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Just Cause Wiki:Manual of Style

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This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on this wiki. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. These guidelines will never be unerringly perfect for every situation. However, please try your best to keep to the advice outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing their own articles.

Article layout

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. Structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well structured article, and you're more likely to have a high quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually leads to a confusing or unreadable article.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Lead section

Every article should begin with a sentence that defines the articles subject.

For example: "Panau is the group of islands where [[Just Cause 2]] takes place." and "Emas Hitam Oil Refinery is an oil refinery and faction stronghold in [[Just Cause 2]]."

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes — '''article title''' produces article title.

The leading sentence should always say what game the vehicle/location/mission/item is in.

All more accurate and detailed info should go into the other sections. See below for a list of sections.

Table of contents

A table of contents will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To the force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned - but only if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box is not occupying the top-right corner of the article (rare exceptions exist).

Section headings

Use the == (two equal signs) style markup for main headings, equivalent to <h2>. Do not use a single =. This is because a single = creates an <h1> heading which is already used by the page header and would be bad coding. Also, do not use wikilinks in subject headings. When edited, these sections become confusing in the edit history because of the link code. Consider instead putting the word in the first or second sentence of the section and linking it there.

Capitalize the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading and leave all of the other letters in lowercase. Use "Founding and history", not "Founding and History".

Avoid special characters in headings, such as an ampersand (&), a plus sign (+), curly braces ({}), or square braces ([]). In place of the ampersand, use the word "and" unless the ampersand is part of a formal name.

Always keep headings short and simple. Headings are guidelines to your page's structure and should inform the reader rather than confuse. To keep it short, avoid unnecessary words or redundancy in headings, i.e. avoid a, an, and the, pronouns, repeating the article title and so on. Also, try to avoid giving identical titles to different sections.

List of headings for vehicle articles: See Sample page for vehicles.

List of headings for location pages: All these sections should be in "heading 2". Subsections should only exist if the section would otherwise be too complicated.

  • Description - Use this section to describe the appearance of the location. This section should also include all info that doesn't fit into the other sections.
  • Location - Use this only if the location section could contain more info than the infobox. This section can contain info about the territory/Provinces, the coordinates and the description of the location, if there's something notable about it, like a riverbank, beach, hillside, ... This section should never be the first section, to avoid people leaving the site as soon as they've seen the coordinates.
  • Completion - Use this for a bulleted list of all items needed for completion (Collectable Items and sabotage destructible objects).
  • Vehicles - Use this for a bulleted list of vehicles that spawn there. Don't forget to make every vehicle name a link and say where exactly the vehicles are, if it might otherwise be difficult to find them.
  • Trivia - This section is for a bulleted list of all additional info that doesn't belong in other sections.
  • Gallery - This section should only be used if the article has at least 3 pictures. See the gallery section of this article below.

List of headings for missions:

  • Introduction - This section should contain info about where it begins; who it's for and what you're told to do when the mission begins.
  • Walkthrough - This section should begin with: {{Spoiler}}. After that there should be a complete chronological description of the mission. Everything that happens and is seen. Don't forget to add links.
  • Trivia - This section is for a bulleted list of all additional info. Info like what might become of the location after the mission; what the mission refers to (like how the mission Stranded refers to Lost) and all other info that isn't relevant in the other sections. Use links to wikipedia when needed.
  • Video - Optionally a mission article may end with an embedded youtube video that has a mission walkthrough. There are always many such videos available, so make sure to get one that has an adequate resolution and doesn't skip the cut-scenes.

Pictures/Images

A picture speaks a thousand words, but a misplaced or untidy image can detract from an article.

When choosing images, keep in mind placement, size (the standard size is 264px) and the appropriateness of the image to the section. Let images flow with the text instead of break it up.
E3 2010 ONLIVE banners

Placement of pictures: Images should generally be right aligned to enhance readability by allowing a smooth flow of text down the left margin - the "thumb" option does this by default. If an infobox is not being used in an article, then the first image should be at the end of the first sentence. If the article has over 3 pictures, it should be given a gallery, unless it's a very long article and the picture can easily fit next to the block of text that it's relevant to.

