Tales Wiki:Manual of Style
"I couldn't protect it..."
Welcome! Thank you for showing an interest in helping the Tales NeoWiki grow and flourish!
While we encourage contributors to write articles with as much information as they can, we have some style rules that we'd appreciate being followed! Before you edit or create a new page, please take a moment to read over this Manual as it will explain everything you need to know about working with Wikis and how we do pages here.
In general, this Manual will serve as a reference for clean and consistent articles throughout the wiki.
Wiki mark-up, admittedly, can be very confusing to people who have never worked with it before. However, it's also very easy to learn and doesn't take long to figure out. Some people learn Wiki mark-up just from opening existing articles and copy-pasting from there.
When you make a new page or edit a page on this wiki, usually there will be a bar at the top of the editing window. You can use this bar to help you format articles without having to type the wiki mark-up yourself. It also has a Help section that displays the mark-up for a variety of useful formatting tools. For more wiki mark-up, the Editing Help Guide is a good place to go to learn both more basics as well as advanced editing mark-up.
When it comes to this Wiki, we're not particularly picky when it comes to how you choose to structure your article. At the end of the day, the structure depends on what page you're making/editing and what kind of info you have for it. Obviously if not much is known about something, it's not going to be a very big article or display much of a structure.
Nevertheless, we do have some guidelines when it comes to how articles should be structured. Keep in mind though that these are simply guidelines. While we would appreciate it if new contributors could at least attempt to follow them, it's not a requirement. More advanced contributors can choose to follow this or go with their own structure, as long as the article still reads well.
For the majority of articles, regardless of subject matter, there should be an introduction of some sort. It can be a simple summary, one or two sentences that are just basic info, or a whole paragraph. The purpose of this is to introduce the reader to the article's more detailed contents, but in a concise manner so as not to bombard them. From there, the rest of the article should be structured in sections. You can have as few or as many as you feel are necessary to display the information. Try to organize the sections in a logical flow, like an outline.
While there's no limit to how many sections an article can have, please try to keep readability in mind when writing. If it's possible to combine anything under one section, do that instead unless something NEEDS to be in its own section.
Below, you'll find links to examples of different kinds of articles and the guidelines to how they should be structured.
- Basic Layout
- Character Guidelines
- Location Guidelines
- Quest Guidelines
- Artes and Titles Guidelines (Also covers skills)
- Game Page Guidelines
Our wiki generally uses redirects in order to avoid the messy situation of having multiple pages with the same content! You might not need to ever make a redirect, but in the event you do, the common practice is to have all redirects lead to the main page with the correct/localized name. For example, with Iria's character page, redirects for her page all lead to her localized name, Iria Animi. However, you can also get to her page by clicking Iria, Illia or Illia Animi. All through the power of redirects!
In this way, it also helps when linking internally because instead of having to type out a long, complicated link mark-up, you just put the common name in brackets and it will link properly to where it needs to go.
Introductions, Infoboxes, and ToC
As mentioned briefly above, the first thing to write in your articles is the introduction or lead section. This section does not contain any headings and will be placed ABOVE the Table of Contents and any headings that follow it. The top of this article is a good example of that.
Like I said before, introductions can vary wildly in length depending on the article's subject and how much known or given information exists for it. The main goal of this section is to introduce the article, so usually a sentence or two will suffice.
If you're able to, we recommend making the article's title the subject in the first sentence, bolding it to make it stand out. To do this, place three apostrophes at the beginning and end of the word. For example, '''Asbel Lhant''' becomes Asbel Lhant.
Bolding a reiteration of the title is a stylistic choice that we feel makes an article look nicer and more consistent. However, it's not required since sometimes there will be instances where it can't be done.
The Infobox is a handy and useful template that allows you to make a simple information table on any page that logically needs one. Generally, the most important information about the article's subject will go in these, along with a picture of the subject. If an article requires an Infobox, the proper placement is in the lead section before the main content of the article. There should only be one infobox per article.
ToC, or Table of Contents, are created automatically when an article contains a minimum of four section headings, although there is wiki code to change this behavior if you so choose. When it's displayed, it will occupy the left side of the article in the lead section before the first heading.
The following wiki code can be used to change the behavior of the ToC:
- To make a ToC show up for articles that don't have 4 section headings, use __TOC__
- If your article contains enough headings to produce a ToC but the article itself is not long enough to warrant its use, you can completely remove the ToC by using __NOTOC__
Headings and Organization
Section headings are what you use to structure the article into, well, sections. To make one us "==" or "===" to enclose the name of the heading, such as
===Section Heading===. This mark-up is equivalent to the heading mark-up in HTML, so == is the same as h2, for example. For that reason, we recommend you NOT use only one equal sign (the equivalent of h1) as it doesn't mesh well with the normal layout of the wiki.
If you make a heading with == and then under it use === for a different section, that new section will be read by the mark-up as a sub-heading of the == heading. Adding more equal signs to other headings beneath that one will create more sub-headings. While this is useful on some pages, try to avoid cluttering a page with too many sub-headings. At minimum just using == and === throughout an article should be enough, but depending on the article's subject more sub-headings can be made as needed.
Headings are generally the first thing your reader sees to indicate your article's structure, so the order in which headings are organized as well as their names can be crucial. In general, when making a heading keep names short and simple. One to three words for a heading should be enough.
