Fandom

Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls Wiki:Style and Formatting

50,968pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk34
Guidance on style and formatting
Style and Formatting
Supplementary guides

ArmorBooksCreaturesIngredientsItemsLocationsCharactersQuestsSpellsWeapons

Other guidance

Basic editingMediaTemplates

Shortcuts:
TES:SF
TES:S&F
TES:MOS

Style and Formatting helps The Elder Scrolls Wiki remain organized, clean, consistent, and easy to read. This article and its sub-articles contain information on proper style and Formatting at the site. For formatting of individual sections please see the links below.


The Elder Scrolls Wiki project strives to document and organize all information in and about the world of The Elder Scrolls series of video games, as effectively as possible, in the form of a wiki. Anyone is welcome to contribute! An important part of creating such an exhaustive source of information is ensuring that the content is delivered in a pleasing, uniform way. In order to achieve this, the TESWiki community has worked to produce some standards on the format of wiki articles. These standards are not set in stone, but they are considered established policy that should not be readily dismissed or ignored. Suggestions for improving the standards should be discussed on the appropriate talk page.

Tone and language

Profanity

While most of The Elder Scrolls games are rated "M," article content should be suitable for all ages. Vulgar, degrading, sexual, insulting, racial, or any other type of profanity will be immediately undone and measures will be taken in order to protect our users and guests. Likewise, usernames and chat monikers must abide by this rule. Contributions outside of the mainspace (blogs, forums, chat, talk pages, etc.) may be viewed more liberally, however.

If any vandalism is spotted, please revert it immediately. If the vandalism is an entire article created dishonestly, mark it for deletion with the {{delete}} template. Images containing pornography or other questionable material should be treated in the same manner.

Those committing vandalism should be:

  1. Warned on their talk page using the {{Warning}} template. Those who violate policy unintentionally are not treated as vandals, so instead, they should be given the {{revert}} template.
  2. Vandals should be reported to the vandalism noticeboard even on their first offense. Anyone causing intentional destruction to the wiki deserves immediate banishment from the site.
  3. Alternatively, an administrator can be notified via their talk page or the chat room.

Spelling and grammar

All articles should be written in American English, exceptions being canonical material which misspells words, uses alternate dialects of the English language or foreign languages in American English versions of the game.

Numbers

Numeric characters should be excluded from articles in favor of the long-handed alternative. For example, "3 Daedra Hearts can be found here." should be corrected to, "Three Daedra Hearts can be found here."

The exception to this are:

  • Console Commands
  • Item statistics, such as damage, armor rank, or value.
  • Character Level, such as "level 50"
  • When listing crafting recipes, for example:
    • 1 x Iron Ingot
    • 3 x Leather

Writing style and perspective

Articles in the mainspace should be written as if they were about historical events, real-people, or objects that existed on Earth. We do strive to offer suggestions and walkthroughs for quests and information on resolving bugs, however, this process should not blatantly interfere with the historical tone of an article. The crux is to convey information without breaking the fourth wall experience.

Absolutely, under no circumstances, should an article be written in first or second person (the exceptions being in quest walkthroughs, where the latter is permitted). Content regarding personal experiences should not be listed on articles, but saved for IRC conversations, forum posts, and blogs. Articles, should, however, be written in third person perspective. Always strive to use the character's name or title (e.g. the Dragonborn, Hero, Nerevarine, etc.) over "I" or "you."

Attribution

Further, do not sign edits with your name or date. Talk pages and forums require a signature and timestamp, but articles do not. The wiki software automatically records the author and date of each edit made, so there is no need for additional, in-line attribution.

Formatting

See also: Help:Editing

Emphasis

Shortcuts:
TES:CAPS
TES:EMPH
  • Bold – Bold text should only be used to emphasize the name of an article's subject, the first (and only the first time) it appears in the article. Bold text can be inserted into an article using the B in the editor toolbar, or by encapsulating a word or phrase in three apostrophes on either side of the word, such as with '''Daedra'''. This tool should not be used anywhere else.
  • Italics – Names of books, video games, songs, poems, oaths, and quotes should be italicized. The {{quote}} template automatically italicizes quoted information. When italics must be done manually, encompass the word or phrase in two apostrophes. This should not be used to emphasize words in an article. For example, Alduin is not Akatosh is unacceptable formatting.
  • Capitalization – Unless an item, character, location etc. appears in-game in all capital letters, this type of emphasis should never be used. Article titles should match standard American English in terms of capitalization, while words appearing in the article's body should only be capitalized if they are proper nouns. For example, Daedric Artifact. The word "Daedric" refers to the Daedra race. Races are treated as proper nouns in the English language and thus the word will always be capitalized in sentences. The word "Artifact," however, is not, and should only be capitalized if it is in the title of an article.

