How Wikipedia Works/Content/3

Chapter 3. Finding Wikipedia's Content edit

Finding Wikipedia's Content
  1. Searching Wikipedia
    1. Basic Searching
      1. Varying the Search
      2. Search Operators
      3. Searching Other Namespaces
      4. Some Special Searches
      5. Search Problems and Some Alternatives
    2. External Search Engines
      1. When to Use External Search Engines
      2. When Not to Use External Search Engines
  2. Ways into Wikipedia
    1. Welcome to the Main Page
      1. Navigating the Main Page
      2. Portals into the Encyclopedia
      3. Daily Content
      4. Constructing the Main Page
      5. Disclaimers, License, and Privacy
    2. The Omnipresent Sidebar
      1. Navigation
      2. Interaction
      3. Recent Changes
      4. The Search Box
      5. Toolbox
      6. Languages
  3. Joys of Hypertext
    1. A Hypertext Primer
    2. Three Types of Links
    3. Browsing by Topic
      1. Lists of Articles
      2. Traditional Classification Schemes
      3. Date-Related Articles
    4. Browsing by Categories
      1. Structure of a Category Page
      2. Navigating Categories
      3. A Longer Journey Using Categories
    5. Browsing by Page Type
      1. Finding Excellent or Poor Content
      2. Finding Images
      3. Finding Media Files
  4. Summary

Considering Wikipedia's vastness, finding exactly what you're looking for can be a challenge. Fortunately, search is a powerful technology. This chapter will explain how to search Wikipedia effectively.

But searching for a specific piece of information is not the only way to use Wikipedia. Unlike the sections in a printed book, Wikipedia articles are not in any particular order; instead, they can be bundled together by topic and in many other ways. This grouping makes it great fun to browse Wikipedia casually and facilitates chance discovery: Filling out your understanding of a topic's background is usually painless, and one topic can lead to another in a surprising and enjoyable way.

Whether you're reading Wikipedia for fun or serious study, mastering some key research and navigation skills will help you make the most of your time. Therefore, this chapter will also describe the key structures set up for browsing (portals, categories, and lists) and will explain some basic navigational tools, including the links on the website's left-hand sidebar.

As usual, this chapter will show you where to look up detailed and up-to-date explanations of the topics that are covered here only in brief.