MarioWiki:Manual of Style

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This covers how we would like an article to look on this wiki at creation. While not an enforced policy, try to follow it the best you can.

An article is a content page about the knowledge - a character, item, enemy, game, etc. The goal of the Super Mario Wiki is to add as many articles as possible to fill up the knowledge base, but some basic guidelines will help you get a good start either creating an article or expanding one. We have some specific criteria that should go into every article from its creation, and some enhancements to make it even better. Though not mentioned, all articles should have relatively good grammar.

Please do NOT create tiny articles just for the sake of filling in red links. Even if the article you are making is about a minor subject, try to put a decent amount of effort into it rather than a rush job.

Critical criteria

  1. Bold and repeat the title of the article in the first sentence.
  2. Details - don't state the obvious. Provide some information about the subject too, as much as you can.
  3. You - use another term like "the player" or the name of the playable character.
  4. Link to as many other articles as possible once and only once.
  5. Italicize all game titles as well as linking them.
  6. Navigation via templates.
  7. Categorize with many categories.

Enhancements

  1. Images to visualize the article.
  2. Knowledge/Notice Templates like {{infobox}}, {{media}}, {{justreleased}}.
  3. Tables to lay out statistics neatly.

How to create or edit an article

  • Create: - Clicking on a red link brings you right to the edit box. Searching and then clicking "create this page" does the same.
  • Edit: - While viewing any article, click the "edit" tab, third from the left.

Naming an article

Main article: MarioWiki:Naming

Step-by-step example article

Let's say that the article "Super Mario Wiki" was created by a user, and it was part of the knowledge base (in reality it is not and an article about the wiki itself, unlike Wikipedia, would be deleted). Here's the wikitext (what appears in the editbox) of this article:

is a wkii about the mario series. has many articles like super mario bros you can edit but you must craete an account to make pictures

First of all, the understood guideline "good grammar" is obviously broken. Remember that this is an encyclopedia, and we must at least look like one. Here's the same text corrected:

It is a wiki about the Mario series. It has many articles like the game Super Mario Bros. Anyone can edit, but you must create an account to upload images.

Now, we will run this article through the seven critical criteria listed above and compare the final article to this.

Bolding the title

We start out an article by restating the title of the article, and also bolding it for emphasis. This is a simple rule to remember and easy to add. Here we replace "It" and add an "The" to keep the sentence sensible:

The '''Super Mario Wiki''' is a wiki about the Mario series. ...

When the article is a game, referring to Step 5, using five apostrophes (''''') for bold and italics.

Describing the subject

You need to add details about your topic. Here's some good starter questions: if it's an item, what game did it appear in? What are the effects of the item? What specific level(s) did the item appear in? If it's a place, what game was it in? What events took place there? If it's a game, what features are there? How is it played? What are the game modes?

In our example article, we have one detail: the game Super Mario Bros. is is one of many articles on the wiki. Here we add some more about the wiki as well as more games:

The '''Super Mario Wiki''' is a wiki about the Mario series and its related series, Wario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Super Smash Bros. It has many articles, such as Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros., Bowser, Extra Life, Goomba and much more. In most of these games, such as New Super Mario Bros., the plumber Mario saves Princess Peach from Bowser, who is the main antagonist. There are over 45000 files uploaded, 90,000,000 page views, 15000 users and 14 administrators (though a few are inactive). The wiki was created on August 12th, 2005 by Porplemontage, and is now a very vibrant wiki - sustaining over 1000 edits a day. Anyone can edit, but you must create an account to upload files or create new articles.

Your details depend on the type of article you're creating. Think of the basics - a person who never played the game(s) would need to get a fair idea what it is. There are a few things that should be avoided when writing, such as adding speculation, rambling on about insignificant details, or putting overly dramatic or dark spins on things; a full list of common writing issues can be found here. Padding should also be avoided, and if you don't know the topic well-enough to do more than state the obvious, don't create the article at all. Newly created stubs will be deleted automatically so try to add a decent amount of information to the page you are creating. Remember, it's the amount of info that matters, not the length, and simple subjects will inevitably have small articles, but that does not make them stubs.

