This guideline is a part of the English Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
|Manual of Style (MoS)|
This guide presents the typical layout of Wikipedia articles, including the sections an article usually has, ordering of sections, and formatting styles for various elements of an article. For advice on the use of wiki markup, see Help:Editing; for guidance on writing style, see Manual of Style.
A simple article should have, at least, (a) a lead section and (b) references. The following list includes additional standardized sections in an article. A complete article need not have all, or even most, of these elements.
Further information: Help:Section and Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Article titles, headings, and sections
Articles longer than a stub are generally divided into sections, and sections over a certain length are generally divided into paragraphs; these divisions enhance the readability of the article. The names and orders of section headings are often determined by the relevant WikiProject, although articles should still follow good organizational and writing principles regarding sections and paragraphs.
Further information: Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Section headings
Headings introduce sections and subsections, clarify articles by breaking up text, organize content, and populate the table of contents. Very short sections and subsections clutter an article with headings and inhibit the flow of the prose. Short paragraphs and single sentences generally do not warrant their own subheading.
Headings follow a six-level hierarchy, starting at 1 and ending at 6. The level of the heading is defined by the number of equal signs on either side of the title. Heading 1 (
= Heading 1 =) is automatically generated as the title of the article, and is never appropriate within the body of articles. Sections start at the second level (
== Heading 2 ==), with subsections at the third level (
=== Heading 3 ===), and additional levels of subsections at the fourth level (
==== Heading 4 ====), fifth level, and sixth level. Sections should be consecutive, such that they do not skip levels from sections to sub-subsections; the exact methodology is part of the Accessibility guideline.[e] Between sections, there should be a single blank line; multiple blank lines in the edit window create too much white space in the article. There is no need to include a blank line between a heading and sub-heading. When changing or removing a heading, consider adding an anchor template with the original heading name to provide for incoming external links and wikilinks (preferably using
((subst:anchor)) rather than using
((anchor)) directly—see MOS:RENAMESECTION).
Because of the diversity of subjects it covers, Wikipedia has no general standard or guideline regarding the names or order of section headings within the body of an article. The usual practice is to name and order sections based on the precedent of similar articles. Contributors should follow the consensus model to establish an order.
If a section is named inappropriately, you may also use the ((Rename section)) template.
Further information: Wikipedia:Summary style § Templates
When a section is a summary of another article that provides a full exposition of the section, a link to that article should appear immediately under the section heading. You can use the
((Main)) template to generate a "Main article" link, in Wikipedia's "hatnote" style.
If one or more articles provide further information or additional details (rather than a full exposition, see above), references to such articles may be placed immediately after the section heading for that section, provided this does not duplicate a wikilink in the text. These additional references should be grouped along with the
((Main)) template (if there is one), or at the foot of the section that introduces the material for which these templates provide additional information. You can use one of the following templates to generate these links:
For example, to generate a "See also" link to the article on Wikipedia:How to edit a page, type
((See also|Wikipedia:How to edit a page)), which will generate:
"MOS:LINEBREAKS" redirects here. For preventing line breaks, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Controlling line breaks.
Sections usually consist of paragraphs of running prose. Between paragraphs—as between sections—there should be only a single blank line. First lines are not indented. Bullet points should not be used in the lead of an article, and should not be used in the body unless for breaking up a mass of text, particularly if the topic requires significant effort to comprehend. However, bulleted lists are typical in the reference, further-reading, and external links sections towards the end of the article. Bullet points are usually not separated by blank lines, as that causes an accessibility issue.
The number of single-sentence paragraphs should be minimized, since they can inhibit the flow of the text; by the same token, paragraphs that exceed a certain length become hard to read. Short paragraphs and single sentences generally do not warrant their own subheading; in such circumstances, it may be preferable to use bullet points instead.
Stand-alone lists and talk pages have their own layout designs.
Certain topics have Manual of Style pages that include layout advice, including:
Some WikiProjects have advice pages that include layout recommendations. You can find those pages at Category:WikiProject style advice.
Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Images
Each image should ideally be located in the section to which it is most relevant, and most should carry an explanatory caption. An image that would otherwise overwhelm the text space available within a 1024×768 window should generally be formatted as described in relevant formatting guidelines (e.g. WP:IMAGESIZE, MOS:IMGSIZE, Help:Pictures#Panoramas). Try to harmonize the sizes of images on a given page in order to maintain visual coherence.
If "stacked" images in one section spill over into the next section at 1024×768 screen resolution, there may be too many images in that section. If an article overall has so many images that they lengthen the page beyond the length of the text itself, you can use a gallery; or you can create a page or category combining all of them at Wikimedia Commons and use a relevant template (((Commons)), ((Commons category)), ((Commons-inline)) or ((Commons category-inline))) to link to it instead, so that further images are readily available when the article is expanded. See Wikipedia:Image use policy § Image galleries for further information on galleries.
|upright=scaling factor to adjust images sizes; for example,
|upright=1.3 displays an image 30% larger than the default, and
|upright=0.60 displays it 40% smaller. Lead images should usually be no larger than
Avoid article text referring to images as being to the left, right, above, or below, because image placement varies with platform (especially mobile platforms) and screen size, and is meaningless to people using screen readers; instead, use captions to identify images.
Horizontal rules are sometimes used in some special circumstances, such as inside ((sidebar)) template derivatives, but not in regular article prose.
As explained at MOS:COLLAPSE, limit the use of ((Collapse top))/((Collapse bottom)) and similar templates in articles. That said, they can be useful in talk pages.
== Heading 2 ==to
==== Heading 4 ====without
=== Heading 3 ===in the middle, violates Wikipedia:Accessibility as it reduces usability for readers on screen readers who use heading levels to navigate pages.