How Wikipedia Works/Introduction

Welcome! Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is the largest and most popular reference website in the world. Wikipedia is also unique: This encyclopedia is written by everyone and can be read by anyone.

This book is written for readers, current editors, potential contributors, and anyone else interested in Wikipedia. The book describes what kind of writing Wikipedia includes, how Wikipedia works behind the scenes, and how to get involved.

We cover all aspects of participating in Wikipedia, from reading the site to editing articles to navigating the site's community and governance.

Wikipedia is based on a wiki, a technology that allows anyone to change pages easily on the site. If you're impatient to work on Wikipedia, go to and start improving the encyclopedia right now!

If you learn most quickly by diving right in, or if you already edit Wikipedia, then you can use this book as a reference guide and a source of tips. But if you're just starting out, or if you want to know everything about how Wikipedia works today and how it has developed over time, you should start reading from the beginning.