So you've decided that you're going to write the perfect article for Memory Alpha. That's great! Before you start, there are a few general guidelines and suggestions that we hope will help you in your quest.
- Research in advance. It's always vital to make sure that you know what you're writing about before you start writing! This includes reviewing the information related to the episode, either through an online episode guide or even watching the episode in which your subject appears, to double-check your data. Also, make sure that your information adheres to Memory Alpha's content and resource policies.
- Introduce the topic. Start off your article with a sentence or short paragraph that roughly summarizes the subject. You don't have to include all the details, but the introduction should give the reader a clear idea of what the article is about, simply by reading the first paragraph and no further. (Also, be sure to bold the subject in the first sentence.)
- Organize your sections. If you're writing a longer article, it's useful to divide it into sections. Try to split up the text into natural segments. Sometimes, it's useful to write the entire article first, and then divide it into sections where there are natural breaks.
- Add wiki links. The perfect Memory Alpha article will help to build the web by including wiki links to other, related articles.
- Add an image. Memory Alpha is not an image gallery, but uploading one or two images to illustrate your article can add that extra flare that helps your work stand out.
- Add external links and references. Memory Alpha may have a lot of information, but it can't have it all. Adding links to outside web pages that contain additional information can be especially useful to readers!
- Check your spelling and grammar. This is always important, of course, but doubly so if you've set the high goal of writing the perfect article! Go ahead and use an external text editor or word processor if that will help you spot your mistakes.
- Read your article aloud. This may sound silly, but the best way to review and revise your perfect article is to read it through in its entirety, listening to how it sounds as you read it. This makes it easier to spot errors and changes that you'd like to make.
In addition, some contributors might find it useful to consult with other Archivists to get ideas for changing and refining the text. Post an early draft of the article and get comments on the talk page. Even better, offer comments on other articles' talk pages, too! Sharing ideas and opinions helps build a stronger article base for everyone.