Wikipedia:WikiProject Books/Non-fiction article

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Category:WikiProject Books

A general book article includes:

  1. A detailed lead (introduction) to the book and its writers.
  2. A book synopsis.
  3. Information about its publication.
  4. A balanced analysis regarding its reception (abiding by neutral point of view).
  5. Noteworthy citations and sources.

Non-fiction biography books and similar articles[edit]

The following describes possible structures for: Biography or Autobiography, History and general non-fiction book articles.



  • book's full name | non-fiction/biography on X/etc. | written by | published in | won X award(s) |. general synopsis 1–2 sentences. Impact or importance.
  • ISBN not to be included in the intro: The Denial of Death (ISBN 0684832402) is a book ..., use ==Release details== (or infobox) for that
  • examples: The Ants, Wells, Fargo Detective (book)
  • Infobox (Template:Infobox Book)
  • add into the infobox the first edition and possibly the first paperback edition ISBN, any others would go in ==Release details== section at the end of the article
  • see The Guns of August


  • Synopsis / Summary / Overview / Themes / Plot
  • There is no universal set length for a synopsis, though it should not be excessively long. While longer descriptions may appear to provide more data to the reader, a more concise summary may in fact be more informative as it highlights the most important elements.[1] Although there may be a Wikipedia article that covers the same topic, for example the Civil War, still any book will have its own set of attributes, only partially dependent on the subject matter covered. For example a book on the Civil War could focus on the experiences of the individual soldiers, the grand strategy, the individual battles, the armaments, the social effects, the political leaders, the personal details of the military leaders or it could attempt to synthesize all of these. A book on a seemingly narrow topic, such as the Battle of Shiloh could have long digressions about the lead up to the battle, and might include sketches of the principal players. Although termed "non-fiction" a book may include a great deal of the author's opinions, for example about the character and motivations of the various persons involved. Accordingly, an article about a civil war book need not repeat the chronology of the civil war period covered, but can give the reader some idea of how that time period is presented. Quotes taken from a selected paragraph or two (being careful to avoid copyright infringement) may be used to give the reader an example of the writing style and the sort of details provided.
  • Author / Background / Development and writing / Construction
  • describe what the author was doing at the time of the book's writing/publication
  • interviews from the author on the (creation of the) book; spoken (radio, TV), written (news, magazines)
  • possible events affecting the book's subject at the time of writing
  • Reviews / Commercial and critical reception / Criticism / Analysis / Reception
  • include facts (with a cited source), and the opinions of notable people that have been published in some form. The section should be reserved for critical analysis of the book by notable, published critics.
  • contemporaneous reviews, sales figures, best-seller list rankings
  • no personal opinions, views i.e. a subjective book review
  • Wikipedia:Neutral point of view
  • Content(s) / Chapters / Format
  • an exhaustive list of contents, without any editorial commentary or significance, should not be included. Unless the list has encyclopedic value it is better to convey this in the synopsis.
  • Genre / Genre and style / Analysis and genre / Influence / Legacy
  • Awards and nominations / Popular success / Publication
  • Adaptations
  • tv-series, films, stage etc.
  • Release details / Editions / Publication
  • list the first editions and perhaps the most respected current editions, mention if it is a partial list. Possible order: hardcover, paperback, audiobook, e-book.
  • {{cite book}} {{cite book |author= |title= |year= |publisher= |publication-date= |isbn=1234567890 }}
  • title, author, publisher , year, pages, ISBNs – The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870—1914, David McCullough, Simon & Schuster New York 1977 Octavo, pp. 698, ISBN 0671225634, ISBN 0671244094 (Pbk.) – David Hackett Fischer (2004). Washington's Crossing, p. 564, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195170342.
  • year, country, publisher (ISBN), Pub Date, edition – 1989, UK, Fontana (ISBN 0006165745), Pub Date 9 February 1989, Paperback
  • contains XX photographs, X maps etc.
  • See also
  • list books with similar themes; and/or same author
  • References / Sources / Footnotes / Notes / Bibliography
  • External link(s)
  • f.ex. full review links, for PD books full text link



See also[edit]

General reference books[edit]

Non-fiction science books[edit]


  1. ^ see Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary. Synopsis should be between 400 and 700 words (about 600 words), but should not exceed 900 words unless there is a specific reason such as being complicated.