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A Fifth Dimension:Manual of Style

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Tzwblock159 This article describes one of A Fifth Dimension's
guidelines and policies.

Please read and familiarize yourself with our common practices
and rules. If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints,
please post them on the talk page.

A Fifth Dimension's Manual of Style is a collection of guidelines designed to set a general standard for the appearances of all articles. Although style is typically not considered the most important part of writing an article, it is an important factor in writing effective articles. The Manual of Style is designed to make articles easier to read and understand for the reader and to make articles better organized and easier to edit for the editor.

Realize, however, that these rules are not steadfast. They are intended to serve as guidelines for making an article appear more accessible for the reader and to make them easier to work with. If you think you have a more effective way of writing your article, you are welcome to use it, after all, you are invited to be bold in articles. Copy-editing apprentice narrators will come along eventually and, if necessary, rework pages to better conform to the guide.

If you have a style suggestion that you feel would improve not just your article, but all articles, you can add it to the talk page as an additional option for adding style to an article. Please don't remove existing guidelines, however, just add your own.

If you're looking for information on how to write an article in wiki markup, please see how to edit a page for instructions. As that article is more about how to use markup, this article is more concerned about the when, where, and why of using specific markup. Please also read the Guide to Layout for suggestions on how to organize your article.

In all cases, examples of styles will be indented from the main margin for special emphasis of each guideline —in most cases, you shouldn't need to use indentations in actual use.

Spelling and grammar

The Twilight Zone is an American production and for that reason, A Fifth Dimension has chosen to use American spellings of words rather than British spellings (e.g., choose color over colour and theater over theatre). Some examples of the common misspellings have been collected to help you.

  • In keeping with the aforementioned standard, dates should place the month first, rather than the day.
  • Example:
October 2, 1959 or 2009-10-02
instead of:
2 October, 1959 or 2009-02-10

The selection of American English generally applies to grammar and usage rules as well.

Remember, we don't expect you to be as talented in spelling and grammar as an English professor. Just do your best and any mistakes that are made will likely be picked up by future editors.

See also: {{d}} for more information on using dates.

Sentence formation

Please remember to form complete sentences. A sentence needs at least one noun and one verb.

  • Example: "Rod Serling wrote."

However, the more descriptive you can be with adjectives and adverbs, the better the article will be in creating a clear view of its subject.

  • Example: "Rod Serling, an American screenwriter and playwright, wrote scripts for numerous series on television, most notably The Twilight Zone.

Italicization

Italic markup consists of two single quotes '', placed both before and after the italicized text.

  • Example: ''The Twilight Zone'' will produce: The Twilight Zone

One should use italics in the following instances:

  • Emphasis
  • Example: "It's not fair. I had time now."
  • Titles of works such as TV series, books or newspapers
Works that appear within larger works, such as short stories, episodes, poems, or newspaper articles, are not italicized, but merely set off in quotation marks.
  • Example: Charles Beaumont's short story, "The Howling Man," was broadcast on The Twilight Zone and was published in Charles Beaumont Selected Stories in 1988.
  • Names of ships
  • Foreign words
  • Example: The French waiter tells Chester and Paula that their unusual camera has an inscription reading dix à un propriétaire, meaning "ten to an owner" in French.
  • Use of a word as an example of a word rather than for its semantic content
  • Example: The word the replaces the capitalized the used in The Twilight Zone when used before the title series, like so: "I watched the Twilight Zone episode last night."
  • Introducing or defining terms
This is especially necessary for technical terms or those used in an unusual or different way.
  • Example: Dr. Loren created his robots using Tramontium, a unique metal.
  • To indicate a character's thought process
  • Example: Somewhere I'll find out who he is. I'll find out, thought Nan.

Note: With this wiki considering The Twilight Zone as a place and a title, you should only use italics and all capital first letters when referring to the TV show title. The Twilight Zone as a location would require neither.

  • Example: "I watched The Twilight Zone episode where a pilot gets sucked into the Twilight Zone."

Capitalization

Rules for capitalization follow conventional English rules:

Adjectives

  • Adjectives derived from proper nouns
  • Examples: a Unitarian church, an American actor, a Shakespearean sonnet.

