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Dragon Age Wiki:Manual of Style

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

General Edit

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.

Article layout examples Edit

The wiki has guidelines for how to lay out different types of articles.

Disambiguation Edit

Shortcut:
DA:DISAMBIG

When two different articles have the same title, disambiguation should be used. Disambiguation can be added by adding a simple descriptive word in brackets at the end of the article title and/or by creating a disambiguation page using the {{Disambig}} template.

If there are two or more unrelated articles with the same name, the wiki's general practice is to use the original title on the more popular article and then add a disambiguation to the other article or articles. For example Leliana's Song DLC retained its original title, while Leliana's Song (soundtrack) has had a descriptive word added.

If there are two or more articles with similar names or search terms, a disambiguation page can be created. See Hawkwind for an example.

Multiple articles with the same name, but from different games, should be disambiguated by their game titles. The article about companions in Dragon Age: Origins would be titled "Companions (Origins)", while the article about companions in Dragon Age II would be titled "Companions: (Dragon Age II)".

There are different templates to redirect the user on other pages:

Protagonist Edit

Shortcut:
DA:PROTAGONIST

In encyclopaedic articles, the protagonist of Dragon Age: Origins should be referred to as "The Warden", or simply "Warden". The protagonist of Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening is referred to as "The Warden-Commander". The protagonist of Dragon Age II is referred to as Hawke. The protagonist of Dragon Age: Inquisition is referred to as "The Inquisitor".

As player characters can be male or female, remember to write about them in a gender-neutral way. Where a pronoun must be used, use "they" or "their" instead of "s/he", "he/she" or "his/hers".

Outside of direct quotation, the second person ("you") should only be used in 'walkthrough' sections; the first person ("I") should only be used on talk pages.

The term "the player" should only be used to refer to the individual playing the game, not a character.

Lead section Edit

Shortcut:
DA:LEAD

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 equivalent header. The table of contents, if displayed, 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 either 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 the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write:

Andraste was the prophetess whose teachings later served as the foundation for the formation of the Chantry.

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes — '''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example:

The mother of Maric Theirin Moira, known as the Rebel Queen, was the one responsible for first inspiring the rebellion against the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden and personally led the rebel forces against them.

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

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne is a novel set in the Dragon Age universe.

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example:

Nope "A [[dwarf]] is one of the three playable races in Dragon Age: Origins."
Yes "A dwarf is one of the three playable races in Dragon Age: Origins"

Table of contents Edit

A table of contents will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To the force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely 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 Edit

Use the == (two equal signs) and === (three equal signs) markups, as in === Section headings ===, to enclose major and minor section headings respectively. These are convenient synonyms of the <h2> and <h3> heading markups.

Be careful never to use single equal signs for a section heading. That is a synonym of the <h1> heading markup, which is used automatically by the wiki's page header mechanism. Reusing it is bad style and risky coding.

Section headings are signposts to your article's structure. Make them short and simple to avoid confusion. Concision without obscurity in headings is good: for instance, you may usually drop a, an and the, omit unneeded pronouns, and so on.

Do not reuse the article title in section headings. Searching an article is made easier if section headings are distinct from the title and from each other.

Write section headings in lower-case letters, except for the first letter of the first word and the first letter of any proper nouns:

Yes "Founding and history"
Nope "Founding and History"


Yes "House Aeducan"
Nope "House aeducan"

Images Edit

Main article: Dragon Age Wiki: Image guidelines
BloodDragonBox

Caption

Images make an article memorable and/or attractive. They can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can detract 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:[[File: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.

Galleries Edit

When an article has many images (or could use more) but inline images may detract from its readability, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged. A gallery section should contain no more than 12 images.

Tables Edit

Tables should use the "daotable" design when possible, and should include as little 'fancy' formatting as possible. Tables can also be made sortable by adding a "sortable" class.

Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row data 1a Row data 2a Row data 3a
Row data 1b Row data 2b Row data 3b
Row data 1c Row data 2c Row data 3c
Row data 1d Row data 2d Row data 3d
{| class="daotable"
|-
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
|- 
| Row data 1a
| Row data 2a
| Row data 3a
|-
| Row data 1b
| Row data 2b
| Row data 3b
|- 
| Row data 1c
| Row data 2c
| Row data 3c
|-
| Row data 1d
| Row data 2d
| Row data 3d
|}

Navigation boxes Edit

Navigation boxes can use or be based off {{NavBox}} (see Category:Navigation templates for a list of available templates on the wiki). Generally they should be placed at the end of an article, above the categories.

Article message boxes and tags Edit

You may tag an article if you believe it may need to be reviewed due to inaccuracies or poor writing. Articles will be categorized in one of the categories of Category:Site maintenance. For a complete list of available templates, see Category:Article management templates.

Writing and formatting Edit

Per the layout guide, the message boxes generally appear at the top of the page after disambiguation links, but may be included within a section. {{stub}} must always be at the top of the page.

  • Stub {{stub}}: When an article has very little information and you believe more can be added.
  • Section stub {{Section-Stub}}: When the article is not a stub, but some sections may need expansion. Use it within a section.
  • Missing information {{Missing info|specify}}: Use it when specific or key information is lacking.
  • Bad writing or poorly formatted {{cleanup|specify if possible}}: When an article may require a rewrite because it is poorly written or does not adhere to our current policies and guidelines, or the article has formatting/layout issues.
  • Picture required {{pictures wanted}}: Articles generally benefit from having pictures. If an existing picture does not adhere to DA:IMAGE, you may tag it with {{cleanup}}.

