The basic documentation that should be included in any project on github.
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Github Docs Boilerplate

This repo is a template for projects on github. Specifically, it is an example of the documentation and project management tools that should be included in any project.


If you are starting a project completely from scratch, clone this repo right into that folder. Otherwise, copy files into your project as needed.


These files only change how your project behaves on github, and most of them will only take effect once merged into your default branch (usually master or dev).

Keep them up-to-date as your project evolves.


Here's a rundown of the files included, as well as why they're important:


Every project should have a Readme (usually a Markdown file). It should describe your specific project and have at least three sections:

  1. Project Name and description.
  2. Installation List any major dependencies, system requirements, and gotchas.
  3. Usage How to run the project.

Pull Request Template

This Markdown file prepopulates new Pull Requests. Using it as a prompt helps team members write infomative pull requests, makes code easier to test, and leaves a paper trail of code and decisions.

It can live in the /.github folder, the /docs folder, or the project root.

Issue Template

Issue templates benefit developers and any other team members who may be performing QA or developing project requirements.

These markdown files prepopulate new Issues filed on github. When a team member files an issue, they are given different prompts based on what type of issue they are creating. For example, a Bug issue template may include steps to reproduce, and a CMS template may include optional vs. required fields.

You can create as many issue templates as you want. They live in the /.github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE directory.

Each issue template needs to start with this markup:

name: Issue Type
about: Further description of this category.


This frontmatter will be used to populate the Issue Picker UI in Github.

Other things to explore

  • Steve Mao has a huge repository of issue templates here
  • This repo contains the essentials for running any project, but if your project is community-based, you should leverage additional documentation such as a code of conduct, changelong, and contribution guidelines.