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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Chapter 17. Categorizing Articles

When you look at the bottom of a Wikipedia article, you see category links. For example, the article Coat of arms of Copenhagen has two category links: “Copenhagen” and “Danish coats of arms.” Category links are a big help for readers looking for articles related to a topic. Those links are there because editors like you added them. Wikipedia’s software doesn’t do automatic categorization, and Wikipedia employs no professional categorizers.

Adding categories to articles is easy: Just type a few words, add brackets, and save. The trick is figuring out what category links would provide maximum usefulness to readers, and that’s what this chapter shows you. It also explains the other half of the categorization picture—the category pages where category links are listed. You can create and improve upon those pages, too.

Fundamentals of Categorization

When you click one of the category links at the bottom of articles and other Wikipedia pages, you go to a category page. For example, in the article Zolan Acs, if you click Category:Economists, you go the page shown in Figure 17-1.

When you go to the page Category:Economists, you see links to 189 articles categorized as being about economists, covering the letters A through K, plus ten subcategories. Every category page looks like this one, with four parts: some introductory text, possibly with a link or two; a list of subcategories; a list of any pages that belong directly to the category rather than one of its subcategories; and finally the categories to which the category page belongs.

Figure 17-1. When you go to the page Category:Economists, you see links to 189 articles categorized as being about economists, covering the letters A through K, plus ten subcategories. Every category page looks like this one, with four parts: some introductory text, possibly with a link ...

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