Special conditions

Capitalization

Skills are considered proper nouns, and thus, can be capitalized in-line, so long as the context mentions the skill itself. For example, "Swords in Skyrim utilize the One-Handed skill." employs perfect capitalization. The proceeding sentence, using the same skill-word, does not. "Amoracchius is a One-Handed sword in Oblivion." The first sentence alludes to the skill directly, whereas the second sentence uses the name of the skill, but not in the same context.

Only proper nouns and the first word of article headers should be capitalized. Ampersands and hashtags should also be excluded from headers. Bold text should not be used to emphasize headers.

Examples of correct usage:

==First Era==
===First Era history==
==Biography of Jarl Elisif's children==

Examples of incorrect usage:

==Love Potion #9==
==Comparisons With Other Games In The Elder Scrolls Series==
===Relationships & Family===
==='''Other items'''===
Boldfaced text

When writing an article, linking from the current article to the current article emboldens the text within the link. For example [[The Elder Scrolls Wiki:Style and formatting]] in any other article produces a link, but in this article it will appear like this: The Elder Scrolls Wiki:Style and Formatting. This method is not preferred for highlighting an article's topic. Instead, using three apostrophes on either side of the word. For example, '''Delphine'''.

Hashtags and bullets

Do not use the # in a link unless you intend to direct to a section of that article with the title after the # as a section. When linking to articles, particular books and guides with numbers donating their order, omit the # and simply put the number. Otherwise the software will look for that number as a section title on the page.

e.g. ''[[The Real Barenziah 4]]'', not ''[[The Real Barenziah #4]]''

You can use piped links to account for this. For example, [[The Real Barenziah 4|''The Real Barenziah'' #4]].

Adding hashtags before items in a list numbers them. For example:

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three

Bullets can be used for the same purpose:

  • One
  • Two
  • Three
    • Three point five
      • Three point six

Additionally, hastags can be used to point a link to a specific portion of an article. For example, [[Conjuration (Skyrim)#Perks]] sends a reader to the header labeled "Perks" on Conjuration (Skyrim).

Linking

Shortcuts:
TES:OVERLINK
TES:LINK

Every term or person referenced in an article needs to be linked to. To do this, enclose the subject in brackets. For example, [[Alduin]] produces a link to an article about Alduin. All notable topics on an article that the wiki has articles on should be linked to. Medium to short pages should link to important topics only once. Twice if the topic appears again in an infobox.

Long articles should link to a subject twice or even three times depending on length. Generally, six or more paragraphs is considered a large article. Link to the notable topic the first time it appears in the article, then again about half way down. For example, Weapons. Do not link to the page every time the word "weapons" is repeated. This also applies when making "recursive" links, or links from the current article to the current article, as in the above example.

Links to irrelevant pages should not exist; for example, in a pillar-rotating puzzle in Skyrim, the word "Hawk" should not linked as that is not what the word is referring to in that context. Additionally, links should not be used in the {{Quote}} template, and should be limited to a minimum in quotes as a whole, where possible. For additional advice, consult Help:Linking.

Ambiguous links

Articles on broad subjects such as Dunmer or Locations are likely to be disambiguation pages or redirects. When linking one article to another, always strive to disambiguate that link, so it leads to the intended destination. For instance, Daedric armor in Skyrim requires Daedra Hearts to create. In an article about Daedric Armor in Skyrim, a link to Daedra Hearts should point to the article about those items as they appear in Skyrim, right? So, we want to format this link so it leads directly to that page; this is done through what's called a "piped link". For example, Daedra Hearts in Skyrim would be typed out like this in a Skyrim article, [[Daedra Heart (Skyrim)|Daedra Heart]]. See this article for further instruction on link fixing.

Redlinks

Shortcut:
TES:RLR

When a link is added to a word or phrase without an article, a red link or redlink displays in place of the typical blue one. Clicking a red link opens an edit window, prompting for a new article to be created. Red links are not necessarily "mistakes" or "unhelpful." Seeing a red link, conversely, may cause someone to desire to contribute by adding information on that page; editors and readers with more ambition than the original linker may be able to concoct a full-fledged article from that link. Adding a red link also ensures that once a page with that title is created, that it does not become an orphan, a page that no other pages link to.

Never be intimidated by red links. They are part of the ordinary process of article evolution. Most articles start as red links, advance to stubs once an editor discovers it, and eventually, they become adult articles that offer rich content for readers.