No "you"s

In this wiki, we opt against using the tempting word "you". This includes implied "you's" in a command/imperative sentence (such as just above: "(you) Think of the basics..."). Instead, we use phrases such as "the player", "Mario (a playable character) should", "the racer could", "they must", etc. that still describe the person being talked to, indirectly or refers to the character he or she plays in the game. This makes our articles more encyclopedic.

Note that when using pronouns to refer to the player, use the gender indeterminate "they" (or "their", "themself", etc.); "he or she" can be used occasionally, but "he/she", "s/he" or anything else with a "/" separating gender-specific terms is never to be used. Only using one gender (male or female) to refer to the player is also incorrect.

Our example article fixes up the "you" in the last sentence:

... a person must create an account to upload files or create new articles.

Linking, linking, linking!

Linking to as many articles as possible, created or not, adds greater navigation to the knowledge base. Created articles allow readers to move to a related topic, while red links (not created) give another user a chance to create the article (and go through these very same steps!), thus helping the wiki. In general, only the first occurrence of a subject in an article should be linked to, with all subsequent occurrences in the body text written as plain text only, to avoid redundancy and clutter. However, longer pages can sometimes have multiple links to the same subject, provided the links do not occur back-to-back, and are instead spread throughout different sections of the article. Duplicate links appearing in lists, tables, infoboxes, image captions and navigation templates are also allowed regardless of the length of a page.

Our example article includes one User namespace piped link for Porplemontage, but in articles, mostly all links are to other articles. Note only the Mario series page is created as of 03:29, 2 March 2007 (EST).

The '''Super Mario Wiki''' is a wiki about the [[Mario (franchise)|Mario series]] and its related series, [[Wario (franchise)|Wario]], [[Yoshi (franchise)|Yoshi]], [[Donkey Kong (franchise)|Donkey Kong,]] and [[Super Smash Bros.]] It has many articles, such as [[Super Mario Bros.]], [[Super Mario World]], [[New Super Mario Bros.]], [[Bowser]], [[Extra Life]], [[Goomba]] and much more. In most of these games, such as New Super Mario Bros., the plumber [[Mario]] saves [[Princess Peach]] from Bowser, who is the main antagonist. There are over 45000 files uploaded, 90,000,000 page views, 15000 users and 14 administrators (though a few are inactive). ... The wiki was created on August 12th, 2005 by [[User:Porplemontage|Porplemontage]], and is now a very vibrant wiki - sustaining over 1000 edits a day. Anyone can edit, but a person must create an account to upload files or create new articles.

Italicizing titles

The wiki has decided it proper to respect all games, series, movies, television programs, albums (music) and publications (print: comics, books and magazines) by italicizing all of their titles, as well as linking them when need be the case in every article. When linking and italicizing, the syntax is ''[[Article Title]]''. Song titles and episode names (i.e. of television series) are not italicized, but written in quotation marks.

As our Super Mario Wiki article gets better, notice that the second occurrence of "New Super Mario Bros." is still italicized, just not linked.

The '''Super Mario Wiki''' is a wiki about the [[Mario (franchise)|''Mario'' series]] and its related series, [[Wario (franchise)|''Wario'']], [[Yoshi (franchise)|''Yoshi'']], [[Donkey Kong (franchise)|''Donkey Kong'']], and ''[[Super Smash Bros.]]'' It has many articles, such as ''[[Super Mario Bros.]]'', ''[[Super Mario World]]'', ''[[New Super Mario Bros.]]'', [[Bowser]], [[Extra Life]], [[Goomba]] and much more. In most of these games, such as ''New Super Mario Bros.'', the plumber [[Mario]] saves [[Princess Peach]] from Bowser, who is the main antagonist. ...

Navigation templates

Navigation templates list a bunch of related articles. Most templates pertain to a particular game (such as {{SMB}}) and will list all the characters, items, etc. that appear in that game, although others will list all the specific types of a certain group of species, items, etc. (such as ({{Koopas}} or {{Mushrooms}}). Sometimes an unmade article is already on one of these templates in red, waiting to be added, sometimes you will have to edit the template to include it. Sometimes there is no navigation template yet for your subject or game. But if there is an appropriate template, add it - it has the same effect as linking, but even better.

{{BoxTop}} is used for spacing and is placed before the first navigation template. Even if there are multiple navigation templates, it is only used once. If there are more than ten templates on the article, use {{navtemplate}} to have them automatically hidden from view, unless the reader wants to see them: this cuts down on clutter on the article.

