The Manual of Style is a sort of user guide for the manner in which articles are written and formatted on Mobius Encyclopaedia.
Mobius Encyclopaedia's point of view (POV) is that of a character inside the fictional Sonic the Hedgehog universe – an archivist of some sort.
Because Sonic the Hedgehog stories take place in many different eras, from the end of human civilization to the beginnings of life on Mobius, to the 13th century CE and beyond, and because forthcoming stories may even expand beyond that, it is important to write all articles from a single perspective: i.e. that of someone looking back at the past. This helps to keep Mobius Encyclopaedia consistent and understandable. If it helps, pretend that we're writing and viewing this data archive long after the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie universe as we know it has ceased to exist.
Sonic the Hedgehog Archieverse articles should be written as if the described person, object, or event actually existed or occurred, exactly like in a normal encyclopedia, but with an omniscient writer. Think of Mobius Encyclopaedia as an encyclopedia that exists in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
The only exceptions to this rule are articles about the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and production (eg. articles on comics), which should be done in the real-world perspective (RWP). Additionally, you may use the RWP in the Background Information sections of articles.
Headlines and sections
To create a new section in an article, surround the text with two or more == (equal signs). When you have the header, there is no blank line needed beneath the header. The wiki engine will automatically create a table of contents based on the headers in an article.
Avoid using links in headers. Depending on the browser's default settings, some users may not be able to see the links properly. It is much more useful to place the appropriate link in the first sentence after the header. The only exception to this is on the main page for Articles of the Week.
Paragraphs, information and formatting
Inexperienced writers have a tendency towards "run on" paragraphs. Some of these may number dozens of lines and many column inches without a break. This makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to flow together. It also makes it tough to quickly skim articles for data points.
A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is two to five sentences in length on average. It covers one thought or idea or piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought, idea, or piece of information, there should also be a paragraph change.
When formatting paragraphs, adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a new paragraph at that point.
As an example of what NOT to do, here's every thing just typed done as one big block (the way many articles tend to be done):
- Inexperienced writers have a tendency towards "run on" paragraphs. Some of these may number dozens of lines and many column inches without a break. This makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to flow together. It also makes it tough to quickly skim articles for data points. A good paragraph (grammatically speaking) is 2-5 sentences in length on average. It covers one thought or idea/piece of information. Any time there is a change in the thought/idea/piece of information, there should also be a paragraph change. When formatting paragraphs, adding an empty line between paragraphs looks better in the articles than the traditional "paragraph indent" on the first line. It makes for a more definite "break point" visually, and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a new paragraph at that point.
Do not merely write generic information or comic summaries for in-universe articles. Information should focus on the topic of the article (i.e. the specific character) and should not merely be a generic summary copied and pasted from another article. For example, the article on Flying Frog should detail his specific actions in the issues he appeared in. His article should not merely be a slightly-altered version of the article on Predator Hawk or Sergeant Simian simply because they fought together in almost all of their appearances. Their actions as part of a group are detailed in the Fearsome Foursome and Destructix articles respectively, and thus should not be repeated in the individual character articles. Another example would be for someone to simply put a brief issue summary in Sonic the Hedgehog's article detailing everything that happened in the newest issue, including information about actions performed by other characters. Instead, information from issues should focus strictly on Sonic's actions, though may include information about other characters as long as it is important to note.
Images may be included in articles as they enhance their visual appearance. However, articles should not be crowded with too many images. There should generally be some spacing between the pictures which are included in articles. Furthermore, right alignment is preferred, though on occassion aligning to the left is acceptable. A time when left alignment is necessary is when an images is located in an article beside a major template; if it is not aligned left than all of the text in the article are moved underneath the template with the image, which ruins the article layout.
It is important that you reference/cite information you put on articles, so that those reading will be able to look it up in the comics themself should they want to find out more. To learn how to properly reference information, see here. Additionally, certain information is required for scanned images. See: Non-free use rationale.
When quoting a person in an article, and the quote is at least a full sentence, the quotation should be "italicized and quoted."
- Julie-Su said, "How on Mobius could you even agree to side with Dimitri?!!"
However, if the quote is just a single word or a sentence fragment, it should not be italicized.
- Robotnik would often call Sonic "rodent."
For uniformity and to avoid problems with the wiki software and the search utility, use straight quotation marks and apostrophes, and avoid curved marks such as the backtick or so-called "smart quotes". Punctuation marks should be placed inside of the quotation marks, unless the quotation marks surround a title such as shown in the second example above.
In Comic Articles
This is how to format quotations in articles for comic issues:
- Sonic: "No way, Crome Dome."
Background information and comments
On occasion, it is necessary or appropriate to include commentary about an unusual or contested point of information in an article. If there is a sufficient amount of information, it should be contained in a separate section, named:
- ==Background Information==
Alternatively, comments and information may be described in a short paragraph (no longer than three sentences) that is indented and italicized.
- The date of the Xorda attack was originally took place a little over three thousand years ago. The date was later changed to over twelve thousand years ago.
Most articles here follow the same layout. For primary and (sometimes secondary/tertiary characters as long as there is sufficient information about them) have a character template located at the top, right hand side of the article. For articles on characters with very little information about them, or if they are very minor in the comics, no character template is required. There are seven main templates, so please use the one that matches the character's species.
The article begins with a brief summary of the character and their primary achievements and actions throughout the series. Following this is the heading "History" and any necessary subheadings. Below that should be the heading "Personality", "Abilities" and/or "Romance" if applicable and enough information is available for each particular topic. Below these headings is the final heading, "Background Information". Below is an example of the proper layout for articles:
- -Template (See: Template:Mobian, Template:Echidna, Template:Overlander, Template:Human, Template:Robot, Template:Alien, Template:Group or Template:Government)
- -Character Summary
- ===Early Life===
- ===Life as a Freedom Fighter===
- ==Background Information==
- -Categories related to the topic of the article (eg. Category:Mobians)
Comic articles are formatted in a similar manner. It begins at the very top with an indicator for what issues come before and after the issue in the article. Following this is the comic infobox template (Template:Comic Infobox), then a one-to-two sentence opening stating what the issue is. Next it the main heading "Summary" with the subheadings "Story One" and possible "Story Two" and "Story Three", then headings for "Quotes", "Key Events" and "Background Information". Lastly is the categories, Category:Comics and Category:Real World Perspective). Here the order of the layout: