You can view the list of essays sorted by impact - a weighted score system that took into account the number of page watchers, pageviews for a month, and incoming links. (list generated in January 2012)
Note:Essays and information pages represent the opinion(s) or summaries of an individual or group of editors and are intended to supplement or clarify a process while sometimes offering advice. Essays and information pages are not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, thus have no official status within the community. Following the instructions or guidance given in an essay or information page is optional, as they may be written and edited by anyone without overall community oversight.
Administration - discuses both the non-human administrative structure of Wikipedia, as well as its human components.
Academic use - describes how citation of Wikipedia in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not considered a credible or authoritative source.
Editing environment - describes how Wikipedia is governed? What happens when content disputes 'boil over' into accusations of bad conduct?
Editorial oversight and control - discusses the various processes and structures by which Wikipedia articles and their editing are editorially controlled, and the processes which are built into that model to ensure quality of article content.
Quality control - describes how the very wiki-nature of Wikipedia enables instant and continuous quality control, by allowing anyone and everyone to participate in improving articles and the encyclopedia as a whole.
Researching with Wikipedia - discusses how Wikipedia can be a great tool for learning and researching information. However, as with all reference works, not everything in Wikipedia is accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased.
Role of Jimmy Wales - discusses how Jimmy Wales holds a special role in the governance of the English Wikipedia, because of the central and vital stake he had in its founding.
The essence of Wikipedia - describes how Wikipedia is the harnessing of the collective intelligence and collaborative efforts of editors who hold opposing points of view, in an attempt to preserve all serious contributions which are reliably sourced. The aim is the progressive building of more and better NPOV content.
How to not get outed on Wikipedia - discusses how some editors of Wikipedia, having their "real life" identity discovered can be a major problem, threatening their well-being, careers, or even personal safety. There are a variety of steps you can take to help protect yourself from this happening.
IP edits are not anonymous - discusses how editing Wikipedia with an IP address as your identifier is often less anonymous than editing with a normal account.
On privacy, confidentiality and discretion - discusses how all should be careful about revealing and handling personal and/or private information, as your rights to privacy may not extend as far as you believe.
Protecting children's privacy - discusses how all users, including children, are permitted to edit anonymously without submitting identifying information. Reasonable efforts to discourage children from disclosing identifying personal information are appropriate.
Responding to threats of harm - discusses how anyone who observes potentially suicidal or violent behavior should notify Wikipedia administrators quickly. (Editors may not provide counselling services or professional referrals).
Strong passwords - discusses how a strong password is a password used that is hard for a vandal, or anyone, to crack.
User account security - discusses how editors should use a strong password to avoid being blocked for bad edits by someone who guesses or "cracks" other editors' passwords.
Why create an account - discusses how you don't need to be registered to edit, however it does provide additional features and privacy.
Wikipedia is a volunteer service - discusses how editors on Wikipedia are mainly volunteers. Editors can contribute as much as they want, and however long they desire.
Wikipedia is anonymous - discusses how Wikipedia can be anonymous. But there are various ways your identity can be revealed.
Competence is required - discusses how not every person belongs at Wikipedia, because some people are not sufficiently competent.
Disruptive user- discusses examples that would make someone a disruptive user.
Editorial discretion - discusses how common sense and Wikipedia policy dictates that editors must practice discretion regarding the proper inclusion of relevant and well-sourced content.
Editor integrity discusses how editors have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of Wikipedia and respect intellectual property rights of the sources they draw upon when they create and improve encyclopedia pages.
Editors matter - discusses how Wikipedia's most important resource is its contributors.
Paid editing (essay) - discusses how some editors (usually for money) creating or editing a Wikipedia article for an individual or entity.
Retiring - discusses how sometimes active users decide to retire from, or leave, Wikipedia and may return at any point.
Single-purpose account - discuses how many single-purpose accounts turn out to be well-intentioned editors with a niche interest, a significant number appear to edit for the purposes of promotion or showcasing their favoured point of view.
User rights are not a golden ticket - discusses how user rights, as they appear in the log, do not denote a hierarchy of Wikipedians. Rollback, sysop, checkuser, oversight etc. are not special groups. While we call these privileges, they are not a measure of status.
Plain and simple overview - discusses the policies and customs that have developed over the years which reflect the experience of thousands of editors who are constantly learning and refining how to create balanced.
Honesty - describes how honesty is expected in all processes of Wikipedia, including content discussion, the dispute process and all other functions of the community.
Gender-neutral language - describes how gender-neutral language should be used where this can be done with clarity and precision
Introduction to structurism - describes an editing philosophy emphasizing interconnection, organization, and uniformity as the best way to improve the usefulness of content across all Wikimedia projects.
