Contributing to Wikipedia is one of the most positive ways to effect change on the Internet. As one of the most-visited sites on the web, Wikipedia's content is often the first (and last) stop for information on a given topic. The way Wikipedia is indexed by Google ensures that the Wikipedia article for any given search is almost always the first hit. By updating articles in under-represented areas, you're ensuring that someone's search for your topic leads them to your readable, accurate analysis and your high quality sources.
Writing for Wikipedia is not the same as writing an essay for your professor. Encyclopedic style is full of brisk, unadorned prose with very little point of view. Length is the enemy. Read the main articles in your research area to help you understand the expectations of style and content. The organizational structure of an article is important and should be among the first things you determine when planning your article.
The Wikipedia Training for Students linked on this page is an excellent introduction to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, the technical side of editing, and a handful of advanced topics that will help you get started. If you have any questions about editing, formatting citations, or anything Wikipedia-related, please contact Josh Petrusa (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Templates to Consider:
Wikipedia's Five Pillars:
1. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia
2. Wikipedia has a neutral point of view
"All article content should be verifiable based on published material. That means citing published, authoritative sources, especially on controversial topics and when the subject is a living person. Unreferenced material can be removed."
"Articles should not feature editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions. If a sentence begins with "This means that...", "I think...," "The benefits of..." or something like it, you're submitting something that probably doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Likewise, words such as "Interestingly," "Actually," etc, are a form of editorializing, and should be avoided. "Interesting" to whom? "Actually," compared to what?"
3. Wikipedia is free content
4. Wikipedians should interact in a respectful and civil manner
5. Wikipedia does not have firm rules