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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.

These guidelines are a summary of the most important guidelines for this wiki, but a more expansive set of style guidelines can be found on Wikipedia at Wikipedia Manual of Style.


Article layout

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.

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.

Lead section

Unless an article is very short, it should start with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead should not be explicitly entitled ==Introduction== or any equivalent header. The table of contents, if displayed, appears after the lead section and 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.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write "King Frederick II was [[King of Terra]] during and after the [[Second War]]."

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.

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:

Hearts of Iron IV is a game in the [[Hearts of Iron series]].

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

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__

Section headings

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 which is already used by the page header and would be bad coding. Also, 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 the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading and leave all of the other letters in lowercase. Use "Founding and history", not "Founding and History". Note that this is different from most section title rules you'll encounter elsewhere.

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.

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.

Links

Use [[Example]] to create a link to a page on this wikia. Text within the square brackets should follow the capitalisation of the page itself. If it is in another namespace, such as the Talk or Help namespaces, write the name of the namespace and a colon before the name of the page, (e.g. Help:Links)

If you want to change the text which is displayed when the link is shown, before the closing brackets put a pipe and the text you want, for example: [[Fortress|Command Center]] will show as: Command Center

Linking to a page section

If you want to link to a section of a page, make sure the page section is marked by a header. Then, at the end of your regular link, put a hash (#) followed by the section name. As an example, if you want to link to this section of this page, write [[Manual of Style#Linking to a page section]] which will link as Manual of Style#Linking to a page section

External Links

Write a single opening square bracket, then the URL of the page (including the http:// part) followed by a space, the text you want displayed, and a single closing square bracket. So, for example, [http://google.com Google] will look like this: Google

Link suggestions

When editing in source mode, a link suggestion feature will suggest the names of existing pages and files based on what you type. This is helpful if you cannot remember a precise name to create a link.

When you start typing double square brackets and then some text, a popup will suggest items to link.

You can dismiss the link suggestions box by pressing the "Esc" key, and you can disable it entirely from the Editing tab of Special:Preferences by checking the "Do not show link suggest in Source mode" option.

Images

Example

Caption

Images make an article memorable and pretty. They can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can detract from an article. When choosing images, keep in mind placement, size, and the appropriateness of the image to the section. Let images flow with the text instead of break it up.

Large images such as screenshots should use the "thumb" (example:[[Image:CoolImage.png|thumb]]) option which displays large images as thumbnails. Images should generally be right aligned to enhance readability by allowing a smooth flow of text down the left margin - the "thumb" option does this by default. If an infobox is not being used in an article, a right aligned picture in the lead section is encouraged.

Naming Images

When naming pictures, the title must be relevant to the image, such as [[File:Warp titan.png]]. Other images of Warp Titans, such as [[File:armchair.png]], would not show up in search results and therefore harder to find. Image titles must be (in some way) related to the image itself.

Good Pictures

When taking pictures, try to make sure that your graphic settings are high and/or at maximum. This makes screenshots look much better. Generally, you shouldn't take photos of games on your TV or monitor. If you can't up graphic settings without something really bad happening, like your computer exploding, then you can upload a picture with low graphic settings. However, it might be replaced by a picture with better graphics. After you take a screenshot, you should crop the image so that only the thing you are focusing on is in the image. Infranview has an easy to use cropping system, so grab it if you want a free and easy way to crop pictures. Any sort of image after-modification such as drop shadows or shading is prohibited.

For more information, see Help:Images.

Personal Images

Personal images, when uploaded, should be prepended with "Personal", also possibly with the username of the user uploading it. An example name for a personal image would be File:Personal XxXxNoScopezxXxX 360 quickscope.gif, where the name of the user has also been provided. Personal images are allowed, however, pornographic or "disgusting" images shall be deleted and will result in a ban.

Galleries

When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more, and having inline images be detract from the readability of an articles, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged.

Videos

Videos that contain commentary (in the way they are biased) are banned on mainspace articles. Videos for your userpage should be done using "<youtube></youtube>" instead of being uploaded. Guides are acceptable for mainspace use as long as they are of good quality.


Tables

Tables should use a "wikitable" design when possible, and should include as little 'fancy' formatting as possible.

Example:

Heading 1 Heading 2 Heading 3 Heading 4 Heading 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5

Code:

<div align="center">
{[ border="1" class="wikitable" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" width="100%"
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 1
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 2
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 3
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 4
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|}
</div>

Tabs

Use <tabber></tabber> to add tabs to a table, to see a tabbed table in action, see here

Example:

Example table introduction

Heading 1 Heading 2 Heading 3 Heading 4 Heading 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5

Example table introduction 2

Heading 1 Heading 2 Heading 3 Heading 4 Heading 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5
Data 1 Data 2 Data 3 Data 4 Data 5

Code:

<tabber>Tab 1=Example tab introduction
<div align="center">
{| border="1" class="wikitable" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" width="100%"
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 1
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 2
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 3
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 4
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|}
</div>
|-|Tab 2=Example tab introduction 2
<div align="center">
{| border="1" class="wikitable" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" width="100%"
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 1
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 2
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 3
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 4
! scope="col" width="20%" |Heading 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|-
| Data 1 || Data 2 || Data 3 || Data 4 || Data 5
|}
</div>
</tabber>

Other

Navigation boxes can use or be based off {{Navbox}}. Generally they should be placed at the end of an article, above the categories.

Expand with more details and examples.

Article message boxes

Add me! You may want to look at Wikipedia:Article message boxes.

See also, references, external links, and navigational tables

The final sections, if they exist, should always be "See also", followed by "References", followed by "External links". In the case of "See also", use bullets to list the internal links. Under the references section should be placed <references/>. Finally, in the external links should be all external links.

Categories

Categories should be added to the end of an article - a full list can be found on Special:Categories. They take the form [[Category:Categoryname]].

All articles should be accessible starting from Category:Browse, via subcategories.

Quotations

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.

Writing

“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.

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.

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 humans on the page about Winston Churchill. 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.

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.

Avoid using "you". Instead, reword the sentence(s) to a similar objective version. Instead of "You cannot upgrade Hero Damage with Gold.", write "Hero Damage cannot be upgraded with Gold".

Be bold. If you know something is wrong, correct it. If you think you could word something better, write it. If an article has a glaring deficiency, fill it. Even if your first attempt isn't golden, you can fix it later or someone else will come along and fix it for you. Don't be afraid to screw up.

Grammar

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 the people reading it, editors must keep close to correct grammar standards to ensure clear communication.

Capitalization

Titles such as lord or king start with a capital letter when used as a title (followed by a name): "King Arthas", not "king Arthas". When used generically, they should be in lower case: "Furion is a powerful lord." The correct formal name of an office is treated as a proper noun. Hence: "Anduin is the current King of Stormwind."

Classes should only be capitalized when used as a proper noun, i.e. as someone's name. ("Warlock, go be evil" versus "That warlock is quite evil.")

Titles of works

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 "[[Arathor and the Troll Wars]]".

Conclusion

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.

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