Oversimplification - describes how not to oversimplify material in the effort to make it more understandable.
Paradoxes - describes the major conceptual contradictions within our project
Paraphrasing - describes how editors should generally summarize source material in their own words.
Readers first- describes how whenever we write something, we should always put our readers first.
Responsible tagging - discusses how the best care should be taken to only add the most relevant and specific tags, and leave an explanation on the talk page so that others can understand what the problem was/is.
Student assignments - discusses how students that edit Wikipedia as part of an assignment should improve Wikipedia – without any serious violations of content norms.
Snowball clause - discusses how you should use common sense and don't follow a process for the sake of it; But, if in doubt, then allow discussions to take place.
Tagging pages for problems - discusses how "Tags" (Template messages) should be used to clearly identify problems with Wikipedia pages to indicate to other editors that improvements are needed.
Tendentious editing - describes how to recognize bad editing, how to avoid it, and how not to be accused of it.
Time management - discusses how your time reading and editing Wikipedia may be limited, thus you should focus your editing toward the most enjoyable and productive goals.
Too long; didn't read - describes the cause of excessive length, suggestions on how to reduce it, and a reminder to always exercise civility with other editors when paring.
Adjectives in your recommendations - discusses how editors choose to put adjectives in their recommendations (sometimes described as votes or !votes); there is disagreement on if this is a good practice or not
Arguments to avoid in edit wars - discusses how when an edit war takes place, arguments should be productive and should be aimed at reaching an agreement, and not about acting superior, having it one's way, or otherwise discounting the other(s) involved.
BOLD, revert, discuss cycle- discusses how making bold edits is encouraged, as it will result in either improving an article, or stimulating discussion. If your edit gets reverted, do not revert again. Instead, begin a discussion with the person who reverted your change to establish consensus.
BRD misuse - discusses two types of editors exhibiting behaviors that misuse the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle.
Nothing - discusses how editors who use the "everything" argument are urged to provide more detail of their argument.
Notification - discusses how if you begin a discussion of another user on a common notice board, it is expected that you will notify the subject user by posting a message on their talk page.
Polling is not a substitute for discussion - describes how some decisions on Wikipedia are not made by popular vote, but rather through discussions to achieve consensus. Polling is only meant to facilitate discussion, and should be used with care.
Provide diffs - discusses how editors making claims about the conduct of other editors, should make sure to provide diffs as evidence during discussions.
Shadowless Fists of Death! - discusses how its best not to mindlessly quote policy or guideline titles at other editors in arguments. It's obnoxious and counter productive. Explain thyself.
Sham consensus - discusses how a consensus may not be relied on, because it violates a policy, a guideline, or an ArbCom decision.
Beef up that first revision - discusses how hew page patrollers judge the articles by their first mainspace revisions; they prefer these to already contain basic context, assertion of notability, and sources.
Baby and bathwater- discusses how good-faith editors can mistakenly delete content that is actually properly sourced, and citations which are valid, by misunderstanding our sourcing-related policies and guidelines.
Content removal - discusses how when removing content from a page, it is important to be sure there is consensus to do so.
Delete the junk - discusses how we don't need to keep an article with no merit in itself just because it might, theoretically, be possible to make a good article on the subject.
Deletion and deletionism - discusses the processes used on Wikipedia for removing articles, images, miscellaneous pages, user pages, stubs, and categories.
Deletion by redirection - discusses how redirecting an article is often an appropriate course of action to be taken when an article clearly fails to meet the general notability guidelines for inclusion.
Deletion is not cleanup - discusses how if an article on a notable subject can be improved through normal editing, do not put it through a deletion discussion.
Does deletion help - discusses whether or not articles add to a reader's knowledge without misleading or biasing them in any way.
How to delete a page - discusses how to ask for an article to be deleted because only administrators can delete them. Note that removing all text from a page does not delete it, it just leaves a blank page, which is discouraged.
Identifying blatant advertising - discusses how to locate, identify, and respond to articles, pages, and content that are blatantly created as an advertisement or promotion.
Immunity - discusses the idea that an article cannot possibly be deleted, either because no one will dispute the fact it belongs, or it meets inclusion criteria so well, that no one will dare think to have it deleted.
When in doubt, hide it in the woodwork - discusses how when an event article of borderline notability that could potentially become notable in the future is nominated for deletion, the best solution is to transfer it out of article space without deleting it so it can potentially be re-added at a later date.
How to be civil - discusses how editors should offer constructive comments, forgive editors, be polite, and walk away if you have to.
