MeritBadgeDotOrg:Guide to Layout

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This article or section documents a MeritBadgeDotOrg guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should follow, though it should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

The Guide to layout is a quick explanation of some of the basics of laying out an article. For more detail about style guidelines, see the Manual of Style. For greater detail about how to use wiki markup, see How to edit a page.

This little article is a summary of what some fairly clean, simple articles look like. For more complicated articles and 'tricks', it sometimes helps to copy the markup of some article you like the looks of.


First paragraph

The subject of the article should be mentioned in bold text ('''subject''') in the first sentence, or at least the first paragraph. The name of the subject is usually the same as the page title. Avoid links in the bold title words, and avoid circular definitions. However, most words describing titles should be linked to more detail.

If the article is long enough to have several paragraphs, the first paragraph should be short and to the point, with a clear explanation of what the subject of the page is.

If more of an introduction is needed before the first header, then this can be given in extra paragraphs. It is common for introductions to articles about persons to be like summaries, mentioning the most famous things about the subject.

Introductions should come before the section headers; they should not be in an ==Introduction== section of their own. If there are at least four headers, the table of contents will automatically follow the introduction, just before the first named section.

Disambiguation templates

Disambiguation should be at the top of the article, before the first sentence. Do not make this initial link a section. In such cases, the line should be italicized and indented using templates.

Wiki links

Adding square brackets ([[...]]) around a word or phrase is an important part of Wikifying articles. This links significant words to a corresponding article that contains information that will help the reader to understand the original article. "Wikified" articles link important words to their own article. For example, an article might just link pancakes without having to explain what they are. Or an article about laser beams might give helpful background information by following the link from another article. Not every word should be linked, just helpful ones, which are usually nouns and names that would have articles. If there are no articles with that name, the link will show up in red, which shows that it has not been written yet and may need to be written. Long stretches without any links are not common. Useful links that are not mentioned in the article body can be added to the "see also" section near the end.

Structure of the article

Paragraphs should be kept rather short, because the eye of a reader can get tired of following solid text for too many lines. Most normal articles should be written in paragraphs, not bullet points. But lists can be used for reference.

Headers also help make an article clearer and easy to see the structure in the table of contents; see MeritBadgeDotOrg:Section.

On the other hand, try not to use too many subheaders that are not needed, because this can make the article look cluttered. Short paragraphs and single sentences usually do not need their own sub-heading, and in these cases it may be better to use bullet points or bold text instead.

Editors should use their judgement in deciding whether subtopics should have their own pages, or be kept on the main page.


If the article can be illustrated with pictures, find an appropriate place to position these images. For more information, see MeritBadgeDotOrg:Manual of Style.

Standard appendices and descriptions

Certain optional standard sections should be added at the bottom of an article. There is consensus that the plural form of the section name should be used. Changing section names breaks links (hence the utility of permalinks), so it is best not to change already-established article section names. Common sections for ranks and awards are:



==Requirement resources==
'''1a'''. ''links''<br>
'''1b'''. ''links''<br>

==Relate awards==
'''1a'''. ''links''<br>
'''1b'''. ''links''<br>

==See also==

==External links==

Navigational footers should go at the very end of the article, following the last appendix section, but preceding the "categories and interwiki links".

See also

Put here, in a bulleted list, other articles in the MeritBadgeDotOrg wiki that are related to this one.

Related topics should be grouped by subject area to make them easier to find. Please also give a brief sentence to explain if it is not obvious how it is related. For example:

It should be a heading of level 2 so that it appears in the table of contents. "See also" is the most appropriate place to link a Portal with {{portal}}.


Put under this header, again in a bulleted list, any books, articles, web pages and such that you used to write the article or that you wish to recommend as sources of further information to readers.

  • Pooh, W. T. & Robin, C. (1926). "How to catch a heffalump" in A. A. Milne (Ed.), The Karma of Kanga, pp. 23–47. Hundred Acre Wood: Wol Press. ISBN 999999999

The most important thing is to put all of the citation information, just as you would for any other bibliography.

External links

Place here, in list form, any relevant websites that you recommend for readers of the article that have not been used as sources. Unlike wikilinks, which are often used within the article's text, external links are limited to the "External links" section. This section follows the same formatting rules as the "References" section. External links used as sources should be listed in the "References" or "Notes" section. Describe it if you can.

External links

Writing guides
Guide to Layout Manual of Style
How to structure articles Comprehensive style guide
Personal tools