Don't use the article's title as a heading, though, as searching through the article is made easier if the title and headings are distinct from each other. When writing section headings, please try to write them in the same style as a title might be. For instance, "History and Involvement" and NOT "History and involvement". In essence, capitalize the first letter and the first letter of any words that aren't prepositions or commonly lowercase words in professional titles.
Images and Galleries
Images are helpful in making an article look fuller and more attractive, but too many images--especially unrelated ones--can produce a cluttered look. When adding images to your article, be sure to keep placement, size and appropriateness in mind. Images should also ideally flow with the article's text and not break it up.
If your image is particularly large, you should always use the "thumb" parameter in the image mark-up code which will make them appear as thumbnails. You can control the size of the thumbnail in a different parameter. By default, images are right-aligned, but there are parameters that allow you to control whether an image displays to the left or in the center of a page or block of text.
We encourage editors to use captions on images that are placed in articles, but it's not a requirement.
For more help using images, check out Help:Images.
Galleries are another great way to display images, especially in articles where too many in-line images would hinder the readability or look of an article, but that doesn't have to always be where it's used. Generally, character and game pages are the kinds of pages that make use of galleries. If you use one in your article, make sure there's no more than 10 images.
Tables are used to display data and other information that required that kind of visual element.
Our wiki doesn't have a standardized table format (yet), so we recommend only using tables if you're comfortable with wiki code. To learn how to make tables, see Help:Tables.
Navigation Boxes are used at the end of articles to link together articles under the same subject, such as all articles related to certain games. For a full list of available Navboxes, see Category:Navigation Templates.
When placing these in your article, make sure they're after the main content but ABOVE that article's categories.
If you need to, you can add an article message box or tag to the top of an article or section, before the lead section when at the top. These handy boxes provide information to both the reader and your fellow contributors, marking where articles might be lacking in length, or any articles that might be particularly spoiler heavy.
A simple list as well as base code for Message Boxes can be found here.
When adding information to the wiki that isn't common knowledge, please try to cite your sources. While we are pretty lenient when it comes to how much referencing an article has, it helps to have at least a few.
The good news is that your source can be from anything, as long as it's an official place or from an official person. Official summaries, in-game text, translated official side material, whatever! However, we're also well-aware of Namco's track record with some information, such as VAs, so we don't require sources for English language VAs. If a VA confirmed their involvement on Twitter or in an interview though, a citation is appreciated but not necessary.
The Help bar at the top of the editing window provides a good overview on how to make a citation within the article, under the Referencing section.
Not every sentence will need a reference, especially when it's common info such as a character's appearance or a summary/paraphrasing of in-game events or cutscenes. Things such as smaller character information that only a guidebook would contain, as well as obscure in-game information will require a citation.
Regarding subjects that are not given a lot of coverage in canon AND in side materials, we don't discourage the use of speculation and theory. However, any canon information needs to be cited and if you choose to involve speculation and theory in your article, please try to provide canon sources that led to your conclusion as you write the article. If you're not able to do this, we do allow for the addition of a "Speculation and Theory" section within the article where you can freely type about it.
For more information on referencing, take a look at Help:Referencing.
Categories are used to organize and, well, categorize articles throughout the wiki as a whole. It helps provide readers with an easy way to navigate pages within broader terms. On your articles, depending on the subject matter, your primary list of categories will change. For that reason, we recommend you familiarize yourself with the categories we already have.
For a more comprehensive guideline list of what categories should be used and when, please see Category Guidelines.
Grammar and Writing
The meat of your article. As you're probably aware, our wiki is in English, so at a minimum we'd greatly appreciate it if contributors could attempt to keep standard English rules and usage in mind when writing their articles. Leniency will be given to contributors whose first language isn't English, but we expect all native English speakers to AT LEAST write at a high school or above level. That means proper capitalization, sentence structure, and tense consistency. Wiki articles at best are supposed to be encyclopedic in nature, so treat your articles like you're writing an ungraded academic essay. Would you say this in an essay for college? No? Don't put it in your article.
That said, we won't really go after anyone for not writing something correctly. The beauty of wikis is that anyone can edit them, so likely if you write something wrong someone else will go and fix it. But for the sake of common courtesy, please try to write your articles as clearly as possible.
Above all, when writing your articles, try to write from an impersonal perspective; which means don't attract attention to yourself as the author by using "I" and other first-person pronouns.
As a general rule, this wiki will use localized names for characters, items and locations wherever possible. In the case of Tales of Innocence, we use Absolute Zero's localization as a base point. For all other non-localized Tales games terminology and spelling is determined by using previous Tales games as a reference and going with the best translation. If these names change in localization, the articles will change accordingly.
We do not allow information from Aselia Wiki to be directly copied onto here. If you must get something from there, either go to their source for the info or heavily rephrase. Articles must always be in your own words, but if you need placeholder text for certain pages, Wikipedia is open source.
No article is perfect, not even this one. When first contributing to the wiki, you probably won't write a perfect article and that's okay. Following these guidelines will, in the long run, give your articles a better skeleton and teach you how to use wiki code. This way, every article you write will in some small way improve on your last one. So, don't be discouraged if you're not able to follow all of these rules at first or even when writing your 10th or 20th article. We do not punish our contributors. Every contributor has something important to add, and we want to hear what you have to say.
- An example of a page using citations
- A page that uses images throughout the article to enhance its appearance
This Manual of Style was made using several others as reference points. The primary one structure-wise was DAWiki's Manual of Style (their articles are always so beautiful).