Halopedia:Manual of Style

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
For the layout style guide, see Halopedia:Layout Guide.
Shortcut:
HP:MOS
Main-Forerunner.png
This page is an official Halopedia policy
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

Policies of Halopedia
Article policies
CanonNotabilitySpoilers
User policies
BlockingSignatureVoting
Site policies
General DisclaimerPrivacy PolicyBotsCopyrightDeletingImagesProtected PageWhat Halopedia is not
Guidelines
Manual of StyleLayout GuideReferencingAbout VandalismDealing Vandalism
Projects

This Manual of Style is a guide applicable to all Halopedia articles. It reflects Halopedia's standards, and is intended to help editors to produce articles with language, layout, and formatting that are consistent, clear, and precise. The goal of Halopedia is to make the whole encyclopedia easier, intuitive to use and the most definitive source for all Halo information.

General[edit]

Editing[edit]

It is recommended that you should know how to perform copy editing and content editing. Copy editing requires the basic knowledge of the English language. This covers from correcting spelling and grammar errors, using the proper verbs tense and fixing common punctuation mistakes. On the other hand, content editing expands this knowledge by assessing whether the written content meets the standards of a good encyclopaedic entry. Elements of a good encyclopaedic entry are explored further in the following sections.

Do not copy-paste content[edit]

The best practice while editing the wiki is to avoid pasting the information you copied from a source. When it comes to article content, you should (learn to) rewrite the information you have came across in your research, using your own words, as opposed to copying the source word-for-word. Fragments of official content may be copied verbatim for the sake of quotations; however, they must also be presented as such.

Internal consistency[edit]

An overriding principle is that style and formatting choices should be consistent within a Halopedia article, though not necessarily throughout Halopedia as a whole. Consistency within an article promotes clarity and cohesion.

Stability of articles[edit]

Editors should not change an article from one guideline-defined style to another without a substantial reason unrelated to mere choice of style, and that revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable. Where there is disagreement over which style to use in an article, start a discussion on the talk page of the article and try to find ways to overcome the issue.

Follow the sources[edit]

Main articles: Project:Notability Policy and Help:References

Many points of usage, such as the treatment of proper names, can be decided by observing the style adopted by high-quality sources. Unless there is a clear reason to do otherwise, follow the usage of reliable English-language secondary sources on the subject. If the sources can be shown to be unrepresentative of current English usage, follow current English usage instead—and consult more sources.

Clarity[edit]

Writing should be clear and concise. Plain English works best: avoid jargon, and vague or unnecessarily complex wording. Remember, the encyclopedia is aimed at late high school, early college reading proficiency, and general educational levels. Articles should be fully comprehensible to non-specialists.

Nomenclature[edit]

There is tension between the academic approach that names and classifies by the perspective of the field, and the layman's approach that uses common names and classifies according to common practice. We should try to accommodate the layman's approach wherever possible. The longer technical name may be described in parentheses the first time it is used.

Capitalization[edit]

As a general rule, Halopedia follows the most common capitalization standard found in official canon material. If official sources provide contradictory information, the most common, most recent, or most grammatically correct spelling should be preferred depending on the nature of the subject in question.

In general, the second or subsequent words in article titles should not be capitalized unless the title is a proper noun that would always be capitalized, even in the middle of a sentence. For example, even though words such as "Frigate" or "Point Defense System" are capitalized in infoboxes in Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, these should be considered secondary to the more grammatically correct lowercase spellings found in most canonical material. Likewise, while weapon names are capitalized in most of the games (e.g. "Plasma Rifle"), the wiki follows the lowercase renderings used in the novels ("plasma rifle"). It should be noted, however, that proper names and formal designations should be capitalized accordingly; thus, the descriptor "BR55HB SR battle rifle" is rendered in lower case, while the weapon's formal name "BR55 Heavy Barrel Service Rifle", uses capital letters. Similarly, proper names like "Warthog" or "Pelican" are invariably capitalized.

The same applies for species names. Even though the names of alien species, such as "Sangheili" or "Forerunner", are invariably capitalized, "human" is not, following the standard in virtually all official sources.

Styles[edit]

Much of the styles you see in this manual of style is based on Wikipedia's manual of style, however in some cases Halopedia will differ from Wikipedia. You can find a more detailed guide of this in the Layout Guide The following specific style conventions will be used by Halopedia:

  • Spelling: unless written as otherwise, the preferred spelling is American English.
  • Italics: titles of any media and ships in the Halo universe should always be italicized (i.e. Halo 3, The Art of Halo, Halo: Landfall, UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, Truth and Reconciliation). An exception to this would be those for citation purposes.
  • Bolded: in any article introduction, the article's title/name must be bolded. The introduction title/name should not have links within them.
  • Measurement: unless presented as such, always use the Metric system over US customary units as the primary measurement. Make sure to present the US customary units in brackets after the metric system (i.e. 130 kg (286 lbs), 2.18 meters (7'2")).

