Note: This may contain references to other games, and is generally applicable to most MMORGPs and not specifically WoW.
I have noticed that some articles on this subject tend to show persons personal point of view as to what role playing is and how it should be done. The problem is that everyone is different, and what is right for one person, may not be for another. So I just intend to give some general useful information with out ramming too much of my own opinion down your throat saying this is the only way to do it. This is not indented to be a definitive guide merely a starting point of things to bear in mind. If you read several different articles on role playing and some of the views seem to conflict, remember its just different peoples opinions. Take from it what you think is good and if you think something does not sound right for you, then it may just be there role play style (you don't have to follow it).
What is Role-playingRole playing is a bit like acting in that you put yourself in someone elses shoes. You get to go on a holiday from yourself and do things that you would not normally do or say. In short; you take over a different persona, with their own strengths and flaws.
Why do people want to role-playThe fun is (well for me), to play someone who is different from yourself and interact with others who are doing the same. Have you ever been reading a book, or watching a film, and wishing you were one of those involved and could interact with the characters Well now you can. I don't think this is the only reason though, if you ask three different people you would probably get three different answers. Basically it all boils down to one thing. They enjoy it.
How do I get started Role playingThe first thing that you need to be able to role play is a character and a character history. What was the up bring like How does the character act towards other people Does he or she dislike any particular race And so on. You don' have to work it all out straight away, but it's good to have some ideas. Maybe your character did not have a good education and does not always speak correctly. For me, flaws seem to make a character come to life a bit more and make him or her more unique. Think how your character will act towards other people. For example if he is an evil character he does not have to be polite and courteous to people but he may show respect for thieves and murders. That will give you something to work with. You can also let the in-game events take effect on your character as time goes by. For example if something very traumatic happens to him, it might have some effect, like being trapped in a small place might cause him to get claustrophobia. Again, make up your own mind and use your imagination! As time goes by and you develop your character you might want to start writing his background, personality and events that have happened to him in game to remind you, and so you can read through it again later to refresh your memory as to how he might act. For example if he has had one or several bad experiences with one particular type of race or creature he might come to hate and/or fear them.
If you are having trouble finding role playing guilds, or even information on your chosen game then Stratics is an excellent place to start looking. They have information on message boards on many online Role playing games. Since online games get updated a lot the instruction manual is not always up to date, Stratics serves as an up to date online manual. Stratics also reports what is happening in game.
But all this can only go so far, you need other people to role play with and have adventures and quests with. Try to find role players where ever you happen to be playing, usually there are some sort of role playing communities in a role playing game. Look at web sites and hunt around.
What language do role players speakd00d speak, where letters are replaced by similar symbols, and acronyms like lol (laugh out loud) and rofl (rolling on the floor laughing) are generally frowned upon. Emotes such as *laughs* and *smiles* are generally preferred. Other than that, pick anything that fits with your character. Speak modern english, ye olde english or even english with a french accent if you have to. Does your character have a lisp Does he have difficulty pronouncing the 'th' Perhaps you will have him speak Orcish, Elven or Gargish... It really does not matter, as long as you are consistent.
Is going out of charter (ooc) allowedThis seems to be a very personal thing. I personally always try to use  to show ooc, but it's not the only way. You can just say you are talking ooc and speak normally. At some point though you will find it necessary to go ooc, don't worry, I think this is natural and something that we all have to do from time to time. However, die hard role players will rather cut off their right foot than be caught talking out of character.
ToleranceJust because someone does not role play in exactly the same way you do, is not a good reason to flame them or say they are not role playing. However you may come across someone, either in-game or on message boards, who just seems to like arguing and attacking you personally regardless of your arguments. Don't try to argue with people like this, as that is what they want, they love to argue, just try to ignore them if possible.
Role playing for girls
Some girls do not like having guys hit on them in role-playing games. One way to avoid this is to play a male character. Playing a different sex must surely be an interesting and challenging role playing experience. Of course you don't have to play a man if you don't want to, maybe you can be that powerful girl you have always wanted to be (Girl power). But always keep in mind that just because you see a woman in game, it does not necessarily mean they are a woman in real life. In fact, a lot of 'girls' you meet in-game are in reality role-playing guys.
I have known quite a variety of girls who play role playing games, some just like to run shops, make things and sell them, others really like PvP (Player vs player combat ). Again try things out and do what feels right for you. While there are more men playing role playing games, there are certainly lots of women too so you will not be the only girl playing.
Is role playing for meWhy are you ask me What do you think, want to give it a try
I would like to thank all the people whom I have spoken to that have given me support and information which helped make this guide.