Wikipedia:WikiProject Lead Improvement Team

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The acronym LIT, which stands for Lead Improvement Team

The Lead Improvement Team is a WikiProject dedicated to finding and improving poor lead sections of articles across Wikipedia.

The introduction or Lead section is arguably the most important part of the article; it should accurately summarize the article without being too technical or introducing facts that are not discussed later, and it should be well written and easy to understand. It is often the first, and sometimes the only thing that a reader will look at on the page. Many websites use Wikipedia as a source of information, and often the only information they will display comes from the lead. An example would be the meta description that displays under Google search results when a term is searched for.

It is vital that the lead be well presented. As it stands now though, many editors, especially new editors, are careless when it comes to the lead. If they have a bit of information to add, the lead seems to be an attractive place to add it, though it is not the best place to do so. When substantial information is added or changed elsewhere in the article, the lead is often not revisited to reflect that change. Expecting editors to adhere to the style guide is not enough to stop this. What we need is a team of editors willing to visit articles and improve their leads, perhaps giving advice to the people who wrote them along the way.

Mission

The members of the Lead Improvement Team will identify articles with leads that are in need of improvement, and then edit those lead so that they meet (nay, exceed!) the standard of quality expected of them.

Scope

  • Articles with leads that need improving.
  • Articles with leads that are missing.
  • Articles with leads that have been fixed by the LIT in the past, but that now need a second look.

Guidelines

Identifying a lead in need of improvement[edit]

When analyzing a lead that may need improvement, ask:

  • Is it general? – Does the lead contain information that is too specific or technical? If so, this should be rephrased so the reader has a general idea of what is going to be discussed, without going into details that are discussed later.
  • Does it contain information that is not mentioned elsewhere? – The lead is meant to be a summary; if it contains information not found elsewhere in the article, that information should be moved to an appropriate heading. If there is no appropriate heading, a new one may need to be created and expansion on the point should be considered.
  • Does it summarize all key points? – Are there important facts discussed in the article that are not represented in the lead? In most cases, one or two sentences representing each section is ideal.
  • Is its length the correct ratio to the length of the rest of the article? – The length of the article should dictate the length of the lead. In general, lead length should follow these guidelines:
Article length Lead length
Fewer than 15,000 characters One or two paragraphs
15,000–30,000 characters Two or three paragraphs
More than 30,000 characters Three or four paragraphs
  • Is it easy to understand? – Ideally, the lead should be able to be understood by someone with no experience in the field. Although some technical articles in areas such as math or physics will inherently be difficult to understand for some, the lead should preferably at least be less confusing than the rest of the article.

Topic-specific lead guidelines

Articles on certain subjects may have specific guidelines on what should be included in the lead of the article, and in what order. When editing the lead in a certain subject area, consult to see if there are any guidelines in the Manual of Style that should be taken into consideration. Some topics do not have specific guidelines on the lead, though they may contain information that is useful when writing it, such as naming conventions and sections that should be included in the article.

Table of topic-specific lead guidelines
Category Topic Sub-topic
Arts Comics[1] Characters
Publication
Teams
Fictional Objects[2]
Film None[2]
Lyrics and poetry[3] None
Novels None[2]
Philosophy Philosophers
Philosophical literature
Philosophical concepts
Philosophical theories
Television None[2]
Visual arts None[2]
Writing about fiction[3] None
Music[3] None
Regional Canada[3] None
China None[2]
France[3] None
Hawaii[3] None
India None[2]
Ireland[3] None
Japan[3] None
Korea None[2]
Philippines[3] None
Poland[3] None
Singapore None[2]
Trinidad and Tobago[3] None
Religion Islam None
Latter Day Saints[3] None
Science Chemistry[1] Compounds[2]
Reactions
Computer science None
Computing[3] None
Mathematics None
Medicine[3] None
Sports Cue sports[3] None
Snooker[3] None

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b There are no topic-specific guidelines for lead sections in this category. Use the sub-topic guidelines instead.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j There are no sub-topic-specific guidelines for lead sections in this category. Use the general parent topic guidelines instead.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p There are no guidelines for lead sections in this category. Use the general MOS:LEAD instead.

