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Manual of Style

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The Deculture Wiki's Manual of Style is a collection of guidelines for creating well-written articles. It consists mainly of rules and suggestions related to the formatting and structure of wiki pages, including grammar and spelling, and is intended to encourage the creation of consistent and easy to read articles.


Article structure/formattingEdit

Sections under this heading refer to guidelines related to the "major" aspects of constructing articles to fit into the wiki format.

Creating new articlesEdit

New articles should adhere to the following guidelines:

General article guidelinesEdit

The conventions below apply to all articles:

  • For accessibility reasons, all article titles should use the Roman alphabet. Japanese names can be included within the article body.
  • Accents and diacritics are allowed and encouraged where applicable in article titles. Redirects from common alternate spellings should be created to the article with the proper name, however, to aid visitors with basic English keyboards.
  • If at all possible, do not create separate articles for "common" topics that aren't explicitly related to the story. For example, it is unnecessary to create an article about chairs or brandy, even though they appear in the anime, because they're common things that aren't relevant to the events of the story. There may be exceptions to this guideline occasionally, however, especially with "classes" of things (like planets).
  • Do not create articles that begin with words like "the," "a," or "an," unless they're part of a title.
  • Heavy use of redirects and (if necessary) disambiguation pages is encouraged in general, in order to make articles easy to find. Related to the above, for example, redirects should be created from unique short names to their full names, a disambiguation page should be created instead.

"Real-life" individualsEdit

The conventions below apply to articles about "real-life" people, including voice actors and production staff:

  • Follow the person's native naming conventions. Japanese names should be written with the surname first, followed by a space and then the given name (e.g., Kawamori Shoji). As mentioned above, however, all article titles should use the Roman alphabet.
  • Do not create articles related to real-life people that were not involved or mentioned in the series in some way. If a character is named after a real-life historical figure, for example, a page should not be created for that figure. Instead, a note can be added in the character's "Background information," with a link to an external source like Wikipedia.

Character naming conventionsEdit

The conventions below apply to articles about "in-universe" people:

  • Do not include ranks (Marquis, Admiral, Commodore, etc.) in article titles.

IntroductionsEdit

Each article should begin with a short introduction (one or possibly two paragraphs), with the topic of the article in bold at or near the beginning of the first sentence.

Japanese names can be obtained from labels or subtitles within the media itself, from credits, or, if necessary, from secondary material (production notes, interviews, Japanese Wikipedia, &c.).

The paragraph itself should be a brief summary of the major aspects of the article's topic. For example, an article about a person should include common identifying information like their allegiance (NUNS, Supervision Army, Protodevelin, etc.), occupation (pilot, musician, soldier, politician, etc.), rank, and important events the person was involved in (military engagements, crimes, political events, etc.). More detailed information about the topic should be split off into separate sections.

There is one exception to the introduction guideline: A separate introductory paragraph is not necessary when there is very little information about the topic. For example, the character Wagner appears for only a few minutes in one episode of the anime; as such, there is not enough information about him to fill up more than a few paragraphs. In this case, there is nothing to introduce, so what would have been the introductory paragraph can simply be merged into the main article.

Sections and headingsEdit

To create a new section in an article, surround the text with two or more equal signs (=). The wiki engine will automatically format the section heading with the appropriate amount of space above and below it, and will create a table of contents immediately before the first section if there are more than two or three in the article.

Section headings should be concise, accurate, and free of hyperlinks or citations (for readability reasons).

Lastly, new sections for "in-universe" topics should only be created when readability demands it. As mentioned above, for example, there is no reason to create multiple sections for the character Wagner, because his appearance in the anime is so brief that it can be fully described in only two or three paragraphs.

However, "real-life" and "meta" topics should always be given separate sections, no matter how brief the main body of the article is. Examples of "real-life" or "meta" topics include the following:

  • Apocrypha
  • Appearances
  • Background information
  • External links
  • References
  • See also

ImagesEdit

The maximum and default size for large image thumbnails on most articles is exactly 300px (if using an infobox template the appropriate size will be set automatically). These large thumbnails should only appear near the top of articles. Supplementary thumbnails (appropriate for use further down in the article) should be staggered—left, right, left, right, and so on—and should be exactly 190px.

CitationsEdit

Although this wiki's citation guidelines are not as stringent as, for example, Wikipedia's, it is expected (if not required) that all "in-universe" statements added to an article be sourced. This means that a reference to the episode/film/novel you obtained the information from should follow each individual "block" of information from that source.

When using as citations you'll almost always enclose these templates in parentheses. (Don't use parentheses for the "Appearances" section at the bottom of the article, though.)

Writing styleEdit

Sections under this heading refer to guidelines related to more "minor" aspects of article creation, including grammar, spelling, date formats, link style, etc.

GeneralEdit

Please try to maintain an "encyclopedic" tone at all times when writing articles (normal conversational tone is fine on Talk pages, User pages, etc.). This means avoiding slang, expressions of emotion, and personal opinion. Additionally, please keep a "matter of fact" perspective when writing episode synopses and the like—these should not read like fan fiction or novellas.

Spelling, grammar, and punctuationEdit

All articles should be written in American English. This means:

  • Use American spellings ("color," "defense," "kilometer," etc.).
  • Prefer American terminology (for example, "counter-clockwise" instead of "anti-clockwise," "garbage" instead of "rubbish," etc.) when possible.
  • Use American punctuation—double-quotes are preferred to single-quotes, and commas and periods (full stops) should usually go inside quotes.
  • Use American number formatting—this means using commas as digit separators ("20,000" for twenty-thousand, not "20.000" as in German) and dots for decimal separators ("1.29" for one-point-two-nine, not "1,29").
  • It is not necessary to include a comma in numbers less than 10,000 (use "9000", not "9,000").

The exception to the above is when the series itself uses non-American spelling in proper nouns (for example, a building with "Centre" in its name).

This is not meant to suggest that other forms of English are wrong; it is only a standard chosen for consistency's sake, and there are two main reasons to prefer it:

  • This site has an international audience, and statistically there are more native American English speakers/writers than there are all other native English speakers combined.
  • English usage in Japan (where Macross was produced) generally follows the American style.

DashesEdit

Related to the punctuation rules above, the preferred method of using dashes (—) within running text is the American/Oxford style: a "closed" em dash (without spaces on either side).

The exception to this is if the dash is being used to offset (e.g.) subjects of a list from their descriptions/qualifiers (this might be described as a "definition list"). In this case, the dash should be surrounded by spaces. For an example of this type of "definition list," see the section "Specific policies and guidelines" on the Wiki policy page.

Never use en dashes or hyphens in either of the above cases. An em dash can be easily inserted into any article by clicking the second (longer) dash in the "Insert:" box below the editor.

See alsoEdit

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