I usually structure my READMEs like this:
The structure and content might vary depending on the project but that's the default "template" I use when I write a README.
I like it that way because users just need to take 5 minutes to read it and know what's what.
Very useful, merci!
I like this as a standard, but I'd make a few quick changes if I were managing a very grand-scale project:
Move the license out to a separate file (Since it's not 100% necessary here, and Github and the like typically recognize a dedicated license file and have an easy link to it on the project page.
Have a very broad architecture/design section (probably after everything else), if the project isn't absurdly complex. This can give potential contributors a jumpstart if they want to help, but are having trouble putting together an overview of the file structure/software design. Obviously the trouble here is making sure it isn't too big for a readme.
I actually put the full license in a dedicated file and the "license" section of the README only contains a link to it. That's probably a bit redundant but it's an old habit from the time when GitHub did not include the license in the project page header.
That's usually something I put in the full documentation to keep the README more lightweight and free of unnecessary technical details.
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