Help:Article Layout

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Article Layout refers to the standards of organization and style for an article to meet to satisfy the needs of its readers.

Am article on any given wiki generally should be presented so that it is easy to read and moderately professional, but not overly verbose or condescending. This will require a basic understanding of English grammar and writing flow.

Formatting an article

As UOGuide did not have an indepth article on their desired style here before I got to it, I am using a general approach suitable for most wikis.  ~The Man~ 12:36, 23 June 2013 (PDT)

An article must be organized into an introduction and sections. The introduction summarizes the subject as quickly as is reasonable, while each section deals on a single facet of the subject.

The introduction

The introduction to an article should always begin by summarizing the subject of the article in a single sentence, as seen on this article; preferably the first word will be the name of the article in boldface (see below.) After this should be a double-spaced linebreak followed by a paragraph or two containing somewhat more general detail on the subject, but not as much detail as found in the headers.

The table of contents will by default appear after this introduction and before the first heading, but can be explicitly called at any point in the article with the magic word __TOC__, and will appear where that text is placed. It can also be hidden entirely with the magic word __NOTOC__, which can be placed anywhere and will function the same regardless.

The template {{tocright}} will cause the table of contents to appear on the right of the article, vertically aligned with where that template is inserted, without interrupting the visual contingency of the article. UOGuide would prefer for {{tocright}} to be placed first thing in an article.


A header is a specially formatted, brief "subtitle" that marks sections of an article. The text "Headers" directly above this paragraph is just such a header.

Headers are used to divide the article visually, so that users may skip to a specific section they want by use of the table of contents or just by scrolling through. They are included by use of the equals sign (=) like so:

= Level 1 header =
== Level 2 header ==
=== Level 3 header ===
==== Level 4 header ====
===== Level 5 header =====

The lower the level of the header, the larger it is -- lower headers are considered subsections of the larger headers before them.

 == Section 1 ==
=== Section 1.1 ===
=== Section 2.2 ===
== Section 2 ==
=== Section 2.1 ===
=== Section 2.2 ===

It is advised not to use Level 1 headers, because they will be styled the same as the article title, font size and all, and may confuse readers.



"It should be noted that"

Stop right there. That phrase should not be anywhere in an article -- of course "it should be noted that", that is why you have chosen to add the information. Simply take that entire phrase right out wherever you see it, as it takes up 30 bytes of bandwidth per webpage load and simply looks wrong.


Article titles and headers should not be in caps-first -- that is, capitalizing the first letter of every word.

However, all proper nouns should be capitalized normally, as well as the first letter in the article or header title. Article titles capitalize the first letter automatically.

Here are examples of several real and imagined article titles and commentary on their quality or lack thereof:

Arms Lore < Correct. It is a proper noun (the name of a skill) and should be capitalized like it is in the game.
Champion Spawn Artifacts < Correct. Both of those things (Champion Spawns and Artifacts) are proper nouns and should be capitalized like they are in the game.
Category:NPCs By City < Incorrect; caps-first.
Category:NPCs by city < Correct. Neither "by" nor "city" is a proper noun that should be capitalized.

Note that ideally the header would be titled "Training Swordsmanship" or even just "Training" and nothing else, but has been extended here for the sake of explanation.

Dealing with other editors

As a wiki, UOGuide will ideally have many, many editors all working on and contributing to the same article. On (frequent) occasion, one editor's contribution will not be to a future editor's liking, and this disagreement is the primary obstacle in the advancement of a wiki's content quality.

Correcting false information

Spirit Speak will also allow dead players access to a global chatroom. (Actually no it won't.)

The two theoretically-in-an-article sentences above were added by different theoretical authors. The second one noticed that the first statement was totally wrong, and made the mistake of adding another sentence to disagree with the first. Now imagine what would happen if a third author agreed with the first one and added another sentence just like the second one did.

Spirit Speak will also allow dead players access to a global chatroom. (Actually no it won't.) (What? Yes it does.)

This would very quickly get out of hand and interrupt the article with a long string of useless pseudo-content.

Thus, if you see a false statement in an article, remove or edit it outright. In this case, there is no reason to mention whether Spirit Speak provides a ghost chat, so the sentence should be removed entirely.

If, however, it is unknown factually whether the statement is true, then it should be edited to reflect the debate as neutrally as possible:

There is an ongoing study to determine whether Spirit Speak allows dead players access to a global chatroom.

Ending the Article

Linking to related articles

It is standard practice to place a header labeled "See also" as the last or almost-last section of an article. This should be a Level 2 header and will contain predominantly links to other articles that are relevant or may be necessary to understand the current article.

For example, if the article covers the Polar Bear, See Also may contain links to the Brown, Black and Grizzly Bears like so:

== See also ==
* [[Brown Bear]]
* [[Black Bear]]
* [[Grizzly Bear]]

Please keep your See also links in alphabetical order.


Mediawiki supports the use of Categories, which ought to be self-explanatory as to their function.

To include a Category in a article, link to that Category like any other article. The text will not display, but it will create a link in the Category bar at the bottom of the article.

To include an item in Category:Artifacts:


To link to a Category without adding into it, place a colon (:) after the opening square brackets:

See also [[:Category:Artifacts]].

There is also a {{Categorize}} template.

General practice and reminders

  • ALWAYS PREVIEW BEFORE PUBLISHING. I actually made five mistakes I had to fix before submitting my revision. - ~The Man~"
  • A person who is editing a wiki is an editor. A page is distinct from an article -- an article contains actual content on a single subject meant to be read by a user, as distinct from a template, category, or other technical page.

See also

See? Just like this guide tells you to do!