Pass them by if little can be offered at the time of their discovery, click on them to add information, or remove them if they link to unlikely topics. Unlikely topics are those which TESWiki would not find necessary to cover. A link to Banana could be removed, since bananas do not make any notable appearance in an Elder Scrolls game. A link to Ring of Fire may prove useful once enough information has been gathered on them. Images too appear in this fashion. Before clicking on one to upload it, verify that the content is free to use or qualifies as fair use before doing so.

For a complete list of current redlinks, see Special:WantedPages.

Article layout

Shortcut:
TES:HEAD

Each article type possesses its own, unique standard for layout. Each article of that type must match as closely as possible. There may be exceptions to this, but as a general rule, all articles of a specific type should have the same format. See the links above for more specific details on layout by article type.

If an article type is not detailed by the above guides, please follow this general layout:

In-universe

All in-universe articles should be structured as follows:

  1. Infobox
  2. Lead
  3. Main article
  4. Trivia / Bugs
  5. See also
  6. Appearances
  7. Sources
  8. References
  9. External links
  10. Stub
  11. Category
  12. Interwiki links

Please note that not all articles use every section. Some articles follow very strict header names. For examples, see the links at the very top of the page. When writing headers, capitals should only be used for the first words and for proper nouns.

OOU articles

All out-of-universe articles on games, books etc. should generally be structured as follows. This list is typically more flexible than main articles.

  1. Title/Eras/Infobox
  2. Introduction
  3. Stub
  4. Editions
  5. Publisher's summary
  6. Plot summary
  7. Excerpts
  8. Appearances
  9. Trivia
  10. See also
  11. Cover gallery
  12. Succession box
  13. References
  14. External links
  15. Category
  16. Interwiki links

Trivia, notes, and external links

Shortcuts:
TES:NOTE
TES:NOTES
TES:TRIVIA
The Elder Scrolls Wiki is not a collection of external links, nor is it an indiscriminate collection of trivial factoids. Only content considered "notable" or could be widely viewed as "interesting" should be added. Anything that furthers the understanding of the topic should also be considered. However, include "trivia" with extreme caution. "Notes" should never be used on articles, because it's messy, cluttered, and does not provide readers with a "meaningful" name for what the section contains. Anything could be included within a "Notes," and because of this, they would grow infectiously and undesirably large. Trim them down or remove them entirely. 90% of the time, the information could be moved to the article "lead" or another header in the article. Acceptable trivia entries might include voice actors, misspellings in dialogue, and other real-world comparisons to in-game elements. Things like personality traits tend to end up in the "Trivia" section. Consider moving them to a section just below the lead titled:
==Personality==

External links should only be relevant to the precise topic of the article. According to our media policy, video links are not permitted, due to copyright and interpersonal conflicts that have risen up around them. Links to articles at the Imperial Library or Wikipedia that cover Elder Scrolls topics may be useful. Statistic calculators, such as ones used for Alchemy, are also encouraged in extreme moderation. No more than three external links are necessary. Never assume that the external link you wish to provide is better than the three already in place. Never replace external links. Add them with extreme caution. And remove them liberally.

Hatnotes

Shortcut:
TES:HAT

Hatnotes are templates or italicized sentences that help readers get to other relevant pages, or their intended destination, faster. All pages with a game specific parenthetical notice at the end, such as Iron Armor (Daggerfall) or Orcish Boots (Skyrim), should contain the {{for}} template and direct users to the disambiguation page where that type of item is listed for other games with parenthetical tags. For example:

{{for|this item in other games|Iron Armor}}

Which renders,

For this item in other games, see Iron Armor.

Current hatnote templates used on the wiki are: {{for}} and {{confuse}}. The latter is used to point readers to a destination with a synonymous name as the article where they ended up. For example, Bugs is an article about unintentionally programming errors in a game's code. The word "bug" is synonymous in the English Language with "insect". A reader may have ended up on the Bugs article, looking for information on insectoid enemies, thus the {{confuse}} template aids in pushing readers to their intended destination. To use it type:

{{confuse|Insects}}

Which renders,

Not to be confused with Insects.

This should be placed between the infobox and lead. Disambiguation templates are treated similarly to hat notes.

