Constructed Worlds:Manual of Style/Layout

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Layout[edit source]

This guide has been adapted from English Wikipedia.

This guide presents the typical layout of Constructed Worlds Wiki articles, which includes the sections an article usually has, ordering of sections, and formatting styles for various elements of an article. For advice on the use of wiki markup, see Help:Editing; and for guidance on writing style, see Manual of Style.

Order of article elements[edit source]

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A simple article should have at least a lead section and references. As editors add complexity where required, the elements (such as sections and templates) that are used typically appear in the following order, although they would not all appear in the same article at the same time:

  1. Before the lead section
    1. Hatnotes
    2. Deletion/Protection tags
    3. Maintenance / dispute tags
    4. Infoboxes
    5. Foreign character warning boxes
    6. Images
    7. Navigational boxes (header navboxes)
  2. Body
    1. Lead section (also called the introduction)
    2. Table of contents
    3. Content
  3. Appendices[1]
    1. Works or publications (for biographies only)
    2. See also
    3. Notes and references (this can be two sections in some citation systems)
    4. Further reading
    5. External links[2]
  4. Bottom matter
    1. Succession boxes and geography boxes
    2. Other navigation templates (footer navboxes)[3]
    3. Geographical coordinates (if not in Infobox) or {{coord missing}}
    4. Authority control template
    5. {{featured list}}, {{featured article}} and {{good article}} (where appropriate for article status)
    6. Defaultsort
    7. Categories[4]
    8. Stub template

Body sections[edit source]

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Articles longer than a stub are generally divided into sections, and sections over a certain length are generally divided into paragraphs; these divisions enhance the readability of the article. The names and orders of section headings are often determined by the relevant WikiProject, although articles should still follow good organizational and writing principles regarding sections and paragraphs.

Headings and sections[edit source]

Headings introduce sections and subsections, clarify articles by breaking up text, organize content, and populate the table of contents. Very short or very long sections and subsections in an article look cluttered and inhibit the flow of the prose. Short paragraphs and single sentences generally do not warrant their own subheading.

Headings follow a six-level hierarchy, starting at 1 and ending at 6. The level of the heading is defined by the number of equal signs on either side of the title. Heading 1 (=Heading 1=) is automatically generated as the title of the article, and is never appropriate within the body of articles. Sections start at the second level (==Heading 2==), with subsections at the third level (===Heading 3===), and additional levels of subsections at the fourth level (====Heading 4====), fifth level, and sixth level. Sections should be consecutive, such that they do not skip levels from sections to sub-subsections; the exact methodology is part of the Accessibility guideline.[5] Between sections, there should be a single blank line; multiple blank lines in the edit window create too much white space in the article. There is no need to include a blank line between a heading and sub-heading.

Names and orders for section headings[edit source]

Constructed Worlds Wiki has no general standards or guidelines for what section headings are expected in the bodies of articles or what order they should take, because the diversity of presentation in various constructed worlds and projects is too great. The usual practice is to name and order sections based on the precedent of some article which seems similar. There was no early standard proposed, and there is no general outline to follow. Contributors are advised to follow their instincts in proposing an order for sections in the body then seek community consensus in establishing a final order.

The order of sections in the body of a Constructed Worlds Wiki article may be recommended by a relevant subject or project, or may not exist at all for some topics.

Section templates and summary style[edit source]

When a section is a summary of another article that provides a full exposition of the section, a link to that article should appear immediately under the section heading. You can use the {{Main}} template to generate a "Main article" link.

If one or more articles provide further information or additional details (rather than a full exposition, see above), references to such articles may be placed immediately after the section heading for that section, provided this does not duplicate a wikilink in the text. These additional references should be grouped along with the {{Main}} template (if there is one), for easy selection by the reader, rather than being scattered throughout the text of a section. You can use one of the following templates to generate these links:

  • {{Details}} – this generates a "For more details on this topic, see" link
  • {{Further}} – this generates a "Further information" link
  • {{See also}} – this generates a "See also" link
For example, to generate a "See also" link to the article on W:Wikipedia:How to edit a page, type {{See also|W:Wikipedia:How to edit a page}}, which will generate:

Paragraphs[edit source]

Sections usually consist of paragraphs of running prose. Between paragraphs—as between sections—there should be a single blank line and the first line of each paragraph is not indented. Bullet points should not be used in the lead of an article, and should not be used in the body unless for breaking up a large, grey mass of text, particularly if the topic requires significant effort on the part of the reader. However, bulleted lists are typical in the reference and further-reading sections towards the end of the article. Bullet points are usually not separated by blank lines, as that causes an accessibility issue (W:WP:LISTGAP).

