FANDOM


Forums: Helping Hand > Standardizing article sections

Use the following template for a nicely presented post:

{{Forum post|Write your message here!|~~~~}}

Darkwynters and I have been discussing the idea of formalising a more standard way of laying out sections within articles to give them a more standard layout.

There are already some guidelines at, for example, Help:Writing an article about a book, or Help:Writing an article about a person, but these are quite dated.

I'm interested, therefore, to find out what people think about modernizing these and sticking by them, so each article takes on a more familiar order. We could also use some "example" articles so new editors can see how they ought to be constructed.

I am not proposing each article must have exactly the same headings with no deviation, as this is not appropriate for all articles, and some articles won't have the sections others do, but I am proposing a more definite guideline on the matter.

Thoughts?

Fw190a8 20:29, March 11, 2012 (UTC)


Copied from FW's talk

Improved formatting

Person

  • Physical description
  • Personality
  • History
  • Abilities (or special powers)
  • Equipment
  • Allies (or associates) / Relationships, instead
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

Buildings

  • Geography
  • History
  • Structure
  • Interior
  • Inhabitants
  • Defenses
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

Locations

  • Geography (or geographic location or area)
  • History
  • Inhabitants
  • Government
  • Trade
  • Defenses
  • Geographical features (listing)
  • Notable locations (listing)
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

Items

  • Physical description
  • History
  • Powers
  • Notable "owners" or similar items (listing)
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

Creatures

  • Physical description
  • Personality (or Behavior)
  • History
  • Combat
  • Ecology / Habitat perhaps
  • Notable "creatures" (specific creatures or characters) (listing)
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

Organizations

  • Personality (or something to do with their actions or typical behavior or maybe just Organization)
  • History
  • Enemies (or Relationships, which sounds more encompassing)
  • Specialized equipment
  • Tactics
  • Members (listing)
  • Appearances - Novels / video games, etc.
  • Notes or discrepancies
  • Gallery
  • References

With FW's suggestion I have moved the History section... actually, the history section could be even further down (Maybe before the listing sections, such as notable locations or Members), but I placed it after the initial description of the subject of the page... mainly, I am interested in streamlining the appearance and consistency of the wiki pages... plus, if this is made policy, it will be something to show new members how to create and organize their new pages... any thoughts :)

Darkwynters (talk) 19:38, October 8, 2012 (UTC)


I kept meaning to get back to this, but kept forgetting. I had thought it would be difficult to arrange articles like this, that not all sections would fit, or that it would seem unbalanced if the sections were too small. But I've been using these sections constantly and never found a real problem. By organising the article, they make it easier for later expansion and new information. I like it.
BadCatMan (talk) 03:51, October 10, 2012 (UTC)


I've bookmarked this thread for future reference, it will be good to have a general consensus on style like this.

--Eli the Tanner (talk) 00:30, October 12, 2012 (UTC)


Just some thoughts on the section titles.
  • 'Physical description' may be redundant, 'Description' seems to be work just fine.
  • 'Relationships' is broad enough to cover all possibilities of allies, enemies, or just dealings.

I've liked 'Activities' to cover the general actions, projects or deeds of a person or group.

I've found that Rumors and/or Legends works rather well to cover rumors, legends, tales, unconfirmed information, and plot hooks that don't rightly go in other sections.

Another useful section is Appendix, to contain all the out-of-universe sections like Notes, Appearances and References.

BadCatMan (talk) 03:51, October 10, 2012 (UTC)


Updated... so BadCat, you think "Appendix" should encompass "Appearances", "Discrepancies", and "Notes"? Feel free anyone to adjust the list below :)

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

Darkwynters (talk) 18:21, December 9, 2012 (UTC)


I'd suggest adding a 'realmslore' category, as a final catch all category. For every person, place or thing there is often miscellaneous information that does not quite fit into any category. Adding the verbal component of a spell, for example, does not really fit in 'history' or 'rumors' or even 'effect'. The same way saying the Broken Mug is a popular dwarf tavern is not exactly a 'rumor' or 'history' or 'description'.
(Bloodtide (talk) 03:55, December 10, 2012 (UTC))


Yes, an Appendix is generally for things outside the main article. As an article has an in-universe perspective, the Appendix, I feel, should have those things that are real world–related: See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, References, External Links. The Appendix separates the in-universe and real-world parts of the article. It's something I've seen done in other well-developed wikis (or at least, Memory Beta). I've only done it on articles with more than one of those sections I listed though. For example, Ylraphon.

"Notes" is more catch-all than "Discrepancies".

