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On The Sims Wiki there are a few rules of style to create a standard feel to all of our articles. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it. 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.

These guidelines are a summary of the most important guidelines for this wiki, but a more expansive set of style guidelines can be found on Wikipedia at Wikipedia Manual of Style.

Article titles, headings, and sections Edit

These policies govern the titles of articles and section headings on The Sims Wiki.

  • Article titles should be recognizable to readers, unambiguous, and consistent with usage in reliable English-language sources.
  • Titles should match the article contents, and should be neither too narrow nor too broad.
  • Titles should be short—preferably fewer than ten words.
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns in article and heading titles, but leave the rest in lower case (Life leading up to The Sims 2, not Life Leading Up To the Sims 2).
  • Avoid special characters such as the slash (/), plus sign (+), braces ({ }), and square brackets ([ ]); use "and" instead of an ampersand (&), unless the ampersand is an accepted part of a name
  • The final visible character of a title should not be a punctuation mark, unless the punctuation is part of a name (Ridiculous D.O.G.), an abbreviation is used (Rip Co.), or a closing round bracket or quotation mark is required (Malcolm Landgraab (console)).

Article headings also adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Change a heading only after careful consideration, and if doing so use an anchor template to avoid breaking section links to it within the same article and from other articles.
  • Section and subsection headings should preferably be unique within a page; otherwise, after editing, the display can arrive at the wrong section (see also below) and the automatic edit summary can be ambiguous.
  • To avoid accessibility problems, headings should not normally contain links, especially where only part of a heading is linked.

If the topic of a section is also covered in a dedicated article, show this by inserting {{main|<Article name>}} directly under the section heading.

Article layoutEdit

Designing a template for the layout of all pages helps to keep things organized and working well so that information can be found more easily. Remember that an outline is generated based on which headings you use (Headings range from level one to six, and are represented as a section title with as many equal signs on either side as the level). The article title is level one, so you should only use level two and higher (==This is level two==).

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.

Layout templateEdit

See also: The Sims Wiki:Project Sims/Manual of style and The Sims Wiki:Project Simology/Manual of style

{{distinguish|similar article}}
{{distinguish|similar article}}

{{article management template}}
{{article management template}}


Basic info about the topic. If this topic also exists outside of The Sim series, a link to Wikipedia might be in order.

A description of this section. A section should be about a certain aspect of the
topic at hand. If there is only one main aspect, the basic info above should suffice.

More details about a certain subject of the current section. More than one sub-section may

Should rarely be needed, but in some cases further division of a subject may be required.

A description of this section. A section should be about a certain aspect of the
topic at hand. If there is only one main aspect, the basic info above should suffice.

A description of this section. A section should be about a certain aspect of the
topic at hand. If there is only one main aspect, the basic info above should suffice.

== Gallery ==
Gallery of images relevant to the topic.

==See also==
*[[Relevant article]]
*[[Relevant article]]
*[[Relevant article]]

== References ==
<references/> or {{Reflist}}.

==External links==
*[[wikipedia:Example|Relevant wikipedia article]]
*[ Relevant external document/site]
*[ Relevant external document/site]

{{navigation template}}
{{navigation template}}

[[Category:Relevant category]]
[[Category:Relevant category]]
[[Category:Relevant category]]


Non-article content Edit

Non-article content (such as disambiguations and article message boxes) should be located above the lead.

See The Sims Wiki:Templates#Article management templates and The Sims Wiki:Templates#General wiki templates.

Infoboxes Edit

Infoboxes, boxes which summarise data relating to the article, should appear at the top-right corner of the article content.

See The Sims Wiki:Templates#Infoboxes

Table of contents Edit

A table of contents (TOC) 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 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 this should only be done if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box is not occupying the top-right corner of the article.

  • Right-aligned TOC that floats next to text: {{tocright}}

Lead section Edit

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)

Unless an article is very short, it should start with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead should not be explicitly entitled == Introduction == or any equivalent header. The table of contents, if displayed, appears after the lead section and before the first subheading.

The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write "Bella Goth is a character in The Sims series."

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes — '''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example: The Sims: Livin' Large, also called The Sims: Livin' It Up in the United Kingdom . . .

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example, "Mystery [[Sim]] is a sim only seen in memories . . ." versus "Mystery Sim is a sim only seen in memories . . ."

Images Edit

For full guidelines regarding images on The Sims Wiki, see The Sims Wiki:Image guidelines.

Tables Edit

Tables are perfect for organizing any information that is best presented in a row-and-column format. This might include:

  • Mathematical tables
    • Multiplication tables
    • Tables of divisors
    • Lookup tables
  • Lists of information
    • Equivalent words in two or more languages
    • Person, birthdate, occupation
    • Artist, album, year, and label
For styling a table, see The Sims Wiki:Colors and styles#Tables.