How to improve civility - discusses how you should treat your fellow editor as a respected and admired colleague, who is working in collaboration with you on an important project.
Imagine others complexly - discusses how civility issues, misunderstandings, and discomfort on Wikipedia can sometimes arise from a failure to imagine others complexly.
Maintaining a friendly space - discusses how Wikipedia should strive to provide a respectful, transparent, and positive experience for everyone.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder editors - discusses how editors with OCD may have different wiring patterns in their brains, and you may have to learn how to interact well with them, but they can still make a valuable contribution to Wikipedia.
Expert retention - discusses the issue of how to attract and retain expert specialists, given the anarchic and often frustrating nature of Wikipedia, is one that many Wikipedians feel needs to be addressed.
Expect no thanks - discusses how we should edit Wikipedia for the love of the project, not primarily with the hope of being thanked, however a little more thanks would go a long way.
Expressing thanks - discusses common methods for communicating thanks to other users.
Failure - describes how failure is a good thing because people are prone to mistakes, and they learn as a result of them.
Ignore personal attacks - discusses how if someone attacks you personally, you should ignore it, rise above it, and continue to comment solely on relevant content.
Forgive and forget - describes how editors should stop fighting. Forgive others, apologize, and move on.
It's not the end of the world - describes how If people disagree with you or revert your edits, it probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
Nobody cares - describes how lack of action by others can mean lack of interest.
Policy shopping - describes how it is best to present all justifications for a change at one time (not incrementally).
Reasonableness - discusses how reasonable people with good intentions can still disagree over matters of substance.
Relationships with academic editors - discusses how Wikipedia is not a place to make an academic reputation, nor to post still-unpublished theories, and attempting academic defence of material is an emotional danger to one's self.
Don't overlook legal threats - discusses how when editors blank articles or make legal threats, they may have good cause. Stop and look carefully before assuming they're disruptive or wielding a banhammer.
Encourage full discussions - discusses how editors are encouraged to fully discuss all arguments in AfD discussions. If you bring up a point in the discussion, it is okay if someone else responds to it.
Get over it - discusses how editors should not get frustrated over a dispute. Get over it and move on.
How to lose - discusses how knowing how to "lose" a debate, with civility and grace, is sometimes as important as winning it.
Ignore all dramas ' - discusses how if the dramas prevent you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore them.
Just drop it - discusses how if you want an argument to stop, best you stop arguing.
Keep it down to earth - discusses how editors should aim for workable solutions that have a realistic chance at succeeding.
Mind your own business - discusses how if editors are in a dispute that has nothing to do with you, then stay away.
Thank not criticize - discusses how editors should focus on the positives of a user more than the negatives. Try earning them carrots rather than sticks.
Don't be a WikiBigot - discuses how intolerance on the basis of people's ethnicity, race or other characteristic is not acceptable.
Don't be an ostrich - discusses how you should help other editors when they need help. Don't ignore them.
Don't be ashamed - discusses how sometimes, an edit made in good faith does not comply to policy or consensus. Don't be ashamed of making mistakes.
Don't be a fanatic - discusses how editors need to recognize that all Wikipedia editors are ultimately colleagues working together, listen with civility, and try to find ways to respect and incorporate others' viewpoints and material as well as your own
Don't be inconsiderate - discuses how if people were considerate, we wouldn't need any other policies about behaviour. If people are telling you that you're inconsiderate, chances are that you need to change your behaviour.
Don't be obnoxious - discusses how its best to avoid behaving in away that is unpleasant and offends or annoys other editors.
Don't spite your face - discusses when faced with enforcing a solution that will predictably escalate the evident problem beyond present levels, back off and seek other, less inflammatory, actions to go about solving it.
Block on demand - discusses how self-requested block will be done by some, but not all, Wikipedia administrators
Don't lower the boom just yet - discusses how administering sanctions with a light hand, combined with ongoing monitoring and coaching, can be more effective than coming down hard, like a ton of bricks.
Disruptive sanctions - discusses how restricting an editor's ability to contribute to the encyclopedia is inherently a measure of last resort.
Give 'em enough rope - discusses how it may be better to just unblock them and make it clear that this is their last chance....and see what happens.
Guide to appealing blocks - discusses how understand in full the reasons of your block before requesting an unblock is your best bet.
I have been blocked - discusses how a block is a measure used to protect Wikipedia from possible improper activity in breach of editorial policies.
Sanctions - discusses how sanctions act to limit or remove user privileges and may lead to blocks and bans.
Dealing with sock puppets - discusses how sock puppetry is a problem at Wikipedia and you can help make a difference by reporting them to the proper admin board and by your conduct when dealing with them.
