Help:Introduction to the Manual of Style/2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

1   2   3   4   5    
An article with a table of contents block and an image near the start, then several sections
Sample article layout (click on image for larger view).



  • First sentence, paragraph, section

The lead section is the very first part of an article, appearing before any table of contents and headings. The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of the important aspects of its subject.

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, and the notability of the article's subject should usually be established in the first sentence. The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced if covering material not sourced elsewhere in the article, and should be written in a clear, accessible style to inspire a reading of the full article. As the article progresses the prose can go into more detail for those who need it.


  • Titles (first letter capped, not too long)
  • Order

Sections and subsections are introduced by headings. Very short or very long sections and subsections in an article look cluttered and inhibit the flow of the prose. These headings clarify articles by breaking up text, organizing content, and populating the table of contents.

Heading 1 (=Heading 1=) is automatically generated as the title of the article. Sections headings start at the second level (==Heading 2==), with subsections at the third level (===Heading 3===), and so on. Sections should be consecutive, such that they do not skip levels from sections to sub-subsections; the exact methodology is deferred to WP:ACCESS. Sections should be separated by a single blank line to avoid too much white space in the article.