Leads

Shortcut:
TES:LEAD

A lead is the introductory paragraph of an article. The name of the article should be emboldened within the lead. Leads should not exceed one or two pruned paragraphs. Take this excerpt from Azura as an example:

Azura is the Daedric Princess [1] of Dusk and Dawn, the magic between Day and Night. Her sister is Nocturnal. She is known to be one of the more merciful and benevolent Lords, though her wrath is swift and painful when it is brought about. She oversees the Daedric Realm of Moonshadow, a beautiful world of blurred colors, streaming together, cities of silver, and air like perfume.[2] The ones who visit this realm are mostly of either the Dunmer of Morrowind or the Khajiit of Elsweyr, as both revere Azura, though in different respects. Azura can be Summoned on the 21st of First Seed, or during the times of dawn or dusk at her shrine in Cyrodiil.

This "lead" contains basic, general facts about the article's subject. It helps illustrate the topic in a broad manner and serves to offer the most rudimentary, yet fundamental information about it. Each article should contain one. Refrain from inserting plot spoilers in the lead.

What types of articles should contain a lead? All of them. Since all articles contain text, even lists, a lead can be written, summarizing them. Some leads will be longer than others, some shorter.

Longer articles require longer leads to help summarize their wide scope of coverage. At least one sentence in the lead should be dedicated to each article header. Try not to give undue weight to one section of the other. For example, in an article about a Daedric Warhammer, do not write three sentences about how the armor is found, and only one for the enchantments than can be placed upon it. The only exception to this would be if the section on the armor's acquisition was significantly longer that the other sections in the article, thus requiring a larger summary.

Do not be afraid to repeat information found elsewhere in the article. That is the intention of the lead: to take all aspects of the article and combine them into one, coherent and condensed unit of writing.

In many articles, the lead may incorrectly be placed under a "Description" of "Characteristics" header. This is not desirable or correct, because the lead IS the description of the article. The title "Description" or "Characteristics" is also incredibly vague and does not offer a tangible or comprehensive example of what the section contains. As with "notes" headers, this type of header should be removed on sight.

Two examples of articles with well-written leads are Vampirism (Skyrim) and Quests (Skyrim). Be mindful that leads are one of the first items evaluated on the featured article checklist, so make sure not to skip over it. Articles missing a lead, articles with short leads, or articles that need general maintenance on their leads should have {{lead}} added to them. For a list of articles that require lead maintenance, see Category:Articles needing Lead Maintenance.

Categories

Shortcut:
TES:CAT

Categories help editors and readers organize and locate articles with greater easy. Categories can be added using the widget mechanism at the bottom of most pages or by adding them with wiki-markup in visual or source mode. Categories should be added based on the subject of the article. The most crucial categories are always added through the article's templates. For example, the basic categories for character articles are always added into the infobox, so they do not need to be added again. Further categories should be added if the character is in a guild or faction, if they are a merchant, and categories relevant for the city in which they appear. Categories should also be added for the race and gender of the individual. Never add categories such as "quests" or "weapons" just because these characters give quests or weapons. These categories are reserved for articles ABOUT weapons and quests. An example of categorization for a Dunmer woman who sells items at the Thieves Guild in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

[[Category:Skyrim: Dunmer]]
[[Category:Skyrim: Females]]
[[Category:Skyrim: Thieves Guild Members]]
[[Category:Skyrim: Merchants]]
[[Category:Skyrim: Riften Characters]]

The general, overarching categories should not be added. These include the categories Category:Characters, Category:Locations, and Category:Bosmer. These should be removed from articles when noticed. Conversely, it is important to stick to the game-specific ones instead, such as Category:Skyrim: Characters, Category:Oblivion: Locations, or Category:Shivering Isles: Bosmer. Sometimes, no game-specific categories exist, such as Category:Royalty. This is fine. Simply add the general category.

There are instances in which separate, but similarly named categories must be used. For instance, Moonshadow is a plane of Oblivion. There is a category called Category:Oblivion: Locations, which seems appropriate. It is not. Category:Oblivion: Locations exists for locations present in the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, whereas the article Moonshadow refers to the Daedric realm. The category Category:Planes of Oblivion should be used instead.

Interwiki links

There are translations of this wiki in several languages. These can be found at the bottom of the main page or on the List of The Elder Scrolls Wikis in other languages. Many articles include links to their page in other languages at the very bottom of the article, called interwiki or interlanguage links. These links should be ordered the way they are on the main page, and there should be a notice just above them to indicate what they are. For example:

<!--Interwiki links-->
[[de:Galmar Stein-Faust]]
[[ru:Галмар Каменный Кулак]]
[[es:Galmar Puño de Piedra]]
[[fr:Galmar Rudepoing]]

Naming and focus

Focus

Always maintain focus when writing an article. If the article is about Humans, proceed to write about their genetic uniqueness, their culture, their history, and provide links and short descriptions to sub-races of the human species. Furthermore, an article on Humans should not list every humanoid character in a game. Instead, it should link to races, which may link to a list of people with that race or a list of that race's most prominent historical figures.

