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Following is a "style guide" to be taken into consideration when working on articles. Please read the other pages in our help section as well!

Use the preview button

At the bottom of the editing box, next to the "Save page" button, is another button which reads "Show preview". This allows you to see what your changes look like when rendered by the Wiki software. You can re-read your work and look for errors in your Wiki code without saving the page to the database. For example, you can check that your wikilinks are formatted properly or that an image you added is where you wanted it to be. Then, when you are done, you can use the save button to update the page on the site.

Using preview before saving avoids creating a string of entries in the page's history and the Special:Recentchanges list, making those pages much easier for other editors to read and understand.

Minor and major edits

If you are making only a small change to an article, such as correcting spelling, inserting a single word, wikifying, or adding categories... mark the change as a minor edit when you save the page. Anything that changes the content or meaning of the article should not be marked as a minor edit.

The purpose of marking something as a minor edit is that other editors of the Wiki can choose to "hide" minor edits when they look at page histories or the Special:Recentchanges page.

Always use the summary box

While editing a page, please be sure to fill in the summary box with something useful. Don't simply say "made some changes." Summaries like "spelling fixes" or "removed vandalism" are fine. It is especially important to include an edit summary if you are reversing another editor's work -- you should explain why you are doing it. Writing edit summaries helps other editors keep track of the changes that being made.

Link once

Not every instance of, for example, "Bumblebee" on a page needs to link to the Bumblebee page. Generally only the first occurrence of a word should be turned into a link. In a long article, if it has been several paragraphs since an instance of a particular word, it can be linked again if it seems likely that somebody may wish to know more about that word after reading the new sentence.

Tone and voice

This is an information site. It generally should be written in the third person and with a moderately "formal" voice. (See Wikipedia for examples.) To whit:

  • Don't sign your edits. All contributions are appreciated, but we don't want the pages getting filled up with signatures. If you'd like to take credit for a post, do it on your user page.
  • Please check your spelling and grammar. Don't use Internet slang (c u 2nite) or leetspeek in your articles. To save others the trouble of correcting you, please spellcheck your articles before you post them.
  • Don't use "smilies" or emoticons.
  • Don't "reply" to content others have posted. If you think a particular point warrants discussion, post on the article's discussion page. If you're absolutely sure that something should be changed and don't think a discussion is necessary, just change it.
  • Don't leave notes or instructions to future editors like "Add more information here if you find it". Again, use the article's discussion page for that.

That said, there is room for humor. An occasional joke within article text is all right, although any particular joke might not receive wide acceptance by other editors, and may be removed. It is, however, rather common for self-explanatory images to be given "joke" captions. Character portraits, for example, often have a silly comment written under them. This is fine. Additionally, there are a few articles on the Wiki which are essentially one long joke. Spider-Man, Tracks, and Wheelie are examples.

Images

Whenever possible, include an image relating to the article. Pictures should be no larger than around 100 KB, and should have a meaningful file name (megatron_shoots_starscream.jpg, not trans_pic.jpg). Please optimize your graphics for the web and post in either PNG or JPEG format, not GIF and especially not BMP.

Cite sources

Transformers fiction is broad and sprawling, such that even devoted fans can be unfamiliar with large portions of it. If you reference something which you have reason to think is not going to be "common knowledge" to a great many fans, please state where the information comes from. For example, references to Buster Witwicky having a gambling problem should explicitly mention that this information comes from the Keepers Trilogy novels published by iBooks in the early 2000s. If you are going to describe, say, the location and nature of the Rust Sea, you should note where that information is coming from.

This serves several purposes: It lends credibility to the article. It allows interested readers to find more information by checking the primary source. It sets up a "paper trail" of sorts so that other users can check up on statements that surprise them or sound unlikely. It also helps to establish the range of applicability of the information. If an article states that energon is a multi-molecule substance which includes atoms of an element also called energon, that may seem like "important" information that has wide-ranging canonical implications. However, if the source of that information is an obscure comic book by a small independant publisher (in this case one of the 3D comics from Blackthorne Publishing) its relevance to the Transformers multiverse as a whole can be guaged as relatively low.

If it can be done unobtrusively, simply make your reference in the text of the article. If doing so would be awkward (for example, breaking the fourth wall in a character bio) there are two currently "approved" methods of citing sources:

  1. Use the Wiki software's footnotes mechanism which is explained on Wikipedia.
  2. Use Template:Storylink to create a margin note.