"Powers": "Abilities" might be more appropriate, especially for combat-focused characters.

"Equipment": Perhaps "Possessions", which can include pets, vehicles, property and valuables?

But then, these are more guidelines than strictures, aren't they? So a few solid examples of section headings that should be used will work well.

"Realmslore", I think, would suggest that the rest of the article isn't actually Realms lore. That may suit a core D&D thing, but it seems unnecessary to me, when everything can be framed in terms of being within the Realms. The components of a spell can just go under "Components", as at cone of cold (ah, sorry Bloodtide, you wrote that originally before I changed it). I think "is a popular dwarf tavern" can easily go under Description, Inhabitants, or even the introductory line.

BadCatMan (talk) 09:54, December 10, 2012 (UTC)


As BadCatMan mentioned in an earlier post, I'd like to emphasize that we shouldn't use sections unnecessarily. If there's very little information (only a few sentences), separating that into 2-3 sections just makes the page look that much more like a stub page.

For example, take the Arkanis Gath article. Aside from the infobox, references section, and stub template, the only content to the article is "Arkanis Gath is a Human Fighter/Thief from the Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn computer games. He makes a guest appearance in Baldur's Gate II as a Shadow Thief agent." Adding an Appearances section for that second line just breaks up the article without adding style.

I suppose I'm proposing that, unless each proposed section has a paragraph's worth of information (3-4 meaty sentences), segregating it isn't necessary. We could put that information in the introduction paragraph.

Cronje (talkcontribs) 15:19, December 10, 2012 (UTC)


BadCat... I have updated the sections above, see what you think... also check out Artus Cimber and (he is my guinea pig)... Not sure I like the References being a subsection of the Appendix... hmmm... Cronje, I understand not using these sections on really small pages... but they are nice for organization... please feel free to edit my sandbox "Artus" page and see if other changes need to be made :)
Darkwynters (talk) 19:11, December 10, 2012 (UTC)


My point was that each article should have a standard Miscellaneous section. Where anything that does not exactly if in any other section can go. Sure you can just put any random information into any random section, but a miscellaneous section just looks better. Don't worry about the spells BadCatMan, I gave up on them long ago. I was not to happy with the let 4E ruin everything ruling here, so I don't bother editing anymore. Though I wonder if all the 4E fans will like when everything 4E gets ruined by 5E. Assuming the Wiki policy of we must ruin everything stands. It will be funny to watch and see if the 4E fans will be happy with wacky 5E stuff(Oh duegar are Fallen Angels! Of course! Just no one noticed they had wings for 40,000 years.. or Dragons can't speak at all....and, er, any time in the Realms past when a dragon spoke it was just a pesudodragon nearby with ventriloquism.) (Bloodtide (talk) 01:20, December 11, 2012 (UTC))

Well, Arkanis Gath is a total stub in need of context, style and expansion. But yes, I agree, we probably shouldn't use section headings unnecessarily. I ran into this problem with Community of the high brows: I tried to section it up, but got only one line each, so it's overwhelmed with section headings. So a section requiring a decent paragraph is reasonable. On the other hand, something like Artus Cimber is very small now, but could be massively expanded upon with his other appearances, so the section headings could be kept in such a case.

For an Appendix, I'd only bother if there are multiple appendix-ey things to put there. Otherwise, the article would just be over-sectioned. In most cases, just References is enough.

No, Miscellaneous is good if there's random stuff for it.

Person — Abilities: This can also include political abilities and powers.

Rumors: We could give multiple options for this, as appropriate: Rumors, Legends, or Rumors & Legends.

Building — Geography: I'm unsure how geography (hills, trees, rivers, etc.) relates to a building. Would Location be better?

Creature — Personality and Society if it's an intelligent being, Behavior and Ecology if it's more animalistic (whether intelligent or not)? Creatures could also have Environment or Habitat for the areas they live in. As I found at mlarraun, Uses is another section that could be useful when people or other creatures make some kind of use of the creature.

Obviously, it would be better to provide multiple suggestions for each type of section, used as appropriate to the article. The order should also be flexible. I've often found it easier to introduce and explain one thing prior to it being referred to in later sections.

Bloodtide, I think we're well off that, ahem, policy now, with the wiki removed from the timeline and a clarified canon policy and how things are currently done, with few people actually doing 4e material from what I can tell. There's still a lot of old articles to be worked on though. If you get back to editing, you could better balance these over the Classic/4th edition divide.


