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Writing:State legislator stub articles

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This page is a content-and-style guide about how to create stub (starter) articles about incumbent state legislators and candidates for state legislature.

To build a good stub article about an incumbent or a candidate, you'll need to:

  • Know what to call the article.
  • Add an introductory sentence to begin the article, and know where to find the information to use to write that sentence.
  • Know what standard templates to install in the article.
  • Know what categories to use for the article.

The sections below discuss each of those requirements in details.

Naming the article

The title of an article about a person (in this case, a person who is a state legislative incumbent or a candidate for state legislature) should be the most common name that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.

The title of the article should be:

  • The name of the person that is most generally recognizable
  • The name that is unambiguous with the name of other articles

This leads to an article name in the following format:

<First name> <Last name> (examples: Thomas Todd, Brian Munzlinger)

If the legislator or candidate is generally identified with a middle initial or a middle name, the title of the article should include those items:

<First name> <Initial> <Last name>
<First name> <Middle name> <Last name>

Duplicate names

If you start an article about a legislator/candidate, only to then realize that there is already an article of the same name, but about a different person, you will have to add additional identifying information in the title of your new article in order to avoid confusion.

The preferred additional identifying information is in this form: "John Smith (Arkansas)." However, you can also distinguish between two people with the same first and last name by creating one article with a middle initial or middle name, if you know what those are for the person about whom you are starting a new article.

Once you have created that new article, you should then create a disambiguation page that lists the two names (like John Barnes). Add {{disambig}} to the page so that it shows up in the Special:Disambiguations page.

Changing the title

Once an article has been written, if you decide later that the title could be better, you can perform the "move" function on it. You can locate the "move" function in the top panel of your page. For further information on moving articles, see this page.

Creating a redirect

If the person you're writing about is sometimes referred to by his or her name with a middle initial or a "Jr.," or sometimes without, considering creating a re-direct page.

Introductory sentence

When you first start an article about a legislative incumbent or candidate, the article should include, at a minimum, an introductory sentence as outlined below. Later on, the introduction of your article will expand consistent with these guidelines. For right now, just focus on one introductory sentence.

Incumbent

Stubs for incumbents should have a concise introduction that includes the name of the legislator, their party affiliation, position, and when they were first elected to the chamber.

The name of the legislator should be in bold and birthday included after their name, if it is available. The party name and House/Senate should be wikilinked to those respective pages.

"Brian Munzlinger (b. April 24, 1956) is a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 1. He was first elected to the chamber in 2002."

Candidate

The first sentence in a stub article for a candidate for state legislature should by typed like this:

'''Sally Jones''' (b. January 15, 1968) is a [[State legislative elections, 2012|2012]] [[Democratic]] candidate for [[Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2010#District 17|District 17]] of the [[Arkansas House of Representatives]].

That will look like this:

Sally Jones (b. January 15, 1968) is a 2012 Democratic candidate for District 17 of the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Notes:

  • The "Sally Jones" example is made up.
  • If you don't know that candidate's birth date, leave it out.

Research

To find the information you'll need in order to complete your introductory sentence for a candidate, go to the page about the 2012 legislative elections, and from there, locate the specific article about the state your candidate is running in. That article should indicate the partisan affiliation of the candidate, and the district he or she is running to represent.

Templates

Three templates

Each stub article should include three templates:

  • {{STATE House of Representatives}} or {{STATE State Senators}}
  • {{STATE}}
  • The {{slp stub}}

Examples -

Here are the legislative chamber templates you'll need:

Upper

Lower

Talk page

Once you have started a new article about a legislator or a candidate, you should then add two templates to the article's talk page:

  • The template for the state's WikiProject. For example, if the legislator or candidate is based in Texas, you should type {{tx}} on the article's talk page. For every state except Tennessee, this template is typed as the zip code for the state (surrounded by the curly braces one uses to indicate a template). Tennessee is indicated by {{tenn}}.
  • The template for the state legislative project. This template is typed as: {{slp}}.

Here is an example of a discussion page with the appropriate templates added to it: Talk:Rosemary McAuliffe.

Categories

For additional information, see Writing:Categories (state legislative profiles)

Finally, every stub needs to be placed into the proper categories.

See: Writing:Categories (state legislative profiles)#Category scratchpad to see what category to use for a non-incumbent 2010 state legislative candidate.

Democratic candidates

The category for an article about a Democratic candidate for state senate is:

The category for an article about a Democratic candidate for state house is:

In other words:

  • Start your category with "Democratic candidate," then type the name of the legislative chamber in question, and then type the year. When typing the name of a state senate, always insert the word "State" between the name of the state and the word "Senate." Capitalize "State" and "Senate."

Republican candidates

The category for an article about a Republican candidate for state senate is:

The category for an article about a Republican candidate for state house is:

In other words:

  • Start your category with "Republican candidate," then type the name of the legislative chamber in question, and then type the year. When typing the name of a state senate, always insert the word "State" between the name of the state and the word "Senate." Capitalize "State" and "Senate."

Other candidates

  • Use the same principles that are evident above when you are starting an article about a candidate who is running as an Independent, Green, Libertarian, Peace & Freedom, or any other party.

Parent categories

When you save your stub article, you might find that your category manifests as a red link. In that case, you should:

  • Click on that red-linked category.
  • Edit the category page you are then taken to.
  • Edit the page by typing in these parent categories.

Category:Democratic candidate, California State Senate

Grandparent categories: Category:Democratic candidates, Category:California State Senate

Category:Democratic candidates for state senate, 2010

Grandparent categories: Category:Democratic candidates, Category:State legislative elections, 2010

Follow the pattern indicated above for other cases, substituting "Republican" for "Democratic" where necessary, and substituting the names of the state legislative chamber, as appropriate.

Stub example

A basic stub article about a legislator would look like this:

Thomas Todd (b. August 2, 1947) is a Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives. He has represented District 163 since 2007.

Technical skill requirements

You'll need to be able to:

You may need to be able to:

Enter a headline below to start an article. From more information, see our introductory tutorial.


Research requirements

  • You'll need to be able to identify the partisan affilation and district of the candidate/incumbent.
  • You'll need to be able to ascertain the exact name of the legislative chamber in question.