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This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on the 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.

GrammarEdit

Grammar is a writer's toolbox. You cannot 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.

CapitalizationEdit

Titles start with a capital letter when used as a title: for example, use "General Carmona," not "general Carmona." When used generically, titles should be in lower case, as in "Carmona is a loyal general."

Terms like "mercenary" and "soldier" should not be capitalized. However, the names of organized groups, such as the People's Liberation Army of Venezuela, Universal Petroleum, or Allied Nations, should always be capitalized.

TitlesEdit

Italics are always used for the titles of the games, such as World in Flames and Playground of Destruction. The titles of missions, chapters, and downloadable content are not italicized but are enclosed in quotation marks.

For example, italicize Playground of Destruction, and use quotation marks for "Doom Patrol".

Article layoutEdit

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 it is more likely to be 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. Do not throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Lead sectionEdit

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 in the subject of the article's first sentence.

General Carmona is Solano's right hand man and the secondary protagonist of Mercenaries 2. He commands the Venezuelan Army's forces in the field.

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:

Mercenaries 2 is a sandbox-styled military video game.

Table of contentsEdit

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 headingsEdit

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.

ImagesEdit

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 NamingEdit

When uploading a picture, avoid putting random names and numbers, the result will be a mix-up and inconsistent. In naming the picture, do not space them, instead name the image in an appropriate and formal way.

Galleries Edit

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 boxesEdit

Article message boxes, which go at the top of an article, are used to alert editors of a page's status.

See also, references, external links, and navigational tablesEdit

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".

CategoriesEdit

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.

DisambiguationEdit

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."

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.

QuotationsEdit

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 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. Do not use two words where one will do, but do not used contractions. Keep words in their full form. 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 Caracas, 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. The main policy page contains a list of this wiki's rules.

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

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