Similarly, if you are uploading an image (art, photo, screencap, whatever), please state where the image comes from (issue number, episode title, book name, etc.) and the name of the original artist if known. If you don't know who drew it or where it's from, then at least provide a link in the image upload information telling us where on the web you found it. It is important that artists get credit for their work, and also that users of the Wiki can find the image on their own if they wish to get a better look at it.

For citing sources of images, include the citation in your upload summary (which becomes the "text" of the Image's article and can be edited later), and also include one of our copyright templates to acknowledge that we do not own the image.

Use of text from other sources

Do not simply copy and paste information from other websites or from official character bios. We do not want character pages to simply be retreads of their tech spec cards or profiles from comic books.

This even includes Wikipedia -- content from Wikipedia may be used here legally, as both sites are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, but we would prefer for the content of this Wiki to be original. Feel free to use other websites for reference or even for ideas about what to write, but please compose your own text.

You may, of course, copy and paste text from another place if you are the original author of that text. If you do this, it is recommended that you say so in your edit summary so other editors don't revert your work upon realizing it was pasted from elsewhere.

Official and unofficial material

Although this wiki addresses some aspects of the Transformers fandom, it does not at this time cover unofficial fan-projects such as books and toys created by fans, for fans. It does not discuss fanfic, house profiles for fan-characters, and does not post fan-art.

All character artwork uploaded to the wiki should be from officially licensed works such as cartoon screencaps, scans from licensed comics, Hasbro or Takara publicity shots, etc.. Even if a piece of fan-art is totally sweet, it should not be uploaded here.

Use sections and subsections

Articles which are more than two or three paragraphs should usually be split up into sections. The Wikimedia software allows for easy creation of three levels of section headings, simply by placing equals signs around text (see Help:Editing#Organizing your writing).

Articles should begin with a paragraph or two of general statements before the first section begins. If an article has more than three sections, the software will automatically generate a table of contents for the article using the section names. This makes your article much easier to navigate.

Do not try to create your own headings by simply bolding the text, as this sort of heading will not appear in the table of contents.

Categorize

Please categorize every page as best you can. At the bottom of each page, simply add [[Category:The Category]]. A list of categories is maintained in the special pages. Ideally, every article on the Wiki should be findable simply by browsing the category tree without ever typing anything in the search box.

Capitalization rules

Article and section titles do not need to have all of their "important" words capitalized as in a book title. Capitalize only the first word and any words that are always capitalized, such as proper names. If an article or section is named after a title, of course, its capitalization should match that of the title. Hence, The Bridge to Nowhere.

Creating wikilinks

Article titles can have spaces in them, but the URL for the article will use underscores instead. When writing a wikilink, you do not need to use underscores. Doing so won't hurt anything, but is pointless.

Additionally, all article titles must begin with a capital letter due to the software/database structure. However, when linking to an article, the wikilink itself need not begin that way. So, for a term which is not normally capitalized, such as "energon", one can simply write [[energon]] even though the article title is "Energon". Writing [[Energon|energon]] is unneccessary. Article titles are case-sensitive, however, so when writing links it is only for the first letter of an article name that you can ignore the proper case.

Titles

In an article's text, names of franchises, toylines, cartoon series, and comic series should be italicized. (Put them between pairs of apostrophes, like ''Beast Machines''.) Names of comic issues and cartoon episodes should be put in quotation marks. Abbreviated titles do not need italics or quotes.

Article Titles

Article titles are singular; Dinobot (G1), not Dinobots (G1).

Only proper nouns are capitalized in article titles—e.g., List of Energon episodes, not List of Energon Episodes. This is the opposite of how we are taught to capitalize book, story and movie titles, so many people have trouble with it.

Titles beginning with a definite article, such as "The Great One", have the article removed (Great One), except when the definite article is part of a proper noun, the sort that is even capitalized in mid-sentence: And so The Great One cried out, "Bring me beer and dancing girls, not in that order!"{{fact|A citation for this capitalization rule is required.}}

Note: There is an additional exception to this rule relating to episode and story titles. See the next section.

Article titles that are also episode/story titles

Article titles are presented unaltered. A Plague of Insecticons is not truncated to Plague of Insecticon like other articles. This is because it is a proper title, and if you alter it... it's no longer the title of the episode.

Punctuation is included in story titles.

