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Forum:Editing someone elses text

Tolkien Gateway > Council > Editing someone elses text

I'm really new the the whole wiki-editing thing and while I have skimmed through some of the etiquette guidelines I haven't seen anything specifically related to whether you should attempt to preserve the original writer's style as much as possible when making corrections.

I'm sure we have all read entries that grate from a linguistic or aesthetic perpsective, but could not be faulted in terms of the underlying content.

I think it is important to show respect to the original contributor, they have made an honest effort at adding content - the lifeblood of all wikis. But sometimes an entry is just crying out to be substantially or even completely rewritten - so what do you do!!

--Narvi 20:45, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Hello Narvi, we really appreciate your contributions, you're fitting right in :) By all means, feel free to edit any article as our goal is to write the best article we can. As most of us aren't English majors, our writing style...okay, far from perfect and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I'm glad someone is able to improve upon something I've written. Every article here I think will be entirely rewritten numerous times before it comes close to being near the quality we are looking for, so feel free to change anything you like. Thanks again for all your help! --Hyarion 21:58, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks Hyarion, Tolkien is very close to my heart and this wiki is a wonderful project.

It's easy for someone like me to pick up on a few things scattered here and there, but the most important contributors are those who have built up articles from scratch. As I said before, I think it is really important to respect an original article. One person's summary or description is never going to be exactly the same as someone else's and it will still be equally valid.

--Narvi 02:36, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

There are a few points to consider. Wikis as a rule dont really have room for individuals 'style' since they attempt to convey pure fact (it's one of the biggest criticisms of wikis that they do show too much of the individual writer's 'bias' or tone as it were) from that point of view, there should be no 'ego' attached to a contribution to an article. However in this inperfect world we have courteousy to counter-balance ego.

What i do reccomend is before you embark on a huge rewrite of any given article, search back through the history and find the editor who wrote the original, or most recent full revision of the article and if they're still active, give them a little forewarning that you are planning to change the article significantly. You may even want to start up a conversation with them as to what you both consider the major points of the subject. Essentially just 'pay your dues' to those who came before. That's my advice Dr Death 05:53, 12 September 2007 (EDT)