UniWiki:Manual of Style

From UniWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is a part of the UniWiki's Manual of Style. It is a general guideline intended to harmonize article style across the UniWiki, though it is best treated with common sense, and exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus among Wiki Curators, or be approved by the Wiki Manager, Director of Communications, or CEO. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

The UniWiki Manual of Style (abbreviated as UMoS or simply MoS) is the style manual for all UniWiki articles. This primary page of the guideline covers certain topics (e.g., punctuation) in detail and summarizes the key points of other topics. The detail pages, which are cross-referenced here and linked by this page's menu or listed at UniWiki:Manual of Style/Contents, provide specific guidance on those topics. If any contradiction arises, this page has precedence over all detail pages of the guideline.

Much of this manual has been adapted from Wikipedia's Manual of Style. While care has been taken to adapt as many relevant sections as possible, any topics not covered here can most likely be found there, and interested editors are encouraged to refer to both the UMoS and Wikipedia's MoS for the most comprehensive instruction.

Further, this page and any UniWiki pages linked here serve only as a style manual. For all other guidelines, such as summary style and editing, the UniWiki defers to those guidelines set forth by Wikipedia, both because it has set a standard of excellence that the UniWiki seeks to emulate, and because to develop UniWiki-specific guidelines of a similar caliber would be an unrealistic goal, given the relatively small number of Wiki Curators.

In particular, the UniWiki can be considered to operate under the following guidelines used by Wikipedia:

Links to relevant sections of the above can be found throughout this manual.

The UniWiki Manual of Style presents the UniWiki's house style. The goal is to make using the UniWiki easier and more intuitive by promoting clarity and cohesion, while helping editors write articles with consistent and precise language, layout, and formatting. Plain English works best. Avoid ambiguity and vague or unnecessarily complex wording. Any new content added to the body of this page should directly address a style issue that has occurred in a significant number of instances.

Style and formatting should be consistent throughout the UniWiki. Where more than one style is acceptable, editors should not change an article from one of those styles to another without a good reason. Edit warring over optional styles is unacceptable. If discussion cannot determine which style to use in an article, defer to the style used by the first major contributor. If a style or similar debate becomes intractable, refer the issue to the Wiki Manager, the Director of Communications, or, as a last resort, the CEO of EVE University.

Discuss style issues on the UMoS talk page.

The UniWiki does not require citation, though editors may choose to include it. All information contained on the UniWiki is assumed to be correct and verifiable, and should simply be edited if found to be otherwise.


Article titles, headings, and sections

Article titles

When choosing an article's title, refer to the article titles policy. A title should be a recognizable name or description of the topic that is natural, sufficiently precise, concise, and consistent with the titles of related articles. If these criteria are in conflict, they should be balanced against one another.

For guidance on formatting titles, see the Article title format section of the policy. Note the following:

  • Capitalize the title's initial letter (except in rare cases where the first letter is purposely lowercase), but otherwise follow sentence case, not title case; e.g., Funding of EVE University projects, not Funding of EVE University Projects. This does not apply where title case would be expected were the title to occur in ordinary prose. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) for more details.
    • In particular: in EVE, most item, ship, and module names use the title case (e.g. Command Burst, Tactical Destroyers). Articles about these subjects should use the title case as they would appear in-game.
  • Do not use A, An, or The as the first word (Economy of the Caldari State, not The economy of the Caldari State), unless it is an inseparable part of a name (The Kalevala Expanse) or it is part of the title of a work (The Seven Events of the Apocalypse, The Scope).
  • Titles should normally be nouns or noun phrases: Early life, not In early life.[1]
  • The final character should not be a punctuation mark unless it is part of a name (Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!) or an abbreviation (Inverness City F.C.), or a closing round bracket or quotation mark is required (Kronos (expansion)).

The guidance contained elsewhere in the UMoS, particularly § Punctuation (below) applies to all parts of an article, including the title.