Let's say that a template called {{gamingwikis}} was a navigational template listing all wikis related to video games. So:

... The wiki was created on August 12th, 2005 by [[User:Porplemontage|Porplemontage]], and is now a very vibrant wiki - sustaining over 1000 edits a day. Anyone can edit, but a person must create an account to upload files or create new articles.
{{BoxTop}}
{{gamingwikis}}

Categories

There are a ton of categories and subcategories on this wiki, and every page can fit into at least one of them, if not many. Only the Main Page should be uncategorized. But it's not as simple as putting every applicable category you can thin of onto an article. As explained on MarioWiki:Categories, categories are organized so that very specific categories are placed on articles, and in turn, those categories are part of more general categories, leading up to the bare basics like Category:Games, Places or Species. So, while Dimentio technically fits in Category:Characters, Category:Paper Mario Series Characters and Category:Super Paper Mario Characters, only the latter category should be used, as it is the most specific option.

Simply type [[Category:(Fullname)]], and the article is automatically added to the category; be sure to not include a space between "Category:" and the name.

Let's say the categories Gaming, Wikis and Websites exist here, and that Wikis is a subcategory of Websites. In that case:

... The wiki was created on August 12th, 2005 by [[User:Porplemontage|Porplemontage]], and is now a very vibrant wiki - sustaining over 1000 edits a day. Anyone can edit, but a person must create an account to upload files or create new articles.
{{BoxTop}}
{{gamingwikis}}
[[Category:Gaming]]
[[Category:Wikis]]

Note that Websites isn't on the article, but it can still be reached by going through Wikis, just as this article can still be reached from Websites by going through the intermediate subcategory.

Also note that categories and templates often overlap in subject matter. This is perfectly fine, however templates are expected to provide enhanced navigation assets for readers (i.e. subdividing a large group of related pages by more specific criteria, such as characters vs. items appearing in the same game). If a category or a group of categories adequately links a group of pages, a template may not be needed at all.


Congratulations! The article "Super Mario Wiki", with the text

The '''Super Mario Wiki''' is a wiki about the [[Mario (franchise)|''Mario'' series]] and its related series, [[Wario (franchise)|''Wario'']], [[Yoshi (franchise)|''Yoshi'']], [[Donkey Kong (franchise)|''Donkey Kong'']], and ''[[Super Smash Bros.]]'' It has many articles, such as ''[[Super Mario Bros.]]'', ''[[Super Mario World]]'', ''[[New Super Mario Bros.]]'', [[Bowser]], [[Extra Life]], [[Goomba]] and much more. In most of these games, such as ''New Super Mario Bros.'', the plumber [[Mario]] saves [[Princess Peach]] from Bowser, who is the main antagonist. There are over 45000 files uploaded, 90,000,000 page views, 15000 users and 14 administrators (though a few are inactive). The wiki was created on August 12th, 2005 by [[User:Porplemontage|Porplemontage]], and is now a very vibrant wiki - sustaining over 1000 edits a day. Anyone can edit, but a person must create an account to upload files or create new articles.
{{BoxTop}}
{{gamingwikis}}
[[Category:Gaming]]
[[Category:Wikis]]

would be an acceptable article on the Super Mario Wiki (if such an article were allowed). Now try it with a real article!

Any article lacking in one of the seven criteria can and should be edited to correct its faults. This works not just for creating articles, but expanding and improving them too! The following sections deal with specific aspects of writing and additional features that can be added to the articles.

Sections of an article

Capitalization and italics

The first word of an article section name is capitalized and proper nouns are capitalized. Subsequent words that are not proper nouns are not capitalized. Titles included in section names are italicized just like in regular text.

Empty sections

Main article: Mariowiki:Empty sections

Sections should not solely consist of a link to another page. While the {{main}} template is to be used to link to the stand-alone pages, a summary of the content (for pages like Glitches and Beta elements) or a sample of the most representative elements (for content-hoarding pages such as image galleries or quote lists) should be present.

