Manual of Style

From Gamepedia Help Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on this wiki. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. These guidelines will never be unerringly perfect for every situation. However, please try your best to keep to the advice outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing their own articles.

This manual of style is designed as a starting point, containing valuable guidelines that are applicable for all wikis. Individual projects may choose to discuss changes to these guidelines to suit their own wiki projects.

Article layout[edit | edit source]

Hydra guy hard at work

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. Structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well structured article, and you're more likely to have a high quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually leads to a confusing or unreadable article. See #Section headings for more info on writing section headings.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear. They are presented in the order in which they should appear in an article.

Non-article content[edit | edit source]

A disambiguation line is sometimes put at the beginning of an article to link to another article with the same or similar title. The line should be italicized and indented once. Most usually contain the phrase, "Were you looking for X?" For example, in the Battle of Mount Hyjal article on Wowpedia:

Were you looking for "The Battle of Mount Hyjal", Chapter V of the History of Warcraft?

Infoboxes[edit | edit source]

Infoboxes, boxes which summarize data relating to the article, should appear at the top-right corner of the article content. Item tooltips are also "infoboxes".

Infoboxes should generally summarize available information; speculation, as well as "unknown" or "n/a" rows should be avoided.

Lead section[edit | edit source]

An article should begin with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article. The lead should not be explicitly entitled == Introduction == or any header with equivalent meaning.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write "Health Potions' are a basic item used to heal your character" as the first sentence on the page titled "Health Potions."

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes—'''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example, in the Blood elf article on Wowpedia:

The blood elves, or sin'dorei, are a race consisting of former high elves…

Follow the normal rules for italics in choosing whether to put part or all of the title in italics. This will mainly apply to the titles of books and games:

The Demon Soul is a novel in the War of the Ancients trilogy.

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example, "The night elves are an ancient race…" versus "The night elves are an ancient race."

Table of contents[edit | edit source]

A table of contents (TOC) will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned—but this should only be done if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box is not occupying the top-right corner of the article.

  • Right-aligned TOC that floats next to text:

Article content[edit | edit source]

For information on writing the article itself, see the #Writing section.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

This section is used to show images in <gallery> tags. For example, you can show several pictures, and optionally supply captions:

<gallery>
File:Katrana prestor.jpg|Onyxia in disguise as Lady Katrana Prestor
File:LadyOnyxia.jpeg|Onyxia after losing her disguise.
File:OnyxiaTCG.jpg|Onyxia TCG
File:OnyxiaBlizzard.jpg|Onyxia TCG
File:OL-onyxiastage1.jpg|Onyxia TCG
File:OL-onyxiastage2.jpg
</gallery>

Videos[edit | edit source]

This section is used to show YouTube (and other sites) embedded videos using <vplayer /> at the top of the section and {{#ev:youtube|<youtube video id>|<size in px>}} <br /> for each video.

Curse Videos[edit | edit source]

Curse videos are those produced by Curse and/or placed on content pages by Curse Staff. These videos are placed at or near the top of a content page by staff members to help achieve certain business goals. These videos should be directly relevant to the page they are on and up to date with the latest version of the game. Videos should also be placed in a manner that is as least disruptive as possible to other content on the page such as below the lead and above the ToC or in the upper right corner (on pages without a leading image or infobox). Curse videos should not be altered or removed without communicating with Curse staff via the procedure below.

If a Curse video is no longer relevant and up to date or if a community member believes the placement of the video disproportionately affects the layout of other page content, a discussion should be started on the Talk page for the article and a message left on the page of the staff member who added the video to alert them of the discussion (if it is not possible to identify the staff member who added the video, notify User:CrsBenjamin). No action should be taken to remove or alter the placement of a video until Curse staff has participated in the discussion and consensus has been reached with them. If necessary, a note can be added to indicate the video is under discussion (and linking to that discussion). In the event that the notified Curse staff member has not replied to the discussion within 3 business days, an e-mail should be sent to community@gamepedia.com.


See also[edit | edit source]

This section is used to list links to related topics on the same project, which may not have been linked within the article content. Use bullets to list the links. For example, a page about a particular potion might also list the article about how to craft potions in this section.

References[edit | edit source]

Under the references section should be placed <references/>, or , the usage of which can be found on the Help wiki.

External links[edit | edit source]

In the external links section should be any gphelp:Links#External_links relating to the article. External links should be used sparingly and only for external pages that are directly related to the content, such as official game websites.

Categories and interwiki links[edit | edit source]

Categories and interwiki links should be added at the very end of the article, with category links followed by interwiki links. A full list of categories can be found on Special:Categories. They take the form [[Category:Categoryname]], and should be named in the same fashion as articles. Ideally all pages on a wiki should be categorized.

Writing[edit | edit source]

"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs"
- Stephen King

We now come to the meat of an article: the words themselves. When you're editing wikis, you're both academic and artist. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you have to skillfully balance both.

