Halopedia:Manual of Style

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

For the layout style guide, see Halopedia:Layout guide.
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.

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.



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 encyclopedic entry. Elements of a good encyclopedic entry are explored further in the following sections.

Do not copy-paste content

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 come 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

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

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

Main articles: Project:Notability policy, 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.


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.


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 and avoid needlessly field-specific jargon.


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.
  • There are certain idiosyncrasies to Halopedia's capitalization standards which may not be immediately obvious from official fiction due to contradictions between different pieces of media. One of these is the capitalization of "Spartan". When referring to the SPARTAN programs in a formal sense, the word "SPARTAN" is written in all capitals. However, the soldiers produced by the programs are referred to only as "Spartans". This applies to the programs both as a whole and individually (e.g. the SPARTAN-II program, which produced the Spartan-II supersoldiers). The same rules apply to the usage of the name MJOLNIR.

Because of the wiki's formatting, article titles are always capitalized on top of the page even if that term would not be capitalized in running text. For example, assault cannon is rendered as "Assault cannon" in the title. However, this does not mean that such descriptive titles should be spelled with a capital letter in running text. The same applies to the titling of image categories. For example, the image category for armor abilities should be titled Category:Images of armor abilities rather than "Images of Armor abilities" despite the article's title appearing as "Armor abilities" on top of the page.


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: *Halopedia has no preference as to whether to use American English or British English - however, once one style is defined within an article it should be employed consistently. Article titles, however, still preference American spellings.
  • 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.
  • Boldface: 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

Articles in Halopedia use two perspectives: In-universe and Real-world.

Articles and sections written from an in-universe point of view are presented as though the information in canon sources were factual, much like how record-keepers within the Halo universe might document their world and the events within (similar to in-universe records like the CAA Factbook or The Punished Deeds). However, Halopedia's point of view is that of a neutral observer rather than any particular group. "Past" events should always be narrated in the past tense (with the exception of timeline articles, which are written in the present tense). However, subjects that remain in existence as of most recent knowledge should be described in the present tense. This practice is based, on a fundamental level, on the presentation of canon material by 343 Industries; for example, most official reference materials (such as Halo Waypoint's Universe articles) use the present tense when describing "existing" subjects. What constitutes the "present day" of the Halo universe is not fully defined, but in practice the "now" of the mainline narrative (as of 2017) is in the late 2550s even though the latest documented events in the Halo timeline technically take place as late as 2610.

Real-world content (that is, everything marked with the "Real World" era icon, as well as gameplay- and development-related sections in articles) use an out-of-universe perspective. For example, while Battle of Installation 00 (2559) seeks to present a neutral, broad picture of the events and is written in the past tense, the plot summary for Halo Wars 2 relates the same events in the manner the narrative of the game presents them, and is written in the present tense. Similarly, in content written from a real-world perspective, more well-known nomenclature should take precedence; for example, in a section discussing gameplay strategies, it can be more apt to use "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 article's 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 unknown to the characters in-universe (or has been specifically noted in official media), this is acceptable to mention in the article.

All articles are to be written in the third person; avoid addressing the reader directly as "you", etc. It is acceptable to make an exception to this on Walkthrough pages, which by their nature are written to guide the reader.

Article focus and scope

As a general rule, content overlap between articles should be avoided. Wiki articles ideally form interlinked tree structures in which additional information on a given topic can be accessed through links. For example, a character's biography should only recount that character's involvement in an event, rather than every detail about the event itself beyond what is necessary to establish context. If the event has its own article, readers can learn more about the details of the event on its own page while the biography should focus on information that is most relevant to the character in question. This applies to other topics as well; for example, the article SPARTAN programs provides a concise summary of each supersoldier project while providing links to the articles covering each program more thoroughly.

However, editors may apply their own discretion in balancing the level of detail covered by an article with the overall amount of information available on the subject. For example, the article for Hamish Beamish describes a rather trivial event in detail (i.e. Beamish's reaction to a fight between major characters) because there is so little information on the character. Meanwhile, the article for John-117 does not record the Master Chief's actions with the same level of detail as information of that nature is better described in linked articles for battles and other events, or is simply of negligible importance.

Do not use conversational style

As Halopedia is an open encyclopedia site, it should read like an 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.
  • 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


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 Karo'etba-pattern Ghost and BR55 battle rifle. Capitalization of terms in titles follows our capitalization policy, discussed in an earlier section of this article.

When possible, Covenant design pattern or Brute clan workshop names are favoured over the UNSC-given type- designations. This is to help present a more neutral point-of-view into the Halo universe as opposed to an explicitly human lens, and also for standardisation - as 343 Industries move forward, type-designations are being phased out in favour of design patterns and workshops. Typical page title formats prefer the XYZ-pattern or XYZ Workshop and then the colloquial moniker - as detailed above. Nicknames (such as Ghost, Wraith, Spiker, Chopper etc) should remain capitalised, while descriptive terms (assault rifle, energy sword, battlecruiser, etc) should remain lower-case.

Disambiguating titles

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). Note that exceptions to this policy can be made if the real-world subject is considerably more notable than its canonical counterpart; an example of this would be the titling of the real-world 343 Industries and 343 Industries (manufacturer) which, while an in-universe subject, is too obscure and canonically insignificant in comparison to the real company to take precedence. If two or more in-universe subjects share the same name, the more notable subject should be treated as primary; for example, the article title for the people named John is not disambiguated while John (newscaster) is.

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

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

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 and redirects

Redirects are your friend. When linking to pages, it is unnecessary 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.

Article size rule

When deciding as to whether an article should be divided, please refer to the following table.

Readable prose size What to do
> 100 KB Almost certainly should be divided
> 60 KB Probably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading time)
≥ 40 KB May need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)
< 40 KB Length alone does not justify division
< 1 KB If an article or list has remained this size for over a couple of months, consider combining it with a related page. Alternatively, why not fix it by adding more info? See wikipedia:Stub.


Avoid making multiple edits in an article

While Halopedia encourages editing of articles, an excessive amount of saved edits on a single article may be seen as spam. 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 spam and a staff member will inform you to stop and explain the scenario. If the staff member is ignored it may result in a ban for up to a week to a few months, depending on the extent of the infraction.

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

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

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

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" 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

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

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

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.



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:


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

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

Link once

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

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'']


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