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The word stub means something that is very short. On Wikipedia, a stub is a short article. When writers begin a new article, they use the word stub to mean that it is still very short and that people can add a lot more useful information to it. Generally, articles with less than 1500 characters of text are called stubs here.

Stub alert!

If you make or find a stub, here is what you should do. You can make the article better, or if you think that someone else would do a better job, add the {{stub}} template to ask other users to make the article longer. The template will show this message on the page:

See Wikipedia:Template messages for more information.

However, stubs should not have {{stub}} on them for a long time. They should be categorized (put into) into stub categories. See Wikipedia:Simple Stub Project for more information.

Finding stubs

The MediaWiki software can make finding stubs easy for you. To make it do this, set the Threshold for stub display higher than 0. This makes it easy to find or fix (make into a longer article) a stub. See Special:Preferences to set your threshold, or Help:User preferences for more help on this and other settings.

To find a stub, use the following link to see what links to this page;

Making stubs better

Most stubs are only one paragraph or sometimes they are only a few lines. Stubs do not fully describe the subject of the article.

  1. Make a "This is a stub" message by adding {{stub}} (see Wikipedia:Template messages for more). This will tell people who read the article that more work needs to be done. Some people watch the New Changes page, but adding the message will tell more people.
  2. Write in Simple English. Use complete sentences.
  3. If you can easily read English that is not simple (for example, if English is your first language), you may want to look at the article on the main English Wikipedia and make a simple version of that article on this Wikipedia.
  4. Give a good definition or description of your topic. For biographies and articles about non-concepts (e.g., about countries and cities), definitions are impossible, so begin with a clear, helpful, informative description of the subject. For articles or stubs about a person, tell what he or she is famous for. For a place, tell where it is and what it is known for. For an event, tell what it was and when it happened. A good definition or description may encourage contributors by suggesting the limits of the article, indirectly summarizing what needs to be done. For example, Salvador Allende was the President of Chile from 1970 until 1973 would be a good description.
  5. Try to give more than just a definition--at least a little more. It does not hurt to be provocative, as long as you attempt to have a neutral point of view and be reasonably accurate. What is interesting and important about the subject? If your introduction would make someone want to read more, then it will probably encourage someone to write more. As little as one extra sentence can turn a good description into a great stub, e.g. Salvador Allende was the President of Chile from 1970 until 1973. The CIA might have been involved in the military revolt that put him out of government. You do not have to know any more yourself; many people will be very eager to fill in the details.
  6. Make sure any relevant linkable words have been linked, but be careful about which words you link; see Wikipedia:Naming conventions. e.g. Salvador Allende was the President of Chile from 1970 until 1973. The CIA might have been involved in the military revolt that put him out of government.
  7. Save the article with a change summary that will attract the attention of others to your stub.
  8. Be responsible for your stub article. If nobody contributes to your stub for a few weeks, try to make it better yourself. Take the fact that nobody has contributed as a hint that your stub might not have been that great, and if nothing else, try to make it a better stub.