Section organization

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Layout

An article should begin with an introductory lead section, which should not contain section headings (see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Lead section). The remainder of the article may be divided into sections, each with a section heading (see below) that can be nested in a hierarchy.

The lead should be a concise summary. Newly added information does not always qualify as important enough for the lead; it should be placed in the most appropriate section or sections (see Lead section).

If there are at least four section headings in the article, a navigable table of contents is generated automatically and displayed between the lead section and the first heading.

If the topic of a section is also covered in more detail in a dedicated article, show this by inserting {{main|Article name}} directly under the section heading (see also Summary style).

As explained in more detail in UniWiki:Manual of Style/Layout § Standard appendices and footers, optional appendix and footer sections containing the following lists may appear after the body of the article in the following order:

  • internal links to related UniWiki articles (section heading "See also");
  • notes and references (section heading "Notes" or "References", or a separate section for each; see Wikipedia:Citing sources);
  • relevant books, articles, or other publications that have not been used as sources (section heading "Further reading");
  • relevant websites that have not been used as sources and do not appear in the earlier appendices (added as part of "Further reading" or in a separate section headed "External links");
  • internal links organized into navigational boxes (sometimes placed at the top in the form of sidebars);
  • Categories.

Other article elements include disambiguation hatnotes (normally placed at the very top of the article) and infoboxes (usually placed before the lead section).

Section headings

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Headings and UniWiki:Manual of Style/Layout#Order of article elements, Wikipedia:Help:Section

Use equal signs to mark the enclosed text as a section heading: ==Title== for a primary section; ===Title=== for the next level (a subsection); and so on to the lowest-level subsection, with =====Title=====. A level 1 heading =Title= is possible, but these are usually reserved for the article title itself, which is automatically generated. Spaces between the equal signs and the heading text are optional, and will not affect the way the heading is displayed. The heading must be typed on a separate line. Include one blank line above the heading, and optionally one blank line below it, for readability in the edit window (but not two or more consecutive blank lines, which will add unnecessary visible space in the rendered page). There is no need to include a blank line between a heading and sub-heading.

The provisions in § Article titles generally apply to section headings as well (for example, headings are in sentence case, not title case). The following points apply specifically to section headings:

  • Headings should not refer redundantly to the subject of the article, or to higher-level headings, unless doing so is shorter or clearer. (Early life is preferable to His early life when his refers to the subject of the article; headings can be assumed to be about the subject unless otherwise indicated.)
  • Section and subsection headings should preferably be unique within a page; otherwise section links may lead to the wrong place, and automatic edit summaries can be ambiguous.
  • Citations should not be placed within or on the same line as section and subsection headings.
  • Avoid starting headings with numbers (other than years), because this can be confusing for readers with the "Auto-number headings" preference selected.

Before changing a section heading, consider whether you might be breaking existing links to that section.

When placing an invisible comment on the same line as the heading, do not do this outside the == == markup:[2]

==Evolutionary implications==<!--This comment disrupts editing-->

<!--This comment disrupts display as well as editing-->==Evolutionary implications==

Several of the above provisions are also applicable to table headers, including sentence case and redundancy. Table headers are often useful places for citations (e.g., the source of all the data in a column), and many do begin with or are numbers. Table headers do not automatically generate link anchors. (For more information see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Tables § Captions and headers.)

Retaining existing styles

For some elements of style, there is more than one format that is acceptable. In general, editors should not change articles between acceptable formats unless there is some substantial reason for the change (unrelated to the choice of style or the preference of the editor), and edit-warring between optional styles is unacceptable.

Examples of topic-specific versions of this guideline include:

National varieties of English

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Spelling

The UniWiki prefers no major national variety of the language over any other. These varieties (e.g., American English, British English, etc.) differ in many ways, including vocabulary (elevator vs. lift), spelling (center vs. centre), date formatting ("April 13" vs. "13 April"), and occasionally grammar (see § Plurals, below). The following subsections describe how to determine the appropriate variety for an article. (The accepted style of punctuation is covered in § Punctuation, below.)