Perspectives in articles[edit]

When writing an article based on canon content, the author should do so from an in-universe perspective. In other words, imagine Halopedia like a CAA Factbook that records everything in the Halo universe. With that being said, the author should always use third-person writing and do so in past tense.

However, in-universe terminology and the past tense should only be constrained to in-universe articles. Real-world content (i.e. everything marked with the "Real World" era icon) must be written from an out-universe perspective. For example, plot summaries must use present tense to maintain the narrative. Chapter summaries summarize a chapter's events in a "this is what happens in this chapter" fashion, as opposed to a "this is what happened in that chapter" fashion.

Similarly, in content written from a real-world perspective, more well-known nomenclature should take precedence; for example, "Elites" instead of "Sangheili". Do note that certain instances of "popular" terminology (e.g. titles such as "the Master Chief" and "the Arbiter" in reference to John-117 and Thel 'Vadam, respectively) are also proper in-universe terms and their use is perfectly acceptable in in-universe content as long as the subject's proper name has been previously established in the context.

Phrases like "his ultimate fate is unknown" or "what happened to the ship after that is a mystery" should not be included in most cases in which the subject's fate is simply not covered in released media. However, if the subject's status is noted to be unknown to the characters in-universe, this is acceptable to mention in the article.

Do not use conversational style[edit]

As Halopedia is an open encyclopedia site, it should read like online encyclopedia. To be more specific, it should be something like Wikipedia.

  • Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use internet slang (ex. "How r u?" or "c u 2nite"). If you are not 100% sure about the way a word is spelled, type it into Google or Dictionary.com. If you know that you are not the strongest speller, compose your edits in a word processor like Microsoft Word or use an Internet browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, which has spell-checking built in.
  • Do not "reply" to content others have posted. If you think a particular point warrants discussion, post on the article's talk page. If you are 100% sure that something should be changed and do not think a discussion is necessary, just change it. Dialogue goes only on articles' talk pages or the forum.
  • Avoid using second-person narrative in articles. As noted earlier, this wiki should read like an encyclopedia.
  • Never abbreviate the names of characters or places. Wherever possible, use the full name of a character the first time they are mentioned. After the first mention, you may refer to "Master Chief" as "the Chief" or "Captain Jacob Keyes" as "Keyes" and so forth. It is acceptable to abbreviate the title in some cases, including names that are commonly abbreviated in official material, such as "UNSC" as opposed to "United Nations Space Command".

Page titles[edit]

General[edit]

Halopedia's article titles aim to provide basic information about the subject, either in the form of its official name (if known) or a description given by editors if the subject is not identified in official media. For examples of the latter, see here. If necessary, a description should be brief and informative, and any terms that are not proper nouns should not be capitalized.

In most cases, weapons and vehicles are titled with the item's formal designation or model number followed by its more colloquial, in-game moniker (as opposed to the full technical name, which is conveyed in the introductory section of the article). Examples of these titles include Type-32 Ghost and BR55 battle rifle. Capitalization of terms in titles follows our capitalization policy, discussed in an earlier section of this article.

Disambiguating titles[edit]

If there are two or more subjects with the same name, it is necessary to disambiguate the article titles from one another. When disambiguating titles with bracketed addendums, in-universe subjects should always be treated as primary; for example, the page for the Covenant ship is titled Long Night of Solace, while the level of the same name is disambiguated as Long Night of Solace (level). If two or more in-universe subjects share the same name, both of them should be disambiguated with bracketed addendums; however, if one of them is significantly more notable than the other(s), its title should not be disambiguated.

Separate disambiguation pages with the addendum "(disambiguation)" are used when there are more than two articles with the same title, with a link to the disambiguation page placed on top of the "primary" (i.e. non-disambiguated) article with that name.

Definite and indefinite articles[edit]

In general, a definite ("the") or indefinite ("a"/"an") article should be included at the beginning of the title of a page only if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. If a word with a definite article has a different meaning with respect to the same word without the article, the word with article can be used as the name of a page about that meaning, and the word without article can be used as the name of a separate page.
    For example, a heretic is someone who has offended the Covenant religion, while The Heretic is the first level of Halo 2.
  2. If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the page name. Otherwise, do not.
    For example, The Arbiter includes the article "The", because sentences such as "In the level The Arbiter, the player assumes the role of the Arbiter" are written with a capitalized "The".
    On the contrary, Flood should not include the article "The", because sentences such as "The Halo Array was designed to eradicate the Flood" are written with a lowercase "the".

These conditions are sometimes met if the page name is:

Title template[edit]

The wiki uses Template:Title to alter an article title or portions thereof. The most common application is the addition of italics to media titles or ship names. However, the template is not to be used to make changes to the title itself; e.g. bracketed addenda used for disambiguation should not be hidden, or extra terms (such as "The") shouldn't be added. This is to maintain clarity as to the article's actual title.

