This page describes the stages in the development of an article and lists the ways in which you can help an article grow into the next stage. The following categories should give you an idea of how articles typically grow.
Stages of an article
Every article starts with an idea in the mind of a contributor. It is a good idea to search first, so you are sure there has not been an article on the subject; if there is, a redirect may be appropriate. If you see a red link that strikes your fancy, create an article! (If you've not created an article before, see Your First Article.)
For more suggestions on how to think of subjects to contribute on, see Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia.
Before you start, it's helpful to read the guidelines and tutorials on creating new articles to get an idea of what you should consider—such matters as the scope, format, references, and NPOV in a Wikipedia article.
If you do not have the time to write a full article, consider writing a "stub". Stubs are very short articles—generally just a few sentences. These are the "ugly ducklings" of Wikipedia. With effort, they can mature into "swans".
Good ways to find stub articles and grow stubs:
Category:Stub categories Special:Newpages Special:Randompage Special:Shortpages To find stub templates appropriate for an article, see these WikiProject Stub sorting sub-pages.
See Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Stub types for more information on existing stub types. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/List of stubs for a compact list of all stub types. Article stub placement The article stub (or stubs) template is added after the last line of the article. For example:
Last line of the article.
(first blank line) (second blank line)
|This general article is a stub. You can help the SEG Wiki by expanding it.|
Shortcuts: WP:ARTEXPAND WP:EXPANDART Once a stub has real content, it is a real article and the article's stub template(s) can be removed. The vast majority of articles fall into this category. They may have weaknesses, so you are encouraged to copyedit them and, where you have the knowledge or do the necessary research, to add content.
As an article is improved in quality it goes through stages of development. Here is an example of the evolution of an article.
Good ways to find and improve developing articles (see below for more information):
Wikipedia:Cleanup Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors Template:Opentask Category:Wikipedia pages with to-do lists Category:Articles needing attention Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikipedia:List of WikiProjects Wikipedia:Regional notice boards Wikipedia:Writing better articles Good articles Wikipedia:Good articles Wikipedia:What is a good article? How to get great articles up to featured quality Wikipedia:Peer review Wikipedia:Featured article candidates