Wikipedia:Writing better articles
This page sets out advice on how to write an effective article, including information on layout, style, and how to make an article clear, precise and relevant to the reader.
Layout matters. Good articles start with introductions, continue with a clear structure, and end with standard appendices such as references and related articles.
Good articles start with a brief lead section (
==Introduction==. Sometimes, the first section after the lead is a broad summary of the topic, and is called "Overview", although more specific section titles and structures are generally preferred.
Paragraphs should be short enough to be readable, but long enough to develop an idea. Overly long paragraphs should be split up, as long as the cousin paragraphs keep the idea in focus.
One-sentence paragraphs are unusually emphatic, and should be used sparingly. Articles should rarely, if ever, consist solely of such paragraphs.
Some paragraphs are really
Headings help clarify articles and create a structure shown in the table of contents. To learn about how the MediaWiki software uses sections, see
Headings are hierarchical. The article's title uses a level 1 heading, so you should start with a level 2 heading (
==Heading==) and follow it with lower levels:
====Subsubheading====, and so forth. Whether extensive subtopics should be kept on one page or moved to individual pages is a matter of personal judgment. See also below under #Summary style.
Headings should not be
If the article can be illustrated with pictures, find an appropriate place to position these images, where they relate closely to text they illustrate. If there might be doubt, draw attention to the image in the text (illustration right). For more information on using pictures, see
As explained in more detail at
With some exceptions, any
Excessively long articles should usually be avoided. Articles should ideally contain less than 50KB worth of prose. When articles grow past this amount of readable text, they can be broken up into smaller articles to improve readability and ease of editing, or may require trimming to remain
When an article is long and has many sub articles, try to balance the main page. Do not put undue weight into one part of an article at the cost of other parts. In shorter articles, if one subtopic has much more text than another subtopic, that may be an indication the subtopic should have its own page, with only a summary presented on the main page.
Wikipedia articles tend to grow in a way that leads to the natural creation of new articles. The text of any article consists of a sequence of related but distinct subtopics. When there is enough text in a given subtopic to merit its own article, that text can be