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An article too short to provide more than rudimentary information about a subject, i.e. that is very incomplete and can be expanded, should be marked as a stub by adding a stub template to the end of the article. Anyone can edit a stub article, or remove a stub template from an article which is no longer a stub.

Basic information[edit]

A stub is an article 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 small articles with little properly sourced information or with no inherent notability may be merged into another relevant article, or deleted.

Ideal stub article[edit]

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 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. Write clearly and informatively. State, for example, what a person does, 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 — consider which words may require further definition for a casual reader to understand the article. Once you create and save the article, other editors will also be able to enhance it.

Categorizing stubs[edit]

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 but before the category tags. The stub template automatically puts the article into Category:Stubs. More specific stub templates, such as person-stub, put the article into a similarly specific category (Category:Person stubs).

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. 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, the most general stub template, such as internet-stub or just stub, should be used, rather than using multiple stub templates on the same article.

Removing stub status[edit]

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 Be bold in removing stub tags that are clearly no longer applicable.

Locating stubs[edit]

Creating stub types[edit]

If Category:Stubs is particularly full of articles, and there are several stub articles on a related topic, a more specific stub template and category can be created to contain those stubs and any future ones on that topic. Music-stub and Category:Music stubs form an example of this.

The specific stub category should in turn be within Category:Stubs and the topic category such as Category:Music.