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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Article Talk (Discussion) Pages

Wikipedia articles such as Monty Python have a matching talk page: Talk:Monty Python. On these pages, editors discuss improvements to the article, including differences of opinions about content.

Because a talk page is conversation, its organization is very different from that of an article, which is essay-like. The underlying page formatting is the same—the wiki markup for headings, bold, italics—but the rules of engagement (so to speak) are quite different. For example, italicizing words in articles, for emphasis, is simply not done, because that’s not a neutral point of view. By contrast, italics are quite common on article talk pages because they can make it easier for other editors to understand what’s being said. Similarly, signatures are absolutely forbidden on article pages, but you should always sign your postings on article talk pages.

Note

The information in this section refers to article talk pages. But it’s also applicable (with the exception of a few aspects of archiving) to Wikipedia talk pages, Template talk pages, Help talk pages, Category talk pages, and so on. Wikipedia calls these standard talk pages. The information in this section is also relevant to posting at free-form discussion pages, like the Help desk (WP:HD) and the set of pages that make up the discussion area called the Village Pump (shortcut: WP:VP). (User talk pages are different; these are discussed on User Talk Page Postings.)

Posting Conventions

In addition to always ...

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