Wikipedia:Avoiding common mistakes

The easiest way to avoid making common mistakes is to know what they are. Some of the most common recurring errors in Wikipedia articles have been documented below for your convenience.

However, not all errors are covered here. Keep in mind that newcomers to Wikipedia may find that it is easy to commit a faux pas. Don't worry about that. Remember, Wikipedia is unbreakable (every edit is recorded and retrievable). Also, even though there are many protocols, perfection is not required, as Wikipedia is a work in progress. You are encouraged to be bold and start editing.


  • Autobiographical articles. One of the most common mistakes for newcomers is creating an encyclopedia article about themselves (or a friend or relative). Because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it is not expected to have a biographical article about every person who contributes, or indeed, most people. The simple fact is that the vast majority of people are not notable, as we define that word here, and even if a subject is notable, you should not be writing articles about yourself or people with whom you have a close connection. Your user page, however, is a perfect place to write a bit about yourself, especially as it relates to Wikipedia editing — your work and aspirations as a Wikipedian, to-do lists, useful policy/guideline links and the like. While you may write some unrelated content, you should avoid substantial content on your user page that is unrelated to Wikipedia. To access your userpage, just click on your user name at the top of the screen after you have logged in.
  • Company articles. It is often better not to write an article about the company you own or work for. First, you may have problems maintaining a neutral point of view, and second, your article may be quickly deleted. If your company is notable enough, someone else will write an article about it. (See Wikipedia:Business FAQ and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest.)
  • Dictionary-type entries. We take the stance that Wiktionary.
  • Redundant articles. Before creating a new article, run a search Wikipedia with Google, or another external search engine, for the name of your topic, and related terms; articles may be missed by a Wikipedia search but caught by an external search engine, especially if the terms you choose are not present in the article title. The spelling suggestion feature offered by many search engines also helps a great deal. Redundant articles often result when a user comes across a red link, so see Wikipedia:WikiProject Red Link Recovery for more details. An article for a red link may have been deleted, so see Special:Log/delete and search for deletions to find out when and why an article was deleted. On the other hand, Categories, lists, and navboxes that contain the same elements are typically allowed.
  • Articles which are too short to have encyclopedic value. Articles must establish the context and notability of the subject. If an article does not contain enough content to keep it from being classified as a mere stub, then it may qualify for speedy deletion. Instead of creating a very short article, consider adding more content to the page before saving it, or using the {{inuse}} tag to indicate that the article is in the process of expansion.
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português: Ajuda:Erros comuns
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wikipedia:Česte greške