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Red Dead Wiki:Manual of Style

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This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on the Red Dead wiki. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. These guidelines will never be perfect for every situation. However, please keep to the standard format outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing other articles.

These guidelines are a summary of the most important guidelines for this wiki, but a more expansive set of style guidelines can be found at Wikipedia's Manual of Style. A sample article based off these guidelines can be found on Project:Manual of Style/Sample.

Grammar

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

Titles such as "marshal" or "sheriff" start with a capital letter when used as a title: for example, use "Marshal Johnson," not "marshal Johnson." When used generically, titles should be in lower case, as in "Jonah is a loyal deputy."

Terms like "outlaw" and "criminal" should not be capitalized. However, the names of organized groups, such as the Federales, the U.S. Army, or the Bollard Twins gang, should always be capitalized.

Titles

Italics are always used for the titles of the games, such as Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption. The titles of missions, chapters, and downloadable content are not italicized but are enclosed in quotation marks.

For example, italicize Red Dead Revolver, and use quotation marks for "Exodus in America" and "Outlaws To The End."

Article layout

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. Structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well structured article, and you're more likely to have a high quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually leads to a confusing or unreadable article.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Main Page

Some pages may contain a brief summary of information that is elaborated on elsewhere on a dedicated page. To direct the user to the main page, use {{main|}} and the main page itself after the bar like this {{main|Red Dead Redemption}}. The result will be:

Main article: Red Dead Redemption

Lead section

Unless an article is very short, it should start with an introductory lead section before the first subheading. The lead should not be explicitly entitled == Introduction == or any other header. The table of contents appears after the lead section and before the first subheading.

The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article.

If possible, make the title bold and the subject of the article's first sentence.

Colonel Daren is General Diego's right hand man and the "man with one arm" that Red shoots with the burned Scorpion Revolver at the beginning of Red Dead Revolver. After Daren has lost his left arm, Diego pays out of his own pocket to have it replaced with a compact, shoulder-mounted mortar.

Follow the normal rules for italics in choosing whether to put part or all of the title in italics. This rule mainly applies to the titles of books and games:

Red Dead Revolver is a western third-person shooter video game published by Rockstar Games and developed by Rockstar San Diego.

Table of contents

A table of contents automatically appears in articles with at least four headings. By default, the table of contents is left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To the force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned - but only if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box is not occupying the top-right corner of the article (rare exceptions exist).

  • Right-aligned TOC that floats next to text: {{tocright}}

Section headings

You can make a section header by typing two equal signs, the title of the header, and then two more equal signs, for example:
==Example==
To make subsections, use progressively more equal signs. For example:
===Subsection of Example===
Do not italicize or use links 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. For example, use "Founding and history," not "Founding and History."

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

Example

Caption

Images make an article memorable and attractive. Pictures can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can take away 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:[[Image:CoolImage.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.

Image Naming

When uploading a picture, avoid putting random names and numbers, the result will be a mixup and inconsistency. In naming the picture, don't space them, instead name the image in an appropriate and formal way (example: [[Image:RedDeadRedemptionCoverart.png|thumb]] or [[Image:RedDeadRedemption-Boxart.png|thumb]]) or if there are many similar images, add numbers to the end of it like: (example: [[Image:RDR1.png|thumb]] and [[Image:RDR2.png|thumb]] and so forth).

Galleries

When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more, and having inline images detracts from the readability of an article, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged. Be sure to end it with </gallery>.

In the gallery, you can put captions to emphasize/describe the image.

Message boxes and Navigation boxes

Article message boxes, which go at the top of an article, are used to alert editors of a page's status. For example, a short article may contain the following message box:

RDRstub.jpg Hey there, cowboy. It looks like this little ol' article is a bit puny.
I reckon you could impress me by adding to it. Don't be shy now.
If you're logged in, it'll help you earn them fancy achievements, too.

Navigation boxes, which are placed at the end of an article, can use or be based off {{RDR}}.

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

See also, references, external links, and navigational tables

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, external links should be all external links.

Note that use "<ref>" and "</ref>" when adding references before adding the <references/> so that they will be automatically placed and avoid a ";ref error".

Categories

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]]. Before adding categories, please review the Categorization Policy to avoid inappropriate categories or over-categorization.

All articles should be accessible via subcategories of the top level category, Category:Red Dead Wiki.

Disambiguation

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?" or "You may also be looking for X." For example:

Were you looking for the [[Armadillo (animal)|Armadillo]], an [[animal]] in Red Dead Redemption?

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

In cases where multiple uses exist for the same word/phrase, a disambiguation page should be created for the word/phrase, with links to pages for each of the possible uses of the word/phrase. See the Marston page as an example. When a disambiguation page exists, each of the related subject pages should link back to it in the format noted above, but with the phrasing modified as,

You may also be looking for [[Disambiguation page|other uses of {{PAGENAME}}]].

Quotations

To make a quotation, use the {{quote}} template. In order to make a quotation complete, one must add the text and speaker. For example, use {{quote|People don't forget. Nothing gets forgiven.|John Marston}}. This quotation should appear as

People don't forget. Nothing gets forgiven.
John Marston

Writing

“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're editing wikis, you're both academic and artist. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you have to 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.

Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use abbreviations, such as "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. 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 the first person. For example, do not write "this glitch occurs once a day in Tumbleweed, as far as I know." Avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself) as much as possible.

Be bold. If you know something is wrong, correct it. If you can word something better, correct it. If an article has a glaring deficiency, fill it. Even if your first attempt isn't golden, either you or someone else can fix it later. Don't be afraid to screw up.

Know the rules. Reading existing pages is a good way to get a general sense of the wiki's style, but the wiki is a work in progress - not all existing pages follow the rules ... yet. Be sure to review the wiki's rules such as "Use Third Person". The main Policy page contains a list of this wiki's rules.

Conclusion

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's ultimately your job as an editor to put meat on it.

See also

External links

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