• Always use an Edit Summary
  • Edit Summaries are not for discussions
  • Do not leave snide comments in Edit Summaries

Edit Summaries are for...Edit

Edit summaries are about what you have done, and why you have done it.

Well written Edit Summaries can be prefixed with "I", "I am", or "I have".
As in: "I (did this)", "I am (doing this)", or "I have (done this)".

... DescriptionEdit

A simple summary of what was added: as in what you have done.
  • Example: (I have) "Added trivia about source of name"
  • Example: (I have added information about) "source of name"

Descriptions of the edit are mostly used when adding information, so that it's easy to find the edit in article history later.

Without an Edit Summary, it's hard to track down who added that information.

... JustificationEdit

The reason for the edit: as in why you have done it.
  • Example: (I am) "Removing duplicate information"
  • Example: (I have edited this because) "This is incorrect"

Justifications for the edit are mostly used when removing or changing information, so that the edit is not mistaken for vandalism.

Without an Edit Summary, it's not always immediately apparent why information has been removed, and the edit may be reverted.

Undoing another user's edit without an edit summary will also likely be considered vandalism.

Edit Summaries are not for...Edit

... storage of informationEdit

If the information is worth stating, it is worth stating in the article. If the information is not worth stating in the article, then there is no reason for it to be in the Edit Summary

Edit Summaries are also not intended to store References. References are to be added via the {{ref}} template.

... extended discussionsEdit

Edit Summaries should be concise. If something requires an extended explanation that cannot be included in the article itself, use the talk page to write the reason out in full, and add "see talk page" after the short Edit Summary.

Edit Summaries should be used in order to avoid edit wars, but it is not appropriate to use them to argue.

... commentaryEdit

Edit summaries are about what you have done, and why you have done it, and are not for making comments about content or edits.

If you have a comment about improving the article, use the talk page.

... personal attacksEdit

While it is acceptable to state "This is incorrect" when removing something, it is unacceptable to write "Whoever wrote this crap is an idiot", and anyone doing this may be blocked from editing.

If you wish to tell someone your opinion of their edit, contact them directly.