History

See also: Mariowiki:Chronology

History sections detail the various video game, television, comic, etc. appearances of the article's subject. These sections are typically the first major section of an article, especially articles chronicling multiple appearances, after the article's introduction. Appearances in the History section are organized according to the international release date of defined series (as opposed to general franchises), sub-series, and independent titles, regardless of the "media" form the appearance takes. Series sub-sections are arranged by the release date of the first appearance of the subject in the series. For example, in the Mario article, the Mario Kart series section would appear some place after The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! section, as Mario's first appearance in a Mario Kart game occurred after his first appearance in the television series.

If there is not enough content to mention every appearance in a series, the information can simply be merged under the series section, and other sub-sections need not be created. For example, if there is enough content to detail all of Mario's appearances in the Mario Party series, sub-sections for each game could be created; if there is not enough information for each game, it can all be placed under the Mario Party series section, without creating sub-sections for each individual title. The same concept applies to content from remakes: if a subject appears in the original title and its remake and there is not substantial differences in the remake, all content can be placed in the original title's sub-section. However, if there is substantial new content in the remake (such as Mario having to be rescued by Yoshi Super Mario 64 DS), the remake can get its own sub-section in the overall series section, which is then organized according to release date. Episodes of a television or comic series are organized as sub-sections of the series section, as if they were a game in a video game series.

Completely independent titles not part of an established series or sub-franchise, such as Super Princess Peach, the Super Mario Bros. film and Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, are placed as regular section headers, akin to a series header. All section and sub-section headers must state the name of the series and video game, episode, etc.

If a character only appears in one series, the intermediate section between the overall "History" header and the individual games can be omitted. For example, Koops only appears in the Paper Mario series, so no "Paper Mario series" section is needed: the History merely includes the two Paper Mario game titles themselves. Similarly, if a character only appears in one game of a series, that game can be placed alongside the stand-alone games and the other series headers. For example, Dry Bones only appears in one Mario Strikers game, and so there is no "Mario Strikers series" section, just a header for Mario Strikers Charged.

Certain appearances are difficult to find information on, either because they are obscure, such as the Japan-only manga Super Mario-Kun, or because there is very little information to report on, such as the How to Draw Nintendo Heroes And Villains books, Super Mario Chess and other merchandise. Rather than creating one-liner sections or ignoring these data-deficient appearances, the information that is available can be compiled into comprehensive "Other appearances, cameos and references" sub-sections, which are placed at the bottom of the History sections. In addition to minor and obscure media, these sections can also include information on a character's cameo appearances and even notable references, either in non-Mario games or staying within the Mario series, like the W Emblem badge in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door referencing Wario. If the cameo is notable, like Bowser's appearance in the film Wreck-It Ralph, or if there is a large amount of information, such as the numerous Thwomp cameos in The Legend of Zelda series, sub-sections can be created for the media in question. However, if a character plays a large role in the non-Mario appearance, this is considered a "guest appearance" rather than a cameo, and the sub-section should be incorporated into the overall History (see MarioWiki:Coverage for more information). Finally, while "Other appearances, cameos and references" is the ideal header, if all three types of appearance are not present in the section, the title can be modified accordingly (i.e. if there are no miscellaneous Mario appearances discussed, the section can simply be called "Cameos and references").

If the subject has a "backstory" (or "backstories", in the case of some subjects) referenced in its appearances, that content can be placed at the beginning of the History section before any series sub-sections, in a sub-section called "Background". Since the Yoshi game franchise is set in the "past", the events they depict can be mentioned in the "background" sections, although all detail should be left for the actual games' sections farther down the articles. Background information regarding the creation of the characters from a real life perspective (i.e. name and design origins) does not go in the History section's "background": it can go in the Introduction at the top of the page, or if there is enough information, in a separate "Creation" section placed before the in-universe History.

Trivia

Main article: MarioWiki:Trivia

Many articles have Trivia sections where miscellaneous points are placed, however, this is actually discouraged. Long Trivia sections reflect poorly on the article as a whole, so whenever possible, try to incorporate this information elsewhere on the page. Trivia points that merely state the obvious or reiterate facts already embedded in the text should not be created, and speculative information must be backed by hard facts or it will be removed.

Miscellaneous

Spelling standardization

Although our contributors come from all over the world, the majority of visitors to the MarioWiki are North American. Therefore, North American game titles and box artworks take precedence on our articles. This standard extends to spelling, where the American standard should be used instead of the British variant. For example, "color" should be used instead of "colour". In order to maintain this consistency, instances of British-variant spelling on articles should be changed to the American standard and never vice versa.