If an article is about a location, for example, give a brief description of what occurs there, not a walkthrough of the entire quest. A link to a quest that appears in that location is more appropriate. Ask yourself whether the information you are adding is relevant to the topic of the article. If not, a link to the topic you want to add might be more appropriate. We want to maximize a reader's chances of finding the information they're looking for, on their first search attempt, without being redundant.

Article names

Shortcut:
TES:COMMON

Pages are titled the way formal publications are title, with all non-prepositions capitalized. This style preference is second only to what appears in game. If, for example, Mayen's House appears that way in game, we use that over what is grammatically correct.

Any pages that need brackets (such as pages relating to disambigs), should always use capitals. (e.g. Speechcraft (Oblivion) rather than Speechcraft (oblivion).

Following Wikipedia's policy on article titles, all articles on the Elder Scrolls Wiki should be named as they appear in game. In cases of objects, persons, terms, or places, the most common name should be selected. For example, Ebony Mail is a Daedric Artifact that appears in almost every title in the main series. Formally, the object is known as "Ebony Mail of Boethiah," suffixed by the name of Lord who fastened it. Because the piece of armor is displayed in the item menus as "Ebony Mail" most often and is referred to by in-game persons as "Ebony Mail" minus the suffix. The title "Ebony Mail" is the most appropriate as it is the most common and recognizable. Likewise, articles named after persons should omit aristocratic titles or monikers unless most commonly appearing that way within the game. For example, Millona Umbranox is the Countess of Anvil. Although formally titled "Countess Millona Umbranox of Anvil," she is most commonly referred to simply as "Millona Umbranox" with her in-game dialogue options omitting the title and most in-game persons referring to her simply by her. Thus, an article on the wiki about her must be titled without her county included.

Along the stream of the abovementioned titling, article titles should be written in singular tense as often as possible. For example, Daedric Artifact versus Daedric Artifacts. Pluralization can be easily added to a singular link, while making a link display as singular requires more wiki mark-up.

Creating an article

Articles can generally describe:

Anyone is welcome to update the wiki, but before creating a new article, double check to ensure the article does not already exist. Use the search bar in the upper lefthand corner of the screen to search for the specific title of the desired article. Also check that the article may not exist under a similar topic. For example, an editor may desire to write an article on Character Level; an article called Leveling up already exists, covering the same content. Instead of creating a new article at Character Level, the appropriate step would be to either rename the existing article to the new title or create a redirect from the new name to the pre-existing page.

New articles can be started by clicking on redlinks. Before doing so, ensure that an article under a similar name or spelling does not already exist. If not, create the page. If it does, consider mending the links so that it points to the correct page, or create a new redirect page.

For more advice on article creation, read this article at Wikipedia!

Unknown information

In some cases you won't have all the information at hand. If this is the case, please do not fill in information with guesses or approximations. No information is worse than inaccurate information! This is especially true of numerical details, such as damage ranges, but might not always apply to descriptions. If you can only remember an approximate description then in most cases this could suffice, but please use your discretion.

Please omit sections if they are contentious, unsourced, and likely to remain unsourced. If contestable information might have a source out there, flag that sentence with {{fact}}, so readers and editors alike know not to take the claim at face value.

Most ingredients and plants should have a "Common locations" section. If you don't know where to find them, please don't fill in this section with "to be completed" or "unknown." Instead omit the section and readers will know that this information is unknown.

Boxes

Many articles that discuss an object or character in the game make use of boxes, which are standardized methods of presenting similar information on related objects. Each article type, for instance, Character articles use the same or similar formatting across all games. The main difference is the coloring of these boxes. See the table below for information on how the color coding works. Any boxes relating to a specific game need to be that color, with very few exceptions being quest navigation templates such as {{Mages Guild Quests Oblivion}} and {{College of Winterhold Quests}}.

Game Color
Arena #841B17 – Link Test
Daggerfall #004200 – Link Test
Morrowind #271F07 – Link Test
Bloodmoon #705423 – Link Test
Tribunal #652C31 – Link Test
Oblivion #2F4F4F – Link Test
Shivering Isles #22182E – Link Test
Knights of the Nine #204F71 – Link Test
Skyrim #0B2763 – Link Test
Dawnguard #3f0C0C – Link Test
Dragonborn #1D2438 – Link Test
Online #111111 – Link Test
Game Color
Redguard #5B3A23 – Link Test
Travels #182E24 – Link Test
Battlespire #154245 – Link Test
Oblivion Mobile #3E6B4F – Link Test

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.