Mentors Tips - What's in a Biography?

+28 votes

Hello my fellow Wikitreers!

When was the last time you dropped in on the Biography Help section to see what's going on with what to include in the Biography Section of a Profile?

"At its most basic, the purpose of the narrative is to tell the story of your ancestor, by providing more detail about the vital statistics, including explanations and information about where you got the information (source citations).

The narrative can also be used to describe anything else you think would help a reader understand the person or that would help someone else who may be researching the same family or a family with similar characteristics. For example, when and/or why the spelling of a surname changed."

There have been some subtle changes over the last little while, like the addition of a Research Notes section (one of my favorites).

Collaborate on my Peeps!

Mags, WikiTree Snow Shark (yes, three feet of the white stuff finally!)

in The Tree House by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (585k points)
Great addition, short and sweet
Excellent, thanks for working on this.

I think the most important point is the word "Narrative."  Recently I have been seeing a whole lot of profiles with just a list of sources, but no narrative at all.  Keep up the good work to improve profiles!

I had inserted a Bio on myself and my parents when I started my WikiTree a couple of years ago. However, sometime last year - they had disappeared.

Go up to the changes tab at the top of the profile to see what changes have been made to those profile and you may figure it out.


2 Answers

+9 votes
Great condensed version ! Thanks for putting it together.
by Maggie N. G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+8 votes
Very nice. I also like the Research Notes. I had used that on a few profile I saw in the standards. Good to see I was not going off the farm.

It would be great to have the Sources link take similar approach as the biographies and be organized in something like Basic Source and Advanced. Advanced could lean towards toward EE/MLA conventions and use of the Source templates. The basic section could be similar to today.

Or should the Biography section link to Source Styles Guide , instead of the Source page. This would steer new user to inline sourcing and better constructed sources, if they like. Blending those two pages may make sense.
by Marty Acks G2G6 Pilot (131k points)

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