Quotes:Guide to layout

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Mere words are cheap and plenty enough, but ideas that rouse and set multitudes thinking come as gold for the mines.
A. Owen Penny
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The Wikiquote Guide to Layout is an annotated, working example of some of the basics of laying out an entry.

This article is not about wiki markup; see Quotes:How to edit a page for that, nor is this article about style; see Quotes:Manual of Style for that. This article is just a summary of what some fairly clean, simple Wikiquote entries look like. For more complicated entries, you may want to copy the markup of some existing entry you like the looks of.

For an explanation by example, see Quotes:Templates.


All Wikiquote pages should start with a brief introduction in which significant terms are linked to Wikipedia. Most Wikiquote pages should end with an External links section containing a "Wikipedia box", which is created using the {{wikipedia}} or {{wikipedia|Article name}} templates. If such a box does appear, it should be the first thing in the section. Last in that section should be a category. To place a page in a category, use [[Category:Category name]]. All Wikiquote articles should have a category.

People pages

Many Wikiquote entries are quotes said or written by a person.

Introductory material

A person article should begin with a short biographical note (1-4 sentences is usual). This note should have the person's name in bold, and should link the name to the Wikipedia article, if there is one. If known, it should have date of birth and date of death. It is popular to link words in the introduction to other Wikiquote or Wikipedia pages.

Sections (people)

All the sections described here are level-2 sections (==). The following sections might not all appear, but when they do, they appear in the order specified, and containing the content specified:

  • Sourced: Quotations with a definite, verifiable source (speech, book, interview or similar).
    • If there are several quotations from the same source, it is possible to make a level-3 subsection and group the quotes from that source into this subsection. It is possible, though not generally recommended, to go even deeper: one might open a level-3 subsection for "Fiction books", and put specific books under that header.
    • When sourcing, be as accurate as possible: specify the source, the place within the source (if reasonable) and if the source is online, link to it. ISBNs, chapter numbers, editions and page numbers all ease the work of future accuracy checking.
  • Unsourced: Quotations which are popularly, or notably, attributed to the person, but for which the editor does not have a specific source.
  • Misattributed: Quotations which are popularly, or notably, attributed to the person but where there is evidence that no such thing has been said. Misquotations also belong here.
  • Criticisms or About: Quotations about the person.
  • See also: Other wikiquote pages which relate to the person. Note that in some cases, this section can come first (especially when a literary work has been broken out from the page, and the person is well known for that work).
  • External links: Links about the person, with a special emphasis on places where more of their words can be found. Add {{wikisource author}} if the author has a page at Wikisource. Relevant blogs, links to archives of columns and the like are also appropriate.

Formatting of quotes (people)

With the exception of quotes in the Criticism/About section, quotes should be formatted as a bulleted list, each quote on its own bullet, with no quotation marks. Any notes, such as translation, source or context, should follow in a sub-bullet. If a quote is not in English, it should be italicized. In that case, especially for non-Latin scripts, a transliteration is often useful. Quotes in the Criticism/About section are formatted like quotes in theme articles.


The introduction to quotes from a literary work should contain the year it was made in, and the author (or authors). In case the author has no Wikiquote page, consider quoting from that work in a new page about the author and making a redirect from the work's name to the author's page. If appropriate, a link to Gutenberg or the {{wikisource}} template should be put in the External links section.

Formatting of quotes (literature)

Quotes are formatted like a sourced person's quotes. In the Sourced section, give chapter (section, part) numbers and names.


For pages for quotes from a film, the introduction should link to the entry in Wikipedia, and specify the year the movie was made in, the director, the writer and sometimes the stars. Next should follow the tagline, centered and bolded, followed by a small internal link to the "Tagline" section, if there is one.

Sections (films)

All sections here are level-2 sections (==). Not all must appear, but when they appear, they must do so in the order specified.

