled "page" and the tab labeled "edit." When you are not logged in, the "discussion" tab is located in between the tab labeled "page" and the tab labeled "view source".
Using article talk pages
On a talk page, "this page" usually refers to the main page (i.e. the page the talk page is associated with). If the talk page itself is referred to, write "this talk page".
When debating the name of the page or discussing merging it with another page, always mention the current page name. Otherwise after renaming (moving) a page, references to "this page name" become ambiguous.
The "Post a comment" feature (the small "+" sign on a separate tab, at the top of a talk page) allows you to start a new section without needing to edit the whole page. The section header becomes the edit summary at the time you save the page, so there is no edit summary displayed when you use this feature.
Signing your comments
Why would you want to sign (with your user name) a comment that you leave on an article's talk page? One reason to do this is that it allows other users to see who left the comment, which makes it possible for them to engage you in a dialogue about your comment/question/assertion on your own talk page, if that is appropriate. Another reason to do this is that other readers tend to interpret unsigned comments as expressing the overall editorial view of the wiki. By attaching your user name to any comments/questions/assertions you make, you are helping any readers identify that the view belongs to you.
Formatting a discussion
Because the wiki software platform provides for a wide range of formatting styles, proper or at least consistent formatting is essential to maintaining readable talk pages.
The reference of a comment is determined by the number of colons (':') in front of it. If a reply is made to a statement, you should add a colon to the number of colons used in the statement being replied to. This style of conversation is easy to read.
How's the soup? --[[User:January|January]]
The above will produce this:
How's the soup? --January
Quotations on talk page
Sometimes it is necessary to display a sentence or paragraph from the article on the talk page so that other editors can easily understand what is being discussed.
In order to place quoted material within the body of a talk page, just indent one space. Include line breaks or it will run as one long line off the page to the right. This method is only effective for a small amount of text.
Indent one space to quote words, phrases, or short sentences. You can even move text inward.