The lead section is the section before the first headline. It is shown above, or to the left of the table of contents (if one is displayed). The position of the table of contents is determined by the position of the first section on the page, and whether or not you are using {{tocright}}.   This paragraph is a lead section; the table of contents is to the right.


The lead should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it could stand on its own as a concise version of the article. It is even more important here than for the rest of the article that the text be accessible, and some consideration should be given to creating interest in reading the whole article (see Summary style and News style). The first sentence in the lead section should be a concise definition of the topic unless that definition is implied by the title (such as 'History of ...' and similar titles).
To get a better understanding of what a great lead section should do, the perfect article:
"Begins with a definition or clear description of the subject at hand. This is made as absolutely clear to the nonspecialist as the subject matter itself will allow. The purpose of an encyclopedia is to codify human knowledge in a way that is most accessible to the most people, and this demands clear descriptions of what the subject matter is about. So we aren't just dropped into the middle of the subject from the first word?we are eased into it."


The appropriate length of the lead section depends on the total length of the article. As a general guideline, the lead should be no longer than two or three paragraphs. The following specific rules have been proposed:
< 15,000 characters15,000 characters - 30,000 characters> 30,000 characters
one or two paragraphstwo or three paragraphsthree paragraphs (consider splitting up the article)
The length of the individual paragraphs again depends on the article length.
== See also ==

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