Are there specific sections or elements commonly found in concept topics?

DITA concept topics are structured to explain and provide foundational knowledge about a specific topic or subject. While the content of concept topics can vary widely depending on the subject matter, there are specific sections or elements commonly found in these topics to enhance clarity and comprehension.

Some of these common sections include the title, introduction or overview, explanation or description, examples, related terms, and sometimes benefits. Cross-references are also commonly used throughout the explanation and examples of a concept topic.


Every DITA topic, including concept topics, typically includes a title that succinctly describes the subject matter. The title provides readers with an immediate understanding of what the topic is about.

Introduction or Overview

A concept topic often begins with an introductory section that provides a high-level overview of the topic. This introduction sets the context and prepares the reader for the detailed explanation that follows.

Explanation or Description

The core of a concept topic consists of an explanation or description of the topic. This section provides comprehensive information, background, and details about the subject matter. It may include textual content, graphics, and examples to aid understanding.


To illustrate key points or concepts, concept topics commonly include examples. These can be textual or graphical and are used to clarify complex ideas or demonstrate how something works.

Related Terms or Definitions

Depending on the complexity of the topic, a concept topic may include a section that defines related terms or provides a glossary. This ensures that readers have a clear understanding of any specialized terminology used in the topic.

Benefits or Significance

In some cases, it’s helpful to explain why the topic is important or the benefits it offers. This section helps readers understand the relevance of the concept.


Concept topics may contain cross-references to related topics or additional information. These links allow readers to explore related concepts or obtain more in-depth knowledge.

Example: DITA Concept Topic

This is a simplified example of a DITA concept topic about “Cloud Computing”:

        <!-- Concept Topic -->
            <title>Cloud Computing</title>
                <p>Cloud computing is a technology that allows organizations to access and use computing resources over the internet.</p>
                <p>Cloud computing eliminates the need for organizations to own and maintain physical servers and infrastructure. Instead, they can rent or lease computing resources from cloud service providers.</p>
                <p>These resources include virtual machines, storage, databases, and more. Users can scale their resources up or down based on their needs.</p>
                <p>For example, a company can host its website on cloud servers, ensuring high availability and scalability without the need to invest in expensive hardware.</p>
                <term>Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)</term>
                <p>Cloud computing offers cost savings, scalability, flexibility, and the ability to focus on core business activities without worrying about IT infrastructure.</p>
                <xref href="cloud-security.dita">Cloud Security</xref>
                <xref href="cloud-deployment.dita">Cloud Deployment Models</xref>

In this example, the concept topic on “Cloud Computing” includes sections like introduction, explanation, examples, related terms, benefits, and cross-references. These elements provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic while enhancing readability and usability.