Explore Wikipedia's Contents
There are a couple of ways to look things up in Wikipedia: by searching or by browsing.
Curated article collections
Overview articles summarize in prose a broad topic like biology, and also have illustrations and links to subtopics like cell biology, biographies like Carl Linnaeus, and other related articles like Human Genome Project.
Outline pages have trees of topics in an outline format, which in turn are linked to further outlines and articles providing more detail. Outlines show how important subtopics relate to each other based on how they are arranged in the tree, and they are useful as a more condensed, non-prose alternative to overview articles.
Third-party classification systems
Various third-party classification systems have been mapped to Wikipedia articles, which can be accessed from these pages:
Vital articles are lists of subjects for which Wikipedia should have corresponding high-quality articles. They serve as centralized watchlists to track the status of Wikipedia's most important articles.
Wikipedia has several types of pages which provide content in a non-prose form, for reference purposes.
List pages enumerate items of a particular type, such as the List of sovereign states or List of South Africans. Wikipedia has "lists of lists" when there are too many items to fit on a single page, when the items can be sorted in different ways, or as a way of navigating lists on a topic (for example Lists of countries and territories or Lists of people). There are several ways to find lists:
Timelines list events chronologically, sometimes including links to articles with more detail. There are several ways to find timelines:
Of particular interest may be:
Glossaries are lists of terms with definitions. Wikipedia includes hundreds of alphabetical glossaries; they can be found two ways:
Bibliographies list sources on a given topic, for verification or further reading outside Wikipedia:
Discographies catalog the sound recordings of individual artists or groups.
Special format collections
Portals include featured articles, images, news, categories, excerpts of key articles, links to related portals, and to-do lists for editors. There are two ways to find portals:
Wikipedia books are collections of Wikipedia articles that can be viewed, downloaded, or printed into a book. They provide a roadmap for a course of study in a particular subject.
Growing collections of Wikipedia articles are starting to become available as spoken word recordings as well.
Collections of articles
Wikipedia's collection of category pages is a classified index system. It is automatically generated from category tags at the bottoms of articles and most other pages. Nearly all of the articles available so far on the website can be found through these subject indexes.
If you are simply looking to browse articles by topic, there are three top-level pages to choose from:
For biographies, see Category:People.
Alphabetical lists of articles
Wikipedia's alphabetical article indexes
Collections of articles by quality or popularity
Most popular articles