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Ballotpedia:Tutorial (Format)

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Formatting an article makes it easier for readers to find your information. This page gives you the basics.


Bold and italics

The most commonly used wiki tags are bold and italics. Bolding and italicizing are done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

  • If you type ''2 for italics'', you'll see this: 2 for italics
  • If you type '''3 for bold''', you'll see this: 3 for bold
  • If you type '''''5 for bold italic''''', you'll see this: 5 for bold italic

On Ballotpedia, the first mention of an article's subject is written in bold. For example, the article on Arnold Schwarzenegger begins:

Arnold Schwarzenegger was first elected as Governor of California in the 2003 recall elections and won re-election in 2006.

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up the article by inserting a heading for each section. If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents will be added automatically. Headings are created like this:

== Heading ==


=== Subheading ===



Links are important, but too many links can be distracting. Therefore, only link the first occurrence of a word. A red link goes to a page that doesn't exist yet. When you find a red link, you can start the article with something as simple as a single sentence. We can return and add information later.

Links between Ballotpedia articles

Links between Ballotpedia articles are easy to create, give users access to related information, and greatly add to Ballotpedia's utility. To link to another Ballotpedia page (called a wiki link), put it in [[ ]] brackets, like this:

[[Ballotpedia]] = Ballotpedia

To link to an article but display a different name for the link, add the pipe "|" divider followed by the alternative name. For example:

[[Ballotpedia|This link goes to the Ballotpedia page]] = This link goes to the Ballotpedia page

Links outside Ballotpedia

To link to a website outside Ballotpedia, include the address with just a single set of [ ] brackets.
[ Here's the title for the link] = Here's the title for the link

Sometimes you'll want to add a citation inside the article text.

  • At the place you want to add the citation, add ref tags around your source (e.g. <ref>YOUR SOURCE</ref>). A small link like this one[1] will appear next to your text, taking you to the reference section at the bottom of the page.
  • Second, copy the following text to the bottom of your page if it isn't there already. This tells the page where to add your citations:


We place articles in categories with others in a related topic. Just type [[Category:]] at the bottom of the page and put the name of the category between the colon and the brackets. For example: [[Category:State ballot measures]]

Every article should have a category, and it's very important to use the correct categories so others can easily find your work. The best way to find the proper categories is to look at articles on similar subjects and check which categories they use.

Additional reading

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