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Xenopedia:Manual of Style

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This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on Xenopedia. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. These guidelines will never be perfect for every situation. However, please keep to the standard format outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing other 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 at Wikipedia's Manual of Style. A sample article based off these guidelines can be found on Xenopedia:Manual of Style/Sample.

Below are some basic Alien vs. Predator formatting do's and don't's.

GrammarEdit

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.

Capital lettersEdit

Please note that semi-sentient or non-sentient creature names should not start with a capital letter unless dictated otherwise by canon. For example, writing "Rhynth" instead of "rhynth" is agrammatical. As much as we would not capitalize "Dog" or "Cat" in real-life, we should not capitalize fictional creature names. A notable exception to this is the Xenomorph, which is capitalized, as "Xenomorph" is a shortening of "Xenomorph XX121", the creature's full, official name and a proper noun.

Military ranks, such as "corporal" or "private", should start with a capital letter: for example, use "Corporal Hicks", not "corporal Hicks". Ranks or titles aboard a ship should also start with a capital letter when used as a title: for example, use "Captain Dallas", not "captain Dallas". However, when used generically, ship ranks should be in lower case, as in "Dallas was the captain of the ship."

ItalicsEdit

Italics should always be used for the titles of films, games, books and comics: for example, Predator 2 or Alien: River of Pain. Likewise, the names of ships or space-going vessels should also always be written in italics; however, any prefix should be written without italics: for example USS Sulaco.

Article LayoutEdit

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is knowing 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 necessary, use subsections to break up lengthy blocks of text and make the page easier and more inviting for people to read.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. Consistency, particularly across different articles, is one of the easiest ways to make a wiki appear more professional; if everything follows a similar pattern, it gives the impression of forward planning and oversight. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Main page/see alsoEdit

Some pages may contain a brief summary of information that is elaborated on elsewhere on a dedicated page. To direct the user to the main page, type {{Main|}} and enter the name of the main page itself after the bar, like this — {{Main|Chestburster}}. The result will be:

Main article: Chestburster

Similarly, you may wish to link to an article that contains related information but is not specifically dedicated to the topic at hand. In those instances, use the {{See|}} template exactly as you would above. For example, {{See|Plasma Caster}} will give:

See also: Plasma Caster

Table of contentsEdit

A table of contents is automatically added to articles that have at least four headings. However, you may wish to insert a table of contents into a longer article that has fewer headings, to make it easier for readers to navigate. You may also wish to remove a table of contents from a page; while this is generally not a good idea, it may be beneficial in some cases. To add or remove a table of contents, type the following at the top of the page, after the opening section:

To add a TOC: __TOC__ To remove the TOC: __NOTOC__

Section headingsEdit

You can make a section header by typing two "equal" signs, the title of the header, and then two more "equal" signs, for example:

==Example==

To make subsections, use progressively more equal signs. For example:

===Subsection of Example===

Do not use links in subject headings. Instead, consider putting the relevant link in the first or second sentence of the section and linking it there. Alternatively, the main page or see also templates can be placed directly beneath the heading.

Section headings should be capitalized. For example, use "Personality and Traits", not "Personality and traits". Subsection headings should only capitalize the first word and of any proper nouns.

Avoid using 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.

ImagesEdit

Example

Caption

Images make an article memorable and attractive. Pictures can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can take away 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 images as thumbnails. Images should generally be aligned on the right-hand side of the page 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.

GalleriesEdit

When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged. Be sure to end it with </gallery>.

In the gallery, you can enter captions to emphasize/describe the image.

QuotationsEdit

Similar to images, in-universe quotations can be inserted into a page to provide some additional flavor. To make a quotation, use the {{Quote}} template. In order to make a quotation complete, one must add the text, along with the speaker (name's in bold) and the origin. For example, use {{Quote|Stick around.|'''[[Alan "Dutch" Schaefer|Dutch]]''' (from ({{P1}})}}. This quotation will then appear as:

"Stick around."
Dutch (from Predator)

Quotations should only be used either at the top of a page, or at the start of a section or subsection. They should also have some relevance to the section/subsection's content.

