Actually, when I was thinking about my next question and about to include one *.tex and one *.bib file in my MWE, I was looking for a MWE template here, but could not find one.

But everyone here should know how to construct a Minimal working example, especially newbies like me.

Thus, despite knowing that there is not ONE good MWE for asking questions, I wonder what would be the most minimal, yet working skeleton for:

  • General Questions
  • Questions with bibtex/biblatex
  • Typo related questions
  • Questions with international reach (i.e. encoding, language-specifics)

This question is supposed to help all newbies, so help me making it good!


4 Answers 4


A good minimal example is one which shows that someone really used his/her brain and invested some time and effort to make a clear and concise question. You don't need a template to realize that an \input is problematic - you only need to really think about "what helps others to understand my question" and "what could hinder them". There are some elements like the filecontents environment which are useful to know - but large headers and unneeded text are much more problematic than an missing filecontents.


The following resources are a good place to start:

In general, just make an example that demonstrates the error but doesn't contain any code unrelated to the error.

Unfortunately, it's hard to provide an MWE for the things you mentioned, since it's really context dependent.


A good MWE is some compilable, "to-the-point" code that clearly isolates the problem and contains no superfluous clutter and only a limited amount of jargon from the particular area.


A minimal MWE is

\documentclass...  % we must know the class any any of its used options
% possibly some preamble code, including any necessary `\usepackage{...}`
% code exhibiting the problem, without anything irrevelant

There must be no \input... or \include... of files that we do not have --- the problem might be inside them and so is hidden.

If you need illustrations then the mwe package provides several that are accessible to all of us. Otherwise something like

\caption{A picture} \label{pic}

and similar for tables.

If you need some text to fill up a space then the lipsum and blindtext packages provide many lines of input.

Compile your MWE before submitting it to make sure that there are no errors (except for your problem) with it. There is nothing like compiling someone`s MWE when trying to answer their question to have to keep LaTeX going on while ignoring errors --- the result could well be nonsense.

Please consider your question and MWE as though you might answer; is there everything there to enable a potential answerer to provide an answer?

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