  • Character: Each major character should have a section, under which those things said by the character alone should be grouped.
  • Others: Minor characters can be grouped into one section.
  • Dialogues: Those quotes which are in the form of a dialogue belong here.
  • Taglines: If there is more than one tagline for the movie, then all taglines belong in this section.
  • Cast: A bulleted list with for the major cast. Usually, the character's name is not a link. The actor's name might be a link to wikiquote (if such a page exists) or a link to wikipedia.
  • External links: This should almost always contain the {{imdb title|number_in_URL|film_title}} template.

Formatting of quotes (films)

Quotes in Character sections should be formatted like people quotes. Quotes in the Others section are bulleted. There are two styles for the Others quotes: either theme style, or like this:

* '''Character''': Text

The latter seems more popular. Quotes in Dialogues should be formatted like TV quotes. Taglines should be formatted exactly as they appear, with capitalisation intact and no added quotation marks.


The introduction for a television show should contain the year it started (and, if appropriate, the year it ended). The External links section should contain the {{imdb title|number_in_URL|name_of_show}} template, and if appropriate, the {{tv.com show|number_in_URL|name_of_show}} template.

Sections (TV)

Level-2 headers should be used for seasons: ==Season n==. For non-American TV shows, often the term "series" is used instead. Level-3 headers should be used for individual episodes: ===''Italicized Name'' [n.m]==, where n is the season and m the episode number. A separate section at the top of the page can be used for "recurring quotes" or "catch-phrases" (this is where quotes from the theme song belong, too—if there are only theme song quotes, the section can be called "Theme song").

Formatting of quotes (TV)

All TV quotes are considered to be a dialog (even when containing just one character). Dialog segments within each episode are separated by so-called "half-width rules": <hr width="50%"/>. Each dialog quote is formatted as:

: '''Character Name''': Text

For characters with Wikipedia pages, the first time a character appears in an episode it should be linked to the Wikipedia page. Context lines should be formatted as:

: ''[The characters are doing something.]''

while stage direction should be formatted in-line:

: '''Character''': ''[silently]'' No.

In general, the use of too much context or stage direction is discouraged. Quotes should be ordered as they appear in the episode. For names which are not given explicitly, describe the character using "Title Case":

: '''Little Girl''': Why?

Theme pages

Unless there is a good reason, the introduction for a theme page can be nothing more than "Quotes about/related to Theme", where "Theme" is made a link to Wikipedia.

Sections (themes)

There are two styles for theme sections: all themes with no section, or a division into Sourced/Attributed quotes.

Formatting of quotes (themes)

Quotes should appear alphabetically, sorted by content in a bulleted list. Here quotes should be surrounded by double-quote marks ("); if quotation marks are used inside the quote itself, they should be single-quote marks ('). The quotation should be followed by a tilde (~) and then a link to the source (usually a person, but sometimes a book, television show, etc.). This can be followed by sub-bullets giving context and more information, although unless relevant to the specific themes these are discouraged. It is highly recommended to add the quotation to the source's page, and add comments and context there instead.


Proverbs are formatted like people quotes: no quotation marks, in the original language, transliteration/translation, and any other information. A common sub-bullet here is "Possible interpretation". Proverbs should also be sorted alphabetically—and because there are many of them, it is common to disable the regular Table of Contents mechanism by using __NOTOC__ (those are two underscores on either side) and writing a custom TOC based on a letter.

Obsolete practices

There are several practices which were once popular. The Wikiquote community has since rejected them, but still they remain in old pages which have not been properly updated. You are encouraged to reformat such articles to conform to the new guidelines, and strongly discouraged from continuing to follow them:

  • Quotation marks around quotations in non-Theme articles.
  • TV show quotes organized by character.
  • The title of the page used as the first header (usually level-1 or level-2 header): this was especially popular in people pages.
  • "Verified" heading. Use "Sourced" instead, and only include quotations from verifiable sources.
  • "Almost certainly spurious" and other such distinctions. Add such a quote to either "Attributed" or "Misattributed", and add notes documenting research about the quote's authenticity.