Historical POI Writing Guide

From Sextant.org
Jump to: navigation, search


What is an historical Point Of Interest?

An historical Point Of Interest (POI) includes any place where something, or many things, happened that could of interest to a local, regional, national, or international community. Historical POIs do not need to be currently well known locations, but can be places which anyone could potentially be interested in learning about if given the opportunity.

Unlike simple place markers on a map, historical POI do not necessarily identify one thing which occurred at a single location. Rather, the entry's focus should be upon uncovering all of the significant historical events which have occurred at that point.

A POI could be the location of multiple events of significance, each of which occurred at different times. The role of the POI entry is to describe each of those events, explaining the story surrounding each one. Thus, each entry should be written provide both a history and an archaeology (what was there before what is there now, what happened there, why is it important) of a location.

Examples of possible historical POIs:

  • The former site of a building that was significant to a community.
  • The location of a military battle.
  • The former home of a significant member of a town, region, or country.
  • The site of a former notable business.
  • The place where an important cultural or sporting event occurred.

What is not an historical Point of Interest?

While all past events are part of history, some events are of interest to only a small number of people. Sextant.org is designed to be a collection of historical Points of Interest which could be of interest to anyone visiting such locations. Therefore, a POI should be of interest to both local inhabitants interested in local history, as well as those visiting from afar who are interested in learning about the area. A POI should not be about a past event, or past events, which would likely only ever be of interest to one individual or his/her friends and family.

Examples of places which are not historical POIs:

  • Your grandmother's house. (Unless your grandmother was a significant member of some community.)
  • A place that is emotionally significant to you or a small number of other people.
  • A location where you did something. (Unless what you did had a great effect upon a significant number of people.)
  • A place that you believe should be significant for everyone, even though you cannot explain why anyone who does not share your particular tastes/fascinations would ever be interested in it.

Sextant.org is not for advertising!

Sextant.org is a website dedicated to historical education. Sextant.org is not to be used to advertise a particular location, including businesses. If an existing business, company, organization, individual, or other interest is relevant to the history of a particular location, it can be mentioned in and/or linked to from the entry about that location. However, its prominence in the location's entry should reflect its importance in the history of that location.

Entries which are disproportionately dedicated to describing the contemporary business of an individual, organization, company, or some other body with a stake in advertising its current affairs, will be edited and/or deleted.

Does a POI entry need to be complete? What if I only know about one thing that happened at a particular place?

The beauty of historical POI entries is that they are never complete. As a wiki entry, any POI entry on Sextant.org can always be updated, edited, or even completely rewritten as new information, or additional information, is found.

Of course you can start a POI entry by describing the one historical event you know occurred at a particular location, and you can offer as much detail as you wish. You can always add more information to your entry if you learn something new about the location, or another user may also contribute to your entry, addition additional details and/or references which were not already included. Every entry is a work in progress and more information can always be added to any entry.

Writing or editing an entry

How should I structure/write a new entry?

After following the instructions to create the page for a new entry (see Create a wiki page for an historical POI) you should enter whatever historical information you have concerning the location in question after the POI Historical Details heading (displayed as "== POI Historical Details ==" when not using the Rich Editor).

Write the entry in the same way you would tell a story, with a beginning, a middle, and and end. Don't just say what a place was, or what happened there. Give as much detail as you believe necessary about how the location came to acquire its historical significance, as well as what happened afterwards.

From where should I get information about a location?

While you can get information from anywhere, it is best to take the information you use from reliable sources. Although there are no hard and fast rules about what counts as a reliable source, it is best to use sources (1) which are not produced by people or organizations with a financial or political stake in a particular perspective on the topic, and (2) which are, or have been, reviewed by experts on the topic or related topics.

Do I need to say where I found the information?

You don't need to say where you found every piece of information, especially in the case of well known information. However, if the information you are providing is very specific, detailed, or possibly controversial, it is recommended that you indicate where you found it. You can show your sources by using the reference function, which is outlined on the Editing help page.

What if I want to quote a source?

It is completely acceptable to quote your sources, provided that you indicate from where you took the quotation. You can do so by using the reference function outlined on the Editing help page.

Should I use a specific format to write my references?

Apart from the format that is needed to have to references show up on the wiki page, you simply need to give enough information to allow someone else to find the same information. However, if you want to use a specific format, Sextant.org suggests that you follow the Chicago (Turabian) format.

What if I want to copy content from another source?

Although Sextant.org recommends that you write original entries, you can use content from source which are either copyright free, or to which you possess the copyright.

Entries which contain non-original text should display the NOT ORIGINAL CONTENT banner at the top of the page. To insert the banner simply insert the wiki-text (i.e. not in Rich editor) "[[File:NOC.png]]" at the very top of the page.


Specific paragraphs containing non-original text should be preceded by the wiki-text "{{NOC}}<br>".

Blah blah blah blah blah...

For an example of the use of both the NOT ORIGINAL CONTENT banner and paragraph indicator, see 44.674425,-63.618715.

Where can I get more information on history writing?

A good beginner's guide to writing history papers, essays, and projects is Hugh Robertson's The Research Essay: A guide to papers, essays, and projects. If you're looking for a website, well, there are tonnes out there. A useful one we've found is www.historyguide.org, but there are MANY more.

Personal tools