The number of single-sentence paragraphs should be minimized, since they can inhibit the flow of the text; by the same token, paragraphs that exceed a certain length become hard to read. Short paragraphs and single sentences generally do not warrant their own subheading; in such circumstances, it may be preferable to use bullet points.

Standard appendices and footers[edit source]

Headings[edit source]

When appendix sections are used, they should appear at the bottom of an article, with ==level 2 headings==,[6] followed by the various footers. When it is useful to sub-divide these sections (for example, to separate a list of magazine articles from a list of books), this should be done using level 3 headings (===Books===) instead of definition list headings (;Books), as explained in the accessibility guidelines.

Works or publications[edit source]

Contents: A bulleted list, usually ordered chronologically, of the works created by the subject of the article.

Title: Many different titles are used, depending on the subject matter. "Works" is preferred when the list includes items that are not written publications (e.g. music, films, paintings, choreography, or architectural designs), or if multiple types of works are included. "Bibliography", "Discography", or "Filmography" are occasionally used where appropriate; however, "Bibliography" is discouraged because it is not clear whether it is limited to the works of the subject of the article.[7] "Works" or "Publications" should be plural, even if it lists only a single item.[8]

"See also" section[edit source]

Contents: A bulleted list, preferably alphabetized, of internal links to related Wikipedia articles. Consider using {{Columns-list}} or {{Div col}} if the list is lengthy. The links in the "See also" section might be only indirectly related to the topic of the article because one purpose of "See also" links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics.

Editors should provide a brief annotation when a link's relevance is not immediately apparent, when the meaning of the term may not be generally known, or when the term is ambiguous. For example:

Whether a link belongs in the "See also" section is ultimately a matter of editorial judgment and common sense. The links in the "See also" section should be relevant, should reflect the links that would be present in a comprehensive article on the topic, and should be limited to a reasonable number. It is also not mandatory, as many high-quality and comprehensive articles do not have a "See also" section, although some featured articles like 1740 Batavia massacre and Mary, Queen of Scots include this section.

The "See also" section may link to pages that do not exist (red links) and disambiguation pages. The "See also" section may repeat links that appear in the article's body or its navigation boxes if it is a significant subject.

Other internal links: {{Portal}} links are usually placed in this section.

Title: The most common title for this section is "See also".

Notes and references[edit source]

Citations and references are not required on the Constructed Worlds Wiki and may be used at the discretion of the writer.

Further reading[edit source]

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Contents: An optional bulleted list, usually alphabetized, of a reasonable number of publications that would help interested readers learn more about the article subject. Editors may include brief annotations. Publications listed in Further reading are cited in the same citation style used by the rest of the article. The Further reading section should not duplicate the content of the External links section, and should normally not duplicate the content of the References section, unless the References section is too long for a reader to use as part of a general reading list. This section is not intended as a repository for general references that were used to create the article content. Any links to external websites included under Further reading are subject to the guidelines described at Wikipedia:External links.

External links[edit source]

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Contents: A bulleted list of recommended relevant websites, each accompanied by a short description. These hyperlinks should not appear in the article's body text, nor should links used as references normally be duplicated in this section. "External links" should be plural, even if it lists only a single item.[8] This section may be replaced by a "Further reading" section.

Links to sister projects[edit source]

Links to sister projects such as Constructed Languages or Alternative History should generally appear in "External links", not under "See also".

Navigation templates[edit source]

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Contents: Navigation templates and footer navboxes, such as succession boxes and geography boxes (for example, {{Geographic location}}). Most navboxes do not appear in printed versions of Wikipedia articles.