Consistency within articles

See also Wikipedia:Consistency for additional policies and guidelines on consistency.

While the UniWiki does not favor any national variety of English, within a given article the conventions of one particular variety should be followed when possible. The exceptions are:

  • quotations, titles of works (books, films, etc.): Quote these as given in the source.
  • proper names: Use the subject's own spelling e.g., joint project of the Caldari State and the Jovian Directorate;
  • URLs: Changing the spelling of part of an external link's URL will almost always break the link.

Capital letters

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters

UniWiki article titles and section headings use sentence case, not title case; see Wikipedia:Article titles and § Section headings (above). For capitalization of list items, see § Bulleted and numbered lists. Other points concerning capitalization are summarized below; full information can be found at UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters.

While the game may be referred to as Eve Online in third-party sources not familiar with the game, CCP has chosen to stylize the game's title as EVE Online, so all references to the game itself, as well as any names derived from that title (such as EVE University) should use the stylized form.

Do not use capitals for emphasis

Use italics, not capitals, to denote emphasis.

Incorrect: It is not only a LITTLE learning that is dangerous.
Correct: It is not only a little learning that is dangerous.

Capitalization of "The"

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Capitalization of "The"

Generally, do not capitalize the in the middle of a sentence: an article about the Amarr Empire (not about The Amarr Empire). However there are some conventional exceptions, including most titles of artistic works: Damella Macaper wrote The Seven Events of the Apocalypse (but Heideran VII wrote the Pax Amarria), and warp gates in The Kalevala Expanse.

Titles of people

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Titles of people
  • In generic use, apply lower case to words such as president, king, and emperor (Souro Foiritan was a Gallentean president; Jamyl Sarum was an Amarrian empress; Three directors attended the conference).
  • Directly juxtaposed with the person's name, such words begin with a capital letter (Empress Catiz, not empress Catiz). Standard or commonly used names of an office are treated as proper names (Maleatu Shakor is Matari Sanmatar; Jamyl Sarum was Empress of the Amarrian Empire; Jacus Roden is President of the Gallente Federation). Royal styles are capitalized (Her Majesty; His Grace); exceptions may apply for particular offices.

Religions, deities, philosophies, doctrines

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Religions, deities, philosophies, doctrines and their adherents
  • Religions, sects, and churches and their followers (in noun or adjective form) start with a capital letter. Generally, "the" is not capitalized before such names (the Order of St. Tetrimon, not The Order of St. Tetrimon).
  • Pronouns for figures of veneration or worship are not capitalized, even if capitalized in a religion's scriptures.
  • Spiritual or religious events are capitalized only when referring to specific incidents or periods (the Reclaiming and the Moral Reform; but a series of battles and moral reforms).

Calendar items

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Calendar items
  • Months, days of the week, and holidays start with a capital letter (June, Monday; the Fourth of July refers only to the US Independence Day — otherwise July 4 or 4 July).
  • Seasons are in lower case (her last summer; the winter solstice; spring fever), except in personifications or in proper names for periods or events (Summer of Rage; Winter 2016).

Celestial bodies

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Celestial bodies
See also: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (astronomical objects)
  • The words sun, earth, and moon do not take capitals in general use (The sun was peeking over the mountain top; The tribal people of Matar thought of the whole earth as their home). They are capitalized when the entity is personified (Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the Roman sun god) or when used as the name of a specific body in a scientific or astronomical context (The Moon orbits the Earth; but Kileakum is a moon of Eclipticum).
  • Names of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, stars, constellations, and galaxies are proper names, and therefore capitalized (The planet Zorast sometimes eclipses the star Amarr, as seen from the surface of Oris; {{}}; The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy). The first letter of every word in such a name is capitalized (Old Man Star and not Old man star; New Eden, not New eden).
  • Words such as comet and galaxy should be capitalized where they form part of an object's proper name (New Eden Cluster).