Often a list is best left as a list. Before you format a list in table form, consider whether the information will be more clearly conveyed by virtue of having rows and columns. If so, then a table is probably a good choice. If there is no obvious benefit to having rows and columns, then a table is probably not the best choice.

Tables should not be used simply for layout, either. If the information you are editing is not tabular in nature, it probably does not belong in a table: Try not to use tables for putting a caption under a photograph, arranging a group of links, or other strictly visual features. It makes the article harder to edit for others. Also, when compared with tables, wikimarkup is more flexible, easier to use, and less esoteric when used for desktop publishing, page elements, and page orientation and positioning.

Page layouts (using multiple columns, positioning elements, adding borders, etc.) should be done via CSS, not tables, whenever possible.

  • Images and other embedded media should be positioned using standard image syntax.
  • There are several templates available that will create preformatted multi-column layouts: see {{col-begin}}. {{Reflist}} is specifically for listing references.
  • Other elements can be positioned or given special formatting through the use of the HTML <div> element and CSS styling.

Links Edit

Wikilinks Edit

Make links only where they are relevant to the context: It is not useful and can be very distracting to mark all possible words as hyperlinks. Links should add to the user's experience; they should not detract from it by making the article harder to read. A high density of links can draw attention away from the high-value links that you would like your readers to follow up. Redundant links clutter the page and make future maintenance harder. (An example of a redundant link: Canute Beaker has two adult children.)

Check links: After linking, ensure that the destination is the intended one; many dictionary words lead to disambiguation pages and not to complete articles on a concept. An anchor into a targeted page—the label after an octothorpe (also called "hash sign": #) in a URL—will get readers to the relevant area within that page.

Initial capitalization: Wikia's MediaWiki software does not require that wikilinks begin with an upper-case character. Only capitalize the first letter where this is naturally called for, or when specifically referring to the linked article by its name: Romance Sims often fear marriage, but Family Sims want to get married (see Wants and fears).

External links Edit

External links should not normally be used in the body of an article. Articles can include an external links section at the end to list links to websites outside The Sims Wiki that contain further information, as opposed to citing sources. The standard format is a primary heading named == External links == followed by a bulleted list of links. External links should identify the link and briefly indicate its relevance to the article subject. For example:

*[ The Sims Resource The Sims 3: First Preview]

These will appear as:

Avoid listing an excessive number of external links; The Sims Wiki is not a link repository.

Navigation Edit

See also: Wikipedia:Navigation templates

Use navigation tables or templates to link to multiple related articles.

  • They should include only those articles that would help the reader in reading up on related topics.
  • They should be kept small in size as a large template has limited navigation value.
  • They should not be too small. A navigation template with fewer than a handful of links can easily be replaced by "See also" sections.
  • Navigation templates provide navigation between existing articles. Avoid including red links or unlinked information.
  • Avoid linking to redirects or disambiguation pages.

Navigation tables or templates should be page-width (horizontal) and use {{Navbox}}. These navboxes should be placed at the end of a page, just above the categories (and below any succession boxes). The navboxes should be ordered by the best related concepts.

Categories Edit

For full guidelines regarding categories on The Sims Wiki, see The Sims Wiki:Categorization.

Writing Edit

When you're editing wikis, you're both academic and artist. You have to be accurate, but you also have to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you have to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 explanation of alien abduction on the page about pregnancy. 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, do not write, "The Grim Reaper will appear in The Sims Medieval, as far as I know." Avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself) as much as possible.
  • Use of the second person "you", which is often ambiguous and contrary to the tone of an encyclopedia, is discouraged. Instead, refer to the subject of the sentence or use the passive voice, for example do not write "The game creates an invisible barrier which prevents you from entering the building. To correct this, you must go into build mode ..." Instead write "The game creates an invisible barrier which prevents sims from entering the building. To correct this, the player must go into build mode ..." Using "you" is acceptable in official descriptions.
  • 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.

Writing about fiction Edit

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)

The Sims Wiki articles should describe fiction and fictional elements from the perspective of the real world, not from the perspective of the fiction itself.

An in-universe perspective describes the narrative from the perspective of characters within the fictional universe, treating it as if it were real and ignoring real-world context and sourced analysis. An in-universe perspective is inaccurate and misleading, inviting unverifiable original research. Most importantly, in-universe perspective defies community consensus as to what we do not want The Sims Wiki to be or become.[citation needed]

When writing about fiction, keep the following in mind:

  • Write from a real-world perspective;
  • Maintain a balanced use of both primary and secondary sources;
  • Avoid original research;
  • Reference all information and cite your sources;
  • Give weight where weight is due;
  • Put all information into context with the original fiction;
  • Check with the image use policy before adding images to any article;
  • Avoid creating lists of trivia; instead, incorporate relevant information into the body of the article;
  • The amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible.