Lurkers - discuses how one should never assume a user is a sockpuppet – it can create bad feeling and violates our "Assume good faith" policy.
Obvious sock is obvious - discusses how if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
Signs of sock puppetry - discusses how there are many possible signs of sock puppetry or other multiple account usage. But none of them are absolute proof sock puppetry is occurring.
Sleeper account - discusses how a sleeper account is still enabled and it is still possible to use it. However, any such use of an account must conform to Wikipedia guidelines, particularly those of sock puppetry.
Basic copyright issues - discusses the basic requirements for uploading images to the English language Wikipedia.
Close paraphrasing - discusses how closely paraphrased material that infringes on the copyright of its source material should be rewritten or deleted to avoid infringement, and to ensure that it complies with Wikipedia policy.
Copying text from other sources - discusses how with the exceptions of short quotations and text copied from a free source, text from other sources may not be copied into Wikipedia. Doing so is a copyright violation and may constitute plagiarism.
Copyright on emblems - discusses the status of flags, coats of arms, seals, and similar official symbols, as well as drawings of such emblems, under United States copyright law.
Donating copyrighted materials - discusses the process of how editors who would like to grant permission to Wikipedia to use their own previously published work,
Quotations - discusses the guidelines of how brief excerpt from an original source can be used in Wikipedia articles.
Mirrors and forks - discusses how publications that copy Wikipedia content should follow the licensing terms; however, many others fail – accidentally or intentionally – to place the notice required by these terms.
Multi-licensing - discusses how it is best to use multiple licensing for one's contributions made to Wikipedia so that they are in the public domain or licensed under alternative licenses in addition to the CC-BY-SA license (and GFDL, often).
Plain and simple non-free content guide - discusses how Wikipedia's copyright guidelines are probably the most complicated part of the whole site and breakdown of what the rules are and what they mean.
Restricted materials - discusses how free images may still have restrictions independent of their copyright status, but they are still considered free.
Advocacy - discusses how Wikipedia is not a venue for raising the visibility of an issue or agenda.
Academic bias - discuses how if an Wikipedia article has an academic (scholarly) bias, it does not mean taking sides and it is not a violation of WP:NPOV.
Activist - advice for determining if an article is being unduly influenced by activists, as well as advice on how to deal with the various problems caused by violations of Wikipedia's policies.
An interest is not a conflict of interest - discusses how a conflict of interest can be cited as a cause for some other violation, but the existence of a conflict of interest by itself is not a policy violation.
Coatrack - discuses how articles about one thing shouldn't mostly focus on another thing.
Controversial articles - discusses how controversial articles, by their very nature, require far greater care to achieve a neutral point of view.
Criticism - discusses how articles should include both positive and negative viewpoints from reliable sources, without giving undue weight to particular viewpoints, either negative or positive.
Describing points of view - discuses how article should represent the POVs of the main scholars and specialists who have produced reliable sources on the issue.
Let the reader decide - discusses how you should not consider a statement neutral just because you agree with it.
Endorsements (commercial) - describes how commercial endorsements of goods, services, businesses, companies, nonprofits, and famous persons present special editorial challenges that require particular care.
Partisanship - describes how Wikipedia's coverage of political issues needs to adhere to NPOV in the face of partisanship.
Systemic bias - describes how systemic bias created by the shared social and cultural characteristics of most editors, and it results in an imbalanced coverage of subjects and perspectives on the encyclopedia.
What is fringe? - describes how fringe theories range from theories that almost qualify as alternative mainstream theories to things that have just barely too many scientific chops to be called pseudoscience.
Citation overkill - discusses how when citing material in an article, it is better to cite a couple of great sources than a stack of decent or sub-par sources.
Cite tendentious texts directly - discusses how any text which takes a side on a difficult or controversial question - especially in cases where the text represents an extreme viewpoint - should be cited directly.
Citing textbooks - discusses how there are several situations in which textbooks should be completely avoided as your primary source of information about a subject.
Clones - discusses web sites that contain information that is directly copied from Wikipedia cannot be used to establish notability or verify the accuracy of any information on Wikipedia.
Independent sources - discusses how independent sources are not necessarily "neutral" in the sense of being even-handed. An independent source may hold a strongly positive or negative view of a topic or an idea.
Inaccuracy - addresses what editors should do with concerns about potentially inaccurate source material.
Interviews - discusses how interviews generally count as primary sources, but commentary added to interviews by a publication can sometimes count as secondary-source material.
Law sources - discusses how some law sources may not be reliable. Others may be very complicated to use.
