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World War II Wiki:Manual of Style

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This is the World War II Wiki’s Manual of Style. It was created to serve as a guideline and lenient rulebook for all users, registered and anonymous who edit the World War II Wiki. Contained within are tips from longtime editors, rules established by the community, and knowledge gained by experience.

Remember, this manual has been carefully constructed over a long period of time to be the most representing and fair set of guidelines possible, do not assume that your own way of editing looks or works better, but if the Manual of Style contains rules that obstruct the progress of the wiki, feel free to defy it and Notify an admin. Any suggestions for how it can be improved are well appreciated and to submit a suggestions, just go to the Manual’s talk page.

Maintain a Neutral Point of View

T-34 driving through the snow
The World War II Wiki is an academic project, not an internet blog. It has no room for bias in its articles. As such, all articles must be written from a neutral point of view. Use phrases such as "'arguably is" over just a simple "'is". Remember to see situations from all sides and cross-reference information that may contain bias. To better prevent bias in articles, the wiki has a policy of only writing from the 3rd person so as to write about things from an outside perspective. 1st person point of view should be reserved for direct quotes or talk pages.

Tips

  • As a rule of thumb, try to be aware of common World War II false facts that could sway your opinion towards one side or another. These could range from the famous “T-34 being the best tank of the war” to less obvious ideological “facts” that on the surface sound like they could be true.

Avoid Plagiarism

This wiki relies on having reliable and verified information, which is why we must always do our own research and write our own content. It may be very tempting for you to quickly add content by plagiarizing a website for its useful information and putting it here. However, while this content may be interesting or unique, it could contain bias which would thus be transferred here. If plagiarism isn't tolerated in the traditional academic world, it will not be tolerated here.

Tips

  • Plagiarism is usually fairly obvious to spot. If you worry that your writing sounds too much like the work you are citing, don't. It is inevitable that what small similarities will eventually be edited away over time.

Maintain Proper Grammar

Soviet TD crew
In keeping with the Wiki’s Grammar Policy, users must use proper spelling and grammar when editing. While not a rule per se, certain levels of neatness and appearance must be maintained. Any such mistakes can and should be corrected, but that does not mean that you should not care about leaving them. To avoid conflict, the wiki uses American English. When writing in another language, be sure to use the correct spelling and grammar of that language except where it interferes with the rest of the English content.

Tips

  • To catch basic spelling and grammar errors, type up new wiki articles in a document application such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or Pages and run the automatic SpellCheck. 

Cite Information

As an academic project, the World War II Wiki must have all of its information cited according to its source. To cite a fact, simply add <ref></ref> tags behind the fact and put the citation information in between the tags. To avoid a system error, add this to the bottom of the article:

==References== <references/>

For more information, see this page: World War II Wiki:Citations.

Tips

  • When using the same source multiple times, instead use <ref name="Sample"></ref> for the first time the source is listed and <ref name="Sample" /> for all subsequent uses of the source. 
  • Wikipedia is not a good source to cite for where you got your information. It can be an excellent tool for getting an idea about a topic, but you must go deeper. Try looking at the sources Wikipedia has cited.

Categorize

Fallshirmjager Mortar Crew

Many articles are categorized according by nation. Be sure to view similar articles for sample categories!

All articles on the wiki are required to have one or more categories attached to the bottom of the page. Most of these categories themselves are part of larger and more encompassing categories, however no category is more encompassing than a Core Category. Categories not only help the Wiki’s SEO, but also help users navigate more easily. To find what categories should be put on a page, look at similar articles and see what categories they have. Chances are, its safe to simply copy over those same categories.

Most users tend to add a category to the bottom of articles without actually have created the category. It is effectively the equivalent of a redlink that merely shows up as green. To create a category, click on the category link at the bottom of the article and follow the prompt. 

Tips

  • As a rule of thumb, when creating a brand new category, be sure to check if it has counterparts on the same category level, that is, categories similar to it, but covering different nations, weapons, etc. An example might be the category British Artillery which is on the same level as Japanese Artillery . So instead of creating a category called “Artillery used by France during World War II”, follow the naming scheme of the others on the same level and call it “French Artillery”.
  • All created categories must trace back to a Core Category, so don't forget to actually create the category page as a good habit instead of just having it link to a page.

Add Images

Images are necessary to allowing readers to gain a better view of what an article is talking about. They also give an article a complete appearance and can communicate ideas just as effectively as the text. To add an image, just click on the insert button in the tool bar and click media. If you are using Wikia’s classic rich text editor, click the add photo button in the lower right corner.

