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Thelemapedia:How to Contribute

From Thelemapedia

This page is written to help you make great contributions to Thelemapedia. It really is a snap, and we encourage new editors to jump right in. There is one thing that needs to be said right up front:

The perfect Thelemapedia article does not exist. The pathway towards that ideal is travelled by multiple editors adding what information they can and collaborating on things like content, formatting, and grammar. It is far more valuable to add lots of imperfect material than to have a trickle of "perfect" contributions.

This page focuses on content, and does not give much in the way of wiki markup (the code that formats text). You can find out the basics of wiki markup in the Really Simple Tutorial or on the full Wiki Markup page which lists everything in detail.

Table of contents

Step 1: What to cook

There are two basic places to start:

  1. Creating a new topic
  2. Adding to an existing topic

Adding a topic that does not yet exist on Thelemapedia

Okay, you want to add a whole new article. Great! Here are the basic flavors of adding a new topic:

  1. You already know what you want to write about. Just do a search on the site to make sure it isn't already there. Then go on to step two.
  2. You have no idea what to write about. No problem! Here are some choices:
  • The Projects page. This page has a list of major projects the site is trying to put together. There will always be empty pages here, and you are welcome to tackle any of them. (There are also blue links to pages that have entries but still need more info).
  • List of all empty pages. These are pages that have links to them but don't contain any information (I'm sure you've noticed by now that links to empty pages are red). They are listed in order of number of links. You certainly don't have to start at the top...just scroll though until you find a topic that sounds interesting.

Adding to an existing topic

It is equally as valuable to add to existing pages. Many are incomplete and need more material. Remember, it is acceptable and expected for editors to make changes to articles. You are, of course, free to search and browse the site for any topic that you want to write about. You can also use the following links to find existing articles that need more material:

  1. The Projects page. This page has a list of major projects the site is trying to put together. The blue links go to pages that have some info already, but probably need much more.
  2. Stubs. Stubs are pages that have a really really short entry. These pages need your help!
  3. Articles that need Thelemic info. (http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php?title=Special:Whatlinkshere&target=Template%3AThelema) Many pages on Thelemapedia have been imported from other GNU-licensed sites (see below) like Wikipedia, and are more or less complete. However, most of these have no information from a Thelemic perspective. It is up to you how much you want to do with these: you can add a single paragraph or rewrite the whole thing.

Step 2: Finding the ingredients

Now that you know what you want to write about, you need to go about finding good information. But first, here are some important principles to keep in mind:

For other important Thelemapedia policies, see the Editorial Policies page.

Sources of information

On Thelemapedia, information should come from the knowledge base, meaning books and other publications (and the Web in rare instances). The idea is to reference material in a concise, neutral way. Think of Thelemapedia articles as short high school research papers.

Since Thelemapedia is a reference site, information needs to come from verifiable sources, especially books and peer-reviewed journals (and the Web in some cases). As was said above, Crowley is considered to be the best source for Thelemic information. Other excellent writers include: Israel Regardie, Lon Milo DuQuette, Kenneth Grant, Gerald Del Campo, Rodney Orpheus, Martin Starr, Lawrence Sutin, Richard Kaczynski, Sabazius, Dionysos Thriambos, Hymenaeus Beta, Jack Parsons, and J.F.C. Fuller. If writing on topics that are not explicitly Thelemic in nature, other expert writers should be referenced.

Online sources for Crowley

Useful research tip: Google is your friend. One way to get lots of information quickly is to do detailed searches on specific sites. For example, if you wanted to know what Crowley said about "Baphomet", you could do a search on Google (http://www.google.com) with the following in the search box: "Crowley Baphomet site:hermetic.com" which would return all hits for Crowley and Baphomet on the site Hermetic.com.

Some excellent online sources for Crowley (and some other Thelemic writers) are:

Other online sources

Esoteric References

General References

Open source sites

Open-source sites have material that is openly available, as long as you conform to a few rules. It is possible to take text from these sites verbatim as long as you properly cite the source. For example, if you copy over the article "Ratchet", then you must put a reference at the bottom of the page, such as:

More on citing and referencing is later in this article. But first, here are some quality open-source encyclopedias with much information on the occult:

Step 3: Boiling it down

Once you've gathered your research, it's time to start putting it together.

First, organize what you've found into logical chunks (for example, Magick has the following chunks: Traditional definitions, Modern definitions, Magick as ritual, Systems of magick, etc.).

Gather up some good quotes that support each of the sections. Depending on the nature of the topic, you might end up including it as a verbatim quote, or you might paraphrase it. Either way, you need to cite the source, and include it in the References section (see below).

Then start the writing proper. Synthesize the information and use friendly, accessible language. Define technical jargon. Try to take the more complex concepts and boil them down to their basic components.

Also, keep the article in an encyclopedic style. Be objective: avoid personal language or references to yourself. Be concise and clear. Remember, the goal is to educate someone who has minimal knowledge on the topic at hand...do not assume knowledge in the reader. Don't be afraid to state the obvious: not everyone knows that Aleister Crowley wrote Liber AL, also called The Book of the Law.

What TO include

What NOT to include

Test your contribution

Here are some thought experiments to help you test whether your contribution fits the needs of Thelemapedia:

Step 4: Serve it up

Most articles will have the following basic structure:

  1. Brief intro—a lead section which is brief but sufficient to define and summarize the topic
  2. Detailed sections—covering the major aspects of the topic (be sure to use headers!)
  3. See also—List of links to other relevant Thelemapedia articles
  4. External links—to relevant sites of interest
  5. References—citing sources used
  6. Categories—add any that fit

The introduction

Please, write a brief summary at the beginning of your article (if you are writing a new one). It should include a definition of the topic (if a definition makes sense), set the context, and establish significances, large implications, and why we should care. The title should be highlighted in bold the first time it appears in an article, but not thereafter.

Detailed sections

After the introduction should come the various topical sections. These should be concise, and written with short sentences and friendly language. Divide them up with headers.

Other sections

Categories

Thelemapedia has a neat function that makes creating categories very easy. To add any page to a category, simply type [[Category:Category name]] at the very bottom of the article. This will automatically add that page to the category listing and a link will be created at the bottom of the article.

Pages can belong to multiple categories. For example, the article Thelema belongs to Category:Thelema and Category:Numbers. The code looks like this:
[[Category:Thelema]] [[Category:Numbers]]

Here is a list of all Thelemapedia categories. If there isn't an existing category for an article, when you add the category code at the bottom, it automatically creates that category. Note that, although "uncreated" categories will correctly list articles that have been assigned to them, the category page itself does not exist until it is manually created. The easiest way to create the category page is to follow the edit link from an article and add a parent category and a category description.

Formatting

Add formatting to your articles, such as italics, bolds, indented paragraphs, bulleted lists, etc.

Again, if you want to find out how to format your text, you can find out the basics of wiki markup in the Really Simple Tutorial or on the full Wiki Markup page which lists everything in detail.

Also, be sure to add links to other Thelemapedia articles. When you do create links, link only one or a few instances of the same term; don't link all instances of it. You can also find out about linking in the Really Simple Tutorial.

Where to go from here

Retrieved from "http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Thelemapedia:How_to_Contribute"

This page has been accessed 11823 times. This page was last modified 03:06, 9 Jul 2005. Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2.


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