Stub

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[edit] Basic Information

A stub is an article containing only a few sentences of text which is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject, but not so short as to provide no useful information. Sizable articles are usually not considered stubs, even if they lack wikification or copy editing. With these articles, a cleanup template is usually added instead of a stub template. Note that if a small article has little properly sourced information, or if its subject has no inherent notability, it may be deleted or be merged into another relevant article.

There is no set size at which an article stops being a stub. While very short articles are likely to be stubs, there are some subjects about which there is very little that can be written. Conversely, there are subjects about which a lot could be written - their articles may still be stubs even if they are a few paragraphs long. As such, it is impossible to state whether an article is a stub based solely on its length, and any decision on the article has to come down to an editor's best judgement (the user essay on the Croughton-London rule may be of use when trying to judge whether an article is a stub). Similarly, stub status usually depends on the length of prose text alone - lists, templates, images, and other such peripheral parts of an article are usually not considered when judging whether an article is a stub.

[edit] Ideal stub article

Any registered editor may start a stub article.

When you write a stub, bear in mind that it should contain enough information for other editors to expand upon it. The key is to provide adequate context—articles with little or no context usually end up being speedily deleted. Your initial research may be done either through books or reliable websites. You may also contribute knowledge acquired from other sources, but it is useful to conduct some research beforehand, in order to ensure that your facts are accurate and unbiased. Use your own words: directly copying other sources is plagiarism, and may in some cases be a violation of copyright.

Begin by defining or describing your topic. Avoid fallacies of definition. Write clearly and informatively. State, for example, what a person is famous for, where a place is located and what it is known for, or the basic details of an event and when it happened.

Next, try to expand upon this basic definition. Internally link relevant words, so that users unfamiliar with the subject can understand what you have written. Avoid linking words needlessly; instead, consider which words may require further definition for a casual reader to understand the article. Lastly, a critical step: add sources for the information you have put into the stub; see citing sources for information on how to do so in Wikipedia.

Once you create and save the article, other editors will also be able to enhance it.

[edit] How to mark an article as a stub

After writing a short article, or finding an unmarked stub, you should insert a stub template.

By convention this is placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear last. It is usually desirable to leave two blank lines between the first stub template and whatever precedes it. As with all templates, stub templates are added by simply placing the name of the template in the text between double pairs of curly brackets (e.g., {{stub}}). Stub templates are transcluded, not substituted.

Stub templates have two parts: a short message noting the stub's topic and encouraging editors to expand it, and a category link, which places the article in a stub category alongside other stubs on the same topic. The naming for stub templates usually topic-stub; a list of these templates may be found here. You need not learn all the templates — even simply adding {{stub}} helps (see this essay for more information). The more accurately an article is tagged, however, the less work it is for other sorters later, and the more useful it is for editors looking for articles to expand.

If an article overlaps several stub categories, more than one template may be used, but it is strongly recommended that only those relating to the subject's main notability be used. A limit of three or, if really necessary, four stub templates is advised.

[edit] Removing stub status

Once a stub has been properly expanded and becomes a larger article, any editor may remove its stub template. No administrator action or formal permission is needed.

Many articles still marked as stubs have in fact been expanded beyond what is regarded as stub size. If an article is too large to be considered a stub but still needs expansion, replace the stub template with an {{expand}} template (no article should contain both a stub template and an expand template).

Be bold in removing stub tags that are clearly no longer applicable.

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