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The most common tag is <para>, as almost all the "real" text of document is contained in paragraphs.

Paragraphs are organized into sections, so the <section> tag is obviously quite common as well. A section can have a title, so the <title> tag is quite common as well.

Footnotes are added via the <footnote> tag. (Of course, you'll typically have a <para> tag inside of the footnote.)

External links are done via the <ulink> tag. Internal links are typically done via the <xref> tag.

Admonitions (notes, warnings, and important items) are done with <note>, <warning>, and <important> tags. They'll typically include a <title> and a one or more <para> tags.

Since most documentation done in DocBook is of a technical nature, it's very common to use tags such as <application> or <function> or <command> to highlight applicatoins, functions, and commands. Screen output from the computer is typically placed inside of a <screen> tag, and program listings are placed inside of a <programlisting> tag.

The tags I've mentioned probably cover at least 80% of the tags used in DocBook. I highly recommend that you check out for a complete listing of the tags in DocBook 4, including their usage and meaning and examples. It's the definitive guide for a reason :-)