Link rot - discusses how there are steps to be taken to reduce or repair its effect., and the fact its not good to delete cited information solely because the URL to the source does not work any longer.
Mine a source - discusses how articles with "citation needed" tags often already have sufficient sources that simply have been under-utilized.
Objective sources - discusses how you should be mindful that a reliable source to you may not be so for others; try to obtain objectively reliable sourcing.
Offline sources - discusses how even though Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, there is no distinction between using online versus offline sources.
Party and person - discusses the commonly misunderstood distinctions is between "secondary source" and "third party".
Perennial sources - discusses sources that editors frequently discuss on Wikipedia. Some of these are currently deemed reliable, some are currently deemed unreliable, and some may be reliable is some circumstances.
Perennial websites - discusses websites that editors frequently inquire about and how some are accepted, some are currently opposed for inclusion, and some depend on the circumstances.
Reliable sources and undue weight - describes how an article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject.
Significant coverage - discusses how if a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list.
Sourcing content about newer phenomena - discusses how some subcultures have been around for a long time and there is significant published material from which to describe these long-term subcultures on Wikipedia.
Videos as references - discusses how it's okay to cite movies, documentaries, TV programs and other video as references.
Video links - discusses how videos on user-submitted sites can sometimes be used as references or external links, but copyright infringement and unreliability will rule out the use of many of these videos.
When to cite - discusses when a source may or may not be needed.
Alternative outlets - discusses how there are other places for potentially useful or valuable content which is not appropriate for Wikipedia.
Articles with a single source - discusses how if an article is based on only one source, there may be copyright, original research, and notability concerns.
Bare notability - discusses how editors should be cautious with creating articles that are borderline notable. A subject that seems to be barely notable may really not be notable at all.
Bombardment - discusses how editors should not indiscriminately add excessive references to an article in the hope that weight of numbers will prevent it from being deleted.
Businesses with a single location - discusses how a subject that meets all inclusion guidelines is likely to merit an article, even if one is yet to be created. This includes many businesses with one address.
But it's true! - discusses how just because its out there, is not a sufficient reason to keep information on Wikipedia.
Don't assume negative notability - discusses how all should assume good faith, take a look to see if the article's subject could be notable after all, and give a new article a little time before playing at cybermen and shouting "DELETE!"
Every snowflake is unique - discusses how many similar items can have encyclopedic articles of their own; article's content should describe which peculiarities distinguish one item from the others, based on critical commentary found in reliable sources.
Inherent notability - discusses how ultimately, the community decides if a subject is intrinsically notable.
Insignificant - discusses how what is insignificant to some may be extremely significant to others.
Lipstick on a pig - discusses articles whose subject does not meet notability guidelines, but has nonetheless been written with considerable care and effort, and may be embellished with sources, citations, images
Masking the lack of notability - discusses how excellent prose and the sheer number of citations or external links has no effect on a subject's notability.
Make stubs - discusses why make a red link, when you can make a stub?
News coverage does not decrease notability - discusses how articles that are subject to news coverage should not be nominated for deletion if they meet Wikipedia’s general notability requirements and notability requirements for events.
Pokémon test - discusses a test that involves the comparison of the article nominated for deletion with an article for a character from Pokémon, to decide whether it is more notable.
Run-of-the-mill - discusses how there are some items that are very commonplace for which sources verifying their existence do exist. But there are so many of these that can be verified given the same sources, there shouldn't be an article on each one, and only those with additional sources deserve articles.
Articles on suicides - discusses how an article about a notable suicide is not a biography, nor is it a memorial. Care must be taken both in articles and discussions not to cause further distress to the bereaved, and to stay neutral and neither to record nor synthesise original research.
Avoiding harm - contains a number of other ideas that were considered during the formation of the biographies of living persons policy. Many of them continue to resonate strongly with our current policy.
Borderline biographies - discusses when low-notability biographies of living people are considered for deletion, closing administrators may wish to consider requiring a positive consensus to retain the article.
Current Events Editing- discusses how editors should refrain from making substantive changes to or creating new articles that are biographies of a living person where current events are the driving factor for edits.
The following is a list of Wikipedia and User essays categories.
Note: User essays are similar to essays placed in the Wikipedia namespace; however, they are often authored/edited by only one person, and may represent a strictly personal viewpoint about Wikipedia or its processes. The author of a personal essay located in his or her user space has the right to revert any changes made to it by any other user.'
The Wikimedia Foundation's Meta-wiki was envisioned as the original place for editors to comment on and discuss Wikipedia, although the "Wikipedia" project space has since taken over most of that role. Many historical essays can still be found within Meta:Category:Essays.
Advice pages - about guidance pages written by WikiProjects.