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Star Trek Expanded Universe:Style

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This page is considered an official policy on Star Trek Expanded Universe. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow. Except for minor edits, please make use of the discussion page to propose changes to this policy.

Style is an important factor in the writing of good articles. Good style makes articles easier to read, comprehend, better organized and easier to edit.

This page provides brief guidelines in styling articles for the Star Trek Expanded Universe wiki database (STEU, for short).

If you have not done so already, it's a good idea to consult the Wikipedia Manual of Style, which explains many of the finer details and "how-to" of wiki markup. It's recommended that you be familiar with wiki markup and HTML before editing or creating articles. At the same time, don't be afraid to experiment and learn.

Articles

Titles

The title of an article should be kept simple. Omit hyphens as a rule, uses of the word "the", apostrophes ( ' ) and other special typographical characters (#, *, _, etc.).

Ex.: (use) Constitution class
(not) ''Constitution''-class
(proper) Battle of Wolf 359
(not) The_Battle_of_Wolf_359

Generally, only the first letter of an article title is capitalized, unless pertaining to a character or proper place-name:

warp drive (not Warp Drive)
mirror universe (not Mirror Universe)
Jean-Luc Picard (not Jean-luc picard)

Note: Unless a proper noun (e.g., "Jean-Luc Picard", as above), when redlinking a new article in the text of a pre-existing article, it is not necessary to capitalize the first letter. The software does this automatically.

If there happens to be more than one character or place of the same name, as the title of an article, add an extension to differentiate:

Jean-Luc Picard (mirror)
First Battle of Chin'toka, Second Battle of Chin'toka
Rigel X, Rigel XI, Rigel XII
Vulcan (planet), Vulcan (species)
Star Trek: Lexington (fan fiction), Star Trek: Lexington (fan film series)
See also: Category sort keys

When to capitalize?

Many contributors misunderstand or don't know when & how to properly capitalize titles.

These words should be capitalized
  1. The first and last words of the title
  2. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives
  3. Any conjunction or preposition of five letters or more  (Optional. An older rule says not to capitalize prepositions or conjunctions regardless of length. Just be consistent.)
Words that should not be capitalized
  1. Articles (the, a, an), unless the article is the first or last word of the title
  2. Prepositions of four letters or fewer (unless the preposition is the first or last word of the title)
  3. Conjunctions of four letters or fewer (unless the conjunction is the first or last word of the title)
  4. The particle "to" used with an infinitive (unless the "to" is the first or last word of the title)

Main body

Use paragraphs (separated by hitting "Enter" twice on your keyboard) to separate large chunks of text, or when switching time-frame. This makes the article easier to read.

Content

Remember, this is an encyclopedia. The same rules of content found on Wikipedia apply. Make sure your work reads like an encyclopedia article.

NOTE: We are not an advertising service or a scratchpad.

Refrain from inserting POV (point-of-view) references ("I", "me", "you", "we"; talking about yourself or to the readers). Maintain neutrality.

Headlines

Include headlines (such as the one above) to separate important sections of an article, using two or more = signs on each side of the section title:

==Section Headline==
===Sub-section headline===
====Sub-sub-section headline====

Make headlines suited to the content of the following paragraph(s). For example, you might headline the introductory paragraph as Introduction or Overview. (While Background is acceptable in a pinch, if your article contains background information, production notes or "behind-the-scenes" material, then that header should go on that section, at the end, requiring a different opening headline.)

Unless a proper noun, only the first word in a headline needs to be capitalized.

==Crew manifest==
(not) ==Crew Manifest==
==Starfleet Academy years==
(not) ==Starfleet Academy Years==

Bullets

Use bullets (* on your keyboard) for lists of characters, ships, dates, timeline events, etc.:

  • First line
  • Second line
  • Third line

Indent

Indent with : (colon) to provide a "blockquote" effect.

Ex.: This is indented.

Indents (with italics) are often used for minor, "real-world" perspective notations on an article or section of an article.

In the original TNG premise, Wesley Crusher was supposed to be a girl.

Links

Linking options:

[[Benjamin Sisko]]
(result) Benjamin Sisko
The [[Benjamin Sisko|previous captain of the ''Defiant'']]
(result) previous captain of the Defiant
[[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)#Alternate Enterprises|Different versions of the ''Enterprise''-D]]
(result) Different versions of the Enterprise-D

In the above case, # links to a section within an article.

It is not necessary to [[link]] every noun or reference -- only when more information may be useful to the subject of the article. When linking (or creating a needed article by placing a link), use lower case (ex.: [[mirror universe]]), unless the article title is a proper noun or name which contains capital letters (ex.: [[James T. Kirk]], [[USS Voyager (NCC-74656)|USS ''Voyager'' (NCC-74656)]]).

Link to a pre-existing article whenever possible. Search for the article title first to see if it has already been written.