Verb tense

Fiction

When writing an article describing characters, events, or places from fictional sources (e.g. games, comics, films, TV shows, literature, etc.), present tense should be used.

Toadsworth also appears in ''Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time''. He is with Mario and Luigi when Princess Peach takes an experimental trip back in time, and is paranoid that something terrible will happen. His fears later become justified, as when the time machine returns a Shroob is in it. Before that, however, he promptly faints, and requires a Refreshroom to revive him. He is still confused when he wakes up and accidentally pushes Mario and Luigi into a time hole. He later teams up with his younger self to teach the Bros. new moves and keep Baby Peach entertained while she stays in the future.

Non-fiction

When writing non-fiction, such as a biography or the history of a game series, past and present tense can be used as needed, depending on whether whatever is being described has already happened or is in the process of happening.

Aside from Princess Daisy, Deanna Mustard also portrayed Baby Daisy in her debut in ''Mario Kart Wii''. She has provided voices for various minor characters throughout the ''Mario'' series as well. Mustard also voiced White Mage, a third party Square Enix character, in ''Mario Hoops 3-on-3''. Deanna Mustard has been providing Daisy's voice for more than half a decade, and continues to do so.

Tables

Tables are sometimes the best way to display information. For example, instead of listing all the courses of a racing game and their accompanying locations, staff ghosts, and other information would go more nicely in a table than a simple list following a repetitive pattern many a time. A great example of an article using multiple tables is Mario Kart DS. It uses tables to show course information, mission information, point spread comparisons from past versions, and kart ratings.

Images

Finding images

Finding an image for an article can be difficult. Google doesn't always work, and not everyone has access to sprites. If you are lucky enough to find an image, upload it, see Help:Image and Help:Media for syntax, and then add it to an article. Generally, a small image would use the frame, right and caption commands, a large image would use the thumb, right and caption commands - though sometimes different alignment is necessary. The first image should go on the first line of the edit box, even before the first sentence, and then additional images can be added inbetween sections as size allows.

If an article needs an image to help illustrate a point but you can't find one, add {{image}} to the top of the edit box, which leads into the second enhancement.

Image captions

If a caption is a sentence fragment (which most are), it should not end with a period. If a caption contains at least one complete sentence, then periods are used. Other than that, caption punctuation should be consistent with that of article text. This guideline is true for both in-text images and image galleries.

Examples
  • "Mario and Bowser" (sentence fragment - no period)
  • "Mario and Bowser are not friends." (sentence - period used)
  • "Mario and Bowser. They are not friends." (at least one sentence - periods used)

Redirects

Main article: MarioWiki:Redirects

Other templates

MarioWiki:Notice templates discusses a few other types of templates for use in articles, images and talk pages. Regular notice templates go at the tops of articles to bring attention to maintenance issues or specific conditions surrounding the article in question. For example, {{conjecture}} lets readers know that the name of a subject is not official, and {{construction}} is placed on an article if it is still in the process of being written, thus letting readers know that they can expect that some aspects of the page will be incomplete. Templates concerning the subject matter rather than the state of the article includes {{upcoming}}, which needs to be put on all games that have been confirmed but not yet released, while {{justreleased}} goes on games that have only been released for less than a month, and {{newsubject}} goes on pages related to upcoming or newly released games.

The {{articleabout}} template is used at the top of an article to direct the reader to similar articles that they may have been looking for. When using this template, do not use the piped-link formatting when linking to the other articles (e.g. [[Dry Dry Desert (course)|here]]). Instead, just link to the article using its full name (e.g. [[Dry Dry Desert (course)]]). It's only necessary to use a piped-link when linking to a specific section in the article in order to remove the section anchor from the article name (e.g. [[Super Mario 64#Enemies|Super Mario 64]]).

In addition, there are some templates that form a table to fill in quick statistics, known as "infoboxes". For example, {{infobox}} provides basic information about a game, while {{pmenemybox}} provides an overview of the RPG stats of an enemy from Paper Mario. These special templates should go into every article it applies to: in this case, every game and Paper Mario enemy article, respectively.

We suggest searching through Category:MarioWiki templates to get a feel of what templates are available besides navigational ones. More specific template categories include Category:Notice templates and Category:Infobox templates.