All The Tropes:Style Guide
This page documents the house style for All The Tropes. If you have a question about how to write and present information, you should find answers here.
These rules aren't perfect, nor do they cover all situations. As such, these aren't official policy, but more like guidelines. However, like all style guides, it's a good idea to know the rules before you break them.
Capitalization of trope names follows our style of titlecase:
- Capitalize all major words, and both words in hyphenated compounds.
- Always capitalize the first word of a title, and any word after a colon or dash.
- Conjunctions (and/or/nor), articles (a, an, the), and short prepositions (on, in, to, by, for, at, of, as, etc.) should be lowercased.
- Longer prepositions (4 or more letters) should be capitalized (with, from, whereas, etc.).
Capitalization of page titles for works should match the original marketing, as nearly as possible -- and preferably the English-language marketing. However, feel free to create redirects for names in any other capitalization, or for the name of the work in its native language.
If the original language does not use the Latin alphabet (A-Z), the English-language marketing name should be used instead. Only if there is no English-language marketing name should the title be transliterated to the English equivalent. (This is an English-language wiki; pages about works with English-language marketing names should use the English-language names for the convenience of casual readers.) For example, we use the English title Journey to the West, not the original Chinese title 西遊記.
Japanese text, which is littered around this site, has a few more helpful rules for transliterations of titles.
- Lowercase mid-sentence particles (ga, wa, no) and write them as separate words.
- For sentence ending particles (yo, zo, ze, wa), either agglutinate them to the previous word (no space), or capitalize.
- Honorifics should be lowercase, and be joined to their noun with a hyphen (e.g. Sakura-chan).
- Given a choice, please use Hepburn romanization. All The Tropes is not a scholarly site, so we prefer to use the romanization system that "sounds like" the Japanese words (e.g. "bimbogami", not "bimbokami".)
Typically, you'll find something appropriate in the dropdown menu, or it will preload when you select something from the Add Page menu. But if that doesn't work, you'll find something on All The Tropes:Creating a Page by Hand.
Potholes are essential on external links. Approximately half of the people who read All The Tropes use devices that do not allow hovering over links. Thus, if we give them a link like , they have no way of knowing whether that's a poorly-coded link to a page on All The Tropes, a Wikipedia page, a YouTube video, a documentation page for the entire internet, or something else altogether. Providing a quick description is preferred, like this: An "example.com" link is itself an example of a link.
MediaWiki is capable of displaying five levels of headers, analogous to HTML's "H2" through "H6". (The equivalent to H1 is reserved for page titles.) To mark text as a section header of a given level, put that many equals signs in a row before and after the text. Also, there should be nothing else on a line that has header text.
The headers are designed to be "nested"; that is, an H2 should come before the H3s that are subsets of the same topic, an H3 should come before the H4s that are subsets of the same subtopic, and so on. While you won't break the wiki by ignoring this, not nesting the headers as expected does nasty things to some screen-reader software and thus limits how much of the wiki blind people can access. Besides, it looks ugly.
Since all headers on a page appear in that page's table of contents, section headers should not be used as a replacement for boldface. (Yes, we know we have hundreds if not thousands of pages, especially Characters subpages, where they are used this way; these pages were inherited from TV Tropes. If you see a page like this, please fix it!)
A special note on the "References" and "Notes" headers: We are not Wikipedia. If we wanted to look like Wikipedia, we would have added the References header to the "reflist" template years ago. Don't add "== References ==" or "== Notes ==" to any of our Trope, Work, or Creator pages or their subpages.