Embedded lists are either included in the article or appended to the end of articles.
Lists within articles
Most Wikipedia articles should consist of prose, and not just a list of links. Prose allows the presentation of detail and clarification of context, while a list of links does not. Prose flows, like one person speaking to another, and is best suited to articles, because their purpose is to explain. Therefore, lists of links, which are most useful for browsing subject areas, should usually have their own entries: see Wikipedia:Lists (stand-alone lists) for detail. In an article, significant items should be mentioned naturally within the text rather than merely listed. For example:
|Prose||List with no content|
|The 20th century architecture of New York City includes numerous icons of architecture, most notably its striking skyscrapers.
At the beginning of the century, the city was a center for the Beaux-Arts movement, with architects like Stanford White and Carrere and Hastings. New York's skyscrapers include the Flatiron Building (1902) where Fifth Avenue crosses Broadway at Madison Square, Cass Gilbert's Woolworth Building (1913) a neo-Gothic "Cathedral of Commerce" overlooking City Hall, the Chrysler Building (1929) the purest expression of Art Deco in a skyscraper, and the Empire State Building (1931) are all skyscraper icons. Modernist architect Raymond Hood and after World War II Lever House began the clusters of 'glass boxes' that transformed the more classic previous skyline of the 1930s. When the World Trade Center towers were completed in 1973 many felt them to be sterile monstrosities, but most New Yorkers became fond of "The Twin Towers" and after the initial horror for the loss of life in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks there came great sadness for the loss of the buildings.
|20th century architecture of New York City|
However, it can be appropriate to use a list style when the items in list are "children" of the paragraphs that precede them. Such "children" logically qualify for indentation beneath their parent description. In this case, indenting the paragraphs in list form may make them easier to read, especially if the paragraphs are very short. For example:
|Prose||Indented List with content|
At the beginning of the 20th-century, New York City was a center for the Beaux-Arts architecutural movement, attracting the talents of such great architects as Stanford White and Carrere and Hastings. As better construction and engineering technology become available as the century progressed, New York became the focal point of the competition for the tallest building in the world. The city's striking skyline has been composed of numerous and varied skyscrapers, many of which are icons of 20th-century architecture.
The Flatiron Building, standing 285 ft (87 meters) high, was one of the tallest buildings in the city upon its completion in 1902, made possible by its steel skeleton. It was one of the first buildings designed with a steel framework, and to achieve this height with other construction methods of that time would have been very difficult.
The Woolworth Building, a neo-Gothic "Cathedral of Commerce" overlooking City Hall, was designed by Cass Gilbert. At 792 feet (241 meters), it became the world's tallest building upon its completion in 1913, an honor it retained until 1930, when it was overtaken by 40 Wall Street.
That same year, the Chrysler Building took the lead as the tallest building in the world, scraping the sky at 1,046 feet (319 m). More impressive than its height is the building's design, by William Van Alen. An art deco masterpiece with an exterior crafted of brick, the Chrysler Building continues to be a favorite of New Yorkers to this day.
At the beginning of the 20th-century, New York City was a center for the Beaux-Arts architecutural movement, attracting the talents of such great architects as Stanford White and Carrere and Hastings. As better construction and engineering technology become available as the century progressed, New York became the focal point of the competition for the tallest building in the world. The city's striking skyline has been composed of numerous and varied skyscrapers, many of which are icons of 20th-century architecture:
In the above example, either style is acceptable.
In some cases, a list style may be preferable to a long sequence within a sentence, compare:
|Philosophers discuss the meaning, function, and possibility of offering definitions. It is typical (e.g., in college logic texts) to distinguish a number of different kinds and techniques of definition, including:||Philosophers discuss the meaning, function, and possibility of offering definitions. It is typical (e.g., in college logic texts) to distinguish a number of different kinds and techniques of definition, including dictionary or lexical definition, intensional definition, extensional definition, ostensive definition, stipulative definition, operational definition, theoretical definition, persuasive definition, and definition by genus and difference.|
Tables of information and short lists can also complete articles, e.g. Politics of Germany presents an overview of the topic and includes a list of current ministers and a short list of German political parties.
See also lists, Compare lists, and Related topics lists are valuable navigational tools that assist users in finding related Wikipedia articles. When deciding what articles and lists of articles to append to any given entry, it is useful to try to put yourself inside the mind of readers: Ask yourself where would a reader likely want to go after reading the article. Ideally, links in these sections should have been featured in the article. Typically this will include three types of links:
- Links to related topics - topics similar to that discussed in the article.
- Higher order (ie. more general) articles and lists - this might include lists of people, list of countries, etc. For example list of Indian language poets should link to both list of Indians and list of poets.
- Lower order (ie. more specific) articles and lists - For example, the Business page navigational list contains links to small business, list of accounting topics, etc.
Reference lists show information sources outside of Wikipedia. The two most common types are:
- "Web hyperlinks", lists of links to web addresses other than Wikipedia, under the heading "External links"
- "References" - lists of academic journal articles or books, under the heading "References".
It is quite common to combine the list of Web links and the list of book and journal articles and call it "External links and references", "External sources", "Other references", or "Other sources". See Wikipedia:Guide to Layout for more on reference lists.
Wikipedia is not a link collection and an article with only links is actively discouraged, but it is appropriate to reference more detailed material from the World Wide Web. This is particularly the case when you have used a web site as an important source of information.
The syntax for referencing a URL is simple. Just enclose it in single brackets:
The URL must begin with http:// or another internet protocol, such as ftp:// or news://.
There is some controversy over how many links to articles and links to lists that should be put in any article. Some people separate the "links to articles" (put in the "See also" section) from the "links to lists" (put in the "Related topics" section), but this is not necessary unless there are too many links for one section alone. Some feel the optimum number of links to lists that should be included at the end of any given article is one or two (or fewer). Others feel that a more comprehensive set of lists would be useful. In general, we should use the same criteria when deciding what list to include as we use to decide what articles to include in the See also section. We have to try to put ourselves in the readers' frame of mind and ask "Where will I likely want to go after reading this article?".