Introduction (article structure)

The introduction of any article should be an "executive summary" that captures the essence of the article. This is especially true of a standard article. Any points should be brief and expanded later on in the article. It should not contain any references or bullet points. The length will vary, but it should not exceed 4 sentences in the vast majority of cases.

The introduction is the very first paragraph, above "Epidemiology" (or "Terminology" if the section exists) and does not have its own subheading (i.e. there is no heading stating "Introduction").

First sentence
Plural vs singular and bold

The first sentence should start with the title and it should be in bold. In most cases, the plural form of the article name is used rather than the singular form. In other words the first sentence of the article with title "X" should start with "X are..."

  • e.g. "Meningiomas are..." 

In some cases, pluralising is not appropriate and 'The' or 'A' may need to be inserted before the title (as is the case in this article). There are some cases where this form is preferred, mainly when the article is about an anatomical structure. In such cases, the preceding article ('The' or 'A') should not be bold.

  • e.g. "The stomach is..."
Also known as

If there is a commonly used alternative name, then this should immediately follow the more common term, separated by "also known as". 

  • e.g. "Treacher Collins syndrome, also known as mandibulofacial dysostosis, is a..."

The second term should also be in bold. Often conditions have many alternative names. Unless there are three well known terms, which is uncommon, then only a maximum of two should be included in the introduction. The rest should be relegated to the 'synonyms or alternative spelling' section at the bottom of the page. 

Similar terms

If the term is similar to another entity it is helpful to include a sentence with the following structure:

This condition should not be confused with [name of other similar condition]. 

e.g. Rigler's triad should not be confused with Rigler's sign or the Hoffman-Rigler sign.

Context

The first sentence should also establish where this article resides relative to other content. It should include reference to (with link) to the 'parent' topic or topics. For example in the case of meningioma, the first sentence needs to link to the articles on tumours of the meninges.

It is important to include one or more of these 'context' links as it quickly allows readers to jump up a level or more to a more general discussion, should a broader understanding be required before reading further. 

Related topics

If other articles discuss subset/related topics, clarification should be included in this section but in a new paragraph, with the following structure: 

Please refer to the article on [name of related condition] for a specific discussion of that entity. The remainder of this article pertains to [name/clarification of this article topic]. 

e.g. Please refer to the article on epidural (spinal) angiolipoma for a specific discussion of that entity. The remainder of this article pertains to the general features of peripheral angiolipomas

Here are a couple of articles with appropriate introductions: 

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rID: 30722
Tag: help
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