BadCatMan, I don't see how the 'no timeline' and 'cannon' mean anything to to all of the 4E lets ruin everything fans. I still can see why I'd waste my time creating an article that a 4E fan will just come along and ruin (and make utterly useless to me or any non 4E fan). And worse the 4E fans have the full support of the wiki policy that says 4E is cool and you loose.

BadCatMan, I don't see how the 'no timeline' and 'cannon' mean anything to to all of the 4E lets ruin everything fans. I still can't see why I'd waste my time creating an article that a 4E fan will just come along and ruin (and make utterly useless to me or any non 4E fan). And worse the 4E fans have the full support of the wiki policy that says 4E is cool and you loose.

Bloodtide (talk) 3:50, December 11, 2012 (UTC)


Updated... so BadCat, you think "Appendix" should encompass "Appearances", "Discrepancies", and "Notes"? Feel free anyone to adjust the list below :)

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

Bloodtide, we are historians... 1e, 2e... 5e... it makes no difference because the history is still there... FW stated a while ago that we should be writing these pages as if 3000 years have past... yes, the world has changed, but great stories are still alive in the Realms take Darkwalker on Moonshae, Caer Corwell might be a smoking ruin in 1379 DR, but it is a mystical place in 1345 DR and as historians, we must provide all information :)

Darkwynters (talk) 07:24, December 11, 2012 (UTC)


I wish this was a 'historical' wiki, instead of a 4E is the only way to go, but that is what everyone wants. And guess all the 4E fans will just change to 5E fans and want to ruin all the history again. (Bloodtide (talk) 10:48, December 15, 2012 (UTC))

Darkwynters: That all looks pretty good.

Spells: Is Description necessary? I'm not sure what one would describe about a spell that wouldn't also go under Effects. For example, a fireball is a big ball of fire, and a fireball creates a big ball of fire.

Bloodtide: I don't think any currently active editor here is even working on 4e material, let alone pushing for its prominence. Some of the older articles are 4e-centric, but they also need to majorly overhauled. As for me, I hate 4e and Spellplague Realms, and won't touch the stuff. I felt the same way as you a few years ago, reluctant to get into the FRW, until I decided if I wanted the classic Realms, I should start writing it. We may be forced to accommodate 4e, but we're not forced to write it.

Regardless, this isn't the thread for bitching about 4e and Spellplague, as satisfying as it. If you have solid issues to raise or policies to present, consider opening a different forum thread.

BadCatMan (talk) 11:40, December 15, 2012 (UTC)


Updated based on BadCat's advice :)

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

Wow, I feel this is looking really good :)

Darkwynters (talk) 18:02, December 15, 2012 (UTC)


Organizations: I think this might need more:

  • Organization - how they are organized
  • Membership - types of members, specific roles such as scout, wizard, warrior, etc. Or should this go under Organization?
  • Base - if they have one worth describing in detail)
  • Goals - their overall aims and plans. Or would this go under Activities?

To be different, I tried not using sections on The Hand Behind the Mirror, since if I had sectioned it out, there would only be one short line each. So, do agree it's okay to leave these short articles unsectioned?

BadCatMan (talk) 12:05, December 21, 2012 (UTC)


Yeah, the Organization section is a catch-all section... Base is good... Activities seem to incorporate Goals...

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

As for using the sections... personally (duh), I like the way the pages look, plus while I'm reading, it allows me to organize what info to place on a page... still everyone has their own opinions, which is cool too :)

Darkwynters (talk) 18:27, December 21, 2012 (UTC)


Looks great!

One more: Conflicts, for wars and battles. Do we want to standardized some sections for them? Perhaps: History or Events?: This could have subsections, to cover Causes (of the war) or Lead up (to the battle), the Course of the war/battle, and its Aftermath (immediate) or Legacy (historical importance, etc.). Location: the battlefield or building the battle was fought in, or the lands involved in the war, if there's sufficient detail to expand on these Combatants: details about the combatants, make-up and states of the armies, famous figures involved

Anything else?

BadCatMan (talk) 05:23, December 23, 2012 (UTC)


Ooo... good idea!!! Okay, so I looked through many of the battles...

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

That feels pretty good... thought?

Darkwynters (talk) 05:53, December 23, 2012 (UTC)


Looks good. Another one:

Books:

  • History
  • Contents
  • Quotes
  • Powers (if magical)
BadCatMan (talk) 10:56, December 23, 2012 (UTC)


hmmm, books are similar to items, but I added them... I also felt items should have powers instead of abilities...

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

Not too bad... thought?

Darkwynters (talk) 16:36, December 23, 2012 (UTC)


Yeah, I guess books would be a subset of items in this case. There's a close overlap. "Description" would also suit books.