Formatting[edit source]

Images[edit source]

Images should ideally be spread evenly within the article, and relevant to the sections they are located in. All images should also have an explanatory caption. An image that would otherwise overwhelm the available text space on a 800×600 window should be shrunk or formatted as a panorama. It is a good idea to try to maintain visual coherence by aligning the sizes of images and templates on a given page.

When placing images, be careful not to stack too many of them within the lead, or within a single section; if the images in a section spill over into the next section at 1024×768 screen resolution, that may mean that the section is too short or there are too many images in that section. If an article has many images—so many, in fact, that they lengthen the page beyond the length of the text itself—you can use a gallery. Another solution might be to create a page or category combining all of them at Wikimedia Commons and use a relevant template ({{Commons}}, {{Commons category}}, {{Commons-inline}} or {{Commons category-inline}}) to link to it instead, so that further images are readily found and available when the article is expanded. Please see WP:IG for further information on the use of galleries.

As a general rule, images should not be set to a larger fixed size than the 220px default. If an exception to the general rule is warranted, forcing an image size to be either larger or smaller than the 220px default is done by placing a parameter in the image coding in the form |XXXpx. Lead images should usually be no wider than "300px" ("upright=1.35" defaults to that size, but may appear larger or smaller based on the thumbnail width setting in preferences). Larger images should generally be a maximum of 500 pixels tall and 400 pixels wide, so that they can comfortably be displayed on the smallest displays in common use.

Avoid referring to images as being on the left or right. Image placement is different for viewers of the mobile version of Wikia, and is meaningless to people having pages read to them by assistive software. Instead, use captions to identify images.

Horizontal rule[edit source]

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Horizontal rules—a series of hyphens (----) resulting in a straight line—are deprecated; that is, they are no longer used in articles. Rules were once employed to separate multiple meanings of a single article's name, but this task is now accomplished through disambiguation pages.

Rules can be used to provide separation inside certain templates (for example, {{sidebar}} derivatives), within discussions, or when needed in some other formats.

See also[edit source]

Specialized layout[edit source]

Other project pages[edit source]

Footnotes[edit source]

  1. ^ This sequence has been in place since at least 2003 (when "See also" was called "Related topics"). See, for example, W:Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Changes to standard appendices. The original rationale for this ordering is that, with the exception of Works, sections which contain material outside Wikipedia (including Further reading and External links) should come after sections that contain internal wiki material (including See also) to help keep the distinction clear. The sections containing notes and references often contain both kinds of material and, consequently, appear after the See also section (if any) and before the Further reading section (if any). Whatever the validity of the original rationale, there is now the additional factor that readers have come to expect the appendices to appear in this order.
  2. ^ There are several reasons why this section should appear as the last appendix section. So many articles have the External links section at the end that many people expect that. Some External links and references sections are very long, and when the name of the section is not visible on the screen, it could cause problems if someone meant to delete an external link, and deleted a reference instead. Keeping the External links last is also helpful to editors who patrol external links.
  3. ^ Rationale for placing navboxes at the end of the article.
  4. ^ While categories are entered on the editing page ahead of stub templates, they appear on the visual page in a separate box after the stub templates. One of the reasons this happens is that every stub template generates a stub category, and those stub categories appear after the "main" categories. Another is that certain bots and scripts are set up to expect the categories, stubs and interlanguage links to appear in that order, and will reposition them if they don't. Therefore, any manual attempt to change the order is futile unless the bots and scripts are also altered.
  5. ^ For example, skipping heading levels, such as jumping from ==Heading 2== to ====Heading 4==== without ===Heading 3=== in the middle, violates W:Wikipedia:Accessibility as it reduces usability for readers on screen readers who use heading levels to navigate pages.
  6. ^ Syntax:
    ==See also==
    * [[W:Wikipedia:How to edit a page]]
    * [[W:Wikipedia:Manual of Style]]

    Which produces:

    See also
  7. ^ Rationale for discouraging the use of "Bibliography."
  8. ^ a b See, e.g., W:Wikipedia:External links#External links section.

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