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SporeWiki:Manual of Style

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On SporeWiki there are a few rules of style that will help this place run smoothly and create a standard feel to all of our articles. Here are a few, feel free to discuss anything on the talk page.

Article layoutEdit

Designing a template for the layout of all pages helps to keep things organized and working well so that information can be found more easily. Remember that an outline is generated based on which headings you use (Headings range from level one to six, and are represented as a section title with as many equal signs on either side as the level). The article title is level one, so you should only use level two and higher (==This is level two==).

Before saving editors save an article, particularly before adding a new one, the following points should be considered:

Does the article title and headers comply to naming conventions?
Wikipedia's naming conventions state that each word in the title and headers should be lowercase unless it is the first word or it is always capitalized (Such as names, for example: "Spore", "Will Wright", "Maxis"). The same rules apply to categories, et cetera. They also state that nouns should always be in singular and verbs in gerund-form (verb + -ing: "making a cake") unless the words are only used in one particular form ("Scissors", for example).
Does the article have a logical structure?
The article should be divided into sections and the sections into paragraphs in a way that makes sense to the reader.
Is the article user-friendly?
The article should not contain a large amount of images, at least not clumped together (Use galleries for that). Only images which are directly relevant, or the most relevant image if there are several, should be used. It is also important that the article is compatible with all the big browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox).
Is the article grammatically correct?
Choice of words, spelling, punctuation...
Is the article correctly categorized?
A descriptive category makes it much easier to browse information about a certain subject.

Layout templateEdit

Basic info about the topic. If this topic also exists outside of Spore, a link to Wikipedia
might be in order.

==Section==
A description of this section. A section should be about a certain aspect of the
topic at hand. If there is only one main aspect, the basic info above should suffice.

===Sub-section===
More details about a certain subject of the current section. More than one sub-section may
occur.

====Sub-sub-section====
Should rarely be needed, but in some cases further division of a subject may be required.

==See also==
*[[Relevant article]]
*[[Relevant article]]
*[[Relevant article]]

==External links==
*[[wikipedia:Example|Relevant wikipedia article]]
*[http://www.example.com/ Relevant external document/site]
*[http://www.example.com/ Relevant external document/site]

CategoriesEdit

Adding categories to an article makes it easier for the reader to find information within a specific area. Categories are added by putting [[Category:Category name]] in an article. An article may be in more than one category, but the editor should make sure not to put an article in categories just because it might be remotely related to them, but rather because it is directly related to them.

GalleriesEdit

If your article has a large amount of images that are clumped together, making a gallery is generally a good idea. The syntax for a gallery is simple:

<gallery>
Image:Wiki.png
Image:Wiki.png|Captioned
Image:Wiki.png
Image:Wiki.png|[[Wikipedia|Links]] can be put in captions.
Image:Wiki.png
Image:Wiki.png|Full [[MediaWiki]]<br />[[syntax]] may now be used…
</gallery>

Using templatesEdit

A template in wikicode is basically an inclusion of another article. However, templates are specifically designed to be included, and may take parameters to change their content. There are many templates available to make it easier for the editor when writing an article.

StubsEdit

An article that is a stub is an article that is incomplete and/or too short. To tag an article as a stub, simply add {{stub}} to the bottom of it.

You can find more specific stubs in the stubs category.

SpeculationEdit

If an article consists mainly of speculation, the speculation template should be used. To tag an article as speculation, add {{speculation}} to the top.

More information is available in the speculation category.


Tagging articles for deletion/mergingEdit

If you come across an article which does not stand on its own (It is too short and cannot be expanded, or it contains very similar information to another article) you may want to tag it for merging with another article. If merging is not possible, then tagging it for deletion might be required.

To tag an article for merging with another article, use {{merge|Other article}} where Other article is the article which the current article should be merged into. To tag an article for deletion, simply add {{delete|reason for deletion}}.

U.S. English and commonwealth EnglishEdit

Cultural clashes over grammar, spelling, and capitalisation/capitalization are a common experience on wikis. Remember that millions of people have been taught to use a different form of English from yours, including different spellings, grammatical constructions, and punctuation.

Where possible, the preferred use on SporeWiki is U.S. English for spellings. Where certain words might cause confusion (see American and British English differences), it is preferable to avoid the word or phrase altogether. Where possible, international standards are to be used (Dates, names, etc.) to avoid confusion.

Regardless, articles should generally follow the same style throughout. Each article should have uniform spelling and not a haphazard mix of different spellings, which can be jarring to the reader. For example, do not use center in one place and centre in another in the same article (except in quotations or for comparison purposes).

Bear in mind that some words shared by all English speakers are spelled one way by Americans (and at times Canadians and Australians) but are spelt differently in most other English speaking countries; it is generally acceptable to leave an article alone where the style is consistent throughout the article - though changes to important articles to adapt them to house style are occasionally useful, please don't make a point of changing an article to your preferred style.

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