Episode linking

If an article set within one continuity or series contains links to multiple episodes or chapters in that series, you only have to provide the series name once. It is not necessary to spell out the name of that series repeatedly with every episode link (nor are repeat series abbreviations required). For example:

At the end of the article's first paragraph, put: (Series name)

For the first episode/chapter link: ("[[Episode (or chapter) title|Episode title]]"), rendered as: ("Episode title").

Next episode link: ("[[Next link|Episode title]]"), rendered as: ("Episode title").

And so on. If more than one of the same episode title exists, add an extension in the article namespace, in order to differentiate: "Vengeance (PNX episode)" vs. "Vengeance (SWF episode)".

NOTE: The above applies only to fanon series. For canon series (TNG, DS9, etc.), series abbreviations before episode links are allowable:

TOS: "The Cage", "Turnabout Intruder"
TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "All Good Things..."
DS9: "Emissary", "What You Leave Behind"

Sidebars

Major characters, ships and other subjects may (and should in many cases) be accompanied by tables called "sidebars", which contain corollary, "at-a-glance" information such as personal or factual statistics. Sidebars are created and generated through the use of templates.

See Star Trek Expanded Universe:Templates for a list of the most common sidebars.

Templates

Templates help an article to make a good impression, as well as save time when creating references.

To make use of a template, insert {{template name}} (having Template: is not necessary) into the article page approximately where you would like it to appear, substituting the name of the template inside the {{ }}.

Ex.: {{timeline}}

Templates may involve complex wiki markup; therefore it's wise to let only experienced wiki editors handle their elements. If you wish to experiment, click "Edit" and "Show preview" without saving, until you are comfortable with changing the parameters.

Note: Changing parameters of any template will affect every page on which that template is displayed. Use this feature responsibly. Be sure you know what you are doing before you alter the markup.

For a full listing of all available templates, see Category:Templates.
Infoboxes

STEU uses a range of infoboxes that contain links to important related articles, such as other ships of a particular class or senior staff of a particular starship (eg Template:Galaxy class starships). These boxes should be added towards the bottom of the article under the main body, but above the Background information and External links sections.

Categories

Articles in a similar vein can be linked by categories, such as Category:Federation starships. You may create a category to link articles under a collective heading, such as episodes in a fan-film series.

Simply click "Add category" and enter the name of the category. Suggestions will appear for catogories whose name matches what has been entered so far to select from. Alternatively (or if Category Select is disabled) enter :[[Category:name]] at the bottom of the main editing window

To link to a category without adding the page to the category place a colon in front of the word category and it will behave as a standard wikilink. eg [[:Category:Policies and guidelines]] will produce Category:Policies and guidelines.

Fan production categories (eg Category:Star Trek: Phase II) should not be added to articles on canon topics.

See also: Category sort keys

Introduction

The title of the article should always be included at or near the beginning of an article (in the main body of text), in bold letters:

"The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) was a 24th century Federation starship"....

Fanon vs. canon

Though fanon information is our focus, canon is still canon. Include canon information where appropriate, when dealing with subjects/characters from the shows. If you have a story where Captain Kirk was a shapeshifting agent of the Dominion, it cannot contradict the canon fact that he was the (human) captain of the Enterprise. If it conflicts with canon, mark it as an alternate reality.

Continuities

Often there are different interpretations or stories dealing with the same people and/or events, in the same time period, and these sources may conflict with one another (for example, see: Klingon-Cardassian Alliance). List these on the same article page, separated under their own ==headlines==, to show the difference.

Ships

Ship names should be in italics. Preceding letters ("USS", "IKV", etc.) are not italicized.

Ex: USS Enterprise

At the beginning of a Starfleet ship article, the ship's registry (serial number) (NCC-xxxx) should be included in bold.

Ex.: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)

When composing a new article about a ship, if there is more than one ship of the same name, include the registry in the title namespace. This distinguishes each ship and helps to avoid confusion.

Ex.: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

When composing a new ship article, omit all ' from the title namespace, as these have no bold or italic effect.

Class names

Ship classes should be italicized in the following manner:

The Enterprise was a Constitution-class starship.

If referring to a class but not a ship, italicize without the hyphen:

Ex.: "The Constitution class was a new achievement in starship design...."

When linking ship names or classes, use | (a pipe symbol) to separate the article title from the text reference.

[[Constellation class|''Constellation''-class]]
(result) Constellation-class
[[USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)|USS ''Enterprise''-E]]
(result) USS Enterprise-E

The templates {{uss}}, {{ss}}, {{iks}}, {{pre}}, and {{class}}/{{class1}} make this much easier, eliminating the need to double-type ship-names and registries. Please make use of them.