Time references Edit

Avoid statements that will age quickly, except on pages concerning current events which are frequently brought up to date. Avoid recently, soon, and now (unless their meaning is fixed by the context). Avoid relative terms like currently (usually redundant), in modern times, is now considered, and is soon to be superseded. Instead, use either:

  • more precise and absolute expressions (since the start of 2005; during the 1990s; is expected to be superseded by 2008); or
  • an as of phrase (as of August 2007), which signals the time-dependence of the statement, and alerts later editors to update the statement (see As of); or simply use at instead: The population was over 21,000,000 (at December 2008).

To help editors keep information up to date, statements about current and future events may be used with the as of technique. This is done by using the {{as of}} template to tag information that may become dated quickly, however this technique is not an alternative to using precise language. For instance, one should not replace since the start of 2005 with {{as of|<2005>}} because some information (the start of 2005) would be lost; instead, use either the plain text or a more advanced feature of {{as of}} such as {{as of|2005|alt=since the start of 2005}}.

Every individual, non-contiguous statement in an article that may date quickly should be so tagged, even if there are several such statements that link to the same year. Otherwise, it is possible that when one statement is updated, other statements in the article might be overlooked, and no one will realize that they need to be checked also.

Grammar and spelling Edit

Since a wiki article must be as clear as possible for all the people reading it, editors must keep close to correct grammar and spelling standards to ensure clear communication.

Capitalization Edit

Titles such as mayor or detective start with a capital letter when used as a title (followed by a name): Detective Dan D. Mann not detective Dan D. Mann. When used generically, they should be in lower case: Dan is a detective.

Traits, aspirations, life stages, life states, careers, skills, motives, talent badges, interests, etc., likewise should only be capitalized when used as a proper noun, i.e. as someone's name.

Do not use capital letters for emphasis; where wording alone cannot provide the emphasis, use italics.

When using "The" mid-sentence, generally do not capitalize the definite article. However, some exceptions, including most titles of artistic works, should be quoted exactly according to common usage.

Incorrect (generic): Bella Goth's image is on The Bella Squared wall hanging.
Correct (generic): Bella Goth's image is on the Bella Squared wall hanging.
Incorrect (title): Bella Goth appeared in the Sims.
Correct (title): Bella Goth appeared in The Sims.
Correct (title): Ana Patel is from the Apartment Life expansion pack.
Incorrect (exception): A community lot in The Urbz: Sims in the City is the Foundry.
Correct (exception): A community lot in The Urbz: Sims in the City is The Foundry.

Italics Edit

Italics may be used sparingly to emphasize words in sentences (whereas boldface is normally not used for this purpose).

Italics are used for the titles of works, such as books and games. The titles of articles, chapters, and other short works are not italicized but are enclosed in double quotation marks. For example, italicize The Sims.

Tense Edit

Most articles should be described as facts, so use the present or future tenses. "The Gypsy matchmaker is in The Sims 2: Nightlife." "This skill can be learned by swimming." Works of fiction are generally considered to "come alive" when experienced. They exist in a kind of perpetual present tense, regardless of when the fictional action is supposed to take place relative to "now." Thus, generally you should write about fiction using the present tense, not the past tense.

The major exception to this rule are undocumented patch notes. The tense used should match how Electronic Arts's official patch notes are written. For the most part, past tense should be used, "Fixed an issue where ghosts could become stuck in vehicles." For new features, future tense can be used as well, primarily used in conjunction with now, "A Bay Window will now appear in the game," "Players may now use the Tattoo feature to customize Sims when in Create a Sim." Other tenses should be converted. For example, "Story progression will be improved" should be "Story progression has been improved."

Punctuation Edit

See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Punctuation

Where footnotes (ref tags) are adjacent to most punctuation, such as a comma or period, place them after the punctuation, with no intervening space.

U.S. English and commonwealth EnglishEdit

Cultural clashes over grammar, spelling, and capitalisation/capitalization are a common experience on wikis. Remember that millions of people have been taught to use a different form of English from yours, including different spellings, grammatical constructions, and punctuation.

Where possible, the preferred use on The Sims Wiki is U.S. English for spellings. Where certain words might cause confusion (see American and British English differences), it is preferable to avoid the word or phrase altogether. Where possible, international standards are to be used (Dates, names, etc.) to avoid confusion.

Regardless, articles should generally follow the same style throughout. Each article should have uniform spelling and not a haphazard mix of different spellings, which can be jarring to the reader. For example, do not use center in one place and centre in another in the same article (except in quotations or for comparison purposes).

Bear in mind that some words shared by all English speakers are spelled one way by Americans (and at times Canadians and Australians) but are spelt differently in most other English speaking countries; it is generally acceptable to leave an article alone where the style is consistent throughout the article - though changes to important articles to adapt them to house style are occasionally useful, please don't make a point of changing an article to your preferred style.

Related articles Edit

External links Edit

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