Gallery: When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more, then all but the first picture at the top of the article, should be gathered into a separate "Gallery" section. The gallery section should be the last section and the pictures in it should be in a gallery. A gallery can be made by clicking the "Gallery" link in the "Add features and media" area at the right edge of the screen. If there's also a "videos" section, then the videos section will be the last.

File names should have correct upper and lower case letters and absolutely never consist of random letters and numbers. If a file with the same name already exists, add "(2)", or "(unique red version)", or something like that at the end.

A file name should contain:

  • The full name of the weapon/vehicle/settlement/mission that it features.
  • If there already is a file that features the same thing, add a very short combination of keywords that will distinguish it.
  • If it doesn't feature anything specific (for example only shows the game world in general), then at least the file name must contain the name of the in-game country, or an abbreviation of the game name. And don't forget the descriptive keywords.

Low resolution vs. high resolution: Note that in some cases a high resolution file does not improve the article. Example: The infobox picture at The White Tiger. It shows Rico being in trouble and doesn't spoil anything. Obviously the gallery at the bottom of the page contains plenty of high resolution pictures. If the file is the only one in the article, there is no excuse for low resolution.

Generally a file that's 1024x768 pixels is high enough and the resolution is no excuse for file replacement.

Replacing files: Do not remove older files from the article. Pictures should absolutely never be replaced just because in your personal opinion, the object looks better from a different angle. If you want to add a picture from another angle, use the gallery, or if there's no gallery, just add one more picture to the right edge.

Ideal files: Vehicles can be pictured anywhere, so why not add something into the background and make the picture relevant to multiple articles. The best pictures are relevant to as many articles as possible.

Cutting the picture: In a lot of cases it's recommended, or even vital to cut the pictures background away, to make the object stand out. This should generally only be done if the object is relatively small on the screenshot. This should never be done in a way that cuts everything away. Cutting too much would remove all points of reference and it would make it difficult to understand. Examples include Moretti P.94, Machete and Mercenaries Must Die. In the case of the last example, it's vital to keep the HUD in the picture, as it provides the exact location and mission objective.

Too many files and/or duplicates: Generally there is no such thing as "too many" pictures. That's why we have galleries at the bottoms of some articles. However, this does not mean that we should upload a frame-by-frame slideshow of the entire gameplay. There has to be a reason for each and every picture. For example, a character article would not benefit from having a large number of portraits, all from the same mission, but a different set of clothing would be a good reason for an additional picture.

Deleting files: This should only be done by Administrators, who have considered all the above. Another thing to consider is that if a picture is nolonger useful to one article, it may still be vital for another. Be sure to read the talk page (if there is one) of anything that's being deleted.

Navigation boxes and templates

Navigation boxes are used to navigate between related articles, such as the weapons in Just Cause 2. If a navigation box is used, all articles in the navbox should have the navbox located at the bottom of the page.

See also: Just Cause Wiki:Templates.

References and sources

This is a gaming wiki and as such, absolutely all info here is what the wikipedia defines as "original research". There's almost never a need to provide references, or sources. We all check each others edits anyway and more experienced players will always set the record straight.

There are very few exceptions to this. For example, leading up to the release of Just Cause 3, we've been keeping a list of sources on the bottom of the article.

In many cases the article text itself contains references to sources. Example: "these things are so, because that is known to be thusly", or "according to X, this or that is in a specific way". This is only done when the source is something in the Just Cause Universe.

Categories

Categories should be added to the end of an article - a full list can be found on Special:Categories. They take the form [[Category:Categoryname]].

All articles should be accessible starting from Category:Browse, via subcategories.

Disambiguation

A disambiguation line is sometimes put at the beginning of an article to link to another article with the same or similar title.

An example could be:

"For other types of Something, see [Something disambiguation]."

Quotations

A quote should always be surrounded by quotation marks and it may be italic.

