Wikia

Xenopedia - The Alien vs. Predator Wiki

Xenopedia:Manual of Style

Talk0
2,408pages on
this wiki

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. If you are new to wikis, you may also like to read Help:Editing. A list of sample articles based off these guidelines can be found on the samples page.

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

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.

Capital letters

All film, game, book, comic and character names should be written in title case, where all words are capitalised, except common short words such as "and", "the", "if", "of" or "in". Two short words that notably should be capitalized are "Is" and "It".

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."

Italics

Italics should always be used for the titles of films, games, books and comics: for example, Predator 2 or Alien: River of Pain.

Ship and class names

Names of specific spacecraft should always be capitalized and should always written in italics; however, any prefix should be written without italics: for example USS Sulaco. Ships should also be referred to using neutral pronouns (i.e. it, its).

The name of a ship class names should also be italicized. When a ship's class is a modifier, it should include a hyphen: "A Conestoga-class transport". When it is a noun, is should not include a hyphen: "A ship of the Conestoga class".

Apostrophes and possessives ending in "s"

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.

Xenomorphs and gender

Xenomorphs are predominantly assumed to have no gender and therefore referred to as "it" or "them", with the exception of Queens which are often referred to as feminine. However, if a specific Xenomorph is referred to as "he" or "she" in canon, refer to them as such in their article.

Yautja

The word Yautja has an identical singular and plural, similar to the words "sheep" or "spacecraft". An "s" should not be added when referring to more than one Yautja.

Article Layout

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 example articles listed on the samples page will show you how to create a page that conforms with those already on Xenopedia, particularly with regards to the appropriate sections and headings you should try to include.

The following sections will also offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Main page/see also

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 contents

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 table of contents: __TOC__
To remove the table of contents: __NOTOC__

Section headings

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 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.

Images

See also: Help:Images
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.

Galleries

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.

Quotations

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, you must add the text, along with the speaker (names 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 boxes

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. Some of the most common Xenopedia message boxes can be found on the templates page.

Navigation boxes

Navigation boxes, which are placed at the end of an article, help users to locate pages that cover a similar or related subject. For example:


References

The last section on a page 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. More information on referencing can be found on our referencing policy page, while a list of templates that can be used to properly display referenced information can be found in the relevant section of the templates page.

Categories

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, Category:Xenopedia.

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 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 an individual 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.

Perspective

Articles on Xenopedia are written from one of two main perspectives: in-universe or real-world.

  • In-universe perspective is written as though the author exists within the Alien vs. Predator universe, and is describing the events or people of the that universe as if they were real. Any real-world context is ignored. An in-universe perspective is used for the majority of the articles on Xenopedia. However, it is not uncommon for in-universe articles to have a "Behind the Scenes" section that is written from a real-world perspective.
  • Real-world perspective is written from a real-life point of view. This is chiefly reserved for pages referring to real-life films, games, publications, toys, actors and authors. Real-world articles will specifically acknowledge that the Alien vs. Predator universe they are describing is an entirely fictional one.

Spelling

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 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.

Tense

All in-universe articles should be written 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 Alien vs. 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.

Real-world articles should be written in either past or present tense as appropriate. For example: Aliens is a film, present tense, because it will always exist. However, it was filmed at Pinewood Studios, past tense, because it happened in the past.

Linking

See also: Help:Links

Generally speaking, a subject should be linked once upon its first appearance in the article's infobox (if applicable), once upon its first mention in the article's intro, and once upon its first mention in the article's main body.

Media listed in an "Appearances" section should also always be linked, regardless of where else it is linked on the page.

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

See Also

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki