This article is the Star Citizen Wiki (SCW) style guide. The objective of this style guide is to standardize the writing style that will be used in different pages; ranging from the fast-talking in lore to neutral explanations of ship features. The following guide is intended as a reference for general situations, and cannot cover every situation that may come up. For a more complete manual of style, the Wikipedia Manual of Style may be useful.
Article titles are intended to be short but descriptive, allowing a reader to gain a general sense of the page's content while remaining "to the point". Generally, article titles follow Title case rather than sentence, meaning that the first character in all words is capitalized, except for certain exceptions such as connecting words ("the" or "of").
The introduction of the article is the first section before any headings. The intent of the introduction is to summarize the contents of the article and stand alone as a succinct summary. (Note: This is important as it's used by Hover Cards.)
The first paragraph of the introduction should be less than 250 total characters, including spaces. This length is the character limit for the Preview feature of the wiki (seen when hovering over certain articles).
The subject of the article should be mentioned as early as possible in the first sentence and should be bolded. As an example on the Avenger Stalker page:
"Initially designed as Aegis’ frontline carrier ship for the military, the Avenger Stalker took a different path..."
General Writing Style
The writing style of the wiki is prominently third-person wherever possible. Personal ideas and opinions should be avoided in favour of neutral, factual information. For example: "I think The Avenger Stalker is the best ship in the game" would be replaced with "The Avenger Stalker's primary function is bounty hunting with its loadout of EMP Suckerpunch cannons." Writing in this neutral tone will take practice, but it provides the readers with the most information and the least confusion.
Bold text, italics and links are all useful formatting tools to draw the reader's attention to important information. They should be used carefully with the intention of improving readability.
For emphasis, italics should be used over bold or CAPITALS. Bold should only be used for table headers, definitions, notices, example call-outs, or name highlighting.
Except for in quoted texts please do not use "smart quotes", use " or ' instead. Do change links to not use smart quotes even in quoted texts.
We should be synching data with RSI as tightly as possible. Thus we should be using RSI as a guide to language and spelling. For example RSI uses the Americanized spelling of "Organization" over the British English "Organisation".
Acronyms and abbreviations are tracked and linked by redirect. The redirect page itself is placed into Category:Abbreviations.
If two or more different meanings for the abbreviations exist, there would have to be a #Disambiguation page instead of the redirect.
To edit a redirect:
Click the page and note the "redirected" line, just under the title. In our examples case that says "(Redirected from UEE)". Click the term after the "from", then select edit (or edit source) on the resulting page.
- Standard date format for this wiki is YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:DD. (More general to more specific, dropping any unneeded precision on the right.)
- In lore dates are usually done in Standard Earth Time (aka SET), "today" tracking with real life date + 930 years.
- When approximating dates, use the same YYYY(+ whatever precision available) format and add (before), (after) or (circa) as a suffix to the date. Examples: 2946 (before) | 2923-12-01 (after) | 2700 (circa).
- Date ranges indicating a status is current should include "Present", or leave blank. Ex Start:2942 End: Present
- Quoted sources should leave date formats in whatever the quoted source used. (So don't edit a quote to change the date format.)
For a complete guide to linking, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Linking
Linking is a powerful system on wikis which directs the reader to different, related pages to their current article. Links allow readers to "wander through" articles and follow a train of thought without interruption. However, overlinking or underlinking can distract from reading flow or hinder their ability to explore different pages.
The purpose of links is to direct the reader to new information that may be relevant or important to understand the context of the article. As such, it is important to consider the guidelines to make the process of Linking useful and coherent.
A brief summary of the guidelines for linking are:
- up to 10-15% of an article should be links, no more.
- If possible, links should not be placed directly beside each other to imply a two-word link (like Vanduul Blade)
- Pages should be linked only once in an article, unless the articles is very long and the linked page is particularly important.
- As an exception to the last point above: Context may indicate a second link, like in own section or quote attribution.
Lore Writing Style
Lore on the Star Citizen Wiki is largely written by CIG with the intention of "filling-out" the universe with characters, stories, and locations. These lore posts are documented as part of the Comm-Link Archive Project.
The writing style of these posts is vastly different from that of the other neutral posts you may find on the wiki. They include first-person accounts, human interest stories, and news bulletins. As a result, many lore posts use slang, unfriendly language, and strong opinions. These should not be taken as guidelines for the writing style on other Star Citizen Wiki content.
The loreposts are taken "as-is" from CIG's website and other CIG-official sources. As such, they should not be modified to suit the Star Citizen Wiki's tone and style. Any such pages will be documented and logged on the SCW for reference with minor edits for formatting.
Community Writing Style
As with any personal-related content, respect is paramount when dealing with other editors and users. Insults, releasing personal information, or personal attacks will not be tolerated; even on your own userpage. Please treat other editors with respect, they're people too!
Wikis must resolve ambiguous references, when a link is to a term that has more than one distinct meaning. This process is called disambiguation.
When one term is clearly the more expected result, it can remain the primary link and a "For" entry should head off the article. (See Template:For for examples.)
When it is not so clear, the term becomes a disambiguation page, linking to the possible meanings.
Alternate meanings take the form of "Term (other meaning)". (Note lower case for disambiguation meaning.) Alternate meanings should also have a for statement at the head of the article.
Citations & References
First of all: please do cite references.
For official Comm-Links we should also be using the "int=" parameter for internal links, which will allow the citations to link to both the internal and external versions of the comm-links.
For video such as Around The Verse and Reverse The Verse we should also be using the "trx=" parameter to include Relay transcripts. Please link to the RSI site instead of the youtube channel as the RSI template has included transcript functionality. ATV and RTV should be named like this:
- Around The Verse 1.30
- Reverse The Verse 2.30
References to magazine articles (e.g. Jump Points or gamer magazine interviews) should follow the IEEE style with the following changes:
- article title must be italicized, without quotation marks,
- title of enclosing work must not be italicized,
- names must follow the full-first-name surname format,
- dates must follow the ISO 8601 format (typically YYYY-MM-DD).
Common IEEE-style references can be generated using citation machine. You should select "IEEE Access" as style format. Example of reference to page 22 of the first Jump Point:
- IEEE style : D. Haddock, “Whisperer in the Dark,” Jump Point, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 22, 21-Dec-2012.
- Corrected reference: David Haddock, Whisperer in the Dark, Jump Point, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 22, 2012-12-21.
For the most part this is for references only. We don't have permission to reproduce the contents so paraphrase or use explicit (short) quotes, following normal fair use of copyrighted material. (First issue of Jump Point excepted since that was released in an early Comm-Link, instead of being subscriber only.)