Typos or other errors in episode titles, such as Improsoned Inferno and Ultra Magnus: Forced Fushion are not corrected. However, if a screwed-up title is corrected in a later broadcast or DVD release, (Laser Wave: Rampage became Shockblast: Rampage on its second airing, and A Deceptacon Raider in King Arthur's Court became A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court when re-cut for Generation 2), the corrected title is considered to "override" the incorrect one. Incorrect re-titlings cannot override correct ones.

"Part" in multi-part episodes is generally capitalized. The default markup is Multipart Adventure, Part 1, but if another method is actually used in the stories, that may override this. This is a very weak standard. Mostly, no one cares, but we err on the side of conforming to the source material.

English-language titles dominate over Japanese titles.

Translated Japanese episode titles are used with very minimal translation. Some words are 'transformed' into their English equivalents, others are not. In the Headmasters episode Cybertron Is in Grave Danger, Part 1, the Transformers home planet of Seibertron is rendered as Cybertron, but Find MegaZarak's Weak Spot!! is not changed to "Scorponok", because it would be extremely confusing.

Though the RTM 1 dubs of Headmasters, Masterforce and Victory into English have been released in some English-speaking countries, these series are still covered under their Japanese titles because the RTM dubs are dodgy as hell, and if we took everything they did seriously, there would be football hooliganism and blood in the streets.

Talk/discussion pages

Organize the posts

If a Talk page has discussions of more than one topic in it, you may want to organize the posts by topic and create section headings in the page to make the discussions easier to follow.

Sign your Talk posts

If you make a post on a discussion page, please sign it. If you have a user account, this is as easy as typing ~~~~ at the end of your post. If you don't have a user account, just sign it with your name or nickname so everybody can tell who's who when reading long conversations. Even better, create an account anyway and use the signature method described. There really is no reason not to create an account if you're going to stick around.

Leave an extra line between long posts

Sometimes a post to a Talk page will need to be more than one paragraph long. It can be hard to tell at a glance whether a set of paragraphs is a single long post or several small posts, as most people place their signature at the end of their last line instead of on a new line. Adding an extra blank line between posts, however, makes a large blank space in the rendered page, so that it is easy to tell the two apart.

Page-specific standards

For all types of page, DO NOT write your opinion of the item in question. For example, do not state that a particular cartoon series was a bad series, that a particular character is totally badass, or that one version of a toy is "better" than another (unless you are making an obvious joke or exaggeration for the purpose of humor). We'd like to keep the Wiki restricted to just the facts.

The beginning of an article

Many articles deal with characters, ideas or entities that exist in many different continuities (usually within a single continuity family, but not always). Such articles should begin with a one-sentence, italicized clarifying statement that indicates the applicability of the article. For character pages, the statement should be very similar in form to the following: "[CHARACTER] is a [FACTION/SUBGROUP/SPECIES] from [CONTINUITY (FAMILY) OF ORIGIN]." For example:

Sunstreaker is an Autobot in the Generation One continuity family.

Both "in the" and "from the" are acceptable.

After this continuity statement, write an overview of the topic which summarizes the essential features of the topic, synthesizing the portrayals across (sub-)continuities. Be careful not to overdo the generalizations to the point that they become inaccurate. Following the summary, dive into the main article, with sections devoted to the portrayals in each relevant continuity.

The first instance of the article's subject (after the continuity statement) should be written in boldface text. (Surround the text with three apostrophes on each side.)

TV episodes

Each episode should have its own page. For episodes that aired in both the US and Japan, cover the US version primarily, and state any differences in the Japanese version on the same page.

A fairly complete episode page which can be used as a guide is the Generation One episode, "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1". It has all of the appropriate sections, and even notes when a particular section is empty. Follow the format of that article as closely as possible.

Note that episode summaries should generally be written in the present tense.

Comic stories

Each comic story should have its own article (specific issue articles are not mandated in multiple-issue story arcs, but if feasible, such may be desirable). Stories are (generally) linked according to title, and referenced according to country of initial publication. For a standard example of format, consult the page for Marvel US issue #25, titled "Gone But Not Forgotten." Creators of comic pages are reminded to make sure that links on the appropriate publisher page properly connect to the page that has been created.

Like cartoon episodes, comic book summaries should be written in the present tense.

