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Wikipedia:Guide to Layout

The Wikipedia Guide to Layout is an annotated, working example of some of the basics of laying out an article.

This little article is not about markup; see Wikipedia:How does one edit a page for that. This little article is not about style; see Wikipedia:Manual of Style for that. This little article is just a summary of what some fairly clean, simple Wikipedia articles look like. For more complicated articles, you may want to copy the markup of some existing article you like the looks of.

Table of contents

Introductory material

The subject of the article should be mentioned in '''strongly emphasised''' text at a natural place in the first sentence, or at least the first paragraph. The name of the subject may appear slightly different from the title of the page, or may include variations, but normally it is identical to the page title.

If the article is long enough to contain several paragraphs, then the first paragraph should be short and to the point, with a clear explanation of what subject of the page is. If further introductory material is needed before the first header, then this can be given in additional paragraphs.


Indented lists are:

  • good for organizing
    • neatly
    • efficiently
  • self-formatting

Lists start with a blank line, so put your first list item directly under the introductory phrase.

Unindented lists are good for alphabetic listing of personalities:


Numbered lists:

  1. number automatically
  2. make it easy to move items around in a list
  3. let you add items between other items

Structure of the article

Paragraphs should be relatively short, as the eye gets tired of following solid text for too many lines.

Headers also help make an article clearer, although they are not necessary. Since headers are hierarchical, and some people set their user preferences to number them, you should start with ==Header== and follow it with ===Subheader===, ====Subsubheader====, and so forth. Yes, the ==Header== is awfully big in some browsers, but that can be fixed in the future with a style sheet more easily than a nonhierarchical article structure can be fixed.

Certain optional standardized sections go at the bottom of the article, as you see below.


Under this header, list any memorable quotations that are appropriate to the subject.

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

Related topics

Other articles in the Wikipedia that are related to this one.


Put under this header, in list form, any books that you have used or recommend for readers of the article. If you can, include the ISBN for the most recent edition. The ISBN will automagically link to a page assisting readers in finding the book.

External links

Put here, in list form, any web sites that you have used or recommend for readers of the article.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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