Context use

  • The first word in a sentence
  • Example: The writers for the first The Twilight Zone series were approved by Rod Serling.
  • The first word in any quoted sentence
  • Example: "The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male member of a honeymoon team on route across the Ohio countryside to New York City."
  • The first word of each line in a piece of verse
  • Example:
      The quality of mercy is not strained,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest,
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
        -The Merchant of Venice (lines 183-186)

Nouns

  • Single-word proper nouns (including personal names)
  • Example: France, Rod, Rip
  • Multiple-word proper nouns
  • Examples: Mr. Dingle the Strong, The Hitch-Hiker
An exception: Where placenames are preceded by the definite article, the article is usually lowercased.
  • Examples: the Philippines, the Twilight Zone.
  • Most brand names and trademarks are capitalized
  • Examples: Crest, Chesterfield, Band-Aid, Bufferin, Pall Mall
Although some companies have chosen to deviate to be distinctive.
  • Examples: eBay, iPod
  • Names of days of the week, months and languages
  • Examples: Thursday; October; English
Demonyms are also capitalized.
  • Examples: Englishman, Arab, Franks
  • Common nouns may be capitalized when used as names for the entire class of things
  • Example: "This is the first day of the sixth year, as Man used to measure time."
  • The names of gods are capitalized
  • Examples: Allah, Vishnu, Thor, God
The word god is generally not capitalized if it is used to refer to the generic idea of a deity, nor is it capitalized when it refers to multiple gods, such as Roman gods.
  • Acronyms have historically been written in all-caps
  • Examples: NASA, ESA
  • Most English honorifics and titles of persons
  • Examples: Doctor Loren, Mister Bevis, Mrs. Landers

Titles

In headlines and titles of works, capitalization rules often differ. In the United States, these works typically use title case, in which nearly all words are capitalized. Other rules for titles include:

  • Words over 5 letters are always capitalized in titles
  • Nouns are always capitalized
  • This is true even if the noun possesses fewer than five letters.
  • The first and last word in a title are capitalized
  • This is why, in the title of the episode "People Are Alike All Over", over is capitalized, when normally it would be lowercase because it is a preposition with only four letters. (see next section)
  • Exceptions from capitalization:
  • Articles: a, an, the
  • Conjunctions: and, but, or, nor
  • Prepositions less than five letters long: at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, with
  • Prepositions that are part of two-word "phrasal verbs"
  • Examples: Come On, Hold On
  • Other: as (but only if it is followed by a noun)

Tense

Main article: A Fifth Dimension:Point of view

Paragraphs and formatting

Inexperienced writers have a tendency to write "run on" sentences and paragraphs. Some of these may run for dozens of lines and many column inches without a single break. Doing so makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to blend together. This is especially troublesome when trying to quickly skim articles for specific information.

A proper paragraph, from a grammatical perspective, is generally two to five sentences in length on average. It covers a single 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. An easy way to think about this may be to think about how often the camera changes views in a TV series episode, not just with each scene but within the scenes as well. This certainly makes episodes more accessible and interesting for viewers and it works the same way for paragraphs.

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 clearer visual "break point" 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, compare the following "run-on" type of paragraph to the paragraph style you have just read:

Inexperienced writers have a tendency to write "run on" sentences and paragraphs. Some of these may run for dozens of lines and many column inches without a single break. Doing so makes the articles difficult to read as everything seems to blend together. This is especially troublesome when trying to quickly skim articles for specific information. A proper paragraph, from a grammatical perspective, is generally two to five sentences in length on average. It covers a single 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. An easy way to think about this may be to think about how often the camera changes views in a TV series episode, not just with each scene but within the scenes as well. This certainly makes episodes more accessible and interesting for viewers and it works the same way for paragraphs. 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 clearer visual "break point" and allows the reader to more easily see that they are reading a new paragraph at that point.

Quotations

When quoting a person in an article, and the quote is at least one full sentence, the quotation should be "italicized and quoted."

  • Example: Wilson ranted, "I know I had a mental breakdown. I know I had it in an airplane. I know it looks to you as if the same thing is happening again, but it isn't. I'm sure, it isn't."

However, if the quote is just a single word or a sentence fragment, it should not be italicized.

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 (i.e., episode, comic, etc.), as shown in the second example above.

Block quotation

For the opposite extreme, when it is necessary to cite text made up of 100 words or more, or the content is at least eight lines, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends using a block quotation. This is done by using the blockquote HTML element.

  • Usage: <blockquote>[block quotation]</blockquote>
  • Example:
    Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men perhaps there'll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he'll look up from what he's doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there'll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he'll smile then too because he'll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man's mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.

Generally, a block quotation does not require being contained within quotation marks, except in cases when a block quotation itself contains quoted material or dialogue is used.