I think I'm done with ideas for this, and we're the last two working on it. Let's call it done! We can always add more to it later.

BadCatMan (talk) 02:39, December 24, 2012 (UTC)


Agreed :) Great work, BadCat!!!
Darkwynters (talk) 06:35, December 24, 2012 (UTC)


One more for Buildings. Something I've found useful for shops and businesses is "Services" to describe goods sold and bought, services provided, quality of service, etc. For buildings that are not businesses, "Activities" might be more appropriate, to describe general activities that go on there.

— BadCatMan (talk) 01:01, April 2, 2013 (UTC)


Adding classes...

(Housekeeping... updated sections below)

I also created a link to each infobox... thoughts?

Darkwynters (talk) 17:48, April 23, 2013 (UTC)


Looks good to me. But in Classes, what do you mean by "Culture"?
— BadCatMan (talk) 13:09, April 24, 2013 (UTC)


BadCat... I was just using the section most of the class pages have used... such as Fighter, and even Arcane devotee uses Culture, but personally something else would be better, such as Structure or Organization...
Darkwynters (talk) 17:36, April 24, 2013 (UTC)


Do we have one of these for Deities?
Moviesign (talk) 14:41, June 28, 2013 (UTC)


Not yet, though many deity pages have probably already got something going.

If you run with my idea of treating deities as characters, then the Person arrangement will do fine. Then the Organization arrangement for their church/faith/cult/other. Plus whatever else a deity and church need: Dogma, Orders, Classes, Rituals, Celebrations. This is where my proposal of splitting deity and church may come in useful.

— BadCatMan (talk) 15:43, June 28, 2013 (UTC)


Oooo, Movie brings up an important thought... should we continue using the Deity infobox... or combine it with the Person infobox... because many of the gods are given classes... thoughts... personally, I think the deities infobox needs to just incorporate a few of the person infobox items, such as adding a class line, with the edition add-on, which I love BTW!!!

Complete final formatting

Person

  • Description
  • Personality
  • Abilities
  • Possessions
  • Activities
  • Relationships
  • History
  • Rumors and legends
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Creatures

  • Description
  • Personality (intelligent being) / Behavior (animal)
  • Combat
  • Society (intelligent being) / Ecology (animal)
  • History
  • Notable "creatures" (specific creatures or characters) (listing)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Deities

  • Description
  • Personality
  • Abilities
  • Possessions
  • Divine Realm
  • Activities
  • Relationships
  • History
  • Rumors and legends
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Buildings

  • Location
  • Structure
  • Interior (Atmosphere - Subcat)
  • Activities (non-businesses) / Services (shops)
  • Defenses
  • History
  • Rumors and legends
  • Inhabitants
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Locations

  • Geography
  • Geographical features (listing) - Subcat
  • Government
  • Trade
  • Defenses
  • History
  • Rumors and legends
  • Notable locations (listing)
  • Inhabitants
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Organizations

  • Organization
  • Activities
  • Tactics
  • Base of operations
  • Possessions
  • Relationships
  • History
  • Members (listing)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Churches

  • Organization
  • Activities
  • Rituals
  • Celebrations
  • Tactics
  • Base of operations
  • Possessions
  • Dogma
  • Orders
  • Classes
  • Relationships
  • History
  • Members (listing)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Classes

  • Culture
  • Abilities
  • Possessions
  • Relationships
  • History
  • Notable "characters" (listing)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Conflicts

  • Location
  • History (Causes/Battle/Aftermath - Subcats)
  • Combatants (Casualties - Subcat)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Items

  • Description
  • Powers
  • History
  • Notable "owners" or similar items (listing)
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References

Spells

  • Effects
  • Components
  • History
  • Appendix (See Also/Connections, Notes/Discrepancies, Appearances, Gallery, External links - Subcats)
  • References
Darkwynters (talk) 17:49, June 28, 2013 (UTC)


Bumping this so newer editors can become familiar with the conventions. These are not enforced with a heavy hand, but should help organize things.
Moviesign (talk) 22:34, October 12, 2013 (UTC)


I have placed templates for all of the above in the /doc pages for the associated infobox templates. An editor can cut and paste the headings into a new document and delete the unused ones. This should make it easier to follow the conventions documented in this article.
Moviesign (talk) 03:23, October 17, 2013 (UTC)


"Divine Realm" was added to the list of standard sections for the {{Deity}} template as per discussion in Forum:Divine realms treatment.
Moviesign (talk) 15:00, September 17, 2017 (UTC)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.