TRMN:Manual of Style
|policies and guidelines.|
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
- The following Manual of Style is adapted from the document written and executed by Memory Alpha.
The TRMN Wiki's Manual of Style is a collection of guidelines and rules of thumb that are designed to set a rough standard for the appearances of all articles. Although style is generally not considered the most important factor in the writing of an article, it is an important factor in the writing of good articles (or even the perfect article). The manual of style is designed to make articles easier to read and comprehend, to make articles better organized and easier to edit.
Above all, realize that these rules are not set in stone! They are considered guidelines for making an article appear more attractive to the reader, to make them easier to work with. If you think you have a better way of writing an article, by all means go ahead and be bold! Copy-editors will come along later and start the weeding process, and rework pages to better conform to the guide if necessary. Better yet, add your own idea on this page as an additional option for adding style to an article. (However, please don't remove existing guidelines, just add your own new ones.)
If you're looking for information on how to write an article in wiki markup, please see how to edit a page for instructions. As that article is more about how to use markup, this article is concerned about the when, where, and why of using specific markup. Please also read the Guide to Layout for suggestions on how to organize your article.
In all cases, examples of styles will be indented from the main margin for emphasis.
Introducing an article
At the beginning of every article, the title or subject of that article should be bold in the first line. Even though the article title is already listed, it is useful to emphasize the article's subject for the reader. (Don't forget to also use italicized text when necessary. See Manual of Style (titles) for further information.)
- "The Tenth Fleet is one of the numbered fleets within The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.. "
If the subject of the article has more than one name, each new form of the name should be in bold on its first appearance.
- "Bureau of Ships, also known as the office of the Third Space Lord..."
In most cases, it is useful to establish context in the first line or two of the article.
For any chapters, you should place the ship's hull classification number (HCN) in bold and in parentheses immediately after the first use of the ship's name. The ship's name is always italicized, and the prefix is never italicized, as follows:
- HMS Fearless (CA-286) is a Star Knight-class heavy cruiser...
There are a number of internal templates we use to provide easier execution of this style requirement. Please see below.
Abbreviations should be avoided whenever possible, but if they need to be used, the following are the abbreviations that TRMN has chosen to use. Please note that it is best to spell out words as best as possible. There are some notable exceptions:
All Ranks, when not being used on their subject articles (ie: Captain), shall be abbreviated, using this guide. This is especially helpful in terms of lists of persons who are notable and/or subject to a specific article (ship's command staff, list of honorees for an award, etc).
Award recipients that are entitled to suffix their name with post-nominal honors shall always be abbreviated and linked to the relevant award page (ie: QCB, KDR, KCE, etc). Furthermore, post-nominals should only be used in the body of an article, never in an infobox/sidebox/navbox, to allow the nature of such boxes to remain succinct in presenting information.
Lastly, on award pages, please only use the post-nominal germaine to the article itself. If we add a full set of post-nominals to every page, this will be an added editing point every wiki editor must check if more awards are received by the subject.
Headlines and sections
To create a new section in an article, surround the text with two or more == (equal signs). When you have the header, there is no blank line needed beneath the header.
The wiki engine will automatically create a table of contents based on the headers in an article.
In all cases, you should capitalize the first word and all proper nouns of the header, and leave all other words lowercase. The only place this does not apply is on episode and movie articles. These pages have their own unique format with all of the words capitalized.
Avoid using links in headers. Depending on the browser's default settings, some users may not be able to see the links properly. It is much more useful to place the appropriate link in the first sentence after the header.
Paragraphs and formatting
Inexperienced writers have a tendency towards "run on" paragraphs. Some of these may number dozens of lines and many column inches without a break. This makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to flow together. It also makes it tough to quickly skim articles for data points.
A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is two to five sentences in length on average. It covers one thought or idea or piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought, idea, or piece of information, there should also be a paragraph change.
When formatting paragraphs, adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a new paragraph at that point.
As an example of what NOT to do, here's everything just typed as one big block (the way many articles tend to be done):
- Inexperienced writers have a tendency towards "run on" paragraphs. Some of these may number dozens of lines and many column inches without a break. This makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to flow together. It also makes it tough to quickly skim articles for data points. A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is 2-5 sentences in length on average. It covers one thought or idea/piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought/idea/piece of information, there should also be a paragraph change. When formatting paragraphs, adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a new paragraph at that point.
