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Category pages should include some sort of descriptive text to explain what that category is to be used for. If there are similar categories, it's important to use the space to differentiate from, and link to, these other categories.

All that's required to start a category page is simply to link the page to another category. However, you should usually take the time to include some descriptive text which guides future editors in the use of the category.

For instance, if I wanted to create category:Collies, all I have to do is to add category:Dogs to category:Collies and press "publish". However, it's better to also include something like:

'''Collies''' is a category which includes all breeds of collie, be they toy or full-sized, house or border. 
[[category:dogs]]

Of course, just because descriptions are required doesn't mean you won't find pages without descriptions. We've got thousands of categories and haven't caught up with all the categories that need describing.

It also doesn't mean that you have to laboriously type a description every time you start a new category. It's certainly possible to create adequate explanation in a template, thereby speeding up the process of category creation tremendously.

Tone

Language used in category descriptions should be written like that of a help page; it is technical information there to assist the editor or reader navigate through the wiki. It is never to be written in the perspective of our main namespace, in-universe articles.

Still, you should use full sentences and clear English, because the point of the description is to help other readers, not just satisfy this rule.

Specialised messages

Keeping the real world and the DWU separate

Because of the split between real world and in-universe articles, category descriptions are especially important in confirming for the user which is which.

"From the real world" categories

A distinction we make in our category tree is that between "real world things" (things that only exist in the real world) and "things from the real world" (things that exist in the real world and also the DWU)

It's important with categories that end in "from the real world" that you include {{FTRW}} at the bottom of your description text.

It's also vitally important that you give readers links to the real world or in-universe equivalents of the category you've created. For instance the text of Category:Songs gives a wide array of other categories about song and explains the differences between them.

Stories are real world

Story articles are "real world" articles, evidenced by our consistent use of {{real world}} at the top of each story page. (See, for instance, the message at the top of 42.)

For clarity, you should affix {{ooucat}} to the top of category descriptions of categories belonging to category:stories. This is because we don't want stories set in London, an out-of-universe category, ending up in category:London, an in-universe category.

Image categories

Categories used to organise images — and particularly those found under Category:Images by story and Images by content — must bear a link back to the relevant story page or character/species/thing page. In other words, if you're at Category:Image of the Fendahl TV story images, the category description must include {{ImageLinkTV}} so that the reader can go easily back and forth between the story and the image repository for that story. There are equivalents to {{ImageLinkTV}}, such as {{ImageLinkComics}}, for other media.

Equally, if you're on, say, Category:Fifth Doctor images, a link back to Fifth Doctor must appear in the category description.

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