For further usage details, see: Wikipedia: Block-quote

List style

Lists can be very useful in displaying information. Sometimes they can provide the reader with a convenient means of browsing the article to see if the information needed is present.

Other times, lists are useful for listing all possible components of a subject, usually in a more clear manner than presenting it in a paragraph form. This is especially true in "See also" sections at the end of an article, where related links will point readers to other associated articles. They also can play an important role in creating stub articles by establishing an outline of missing information that needs to be added.

Vertical style (bullets)

The format is:

==List title==
* Example 1
* Example 2
* Example 3

This style is useful for long lists (such as episode guides) and for lists of entries which include both a link and explanatory text. Subtitles and subsections in lists are also very useful, as seen in the table of contents that are generated by the wiki software.

Vertical style (numbers)

The format is:

==List title==
# Example 1
# Example 2
# Example 3

This style works in much the same manner as bullet lists, but because of its use of numerals, it is more useful for listing content such as rules, reasons and conditions.

Horizontal style

The format is:

List title: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3

The style takes up less space, is read easily and a direct edit point is not needed, but it should be used only for short lists to avoid confusion or clutter.

Another type of a list requires the use of tables.

Table style

Using tables for listing content is generally discouraged because the complexity of the wiki code may make editing difficult for some editors. This especially becomes a problem in larger multi-column displays. The reason for the use of tables should be to organize the information in a way that makes it easier to read and not more difficult.

That said, proper use of tables can make content much better organized and may be a reasonable alternative to lists with multiple sub-sections.

An example: Twilight Zone stories in multiple formats

For more information, see Help: Table markup.

Title style

This section contains guidelines for the presentation of titles referred, or linked, to within A Fifth Dimension articles.

Italic titles

You should use italics for titles of books, movies, television series, comics, magazines, and the names of ships (as discussed above). In general, if the title is also a link, you can put the italic markup outside the brackets.

Note: You may have noticed that the TV series and film title templates automatically italicize their titles when appearing in the article.

Quoted titles

Double quotes "" are used for the titles of smaller works. This means that they would be used for titles of individual film segments, episodes of television shows, short stories, articles, songs, and poems (except for epic poems, e.g. Odyssey and Iliad). There is no special markup needed for quotes - just use the double-quote key both before and after the quoted text.

In general, if the title is also a link, you should put the quotes outside the brackets.

Film segments

– Note that for film segment links, the template {{FilmsegmentLink}} (or {{fs}}) should be used, which automatically adds the quotation marks.

Television episodes

– Note that for episode links, the template {{EpLink}} (or {{e}}) should be used, which automatically adds the quotation marks. The template {{SegmentLink}} (or {{s}} should be used for episode segments and they, too, add quotation marks.

Short stories

  • {{ss|Wong's Lost and Found Emporium}}, "The Voices in the Night"
    • "The Hunt", "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium"
– Note that for short story links, the template {{ShortstoryLink}} (or {{ss}}) should be used, which automatically adds the quotation marks. Also, notice the links for "Wong's..." is different than the episode version.

Songs

  • "[[The Lonely: Eleven Months]]", "Come Wander With Me," Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone"

Comic stories

    • {{cs|The Wonderful Lulu Hearst}}, "Endless Cloud"
  • ""The Wonderful Lulu Hearst", "Endless Cloud" – Note that for comic story links, the template {{Comicstorylink}} (or {{cs}}) should be used, which automatically adds the quotation marks.

See also

Abbreviations

See Abbreviations for approved abbreviations.

Citations

See Cite your sources for reference formatting.

Simplicity

Finally, you are encouraged to keep your articles simple. We want our articles to be thorough but clear. Don't try to get too fancy with your markup (e.g., embedding tables within tables or creating elaborate tables that are 16 cells wide, filled with images and color-coded). The easier the markup is, the easier it will be for anyone to edit the article later on—this is supposed to be a wiki that "anyone can edit."

Our primary responsibilty is to reliably and accurately display the information. This should always be considered when it comes to questions of style and wiki markup. The best strategy is to keep the articles simple and to emphasize the information as much as possible. It doesn't matter how complex or "pretty" something is if it is inaccesible to the readers and editors.

For this and other reasons, HTML markup should be avoided in most circumstances in article pages.

See also

Before you start editing or creating new pages, we encourage you to read through and understand the following documents (if you haven't already):

Other Manual of Style articles

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