Message boxesEdit

Article message boxes can be placed at the top of an article to alert editors of a page's status. For example, a short article may contain the following message box:



Article message boxes can also be used to propose the deletion, renaming or merging of a page, and should generally be used to promote discussion on the issue before any such alterations are made.

Navigation boxesEdit

Navigation boxes, which are placed at the end of an article, help users to locate pages on similar subjects.



ReferencesEdit

The last section should always be "References". Adding <references/> under the section header, along with "<ref>" and "</ref>" at the relevant points in the article itself, will automatically generate a list of references.

CategoriesEdit

Pages should be added into categories so that similar subjects can be grouped together — a full list of categories can be found on Special:Categories. Categories can either be added on the page, in the form [[Category:Categoryname]], or in the "Add category..." box to the right of the editing pane. Before adding categories, please review the Categorization Policy to avoid inappropriate categories or over-categorization.

All articles should be accessible via subcategories of the top level category,.

WritingEdit

"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 abbreviations, such as "u" in place of "you" or "2" in place of "to". It is also generally best to avoid contractions such as "don't" and "can't"; instead, write "do not" or "cannot" (an obvious exception to this is in quotations, where applicable). 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. You don't need to give a detailed history of the United States Colonial Marine Corps on the page about a specific Colonial Marine. 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.

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

Know the rules. Reading existing pages is a good way to get a general sense of the wiki's style, but Xenopedia is a work in progress — not all existing pages follow the rules or are up to scratch... yet. Be sure to review the wiki's rules. The main Policy page contains a list of Xenopedia's policy articles.

PerspectiveEdit

In-universeEdit

If something is in-universe, or is described as such, it belongs to the Alien vs. Predator universe exclusively and not to the real world. Characters, for example, are in-universe, but the actors who play them are out-of-universe. Pseudohistory is an integral part of in-universe treatment of canon material.

The only section where out-of-universe information is appropriate is the "Behind the scenes" section and its subsections of an in-universe article. See below for more details.

Out-of-universeEdit

Out-of-Universe refers to the perspective in which an article is written; it is the opposite of in-universe. Something written from an out-of-universe (OOU) perspective is written from a real life point of view. It will refer, for example, to real life publications, actors, authors, events, and so on, acknowledging that its subject is fictional. In contrast, an in-universe perspective will strive for verisimilitude; that is, it will be written as though the author existed within the AVP universe. Articles about any in-universe things, such as characters, vehicles, terminology, or species, should always be written from an in universe perspective. If a section in the article is not, such as the listing of a character's published appearances or behind the scenes details, it should be tagged as such. In contrast, articles about books, movies, games, or other real-life AVP material should obviously be written from an out-of-universe perspective, but should still be noted as such. Basically, in-universe articles should never refer to AVP by name, or any other real life things such as publications, actors, or the like.

This is similar to Dewikification.

In-universe: charactersEdit

All in-universe articles should be structured as follows:

  1. Title/Eras
  2. Infobox
  3. Introduction
  4. Biography/History
  5. Personality and Traits
  6. Equipment
  7. Behind the Scenes
  8. Trivia
  9. Appearances
  10. Gallery
  11. References

For more details as to what each section of an article should contain, see the Layout Guide. Please note that not all articles use every section.

OOU articles on reference worksEdit

All out-of-universe articles on books, comics, etc. should generally be structured as follows. This list is typically more flexible than main articles.

  1. Title/Eras/Infobox
  2. Introduction
  3. Stub
  4. Editions
  5. Publisher's summary
  6. Plot summary
  7. Excerpts
  8. Appearances
  9. Behind the scenes
  10. Cover gallery
  11. Succession box
  12. Notes and references
  13. See also
  14. External links
  15. Category
  16. Interwiki links

Naming articlesEdit

There are some rules regarding how articles on Xenopedia should be named. For more details, see the naming policy.