Style[edit | edit source]

  • Keep your writing concise. Don't use two words where one will do. Keeping your writing simple will make it easy to understand and easy to expand on. Use complete sentences whenever possible. When you write, use grammar as a toolbox: know the rules, but only break them on purpose.
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use 'u' in place of 'you' or '2' in place of 'to'. Write the way you would for a class paper or a newspaper article. This makes it easier for all readers to understand, not just the ones accustomed to the same conventions you are.
  • Write from an impersonal perspective. Do not use "I." For example, do not write, "Hellscream was a fervent member of the Horde. He served both the Old and New Horde, as far as I know." Avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself) as much as possible.

Content[edit | edit source]

Keep the following general guidelines in mind when considering what to include in the article:

  • Keep all of the topics you cover within the scope of the article. What that means is, you don't need to give a detailed history of the blood elves on the page about Kael'thas. Consider the article's title as your point of origin and write from that perspective. Make use of the wiki's ability to link to more detailed articles or external sources for more information.
  • Avoid repeating other sources verbatim. In general, prose in wiki articles should be original. If you use a direct quote from a source, you must clearly label it as such with a citation and avoid using any more than is necessary.

Grammar[edit | edit source]

Grammar is a writer's toolbox. You can't build good sentences without knowing how to use your tools. Since a wiki article must be as clear as possible for all of the people reading it, editors must maintain a high level of adherence with the rules of grammatical use, to ensure clear communication. Note that a sentence that seems grammatically incorrect, may not be depending on context.

This cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Numerous edits to the Wiki have to be performed, which are purely for the purpose of correcting truly atrocious grammar. Do not use a native language other than English as an excuse - there are any number of grammar tutorials and references available on the Web, so you should be doing your utmost to make your contributions correct while improving your command of the language. If you still struggle with grammar, there are programs that detect grammatical errors in your typing.

Capitalization[edit | edit source]

Capitalization generally follows the rules used in-universe, even in cases where the term could be used in both in- and out-of-universe contexts. This provides a consistent standard without bogging down editors in trying to figure out which is correct in every individual case. When in doubt, follow the precedent set by other page titles.

Tense[edit | edit source]

Most articles should be described as facts, so use the present or future tenses. "The quest starts at Castle Magnifico." "This recipe can be learned by rogues."

There may be exceptions, such as when describing changes to a game brought about through patches or other updates. "The cooldown for Ice Bolt was reduced'."

Formatting[edit | edit source]

Titles of works[edit | edit source]

Italics are used for the titles of works, such as books and games. The titles of articles, chapters, and other short works are not italicized but are enclosed in double quotation marks.

For example, italicize The Last Guardian and World of Warcraft, and use quotes for "The Lusty Argonian Maid" since the former two are real-world works and the latter a fictional in-game work (from Skyrim).

Dates[edit | edit source]

Shorthand dates (used in tables and templates) should be written in the form YYYY-MM-DD (for example, 2009-04-01), to aid alphanumeric organizing. Dates in longhand (as written in article sentences) should be written in the form D M YYYY (for example, 1 April 2009).

Using the format of MM-DD-YY[YY] (04-01-2009) or DD-MM-YY[YY] (01-04-2009) is not recommended, as use of either format may be confusing.

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Format a long quote (over four lines) as an italicized block quotation, which will be indented from both margins. Do not enclose the block quote in quotation marks. To format a block quotation, do not use the wiki indentation mark ":" — instead, use the HTML <blockquote> element.

Tables[edit | edit source]

Tables should use the "wikitable" class design when possible, and should include as little "fancy" formatting as possible. Tables can also be made sortable by adding a "sortable" class.

For long tables, striped tables utilizing alternating shadings are recommended to aid in distinguishing rows, using the "zebra" class.

More information about wiki tables can be found on the Help Wiki.

Section headings[edit | edit source]

Use the == (two equal signs) style markup for main headings, equivalent to <h2>.

Do not use a single =. This is because a single = creates an <h1> heading. The page header already uses an h1, and to use further h1s would be poor semantics. In addition, do not use wikilinks in subject headings. When edited, these sections become confusing in the edit history because of the link code. Consider instead putting the word in the first or second sentence of the section and linking it there.

Capitalize section headings consistently across the entire wiki. For example, either use History and Lore and Crafting Guide or History and lore and Crafting guide, but avoid History and Lore and Crafting guide.

Avoid special characters in headings, such as an ampersand (&), a plus sign (+), curly braces ({}), or square braces ([]). In place of the ampersand, use the word "and" (unless the ampersand is part of a formal name, such as Rhett & Link)

Always keep headings short and simple. Headings are guidelines to your page's structure and should inform the reader rather than confuse. To keep it short, avoid unnecessary words or redundancy in headings, i.e. avoid a, an, and the, pronouns, repeating the article title, and so on. Also, try to avoid giving identical titles to different sections.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Every article can be improved (even this one). Following these guidelines will not ensure a perfect article the first time, but it will give the article a stronger skeleton. It's ultimately your job as an editor to put meat on it.

See also[edit | edit source]