Open tasks

Articles specifically for the LIT's attention[edit]

Since rewriting a lead may require some dedication of time, there may be occasions when you notice one that needs improving, but are busy with some other task such as gnoming. Project contributors are encouraged to add the article to this list, so that someone here can get to it. Even if you are not a listed member of this project, you are encouraged to bring articles with leads that need improving to our attention by adding them here.

This list is intended for articles that need the attention of the members of this team and that will be looked at by someone soon. Ideally, it should never grow too long.

Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wikipedia:WikiProject Lead Improvement Team:

Articles tagged for introduction cleanup[edit]

Wikipedia already has a category for introduction cleanup. It contains thousands of articles that have been tagged with one of Wikipedia's introduction cleanup templates. Contributors are encouraged to visit the list and improve the lead. When you do, be sure to remove the appropriate tags so that it is removed from this category. We ask too that you report back here that you have made an improvement, so that we can track this project's success.

Completed tasks

Please add any articles for which you have improved the lead. This will allow members of this project to track our success. Articles listed here should need no further work to the lead, though the members of the list should be revisited periodically to ensure that they reflect any new content that may have been added to the article, and that they still conform to Wikipedia's style guide.

Articles in this list that are found to need further cleanup should be removed and added to the to-do list above.

Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wikipedia:WikiProject Lead Improvement Team:

Participants

Please feel free to add yourself here, and to indicate any areas of particular interest.

  1. DiscantX (talk · contribs) (I am the creator of this project.) 04:03, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
  2. Tetra quark (don't be shy) 19:44, 18 January 2015 (UTC) (total support)
  3. Noyster (talk · contribs) (Could start with the 2500+ entries in Category:Pages missing lead section. Many do now have leads and just need the tag removing): Noyster (talk), 09:30, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  4. John Carter (talk · contribs) (willing to help to the degree other activities will allow it)
  5. BullRangifer (talk · contribs) (Brangifer). (I have some interest in the subject, enough to have written the WP:CREATELEAD essay long ago. I'll add a link to the Resources section below)
  6. Learnerktm (talk · contribs) (just interested, hope to edit)
  7. Wikimandia (talk · contribs) (Just found this!!! Thank you for starting this.) 04:00, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  8. Blackhat999 (talk · contribs) (don't have a lot of time 2 edit, but I would like 2 work on lead sections) 20:42, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  9. SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  (but rename it to use "Lead" not "Lede". WP leads are not like journalistic "ledes". 01:39, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  10. Kb10r (talk · contribs) (I am new to wikipidia but would love to help!)
  11. LordofMoonSpawn (talk · contribs) — Since I'm already doing this, I'll add my name here.  LoMS talk
  12. Atsme (talk · contribs) Count me in. I work on all topics. Atsme📞📧 02:46, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
  13. StrikoWriter1234 (talk · contribs)
  14. OliverEastwood (talk · contribs) - I find lead improvement a great way to make articles better, and really want to make this a focus of my Wikipedia editing. Mostly interested in editing articles on politics, climate change and cycling. - 09:05, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Templates

Article talk page template[edit]

Template: {{WikiProject Lead Improvement Team}}
Usage: Add this template to the talk pages of articles you are currently working on. It should be removed once your work is complete.
Appearance:
WikiProject Lead Improvement Team
WikiProject icon

This article is of interest to the Lead Improvement Team, a WikiProject dedicated to improving the lead sections of articles on Wikipedia. Wikipedia:WikiProject Lead Improvement Team has been added to our To-do list because its lead has been assessed as needing improvement. A member of our team is either currently working on remedying this, or will be shortly.

If you think you can improve the lead yourself, please do so and then let us know so we can strike it off our list. If you are interested in helping with this project, please visit our project page and add your name to the list of participants.

 

Lead Improvement Team Member Userbox[edit]

Template: {{Lead Improvement Team Member}}
Usage: Add this to your user page to advertise your involvement with the team. Users that use this template will be added to Category:WikiProject Lead Improvement Team Userbox participants.
Appearance:
Lede Improvement Team logo.svg This user is a member of the Lead Improvement Team.

Resources

Related WikiProjects[edit]