The name of the article should be bolded in its first usage in an intro, as should any alternate names mentioned in the intro. These bolded titles should not have links within them.

Using the #Edit

Do not use the # in a link unless you intend to direct to a section of that article with the title after the # as a section. When linking to articles, particular books and guides with numbers denoting their order, omit the # and simply put the number. Otherwise the software will look for that number as a section title on the page.

e.g. Dark Horse Presents 36, not Dark Horse Presents #36

You can use piped links to account for this. For example, [[Dark Horse Presents 36| ''Dark Horse Presents #36'']] would give you Dark Horse Presents #36.

Usage and spellingEdit

Though the readers and editors of Xenopedia speak many varieties of English, we mandate standard American English spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage. This is the variety of English used in the first printings of most primary sources.

If a word has two acceptable variants in American English, the one that is considered "more American" is to be used. Such example is the spelling of judgement as judgment. The only exception of this rule is the spelling of words ending in -ogue: while dialog is an acceptable version of dialogue, the latter is preferred.

If the title of an article differs in different varieties of English, the American title should be the article title, with alternate names being used as redirects (for example, Organisations redirects to Category:Organziations).

If a source's title is in British English, it must not be converted into American English. Also, if a direct quotation from a British source has a word which is spelled differently in American English, the original British spelling must be preserved. However, a [sic] sign may be put after the word.

TenseEdit

All in-universe articles should be in past tense.

The articles on Xenopedia are presented as historical recordings that have been pieced together from scraps of information left over from the Aliens versus Predator era. As such, all details pertaining to this history have not yet been uncovered, and more information may be added at a later date. Keeping articles written in past tense provides consistency and flavor.

Despite this, do not include phrases like "his ultimate fate is unknown" or "what happened to the ship after that is a mystery."

Italics and miscellaneous grammarEdit

Class and ship namesEdit

Names of specific spaceships should be:

  • Capitalized
  • Italicized in appropriate instances Template:C
  • Referred to by neutral pronouns (it, its)
e.g.
"The Sulaco was….r. Its executive officer was Bishop."

The use of the definite article should follow the most common use for that ship in canonical sources.

The italicization of a ship's name should follow the most common way the name is presented in canonical sources.

Class names are italicized only when a spaceship in the class bears the same name. The definite article may be used, but it is not required.

  • When a ship's class is a modifier, use a hyphen:
"Conestoga-class bulk cruiser"
  • When it is a noun, do not use a hyphen:
"Ships of the Conestoga class were often overlooked"
e.g.
A Conestoga-class battleship

Do not italicize a class name when:

  • Using the class name and type, but without "-class"
  • It is being used alone as a noun

Fighter, missile, and other craft types where a specific spaceship does not bear the class name should be

  • Capitalized
  • Un-italicized
  • Preceded by the full technical designation in the first instance, and may be referred to solely by type name or common name in all succeeding instances.
  • Referred to with neuter pronouns (it)
e.g.

Apostrophes and possessives ending in "s"Edit

While plural nouns ending in "s" should be made possessive by adding only an apostrophe, singular nouns ending in "s" can be made possessive by adding either an apostrophe followed by another "s" or simply an apostrophe, providing each article is consistent throughout. Users are encouraged, but not required, to use only an s' for possessive nouns ending in a Z-sound. For example, (example)

Xenomorphs and genderEdit

If a xenomorph is predominantly referred to as "he" or "she" in canon, refer to them as "he" or "she" rather than "it".

LinkingEdit

A subject should be linked once upon its first appearance in the article's infobox, once upon its first mention in the article's intro, and once upon its first mention in the article's main body.


ConclusionEdit

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 is ultimately your job as an editor, along with other Xenopedia uses, to put the meat on it.

See AlsoEdit

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