  • {{uss|Voyager|NCC-74656}} produces USS Voyager (this template is made specifically for ships with a USS prefix.)
  • {{ss|Valiant}} produceds SS Valiant (this template is made specifically for ships with a SS prefix.)
  • {{iks|Rotarran}} prodices IKS Rotarran (this template is made specifically for ships with a IKS prefix.)
  • {{pre|USS|Enterprise|NCC-1701-D|-D}} produces USS Enterprise-D (this template is the most flexible as it allows the user to set what the prefix is and works if the prefix field is left blank)
  • {{class|Defiant}} produces Defiant-class
  • {{class1|Defiant}} produces Defiant class
Due to the versatility of {{pre}} no other prefix specific templates are necessary on STEU.

References

"Fanon" information, by its very nature, may not always be citable. However, if a source exists (even if it is not online or readily available elsewhere), try to cite it in those sections from which it originates -- italicized, in parentheses, at the end of the paragraph or article.

Ex.: (Tales of the Seventh Fleet)
Ex.: (Star Trek: Pendragon)

References in some cases can be abbreviated. This applies only to commonly recognized sources (TOS, TNG, DS9, etc.). It's encouraged that you spell out the reference in all other cases.

Canon episodes

Episodes of the show(s) may be used as reference. We prefer original material (not copies of articles from other wikis such as Memory Alpha). If you wish to peruse information about an episode or movie, visit Memory Alpha, which features synopses for official productions, or Memory Beta for licensed novels. For certain canon productions or reference sources which don't meet our criteria, you may link to those sources (off-site).

When including an "official" reference:

Copyrighted material, other wikis

Never copy copyrighted material. Period. Our goal is to write original material.

The same goes for material from other wikis, such as Memory Alpha or the non-canon Star Trek wiki (Memory Beta). While we have some articles adapted from these sources, freely available under the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons, their purpose is reference only, and will conceivably be re-written over time, until they no longer resemble the original articles.

Likewise, and once again, "fanon" is our focus, so kindly do not submit articles about episodes, movies, or books. The above-mentioned wikis focus on those areas.

Uploads

Registered users can upload material (such as images) to be used on pages. Hotlinking images on STEU is not allowed. These links will be deleted if they are found.

While videos can be uploaded and embedded on pages it is currently discouraged on STEU. Instead a link to the video should be placed in the links section at the bottom of the page.

Images

Before uploading an image, always check its file size. Images should be of good quality yet never overly huge (50-150kb is acceptable). This saves bandwidth and temporary file space on users' computers.

Featuring an image on a page: Use [[File:filename|thumb|caption]] to generate a thumbnail (with caption) of the image, or include it in a sidebar (just include the file name minus "File:"). Instructions for using images in sidebars can be found on the template page for each specific sidebar. If using px to set a specific pixel width the maximum width allowed is 200px.

Example

Using the STEU logo:

Expanded

This is a thumbnail

[[File:Expanded.png|thumb|This is a thumbnail]] creates the "thumbnail" seen to the right.

Categorize images by including Category:Images or {{catim}} in the description field. Character images may be tagged with {{charim}}. This should be done when uploading, if possible. Check Category:Images before uploading to see if an appropriate sub-category exists.

If you have several images in a specific range or "theme", you may create an image subcategory:

Category:Images (Pendragon)
Category:Images (Tamerlane)

Background information

Include "background" material (if available), such as production notes or behind-the-scenes, "real world" information, at the end of the article, under the above headline ("Background information"). For each separate item, add a bullet (*).

  • First paragraph
  • Second paragraph

Note: For articles with an intense "real-world" perspective, apply {{realworld}} (which utilizes the {{realworld}} template).

External links

Cite your sources on the web with external links, in the format:
==External links==

  • [http://link name_of_first_link]
  • [http://link name_of_second_link]

which produces:

If there is only one external link, use singular "link" (not "links") in the header:

==External link==

  • one link

==External links==

  • first link
  • second link (etc.)

Summary

When saving an edit, please make a brief note in the "Summary" field concerning the nature of the edit. If a minor edit, this is not always necessary, although it is still helpful, so others know what you have done. If it is a major edit, you should always note the change.

Ex.: (Minor edit) sp. (This would mean you corrected a misspelling)
Ex.: (Major edit) Rewrote article to include new information (This is just an example)

Keep it simple

Above all, keep the article as neat, clean and simple as possible. Try to avoid excessive use of images, tables, or complicated wiki markup, which might not always turn out as planned (and can make it frustrating for others to edit pages).

Proofread

Always remember to check your spelling and proofread your work for typos, incorrect punctuation, missing capitalization, grammar, etc. Quality should always be the goal. A properly written, properly formatted article shows care, and stands out as the mark of good work.

Review

These guidelines may be expanded or amended, or new guidelines may be added from time to time, so be sure to check back every once in a while and see what's happened. You may learn something new!

Ask questions

There is a saying: "There are no stupid questions." As always, if you have questions or are unsure of how to do something, don't be afraid to ask. We have regular contributors here who are experienced editors, and we're generally a pleasant bunch. Remember, we're all in this together, to make this one of the best encyclopaedic resources ever!


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