Tips

  • While the size of the main image of an article is generally up to the user, do note that for articles with no infobox, a size of at least 300px is recommended while wiki infoboxes require images to be at most, 250px. 

Image Licensing

Many images used on the wiki are in the Public Domain and thus should be listed as such when the image is first uploaded. However, many users often forget to add image licensing to images they upload and this creates a problem when users want to find more information about an image or know its source. Whenever uploading a new image to the wiki, remember to take ten seconds to find the licensing information of an image and select the correct option in the dropdown menu when prompted.

Tips

  • Remember that when a licensing option says (Check the file page!), it means to add the source information into its template. For example, by only clicking to use the "Attributed" template, the template looks like this:
This file has been attributed (If this is incorrect, please be sure to change it or alert an admin)

American Spitfire shot down at Paestum, 1943
This file is most likely copyrighted and thus the original author is required to be cited. Below is the author or source of the image. If an original source cannot be found, the website where the image came from must be cited instead.
Source: {{{1}}}

If this file requires a different license, please do not use this template


To add information, simply add |Sample text}} to the end of the template to create

This file has been attributed (If this is incorrect, please be sure to change it or alert an admin)

American Spitfire shot down at Paestum, 1943
This file is most likely copyrighted and thus the original author is required to be cited. Below is the author or source of the image. If an original source cannot be found, the website where the image came from must be cited instead.
Source: Sample

If this file requires a different license, please do not use this template


Maintain Proper Format

Being a wiki of many articles, it is important that these articles maintain similar structure and have similar basic formatting. In practice, this means to follow the established structure of articles listed below and make changes when necessary. If a header or template simply does not work in a certain situation, use common sense to guide you in how best to build an article. 

Tips

  • Generally, no article will ever use the <h1></h1> tag for its titles, so do not worry about using it.
  • Some articles make use of notes written at the bottom of the article by the editor. These will always be under an <h3> tag and above the references section.

Add Links

Knocked out Panzer IV
Links keep related article connected on the wiki sometimes even better than categories. More importantly, they allow readers to go through related information quickly and efficiently. For information on how to add a link, view the following sample from a source code perspective:

Unlinked

Panzer IV

- Panzer IV

Linked

Panzer IV

- [[Panzer IV]]

Linked with Changed Name

Panzerkampfwagen IV

- [[Panzer IV|Panzerkampfwagen IV]]

Notice how simply using a '|' after the link destination allows a user to add a name that will appear differently when published. In this instance, instead of simply showing the phrase “Panzer IV”, the | allows the link to go to the Panzer IV page, but have the text read “Panzerkampfwagen IV”.

Infoboxes

Infoboxes are a key part of almost all articles on the wiki. The exceptions to this being certain historical articles that deal with topics that cannot be translated into an infobox. To add an infobox to an article, see the list below and choose which infobox topic your article fits into. Once found, see the usage instructions and copy the code listed to have a basic outline for the information required in an infobox.

List of Infoboxes

Tips

  • Unless you know precisely which infobox to use for an article, be sure to search through the list to make sure there is no better alternative.
  • Not all fields in an infobox need to be filled out for an article to be complete. However, it is a best practice to fill in as many as are possible.

Adding Navboxes

Navboxes are also an important part of articles. They allow readers to navigate through similar articles quickly. Most articles will feature a navbox on them in one way or another, this includes historical articles. All navboxes created for use on the wiki can be found in Category:Navboxes.

Tips

  • Many navboxes were created long ago. What this means is that as new articles are added, sometimes they need to be updated so that they list all the articles they are required to include. To add something to a navbox, simply click the 'e' button on the top left corner.
  • As far as creating new navboxes, simply follow the general trend among the names of existing navboxes just as one would do with categories.

Article Organization

German AT Gun Team
It is imperative that articles on the wiki be organized in a similar manner. The standard format for articles varies from article to article but generally follows a similar pattern. Below is a list of article types and their organization in order. Each header has a description of what the paragraphs under it contain. Remember that all articles should have a 'References' section and some will use a 'Notes' section so these are not included here.

Guns

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Weapon's specifications and features
  • ==Variants== - Any significant variants to the original weapon, put in list form
  • ==History== - Weapon's design, production, and service history

People

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==History== - None
  • ===Early Life=== - Person's birth and life up until their involvement in World War II
  • ==World War II== - The person's notable actions and life during World War II
  • ===Later Life=== - What the person did after their life during World War II

Vehicles

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Vehicles's specifications and features
  • ==Variants== - Any significant variants to the original vehicle, put in list form (Note that some major variants will often get their own article, list them anyway)
  • ==History== - Vehicle's design, production, and service history
  • ===Development=== - OPTIONAL - Vehicle's prototype, design, and early production history (Note that if using this subsection, place it immediately under the title 'History', History will now be divided into two parts)
  • ===Operational History=== - OPTIONAL - Vehicle's operational history after being used. This details any major battles the vehicle served in, how effectively it served, what units used it, etc.