Grammar and writing

Grammar is extremely important. You can't build good sentences without knowing how to use it. Grammar on the internet may seem to be a low priority to young people (most gamers), but keep in mind that the internet is an international community. It can be difficult enough to understand a foreign language, even with out major misspellings.

Capitalization

Titles such as Lord or King start with an upper case letter when used as a title (followed by a name): "President Panay", not "president Panay". When used generically, they should be in lower case: "Baby Panay is the son of the previous president."

Titles of works

There's no need to make titles italic, however depending on the title, it may need quote symbols, because some movie titles are purposely worded like sentences or short statements.

It's always a good idea to turn the title into the appropriate link. Either internal link, or external to another on-topic wikia, or to wikipedia.


The titles of games in the Just Cause game series are another thing worthy of noting. Trouble is that "Just Cause" can refer to both the game Just Cause and the whole game series. To solve this, many articles use "Just Cause (1)" to refer to the game. An exception for this are texts and headings where that game name is soon followed by "Just Cause 2" and/or "Just Cause 3", because that eliminates any confusion. Other articles abbreviate the game names to "JC1", "JC2" and "JC3". "JC1" is actually the official abbreviation, because it's been used by game developers during interviews. Generally, the abbreviations should not be turned into links.

Writing

I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs” -- Stephen King.

Keep in mind that this is a gaming wiki and many players are kids from non English speaking countries. This doesn't mean you should ever dumb things down, but don't make things needlessly complicated either.

We now come to the meat of an article: the words themselves. When you are editing wikis, you must be both academic and artistic. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you must skillfully balance both.

Keep your writing concise. Don't use two words where one will do. Keeping your writing simple will make it easy to understand and easy to expand on. Use complete sentences whenever possible. When you write, use grammar as a toolbox: know the rules, but only break them on purpose. However, at the same time, do not use too many contractions in articles (words that are made by combining two words with an apostrophe, such as "don't" instead of "do not").

Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use 'u' in place of 'you' or '2' in place of 'to'. Write the way you would for a class paper or a newspaper article. You're is the contraction for "you are" and your refers to possession.

Keep all of the topics you cover within the scope of the article. What that means is, you don't need to give a detailed history of humans on the page about Winston Churchill. Consider the article's title as your point of origin and write from that perspective. Make use of the wiki's ability to link to more detailed articles or external sources for more information.

Write from an impersonal perspective.' Do not use "I". For example: "Rico prefers black clothing, As far as I know." Completely avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself). Do not use the impersonal "you", either, which refers to the reader or player. When writing tips, say "the player should" instead of "you should". The only exception to the impersonal you rule is when writing a walk-through for a mission.

Be bold. If you know something is wrong, correct it. If you think you could word something better, write it. If an article has a glaring deficiency, fill it. Even if your first attempt isn't golden, you can fix it later or someone else will come along and fix it for you. Don't be afraid to screw up.

Maintain article neutrality. Do not definitively say that something such as a weapon or vehicle is relatively good or bad unless you will also explain why that is. Keep in mind that nothing is "good" unless it's good in comparison to others.

Choice of Words

Don't make up words. English is the world's most comprehensive language, so there is bound to be a word to describe the writer's needs. Remember, no wikian is Shakespeare. If stuck, use the Wiktionary.

Maintain good usage. Try to use words that all wikians will understand rather than using rather localised terms or slang. For example, use "confused" rather than "miffed", to help maintain formality and to make sure other players aren't "miffed" by strange terms that don't appear in most dictionaries.

Long articles

As agreed by this wikis admins (or at least the active ones), the current official policy for splitting/archiving long articles (like ever-growing lists) is that they are to be split/archived upon reaching 70,000 bytes, or 30 headings. It's because articles of that size become difficult and time-consuming to edit on some older internet browsers. All archived pages can be found at Category:Archives.

Forum threads are automatically closed when they reach 500 posts. This is a limit set by Wikia and we can not change it. An example of this is Thread:29088.

Conclusion

Every article can be improved (even this one). Following these guidelines will not ensure a perfect article the first time, but it will give the article a stronger skeleton. It is ultimately your job as an editor to put meat on it.

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