List of Members Policy
Ranks, names, and post-nominals general use
It is acknowledged that members will often add post-nominals and earn promotions on a regular basis. To cut down on heavy wiki editing after every award cycle, for ship, echelon, fleet, bureau, or branch pages, only use post-nominals in one of two places, but not both:
- Under History, in the list of past office-holders (ie: Commanding Officers, Space Lords, etc).
- Under Command Staff.
If the member in question is a current office-holder, limit use of post-nominals to Command Staff sections only. For past office-holders, use History to display the rank, title (Sir/Dame), peerage(s), and post-nominals the member held at the time of their relief only. There is no need to update this section as it is a History section and everything within is held for posterity.
Prior to the advent of this wiki becoming the organization's resource, the legacy Tenth Fleet information may be located in award pages. However, due to the sheer size of the organization, only the upper achievement awards, all dynastic orders (except the Order of Queen Elizabeth I), and the societies (such as HMS Unconquered) will be maintained with a list of recipients or honorees. Such lists are to be limited only to abbreviated ranks and names, as well as peerages (if applicable). Full sets of post-nominals are not to be utilized, as they become cumbersome to update as members add more honors to their lists.
When titling an article on Mantipedia, please keep in mind the following:
- Make sure your article title is easily searchable by being unambiguous. Ambiguity in titles leads to search result confusion and reduces the effectiveness of the wiki.
- Do not use period (.), colon (:), or slash (/) in your titles; all are control characters for the Mediawiki software.
Dashes and hyphens can be used in a number of ways, including to connect words, split sentences, and show a range of numbers. The TRMN Wiki has chosen to use the standard hyphen (-) to connect words and for number ranges. Instead of the standard long dash to split sentences, the TRMN Wiki has chosen to use the shorter dash in this respect. This is rendered with the – code, which renders a dash such as –.
When quoting a person in an article, and the quote is at least a full sentence, the quotation should be "italicized and quoted."
- Honor Harrington said, "My duty is not affected by what others may or may not do to discharge their own."
However, if the quote is just a single word or a sentence fragment, it should not be italicized.
- Honor said the situation was "untenable."
For quotes around titles, any punctuation that is not part of the title should follow the quote.
- Honor first appeared in the novel, "On Basilisk Station".
For uniformity and to avoid problems with the wiki software and the search utility, use straight quotation marks and apostrophes, and avoid curved marks such as the backtick or so-called "smart quotes". Punctuation marks should be placed inside of the quotation marks, unless the quotation marks surround a title (i.e., episode, comic, etc.), as shown in the third example above.
See cite your sources for reference formatting.
"See also" and "Related topics"
Informational references to related articles that have not been linked to from free links in the article itself are best handled by the "see also" header.
(Note that you shouldn't indent the "see also" line in actual use.)
Alternatively, you can use a "Related topics" or "See also" section header to list the links in a more explicit fashion as a section of the article:
If an article consists of several sections and a "see also" refers to the entire article, making it a separate section helps emphasize that the links refer to the entire article, rather than simply the last section alone.
There are undoubtedly styles that this tutorial does not cover. Although we try to keep this article simple, consider adding a new section to help new (and old!) readers out in creating styles for articles.
When all else fails, we recommend referring to the "official" resources for styles, such as The Chicago Manual of Style or Fowler's Modern English Usage.
Keep it simple
Above all else, you are encouraged to keep your articles simple! Don't try to get too fancy with your markup (like embedding tables within tables). The easier the markup is, the easier it will be for anyone to edit the article later on. Our first goal is to reliably and accurately display the information. The goal of wiki markup is to keep the articles simple and to emphasize the information as much as possible. We prefer content over form!
For this and other reasons, HTML markup should be avoided in most circumstances.
Spelling and style choices
Because The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc. is an American fan association, the TRMN Wiki has chosen to use American spellings of words rather than British spellings. Some examples of the common misspellings have been collected to help you out. Note that this also applies to grammar and usage.
Names that end in "s" or an "s"-sound should not have an "apostrophe s" ('s) added in the possessive form. Names that end in "x" or "z" should have an "apostrophe s" unless they are either silent or sound like an "s". For example, "Max" and should be "Max's" when using the possessive but "Sanchez" should be "Sanchez'" for the possessive.
Before you start editing or creating new pages, we encourage you to read through and understand the following documents (if you haven't already):
- Introduction is a basic primer to what the TRMN Wiki is about and where you should look to find the information you need.
- Be bold in updating pages is a guideline for a basic attitude you should have towards updating articles.
- Policies and guidelines contains the complete set of rules that the TRMN Wiki operates under.
- How to edit a page is a basic introduction to wiki markup.
- Naming conventions is an article on how to properly name articles.