Aircraft

Tiger I
  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Aircraft's specifications and features
  • ==Variants== - Any significant variants to the original aircraft, put in list form (Note that some major variants will often get their own article, list them anyway)
  • ==History== - Aircraft's design, production, and service history
  • ===Development=== - OPTIONAL - Aircraft's prototype, design, and early production history (Note that if using this subsection, place it immediately under the title 'History', History will now be divided into two parts)
  • ===Operational History=== - OPTIONAL - Aircraft's operational history after being used. This details any major battles the aircraft served in, how effectively it served, what units used it, etc.

Artillery

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Weapon's specifications and features
  • ==Variants== - Any significant variants to the original weapon, put in list form
  • ==History== - Weapon's design, production, and service history
  • ===Development=== - OPTIONAL - Weapon's prototype, design, and early production history (Note that if using this subsection, place it immediately under the title 'History', History will now be divided into two parts)
  • ===Operational History=== - OPTIONAL - Weapon's operational history after being used. This details any major battles the weapon served in, how effectively it served, what units used it, etc.

Battles

  • No Header - Opening paragraph detailing the importance of the battle, opposing forces, etc.
  • ==Prelude== - The events leading up to the battle/set-up for the battle
  • ==Planning== - None
  • ===Side 1=== - Details the planning and preparations made by side 1 for the battle
  • ===Side 2=== - Details the planning and preparations made by side 2 for the battle
  • ==Battle== - Details the actual events of the battle, can be split up into H3 tags as needed
  • ===Aftermath=== - Details the following events of the battle, what happened afterwards, casualties

Units

Soviet leader
  • No Header - Opening paragraph, explains when unit was formed, why, when it was disbanded/destroyed, etc.
  • ==Commanders== - Details the experiences of the notable commanders of the unit. Explains how they affected the unit's performance.
  • ==Structure== - Shows the order of battle for the unit in list form
  • ==Unit History== - Details the unit's service during the war and subsequently

Ships

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Describes the technical characteristics of the ship, its specifications and modifications
  • ==History== - The history of the ship from its construction to its end fate

Ship Classes

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Description== - Describes the technical characteristics of the ship class
  • ==History== - The history of the ships in class and how the ship class in general operated during the war
  • ==Ships in Class== - Lists all ships in the class (If too many, just list notable ships)

Munitions

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Variants== - Any significant variants to the original munition, put in list form
  • ==History== - The history of the development of the munition, its effectiveness in combat, and use during the war

Companies

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Production== - Details the company's produced goods. Under this can be several H3 titles in which the type of good produced is divided into sections
  • ==History== - Details the history of the company from its beginning to its end

Countries

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Government== - Explains the government and their role in the country's actions during the war
  • ==History== - Details the history of the country from before the war to after. Under this section can be numerous H3 sub-sections with various titles.
    Crusader Maintenance

Tactics

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • Description - Describes the mechanics and requirements behind the tactic
  • History - Explains the history behind the tactic

Technology

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • Description - Describes the mechanics behind the piece of technology
  • History - Explains the history behind the technology and its development

Awards & Medals

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • Description - Describes the medal and the reason for its issuing
  • History - Details the history behind the medal

Uniform

  • No Header - Opening paragraph
  • ==Uniform== - Main section where all the information about the uniform is placed. You can divide this section up into H3 sub-sections for the different parts of the uniform if you like
  • ==Variants== - VARIES - This section is used to list the modifications made to the uniform since its first example. This section can be used as needed and may not appear from time to time, particularly on articles about whole uniforms instead of specific articles of clothing
  • ==History== - Details the development, use, and effectiveness of the uniform

Extra Templates

Ammo carrier
To aid editors, the wiki has a wide variety of extra templates that serve different functions. For example, the {{Quality|expand}} template indicates that the article it is placed on is fairly complete, but could use some additional information. Many useful templates can be found in the Admin's Toolbox. Another template that is commonly used by editors is 'Edit Protection' which tells other editors not to edit an article that you yourself have decided to work on. This will prevent any conflicting edits that could damage the overall work on the article. However, Edit Protection is only meant to be temporary and the template will be removed after 30 days. For a list of extra templates to use on articles, see below:
Stub Icon
= This article is a stub. You can help the World War II Wiki by expanding it.

