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A good picture makes your article stand out

This page is a sample article page for Wikipedia articles. Although Wikipedia has an excellent tutorial and other resources for writing and editing good articles, their sheer size and number can be a bit overwhelming. This article is intended as a "learn by example" summary of the most common things you need to know to develop a Wikipedia article, such as headings, editing, links, and pictures. Links are provided to more extensive Wikipedia help.

To use this page, all you need to do is click on "edit this page" to see exactly how all the editing effects are achived.

Introducing your article[edit]

Most articles should include an introductory section that summarizes the article. The introduction should not include a heading, but the title of the article should appear in boldface in the first sentence. The introduction will automatically be placed before the table of contents.

Using headings[edit]

The substance of your article comes after the introduction. Headings are used to divide an article into logical sections. A main heading is created by enclosing the heading with two equals signs, " == ". Main headings will automatically add boldface and a separation line to your article.

The end of your article should include main headings for "See also", "References", and "External links", which are addressed later in this article.


Sub-headings are created by enclosing the sub-heading with three equal signs, " === ". Sub-headings are automatically bold faced, but do not include separation lines.

Table of contents[edit]

You don't need to do anything special beyond properly incorporating headings. All your headings and sub-headings will automatically appear in the table of contents if you have three or more headings.

Keeping sub-headings out of the table of contents

You can use boldface to create a sub-heading title without making it an official sub-heading. This is useful if your table of contents becomes too cluttered.

Common editing[edit]

There are a lot of editing mark-ups, but you can go a long way by using a few simple editing symbols. Click the "edit" link to see how this is done.

Bullets - use the asterisk " * "

  • This creats a bullet.
    • This creates a sub-bullet.

Indentations - use the colon " : "

This creates an indentation.
This creates a further indentation.
  • This combines indentation with a bullet.

Boldface - You can make a word or phrase boldface by enclosing it with three single-quote marks: Here is a brief example of boldface.

Italics - Use two single-quotes to make a word or phrase as italics: Here is a brief example in italics.

Combined - Use five single-quotes to get boldface and italics: Here is a brief example in boldface and italics.

The editing toolbar[edit]

The editing toolbar is that list of buttons at the top-left whenever you edit a page. Move your cursor over the button to see what it does. To use it, simply highlight your text, then click one or more of the editing buttons.

Adding pictures[edit]

Good pictures help the reader and make an article stand out, but don't clutter your article with unnecessary pictures. The basic syntax is:

[[Image:Name_of_picture.jpg|frame|right|Your caption goes here]]

Here are a few simple examples that you can copy and modify. Click the "edit" link to see the actual line to copy.

  • TBD

Where to find pictures[edit]

You can use existing pictures in the Wikipedia image library, or you can upload your own.

Wikipedia library

Go to list of images to see many pictures available. Click on the picture, and copy the exact filename with extension to use in your image tag.

Uploading your own pictures

Easier than you think, but first, make sure the picture is public domain!!!! before you use it. Most pages have an "upload file" link in the "toolbox" under the left-hand navigation menu. Simply click this link, type in (or browse to) the filename, including extension, from your computer, enter a description (including a public domain tag), check the agreement box, and click upload. Here's an example:

{{PD}}Large pine tree in Tennessee

After you upload, follow the instructions to click the link and add additional information.

Adding links[edit]

Internal links[edit]

Wikipedia encourages use of internal links to other Wikipedia articles. Just enclose the word or phrase with double square brackets, like this:

[[U.S. military standard]]

It will look like U.S. military standard in your article.

Sometimes you want to create a link, but your words do not exactly match the article title. No problem. Using the piple symblol "|" allows you to use whatever words you want and still link to an article, like this:

[[U.S. military standard | mil-stds]]

So, for example, you can use mil-stds to link to U.S. military standard .

Final tips[edit]

  • A good way to learn is by looking at other good articles. Check out the feature article on Wikipedia's main page, or try the random page link, in the navigation menu. Click on "edit this page" to see how they did it.
  • Please don't experiment on real articles. Use the Wikipedia sandbox or your own user page to experiment.
  • But feel free to make real changes if you can improve an article.

See also[edit]


  • Smith, John A., (2005), Computing the trajectory of spitwads, Journal of Practical Jokes, American Association of Practical Jokers, July, v 3, no. 8.
  • Doe, Jane M., (2002), Ways to Drive Teachers Crazy: The Complete Reference Manual, Phantom Publishers, New York.

External links[edit]