Uncyclopedia:Beginner's Guide/Overview

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Welcome to the Beginner's Guide on Being an Uncyclopedian (BGBU)! Whether you have stumbled onto the website or been sent to this page for remedial reading, we are glad you are reading this! We hope this and the other tutorial pages (see box at right) will answer all your questions!

If you are new, someone should have welcomed you by putting a message on your talk page with some of this information. This doesn't happen automatically, as we are all volunteers, and some of us wait to see if you are a real editor and not just looking around. You are welcome to make the first move and write to other editors, and even to one or more Admins, as explained toward the bottom of this page.

What is this place?

Uncyclopedia is like a pick-up basketball game except for writers instead of athletes. It is not like the hoop on top of the garage door. It is a group writing project, not a free-form blog.

If you saw a pick-up basketball game and they let you join (and we let everyone join!) there are some things you would not do. For example:

  • Hog the basketball and show everyone what a stud you are
  • Propose that everyone use the basketball for a game of lawn bowling instead
  • Walk to center court and take a piss.

And things work the same here.

What do I need to know to begin?

Joining a basketball game, you need to know basketball — not just the rules, but you need to have a few moves. Here, it's the same. If you have been to other wikis, you may already know how pages work and how to edit when you call up an edit box. If not, click on each of those blue "links" and we'll teach you. (Hold down the Ctrl key while clicking them, and you can read those pages without losing this one.)

Even if you do know how to use a wiki, you may be new to writing comedy. We try to help at How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid and Choice of Words. The bottom line is that there are some things it may amuse you to type but it won't amuse the reader to read, and there are some techniques that used to be funny the first couple years but now are simply overused.

Do I need to be good?

We are all good and bad at different things. Like that pick-up basketball game, a garage rock band, a table-top role-playing game, or many other endeavors, you will meet other editors who are more serious than you as well as complete cut-ups who aren't serious at all. You need to be level-headed: not quit when you run into an editor who writes much better than you do, not get angry when you meet an editor who seems to be ruining your article. We have ways of helping each other out. For instance, if you simply can't spell, we have a Proofreading Service of Uncyclopedians who enjoy that kind of editing. We have many valued editors for whom English isn't their first language, and they fit in fine, doing things that don't require being funny and writing good English.

If you want to be funny, though, our best advice is at a page entitled How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid.

Where do I start?

At the playground, you might even watch for a while before asking if you could play! Likewise here, you might read a few pages before jumping in and editing. Click here to read a page from the wiki chosen at random. It's not guaranteed to be one of our best, but it will probably show you what a finished page looks like.

If you see typos, bad grammar, and ranty, shouty writing, you can click Edit straight away. But if you see something you think you could make funnier, read the whole page first and try to understand how the earlier editors were trying to be funny. Edit it to help them do that job, rather than interrupt their effort with your own. In particular, reading only the Intro and tugging it in a different direction is the wiki equivalent of hogging the basketball.

After reading a few pages, you might decide you don't just want to build onto something someone else started, but write your own article. The way you create a new page is just to search for a page that doesn't already exist, and Uncyclopedia will ask you if you want to create it. Now, you have several options:

  • If you know exactly what you want to write, and how to make it come out looking like an Uncyclopedia article, then create it in the main encyclopedia.
  • If you have a start but it's going to take some time, create an encyclopedia article but add {{Construction}} or {{WIP}} (Work In Progress) to tell people you aren't done yet, and buy yourself a week before anyone else deletes it.
  • If you have a concept but really don't know how to finish it, then create a page in your userspace. For you, that would be User:<insert name here>/NameOfThePage. Short of stuff like porn or cyberbullying, everyone will leave it alone until you use Request For Move to get it moved to the main encyclopedia.

If you don't want to write funny stuff at all but would like to help out, there is a bunch of other ways. Read about them by going to What you can do.

What about everyone else?

Like the pick-up basketball game, you are not alone here, and eventually, you will run into other people. You can contact an Admin, or ask to be adopted by someone who knows their way around.

Someone may contact you, and may even disagree with you on the direction you want to take an article. We handle this the same as Wikipedia, although Wikipedia is didactic and unfunny! Talk it out, assume good faith, remember that there is no tone-of-voice in typed English so try not to write things that could be misunderstood. If you and another editor disagree, ask an Admin to arbitrate or offer suggestions.

There's much more about civility and getting along with other Uncyclopedians in the page Uncyclopedia:Behavior.

But it says ignorable!

Blue check.svg This page is considered a policy on Uncyclopedia.

It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow, unless they don't want to, in which case they are free to ignore it so long as they're not being a dick. Please make use of the standing on one knee position to propose to this policy.

This Ignorable Policy notice appears above most of our guidelines for editors. It is a parody of Wikipedia's Procedural policy template. A lot of stuff here is a parody of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is serious about its procedural policies, and the people who put up stop signs seem to be serious about them too. In contrast, we are just trying to show you how to be a good writer and collaborator. Not only are many of these rules flexible, but it is sometimes the best comedy of all to flout a rule — not to amuse yourself (which usually results in bad writing), but because you know the reader will be amused (which is good writing). This is the difference between writing an article full of swears, and dropping an obscenity into a very dry article about a very dry historical character, right when the reader is least expecting it.

See also