This guideline is a part of the English Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
|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.
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.[g] 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).
See also: Help:Section, WP:Manual of Style/Accessibility § Headings, WP:Manual of Style § Section headings, and WP:Manual of Style/Capital letters § Section headings
Because of the diversity of subjects it covers, Wikipedia has no general standard or guideline regarding the order of section headings within the body of an article. The usual practice is to order sections based on the precedent of similar articles. For exceptions, see Specialized layout below.
Further information: WP:SUMMARYHATNOTE and 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.
See also: WP:Writing better articles § Paragraphs, Help:Wikitext § Line breaks, and WP:Manual of Style/Accessibility § Indentation
Sections usually consist of paragraphs of running prose, each dealing with a particular point or idea. 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 only be used in the body to break 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 (see MOS:LISTGAP for ways to create multiple paragraphs within list items that do not cause this 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.
For the list and order of common appendices and footers, see § Order of article elements.
When appendix sections are used, they should appear at the bottom of an article, with
==level 2 headings==,[h] followed by the various footers. When it is useful to sub-divide these sections (for example, to separate a list of magazine articles from a list of books), this should be done using level 3 headings (
===Books===) instead of definition list headings (
;Books), as explained in the accessibility guidelines.
Further information: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists of works
Contents: A bulleted list, usually ordered chronologically, of the works created by the subject of the article.
Heading names: Many different headings are used, depending on the subject matter. "Works" is preferred when the list includes items that are not written publications (e.g. music, films, paintings, choreography, or architectural designs), or if multiple types of works are included. "Publications", "Discography", or "Filmography" are occasionally used where appropriate; however, "Bibliography" is discouraged because it is not clear whether it is limited to the works of the subject of the article.[i] "Works" or "Publications" should be plural, even if it lists only a single item.[j]
For the placement of "see also" notes at the top of an article, see WP:RELATED.
See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists § Related topics (navigational lists)
A "See also" section is a useful way to organize internal links to related or comparable articles and build the web. However, the section itself is not required; many high-quality and comprehensive articles do not have one.
The section should be a bulleted list, sorted either logically (for example, by subject matter), chronologically, or alphabetically. Consider using
((Div col)) if the list is lengthy.
Contents: Links in this section should be relevant and limited to a reasonable number. Whether a link belongs in the "See also" section is ultimately a matter of editorial judgment and common sense. One purpose of "See also" links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics; however, articles linked should be related to the topic of the article or be in the same defining category. For example, the article on Jesus might include a link to List of people claimed to be Jesus because it is related to the subject but not otherwise linked in the article. The article on Tacos might include Fajita as another example of a Mexican cuisine.
The "See also" section should not include red links, links to disambiguation pages (unless used in a disambiguation page for further disambiguation) or external links (including links to pages within Wikimedia sister projects). As a general rule, the "See also" section should not repeat links that appear in the article's body.
Editors should provide a brief annotation when a link's relevance is not immediately apparent, when the meaning of the term may not be generally known, or when the term is ambiguous. For example:
If the linked article has a short description then you can use ((annotated link)) to automatically generate an annotation. For example,
((annotated link|Winston Churchill)) will produce:
Other internal links:
((Portal)) links are usually placed in this section.
Heading name: The standardized name for this section is "See also".
For how to generate and format these sections, see Help:Footnotes, Help:Shortened footnotes, and Wikipedia:Citing sources (particularly § How to create the list of citations).
"MOS:NOTES" redirects here. For hatnotes, see Wikipedia:Hatnotes. For Musical notes, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music § Images and notation.
Contents: This section, or series of sections, may contain any or all of the following:
Editors may use any citation method they choose, but it should be consistent within an article.
If there are both citation footnotes and explanatory footnotes, then they may be combined in a single section, or separated using the grouped footnotes function. General references and other full citations may similarly be either combined or separated (e.g. "References" and "General references"). There may therefore be one, two, three or four sections in all.
It is most common for only citation footnotes to be used, and therefore it is most common for only one section ("References") to be needed. Usually, if the sections are separated, then explanatory footnotes are listed first, short citations or other footnoted citations are next, and any full citations or general references are listed last.
Heading names: Editors may use any reasonable section and subsection names that they choose.[k] The most frequent choice is "References". Other options in diminishing order of popularity are "Notes", "Footnotes", or "Works cited", although these are more often used to distinguish between multiple end-matter sections or subsections.
Several alternate titles ("Sources", "Citations", "Bibliography") may also be used, although each is questionable in some contexts: "Sources" may be confused with source code in computer-related articles, product purchase locations, river origins, journalism sourcing, etc.; "Citations" may be confused with official awards or a summons to court; "Bibliography" may be confused with the complete list of printed works by the subject of a biography ("Works" or "Publications").
If multiple sections are wanted, then some possibilities include:
With the exception of "Bibliography", the heading should be plural even if it lists only a single item.[j]
See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Citations
See also: Wikipedia:Further reading
Contents: An optional bulleted list, usually alphabetized, of a reasonable number of publications that would help interested readers learn more about the article subject. Editors may include brief annotations. Publications listed in further reading are formatted in the same citation style used by the rest of the article. The Further reading section should not duplicate the content of the External links section, and should normally not duplicate the content of the References section, unless the References section is too long for a reader to use as part of a general reading list. This section is not intended as a repository for general references or full citations that were used to create the article content. Any links to external websites included under "Further reading" are subject to the guidelines described at Wikipedia:External links.
Main pages: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Linking § External links section, and Wikipedia:External links
Contents: A bulleted list of recommended relevant websites, each accompanied by a short description. These hyperlinks should not appear in the article's body text, nor should links used as references normally be duplicated in this section. "External links" should be plural, even if it lists only a single item.[j] Depending on the nature of the link contents, this section may be accompanied or replaced by a "Further reading" section.
Main page: Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects
Links to Wikimedia sister projects and
((Spoken Wikipedia)) should generally appear in "External links", not under "See also". If the article has no "External links" section, then place sister links at the top of the last section in the article. Two exceptions: Wiktionary and Wikisource links may be linked inline (e.g. to an unusual word or the text of a document being discussed).
More precisely, box-type templates (such as
((Commons category)), shown at right) have to be put at the beginning of the last section of the article (which is not necessarily the "External links" section) so that boxes will appear next to, rather than below, the list items. Do not make a section whose sole content is box-type templates.
If box-type templates are not good, either because they result in a long sequence of right-aligned boxes hanging off the bottom of the article, or because there are no external links except sister project ones, then consider using "inline" templates, such as
((Commons category-inline)) in the "External links" section, so that links to sister projects appear as list items, like this:
Main page: Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates § Navigation templates
Contents: Navigation templates and footer navboxes, such as succession boxes and geography boxes (for example,
((Geographic location))). Most navboxes do not appear in printed versions of Wikipedia articles.[l]
In unusual cases, some navigation boxes are sidebars, and usually appear immediately below an infobox or lead-section image, if present, though the exact layout can be adjusted a little to account for things like long tables of contents. These are mostly limited to the key articles in a cohesive topic of high encyclopedic importance. Such an article may also end with various non-sidebar navigation boxes. Example:
((Democracy sidebar)) at Athenian democracy.
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.
==See also== * [[Wikipedia:How to edit a page]] * [[Wikipedia:Manual of Style]]