BlackFacts Details

Online Encyclopedia Entry Guidelines

Revised August 6, 2012

1) Each encyclopedia entry should be approximately 450 to 500 words in total (including title, sources, contributor information, etc.).  Always put the significance of the person, event, or organization you are writing on in the first sentence of your entry, e.g., John Smith, the first African American elected to Congress from Idaho, was born in Pocatello in 1953.

2)  Each entry must be your original work.  Do not copy information from other websites such as Wikipedia.  You should, however, review Wikipedia and similar websites to see what has previously been written on your subject.  Consult a variety of text and internet sources.  Even when you are citing your own work as the major source, please submit your entry with at least one or two additional text or internet sources.    

3) Avoid “editorial comments” or information that cannot be verified in your entry such as “her career was destroyed by white racism” or “he was the greatest athlete, musician, artist, etc., of all time.”  Be precise and specific.  Remember, you have only a few words to describe the individual you are profiling.  Use those words carefully and wisely to discuss the person’s history including where he or she was born, the names of parents, where he/she attended college, and his or her accomplishments and significance.  If the individual was married mention the name of the spouse and whether the couple had children.  Do not use your entry as a forum to provide your opinion of the person’s life, work, or historical significance. 

If there is limited information your encyclopedia entry may be less than 400 words.  A short, precise, accurate entry is far superior to a 500 word entry filled with editorial comments and vague declarations designed primarily to meet the word count.

4)  Each entry of an individual should have her\his birth date and death in the title, e.g., Smith, Jane Tyler (1918-1957).  If the individual is known by another name you should write: Smith, Jane/Stagecoach Jane.  Be sure to

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