FP101: How To Write With A Stub Nib

How to Develop a Stub Into a Better Article

One Methods:

A stub is an article that still needs work. Oftentimes, it provides a basic outline, but not enough information for the reader to complete the task. Other times, reader feedback has shown that it's not helping people as is, or perhaps it has accuracy issues. While all wikiHow articles arein progress,stubs need significant help to reach their full potential. You can help to improve the quality of a stub with more useful or detailed information. You may even polish it into a

Click here for a list of articles currently tagged as stubs on wikiHow. Why not pick one to improve?


  1. Dedicate the time to really expanding the topic; unless it's a topic you know extremely well already, it will likely take you anywhere between two and five hours to write a helpful article.Look at the articles featured on the home page to get an idea of how comprehensive an article should be. Be prepared to dive in deeply to "de-stub" an article, if your goal is actually removing the stub tag.
    • There are no set length requirements for topics on wikiHow, but in many cases, you'll want to shoot for:
      • the article having at least ten steps
      • the article having multiple parts or methods
      • each step having at least four sentences
      • the article telling the reader something that other articles on the web don't
  2. Research the topic.Even if it's a topic you know little about, you can search the Internet for more information, and put that information in your own words to add to the article. Use reputable websites to back up your advice, and .
    • Be sure you reward any content you find elsewhere online. It's most helpful to use a variety of reputable, neutral sources and synthesize their advice. Make sure you attribute any sources.
  3. Add instructions and steps to the article.Many stub articles contain only the very essential steps to perform the task at hand or even, sometimes, an incomplete set of steps. Look for the following cases, and if one of them applies, add the steps necessary:
    • See if the steps are incomplete, very brief or lacking one or more procedures. If so, add the actions that are not there.
    • Check for alternative methods to achieve each step. If some exist, add them. Most of the time, a substep or separate method section is how this is done.
  4. Expand steps of the article.Usually, stub articles contain very brief instructions that need further explanation or clarification. Some ways you can do this:
    • Check if the step contains vague or very generic instructions. In such cases, try to make the step more specific to the main purpose of the article. Depending on the topic, it can help to provide detailed examples, scripts to follow, details for particular scenarios, and any particular techniques, measurements, or tricks needed to complete the step successfully.
    • Check if the step only states what to do but provides no details on how to do it. Sometimes, adding examples can clarify things that are otherwise hard to understand. In other cases, the step itself is a whole complete procedure with sub-steps of its own (in which case you add the sub-steps as a sub-list, or put the step into a whole parts section of its own).
    • Check if the step involves the use of measurement units. If it does, add alternative measurement system.
    • Check to see if there are alternative ways or methods to accomplish or achieve the goal set forth by the title of the article. If so, add the alternative method.
  5. Fact check.Sometimes, articles are marked as stubs because readers have reported not finding them helpful. In that case, it often helps to double-check any and all advice on the page already. Is each step backed up by reputable sources? Is the method given universally accepted as a best practice for how to tackle that part of that task, or is it just one person's idea of how to do it? Some advice on wikiHow does come from personal experiences, but you want to be sure it's advice that will apply and be helpful to the majority of readers, not just a person or two.
    • If you're not sure why an article was stubbed, it often comes down to depth and detail. However, you can also ask an admin or booster to let you know what feedback readers have submitted on the topic, too. Sometimes, those ratings can lead you in the right direction for fixing any issues on the article.
    • Use reputable websites to back up your advice, and .
  6. Review the advice for flow.Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Does the article, as a whole, make sense? Can the reader follow along from beginning to end to get the task done, or does it jump around or get confusing? Does it actually address the topic, and what most people are looking for when they search for that query?
    • Ideally, readers can both skim an article for the main points, and dive into the detail they need to actually achieve the task. It can help to make sure the bold text first sentences of each step "sum up" the main parts of the process, for anyone reading in a big rush who just wants the overview. This allows readers to get the gist of the article quickly, and then dive in more deeply by reading the whole step and sub-steps, as desired.
    • If the article contains multiple methods, they should stand more or less alone, so that a reader could read only one method alone and it would make sense, allowing them to complete their goal.
    • If you're not sure what readers are looking for when they search for that how-to query, try putting the query into Google or another search engine. Read over the first results that come up; they can give you an idea of what readers may be looking for on that topic.
  7. .Sometimes you can find a very helpful video that the reader can watch to supplement the instructions.
    • Again, if you can, and are willing to, you may create a video and upload it to one of the video hosting services such as YouTube and add it. Sometimes, it might be necessary to ask for the help of an admin in adding the video if you can't add it through the wikiHow Import Video Tool.
  8. Add any needed tips and warnings.Some stub articles mix the "Tips" or "Warnings" sections with the "Steps" one. Some of them do not include tips at all. If needed, separate the tips, warnings, and the steps in their respective sections. Add any other crucial tips or warnings you can think of.
  9. Copyedit and clean up as needed.Before being ready to go live for readers, wikiHow articles need to be copyedited. Try to catch any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Use your browser's built-in spellchecker, if you have one. If possible, ask someone else to proofread the work, too, to catch anything you missed. Also make sure the article follows our formatting guidelines.


  • Here are some examples of articles that were marked as stubs but were improved and developed by other editors.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can I remove the stub from an article I wrote myself once it's complete?
    Top Answerer
    Yes, but make sure you've made it the best it can be before doing so. Otherwise, the stub tag may be added again.
  • Question
    Is anyone allowed to mark an article as a stub?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. However, the tag will be reviewed by another editor in Recent Changes Patrol, and may be removed if the article isn't a stub.
  • Question
    How do I remove the stub tag?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Click 'Edit' and remove the {{stub}} text written at the top of the article. Be sure to leave a clear edit summary explaining why you're removing it, and be prepared that if the article is still considered a stub by someone else, your change may be undone.
Unanswered Questions
  • I can't edit the intro of an article that needs a citation. What might the problem be?
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  • Useful ideas and "nice to know information" may be good tips (but they are unnecessary for the steps).

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Date: 09.12.2018, 19:16 / Views: 33371