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The Manual of Style outlines a clear and consistent formatting for articles on Midshipedia. Please follow the advice outlined in this Manual as much as possible, so other users can use your article as an example when creating and editing their own articles.

Article LayoutEdit

The most important part of a wiki is the article layout. It is important to structure an article correctly, as every visitor to the wiki will read them. You do not want too many Headings, and sub-headings and sub-sub-headings and so on, as this creates a difficult to read articles

Lead SectionEdit

Except in the case of a relatively short article, an introductory sentence should be added to the beginning of every article, before the first section. It should not be headed as Introduction or anything similar besides. The table of contents, if visible will appear beneath the introductory sentence and before the first heading.

The sentence should outline the article's context and give a brief introduction to the article's subject. If possible, the article's title should be the first word(s) of the sentence, for example; Brick Gurge is a main character in the YouTube series Random Business.

The first time the article title is mentioned in the sentence, but it in bold by putting three apostrophes before and after the phrase - '''article title''' produces article title. Try and avoid using bold text again during the sentence, except for alternate names for the article. For example: The Unknown Dude (AKA Ulluco Dewberry) is a recurring character in Random Business...

Bold italics is used when the article's title is the name of a book, show or episode. To achieve the bold italics effect, insert five apostrophes on either side of the text. So, '''''article name''''' becomes article name.

Table of ContentsEdit

A Table of Contents (can be shortened to ToC) will automatically appear on every article with a minimum of four headings. By default the ToC will appear in the left-hand-side of the article. However, one can force the visibility of the ToC by using the following code:
__TOC__

One can also force the ToC not to appear, by typing the following HTML code:
__NOTOC__

A ToC can be right-aligned, however the article has to have a bare minimum of 15 sections, and if an Infobox is not obstructing the top right-hand corner, however rare exceptions do exist.
{{tocright}}

Section headings Edit

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.

Images Edit

Example
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:[[File:example.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.

For more information, see Help:Images.

Galleries Edit

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

Tables Edit

Tables should use a "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, it is recommended to create an "alt" class to alternate row colours to enhance readability. The below examples use "toccolours" as a class, but this is only for the purposes of demonstration, and isn't generally recommended.

With row headings, table caption, sortable Edit

I am a caption
Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row heading 1 Row data 2b Row data 3c
Row heading 2 Row data 2b Row data 3a
Row heading 3 Row data 2c Row data 3b

{| class="toccolours sortable"
|+ I am a caption
|-
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|}

Without row headings, with alt rows Edit

Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3

{| class="toccolours"
|-
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|}

Navigation boxes Edit

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

Expand with more details and examples.

Article message boxes Edit

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

See also, references, external links, and navigational tables Edit

The last 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 Edit

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.

Disambiguation Edit

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:

Were you looking for "[[The Battle of Terrafield]]", an official novel?

The template {{for}} can also be used for this purpose.

Quotations Edit

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.

Grammar Edit

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 Edit

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: "Varian 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 Edit

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 Random Business and The GooGoo Chronicles, and use quotes for "Mother Nature".

Writing Edit

“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 are editing wikis, you must be both academic and artistic. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you must 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. However, at the same time, do not use contractions in articles (words that are made by combining two words with an apostrophe, such as "don't" instead of "do not").

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." Completely avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself). Do not use the impersonal "you," either, which refers to the reader or player. When writing tips, say "the player should" instead of "you should."

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.

Maintain article neutrality. Avoid pointless adjectives that insert personal bias into an article and do not definitively say that something such as a weapon or Perk is relatively good or bad unless it can be statistically proven.

Choice of WordsEdit

Don't make up words. English is the world's most comprehensive language, there is bound to be a word to describe the writer's needs. Remember, no wikian is Shakespeare. If stuck, use the Wiktionary.

Maintain good usage. Try to use words that all wikians will understand rather than using rather localised terms or slang. For example, use "confused" rather than "miffed," to help maintain formality and to make sure other players aren't "miffed" by strange terms.

Conclusion Edit

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 to put meat on it.

External links Edit

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