Marvel US and Marvel UK

For the most part, the Marvel US comics can be seen as a subset of the Marvel UK comics. Nearly everything that was published in the US was also published in the UK, but some material was published only in the UK. In order to alleviate the need for separate US and UK comic sections in character histories, a convention has been established where UK-exclusive material is included inline with the rest of the comic material, but is written entirely in italics. Entries which use this convention should provide a reminder at the top of the Marvel comics section using the {{noteukonly}} template.

Creators

Pages on real humans who worked on Transformers, such as TV show and comic writers, graphic artists, toy designers, and voice actors, need only contain a description of their work on Transformers, not everything they've ever done. The article on Frank Welker, for example, should not provide a complete career filmography. On the other hand, an external link to a complete filmography at IMDB is quite appropriate.

Lists

List pages should be added to the lists category. Their content should be broken down by franchise: G1 and G2 first, followed by Beast Wars/Beast Machines, then Robots in Disguise, Unicron Trilogy, and if necessary, a final "Other" category.

Within each larger category, please break down individual entries by faction, with Autobots first, Decepticons second (or Maximals and Predacons where necessary), followed by any other necessary "Other" categories.

Text style

Generally, italics should be used for emphasis, bold for strong emphasis, and ALLCAPS for really strong emphasis. COMBINE ALL THREE for ferociously strong emphasis, you wild thing, you. In comics, emphasis is often shown using bold and italics simultaneously. Generally, when quoting comics here, use just italics. When quoting prose (e.g., novels), use the same style as in the prose. When quoting spoken dialogue, use your judgment.

Style and punctuation

There are several different preferred ways to handle text style and punctuation.[1] (E.g., if a sentence ends with an italicized word, does the period go inside the italic markers?) This wiki has no official standard, except for the following:

  • If the punctuation is part of a title, it should take the same style as the title. (This is largely moot. In Transformers canon, the titles most likely to have punctuation are issues of Marvel comics, and episodes of Japanese TV shows. Both individual comic issues and individual TV episodes should be styled with double quotes, not italics, as described under Titles, above.)
  • Within a given article, try to be consistent.
  • Respect other editors' style choices.
  • Apart from that, use your judgment.

Grammar

  • Possessives of singular nouns ending in s should generally maintain the additional s after the apostrophe. However, if a form without an s after the apostrophe is much more common for a particular word or phrase, follow that form, such as with "Achilles' heel" and "Jesus' tears".
  • Quotations are enclosed within “double quotes”. Quotations within quotations are enclosed within ‘single quotes’.
  • Punctuation marks are placed inside the quote marks only if the sense of the punctuation is part of the quotation (this system is referred to as logical quotation).
  • When the title of an article appearing in the lead paragraph requires quotation marks (for example, the title of a song or poem), the quotation marks should not be in boldface, as they are not part of the title.
  • An entire quotation is not italicized solely because it is a quotation.
  • The sentence-initial letter of a quotation may be lower-cased if the quotation starts in the middle of a sentence and the quoted material is a natural part of that sentence. Where this occurs, it is unnecessary to indicate this change with square brackets. (For example, "It turned out to be true that 'a penny saved is a penny earned.'")
  • If a word or phrase appears in an article in single quotes, such as 'abcd', Teletraan I's search facility will find that word or phrase only if the search string is also within single quotes. This difficulty does not arise for double quotes.
  • The choice of glyph style affects searching in an article for most browsers. For example, searching in an article for McDonald's will fail to find McDonald’s, and vice versa.

National varieties of English

Teletraan I has no general preference for a major national variety of the language; none is more correct than the others, and users are asked to take into account that the differences between the varieties are superficial. Cultural clashes over spelling and grammar are avoided by using four simple guidelines.

Consistency within articles

Each article consistently uses the same conventions of spelling and grammar (e.g., British, Canadian); for example, center and centre are not to be used in the same article. The exceptions are:

  • quotations (the original variety is retained) and
  • titles (the original spelling is used, for example United States Department of Defense and Australian Defence Force).
Strong national ties to a topic

An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the appropriate variety of English for that nation. For example:

Retaining the existing variety

If an article has evolved using predominantly one variety, the whole article should conform to that variety, unless there are reasons for changing it on the basis of strong national ties to the topic. In the early stages of writing an article, the variety chosen by the first major contributor to the article should be used, unless there is reason to change it on the basis of strong national ties to the topic. Where an article that is not a stub shows no signs of which variety it is written in, the first person to make an edit that disambiguates the variety, is equivalent to the first major contributor.

Footnotes

  1. See this blog post for an example of two points of view from two different editions of the same style guide.
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