Tags within the text Edit

  • Confirmation {{confirm}}: When material contradicts relevant experience, seems narrowly subjective or otherwise suspect. Use only when familiar with the content in question; if in doubt, add an entry to the corresponding talk page.
  • Citation {{citation needed}}: When a citation (usually from a game developer) is required to support a statement.
  • Clarifying {{explain}}: If something is too vague and requires a better explanation.

Others Edit

  • Move {{move|page name suggested}}: If you are unsure how to name the article or think that it may be contested.
  • Merge {{merge|page to merge with}}: When the article should be merged with another and may be either deleted or used as a redirect.
  • Split {{split}}: If the page covers more than one topic and may benefit from splitting (e.g., a section would be more appropriate as a separate article).
  • Delete {{delete|reasons}}: If you think a page about a character or a topic isn't needed (e.g., it isn't notable or it should be merged with another article).
  • Speedy delete {{speedydelete}}: Page deletion which does not require review, such as vandalism, spam, etc.

References Edit

Shortcut:
DA:REF

When you add information to an article that is not common knowledge, you should add a reference. This can be done by adding, <ref> Details of reference </ref> next to the information that needs to be referenced.

This wiki has a set of citation templates that should be used when adding information from common sources, such as the BioWare forums. Check here to see if there is a template that suits your needs.

If you use the same reference multiple times within the one article, you can give it a distinct identifier so it can be reused. Use <ref name="Reference ID">Details of reference</ref> for the first reference. For all subsequent references, only <ref name="Reference ID" /> needs to be used.

Whenever you add a reference, you also need to ensure the page has a reference heading (see the basic layout guidelines for exact positioning). Under this heading, the <references/> tag needs to added in order for the references to be displayed correctly. If the references section is particularly long, a scroll box should added by using the {{Scroll box}} template.

If you find an article that needs a reference, add the {{Citation needed}} template next to the information in question.

Categories Edit

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]].

All articles should be accessible starting from Category:Browse, via subcategories.

Quotations Edit

Shortcut:
DA:QUOTE

Head quotes Edit

This type of quote is seen at the top of an article. It is only allowed within main quest pages, character pages and lore pages. Use {{quote}} before the infobox.

Codex excerpts as head quotes to replace content should not be used.

Quotes section Edit

Only character pages should have standard quotes or exchanges, which should only be featured within a "Quotes" section. See DA:CHARACTER for more information.

Formatting Edit

Format a long quote (over four lines) as an italicized block quotation, which will be indented from both margins. Do not enclose the block quote in quotation marks. To format a block quotation, do not use the wiki indentation mark ":" — instead, use the HTML <blockquote> element.

Grammar Edit

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 Edit

See also: Dragon Age Wiki:Naming conventions

Titles such as arl, ban, teryn or king start with a capital letter when used as a title (followed by a name): "King Maric", not "king Maric". When used generically, they should be in lower case: "Eamon is a powerful arl." The correct formal name of an office is treated as a proper noun. Hence: "Cailan is the current King of Ferelden."

Classes should only be capitalized when used as a proper noun, i.e., as someone's name. ("Warrior, go be evil" versus "That warrior is quite evil.")

Races such as elf, kossith, human and dwarf should not be capitalized except when used as a proper noun or at the beginning of a sentence. It should be noted that Qunari is not a race and should start with a capital letter regardless of how it is written in Dragon Age: Origins.

Titles of works Edit

Italics are used for the titles of works, such as books and games. The titles of articles, chapters, and other short works are not italicized but are enclosed in double quotation marks.

For example, italicize Dragon Age: The Calling, and use quotes if it is only a chapter that is mentioned.

Tenses Edit

Shortcut:
DA:TENSE

As any work of fiction, the installments of the Dragon Age series (regardless whether they are video games, novels, comic books, or any other supplemental material) take place in a "perpetual present tense" in the sense that their events unfold before the player/reader's eyes as if in the present (even though e.g. the novels are technically written in the past tense). With the narrated events thus continuously shifting from the future, through present, to the past as each story progresses, there is no single definitive "now" in the Dragon Age series but the one that each individual player/reader is currently at. Since this wiki is written for the benefit of the players and readers of the Dragon Age series, it should therefore ease their access to its contents by recounting the events of individual stories in the present tense. On the other hand, events that led up to them should be summed up in the past tense to clearly indicate that they took place outside of the time frame of the described installment.

  • Present tense should be used to describe the involvement of any character, inanimate object, location, group, country, etc. in the plot of a particular installment of the Dragon Age series, be it a video game, a novel, a comic book, etc. Additionally, present tense should be used when writing about the last known state of an entity that has not yet been invalidated by new information.
  • Past tense should be used to describe events that transpired "off-screen", such as historical lore and character backgrounds before their introductions to the Dragon Age series. Events that happened with a particular subject between installments should likewise be recounted in the past tense before describing the subject's involvement in the more recent installment in the present tense.
  • Future tense may be used at the contributing editor's discretion whenever it helps to make the article better readable.

Walkthrough articles should always use the present tense, because they are intended to be read in real time as the player progresses through a game. Occasionally, however, future tense may be used to warn the player of unforeseen consequences without spoiling the plot.

Writing Edit

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 '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. What that means is, 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 "I." For example, do not write, "Of all the threats from beyond the Veil, few demons are as insidious and deceptively deadly as the desire demon, 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 think you could word something better, write it. If an article has a glaring deficiency, fill it. Even if your first attempt isn't golden, you can fix it later or someone else will come along and fix it for you. Don't be afraid to screw up.

Conclusion Edit

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 Edit

External links Edit

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