Wikipedia:Guide to layout


The Wikipedia Guide to Layout is only a quick explanation of some of the easy parts of laying out an article. For more detail about style guidelines, see the Simple Manual of Style. For greater detail about how to use wiki markup, see Wikipedia:How to edit a page.

This little article is a summary of what some fairly clean, simple Wikipedia articles look like. For more complicated articles and 'tricks', it sometimes helps to copy the markup of some article you like the looks of.

Introduction change

The subject of the article should be mentioned in bold text ('''subject''') in the first sentence, or at least the first paragraph. The name of the subject is usually the same as the page title.

If the article is long enough to have several paragraphs, the first paragraph should be short and to the point, with a clear explanation of what the subject of the page is.

If more of an introduction is needed before the first header, then this can be given in extra paragraphs. It is common for introductions to articles about persons to be like summaries, mentioning the most famous things about the subject.

Introductions should come before the section headers; they should not be in an ==Introduction== section of their own. If there are at least four headers, the table of contents will automatically follow the introduction, just before the first named section.

Wiki links change

"Wikified" articles link important words to their article. For example, an article might just link pancakes without having to explain what they are. Or an article about laser beams might give helpful background information by following the link from another article. Not every word should be linked, just helpful ones, which are usually nouns and names that would have articles. If there are no articles with that name, the link will show up in red, which shows that it has not been written yet and may need to be written. Long stretches without any links are not common. Useful links that are not mentioned in the article body can be added to the "Related pages" section near the end.

Structure of the article change

Paragraphs should be kept rather short because the eye of a reader can get tired of following solid text for too many lines. Most normal articles should be written in paragraphs, not bullet points. But lists can be used for reference.

Section headings help make an article clearer and easy to find content. the structure in the table of contents. On the other hand, try not to use too many subheadings that are not needed, because this can make the article look messy. Short paragraphs and single sentences normally do not need their subheading, and in these cases, it may be better to use bullet points or bold text instead.

Editors should use their judgment in deciding whether subtopics should have their pages, or be kept on the main article's page.

Table of contents change

A table of contents for the article is created by adding section headings and possibly subheadings too. It is displayed as a box with the title "Contents", under the lead paragraph(s) and above the first section heading.

Images change

If the article can be illustrated with pictures, find an appropriate place to position these images. For more information, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

Optional sections change

These optional sections go at the bottom of the article. They should be in the same order as they are here.

Quotations change

Under this section heading, list any memorable quotes that are appropriate to the subject.

  • "Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted." — Hesketh Pearson, Common Misquotations (1934)

Often, the most relevant quotes can be placed directly into the text to illustrate the topic.

Related pages change

These are other articles in Wikipedia which are related to this one but not already mentioned and linked in the text. Format them bulleted (with an asterisk) with the page name as an internal link, enclosed in double brackets, e.g. [[ ]] Put here, in a bulleted list. For example:

Related topics should be grouped by topic to make them easier to find. Please also give a brief sentence to explain if it is not obvious how it is related. For example:

Or for a less formal look, you can simply use something like this in any section, indented just under its heading, in italics:

See also: Main page, Recent changes

References change

Put under this heading, again in a bulleted list, any books, articles, web pages, and such that you used to write the article or that you wish to recommend as sources of further information to readers.

  • Pooh, W. T. & Robin, C. (1926). "How to catch a Heffalump" in A. A. Milne (Ed.), The Karma of Kanga, pp. 23–47. Hundred Acre Wood: Wol Press. ISBN 999999999

The most important thing is to put all of the citation information, just as you would for any other bibliography.

Other websites change

Put here, in bulleted list form, any websites that you have used (but are not already cited as References) or recommend for readers of the article. Describe it if you can.

Sites that fail to meet the criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources can be linked here.