Linking[edit]

When linking to pages, it should be noted that it is not advisable to avoid using redirects if they are available. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to link to the United Nations Space Command page as follows: [[UNSC]] rather than [[United Nations Space Command|UNSC]] (a "piped link"). There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being the immediate benefit of less extra clutter on the page as well as the fact using redirects is not harmful in any way. Additionally, if the title of an article section is changed, it is much less burdensome to change a single redirect page linking to that section than change all links to that section in many articles. Also, if the redirect is at some later point made into its own page, one does not need to change all links directing there because they were piped to the former parent article.

Also note that it is not necessary to use a piped link to convert the first letter of a title to lower case: use [[signal flare]] instead of [[Signal flare|signal flare]]. Both function identically, as the wiki treats the first letter of a link as case-insensitive.

It is also unnecessary to use piped links when only a given part of a term is linked, as long as the rest of the term is not separated from the linked portion (wikilinks automatically convert the rest of the word into a link). For example, [[human]]ity is shown as humanity, or [[Thel 'Vadam]]ee as Thel 'Vadamee.

Editing[edit]

Avoid making multiple edits in an article[edit]

Halopedia is a point system-based wiki. Whenever one makes an edit, one is rewarded 50 points regardless of the amount of content contributed. Though it sounds fun, excessive amount of edits in an article can lead to a block. As such, a maximum of three successive edits in an article is acceptable within a short amount of time; regardless of the editor's intent, exceeding this limit may be seen as an attempt to abuse the point system.

A simple way of avoiding this problem is to practice using the Preview button which allows you to review the contributions you made before saving them.

Use the "Minor Edit" button[edit]

If you are making a minor edit (e.g. fixing a spelling error or tweaking formatting), check the "This is a minor edit" button below the Summary box before saving the page. Again, this will make things easier for the rest of us.

Use the Preview Button[edit]

The preview button is right next to the save edit button, and is there for a reason. It's your own personal spell checker, link checker, whatever-else checker. Use it. Users that purposefully do not preview edits as to inflate their edit count are not well regarded amongst Halopedians, and you may find yourself in trouble with an administrator.

Always use the Summary box[edit]

Before you touch that "Save page" button, always fill in the "Summary" box above the Save/Preview buttons before saving, and make sure that you fill it in with something useful describing the edit you made and, if it's not obvious, why. For example, "fixed spelling error" or "added fun fact" or "reverted from troll 127.0.0.1" are all acceptable. Saying "made some changes" or just filling in the name of the page is not helpful, because it's information that we already have.

Making your summaries accurate and useful makes it vastly easier for the rest of us to keep track of Recent Changes and keeps everybody happy.

Do not sign your edits[edit]

All contributions are appreciated, but if every user left their mark on every contribution they made, the Wiki would be nothing but signatures. If you have made an edit that you are particularly proud of (such as a transcript or screenshot), the correct place to take credit is on your own user page. If you do not have a user account, we respect your anonymity, but your edits will remain anonymous, too.

Do sign your talk posts[edit]

If you make a post on a discussion page, please sign it. If you have a user account, this is as easy as typing ~~~~ at the end of your post. If you do not have a user account, just sign it with your name or nickname so everybody can tell who is who when reading long conversations. Even better, create an account anyway and use the signature method described. There really is no reason not to if you are going to stick around.

Using Images/Files[edit]

Main article: Help:Images
  • Add only canon image, not screenshots from customized/tweaked canon games or mods.
  • Avoid uploading pictures you don't have a purpose for, unless they can add to a subject gallery. Before uploading, read Help:Images for more information on image use.

Layout[edit]

Stubs[edit]

If you do not know enough information on a topic, or you know there's more, add a stub to it. To do so, try this:

{{stub}}

People will know the article is a stub by looking at the stub category. Generally the {{stub}} template is put at the top of the page.

Do not link to the current page[edit]

In other words, a page should not link to itself. If it is attempted, the link will simply turn into bold text.

Link once[edit]

A given section of sufficient size should only contain one link to any other page. If a page links to Captain Jacob Keyes in one place, then that should be the only link to Captain Jacob Keyes in that section. Typically this link should be the first instance of the term in the article.

External links[edit]

External links are links that point to sites other than the Wiki. The links should be in the form of a bullet list. External links typically look like this:

[http://www.bungie.net/filename.html '''The Website''': ''Title of the article'']

Headers/Headings[edit]

Never make a header title as links. Instead, use the Main Redirect Template and add it under the header. Additionally, avoid adding the Ref Tag to the header.

See also[edit]

List of Help pages on Halopedia
DisambiguationsEditingImagesLinksManual of StyleReferencesRollback RightsShortcutsSignaturesTablesTalk PagesTemplatesUserboxesVideosWalkthroughs