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. Good articles start with introductions, continue with a clear structure, and end with standard appendices such as references and related articles. Sometimes, the first section after the lead is a broad summary of the topic, and is called “Overview”, although more specific section oxford guide to effective writing and speaking pdf free download 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. They should be rewritten as prose or converted to their unmasked form. Headings help clarify articles and create a structure shown in the table of contents. Whether extensive subtopics should be kept on one page or moved to individual pages is a matter of personal judgment. Wikilinks should be incorporated in the text of the section.
If the article can be illustrated with pictures, find an appropriate place to position these images, where they relate closely to text they illustrate. Excessively long articles should usually be avoided. Articles should ideally contain less than 50KB worth of prose. Otherwise, context is lost and the general treatment suffers. Each article on a subtopic should be written as a stand-alone article—that is, it should have a lead section, headings, et cetera. 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.