How do I get posts of a particular category to list on a page?

I'm trying to get the posts of a particular category to list on a page. There is also static content, below where I am trying to get the posts to list - not sure if that makes a difference.

I have tried both:

and

<?php query_posts('cat=16&showposts=5'); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

  • "><?php the_title(); ?>
    <?php the_excerpt() ?>
  • <?php endwhile; endif; ?>

    neither seems to work at all. The first one displays a code fragment on the page. What am I doing wrong here?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.