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Cleanup

If you see a message with a yellow bar at the beginning of an article, along with the icon of a broom chasing out the dust, that’s a tag indicating the article needs to be cleaned up. Although the majority of articles could be improved—after all, Wikipedia is never finished—some are clearly in more desperate need of help than others. These neglected articles require cleanup.

Cleanup is simply the general term for improving articles. The vast majority of tasks on Wikipedia fall under this broad heading: Sourcing, formatting, rewriting, and linking are all cleanup tasks. Although anyone is free to work on any task at any time, Wikipedia has developed a variety of mechanisms to sort out articles in need of help, so editors can find them and address cleanup issues more easily. In this section, we’ll describe the basic mechanism for identifying and flagging articles as needing help, and then we’ll discuss the broad categories of issues and how to find articles with these issues.


  

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