Source:{{Quality|stub}}

Expand Icon
= This article is relatively complete but is missing some information. You can help the World War II Wiki by expanding it.

Source:{{Quality|expand}}

Infobox Icon
= This article is in need of an infobox. You can help the World War II Wiki by being sure to add one as soon as possible.

Source:{{Quality|infobox}}

Cleanup Icon
= This article has many format issues and needs to be cleaned up.

Source:{{Quality|cleanup}}

Redlinks Icon
= This article may be complete, but it has a large amount of redlinks in it that could make it annoying for viewers to navigate the wiki.

Source:{{Quality|redlinks}}

Cite Icon
= This article does not properly cite its sources. The citations in this article are either lacking in information for verifiability of claims or attribution of quotes, or are not provided in proper format.

Source:{{Quality|cite}}

POV Icon
= This article contains text that does not show a neutral point of view. It may contain bias or even incorrect information.

Source:{{Quality|POV}}

Merge Icon
= This article is scheduled to be merged. It has similar content to another article and does not feature anything significantly different.

Source:{{Quality|merge}}

Navbox Icon
= This article is in need of a navbox

Source:{{Quality|navbox}}

Table of Contents

Avengers over Wake
On the wiki, readers are able to use the automatic table of contents feature to navigate an article's content quickly without having to read the entirety of the text. This is a feature that can be disabled by typing __NOTOC__ anywhere on an article. However, we discourage you from using this code because it disrupts the ability for mobile users to edit articles and it does not allow readers to use the full functionality of the page.

Completeness

It is very important that you complete as many articles as you can when writing on the wiki. While it may seem very subjective, the wiki does have some standards when regarding the completeness of articles. First of all, an article must have all sections required by its article type (see above). Secondly, the article should have an article quality rating of about '3' or more (see below) so that it is pleasant to read. The article should also be well-sourced and have a sufficient amount of media. Notes above the references section are optional, but can contribute greatly to the overall quality of the article. Lastly, an article needs to have roughly all the information it is required to encompass. For example, an article about the B-17 Flying Fortress will require a lot more information than an article about the Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind just because:

a) There is more information available
b)The B-17 is a major aircraft and thus affected many areas of the war

Tips

  • If you cannot tell if an article is complete or not, it most likely is missing some information. Typically, complete articles will be fairly long and outwardly look very presentable

Article Quality and Ratings

See more: Article Quality

In order to meet its goal of being a superb source of information for World War II history, the wiki has standards that must be upheld. If an article possesses all the required elements and more, it can be rated as a '4' or an excellent article. Initially, very few articles will have this rating, but it is hoped that in the future all articles will live up to it. All four article quality indicators are presented on articles as small icons at the top of the page. They differ in the type of plane indicated. The more advanced it is, the better quality the article, with a '1' rating being a biplane and a '4' being a jet. Below is a list of the four quality indicators:

Rating 1 Icon
= This article has a rating of 1. It has low quality writing and should be cleaned up.

Source:{{Quality|1}}

Rating 2 Icon
= This article has a rating of 2. It has decent writing, though could be improved.

Source:{{Quality|2}}

Rating 3 Icon
= This article has a rating of 3. It has a good writing style and is pleasant to read.

Source:{{Quality|3}}

Rating 4 Icon
= This article has a rating of 4. It is superbly written and fully demonstrates wiki standards.

Source:{{Quality|4}}

You can rate an article using any one of the icons from 1-3, but to be rated a 4, the article will be required to be examined closely by the community who will decide if it truly exceeds wiki standards.

Splitting Up Articles

Submarine at sea
When an article gets too big, it can become difficult to read through or may not flow with the general format of articles on the wiki. That is when it becomes necessary to divide up an article into several articles. To do so, choose only the main features or things that match up with other articles. For example, if dividing up an article about the American M3 Half-Track, you could decide to create an article for every notable variant, such as for its anti-tank and anti-aircraft variants.

Tips

  • Splitting up an article is usually a big deal because it could lead to the splitting up of different, but related articles. If you do not know where to start when splitting an article, be sure to ask other editors for input.

Wiki Transfers and International Links

The wiki has a policy in which any and all articles can be transferred at any time to any of the wiki's sister projects. We do this to spread free information over the widest area possible. Generally, these sister projects are international versions of the wiki in other languages. To add an international link to link articles across wikis, add [[Country code:PAGENAME]] to the bottom of the article to get something like this: [[de:TBF Avenger]]. This must be done to the article on both wikis.

Tips

  • It is usually a safe bet to put the same name of the article in the international link because it is most likely the same or similar as it is in a different language.

More helpEdit

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