Compass points

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Compass points

Do not capitalize directions such as north, nor their related forms (We took the northern road), except where they are parts of proper names (such as Great North Road, Great Western Drive or South Pole).

Capitalize names of regions if they have attained proper-name status, including informal conventional names (Southern California; the Western Desert), and derived terms for people (e.g., a Southerner as someone from the Southern United States). Do not capitalize descriptive names for regions that have not attained the status of proper names, such as southern Poland.

Composite directions may or may not be hyphenated, depending on the variety of English adopted in the article. Southeast Asia and northwest are more common in American English; but South-East Asia and north-west in British English. In cases such as north–south dialogue and east–west orientation, use an en dash.


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Institutions

Names of particular institutions are proper names and require capitals, but generic words for institutions (university, college, hospital, high school) do not. For example: The university offers programs in arts and sciences, but Hedion University offers ....

The word the at the start of a title is usually uncapitalized, but follow the institution's own usage (a degree from the University of Caille; but researchers at The Leisure Group).


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Abbreviations

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. In strict analysis, they are distinct from contractions, which use an apostrophe (e.g., won't, see § Contractions) and initialisms (including acronyms). An initialism is usually formed from some or all of the initial letters of words in a phrase. In some variations of English, an acronym is considered to be an initialism which is pronounced as a word (e.g., NATO), as distinct from the case where the initialism is said as a string of individual letters (e.g., US, for United States). Herein, general statements regarding abbreviations are inclusive of acronyms, and the term acronym applies collectively to initialisms, without distinction that an acronym is said as a word.

Write out both the full version and the abbreviation at first occurrence

  • When an abbreviation is used in an article, give the expression in full at first, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses (round brackets). Thereafter the abbreviation can be used alone:
The Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) has controlled the Providence region for many years ... CVA also maintains a large, publicly-available standings page.
If the full version is already in parentheses, use a comma and or to indicate the abbreviation.
They suffered heavy losses last November (due to a conflict with Pandemic Legion, or PL)
Make an exception for very common abbreviations; in most articles they require no expansion (EWAR, DNA, ECM).
  • Do not apply initial capitals in a full version simply because capitals are used in the abbreviation.
Correct (not a proper name): He used a microwarpdrives (MWD)
Incorrect: He used a MicroWarpDrive (MWD)
Correct (a proper name): That area of space is controlled by Circle of Two (CO2)

Plural and possessive forms

Like other nouns, acronyms are pluralized via addition of -s or -es: they produced three ABs; three different POSes were built. As always, use an apostrophe only when forming the possessive: the VNI's hull was failing, not He bought two MWD's.

Full stops and spaces

Abbreviations may or may not be closed with a period; a consistent style should be maintained within an article. Standard North American usage is to end all abbreviations with a period (Dr. Smith of 42 Drummond St.), but in standard British and Australian usage, no stop is used if the abbreviation ends in the last letter of the unabbreviated form (Dr Smith of 42 Drummond St). This is also common practice in scientific writing. Regardless of punctuation, words that are abbreviated to more than one letter are spaced (op. cit. not op.cit. or opcit). There are some exceptions: PhD for "Philosophiae Doctor"; BVetMed for "Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine".


See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Uncertain, incomplete, or approximate dates for examples.

To indicate approximately, the abbreviation c. (followed by a space and not italicized) is preferred over circa, ca., or approx.

Do not use unwarranted abbreviations

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Units of measurement for when to abbreviate units of measurement.

Avoid abbreviations when they might confuse the reader, interrupt the flow, or appear informal. For example, do not use approx. for approximate or approximately, except in a technical passage where the term occurs many times or in an infobox or a data table to reduce width.

Do not invent abbreviations or acronyms

Generally avoid making up new abbreviations, especially acronyms (Test Alliance Please Ignore is the registered name of a particularly powerful nullsec alliance, but neither it nor the reduction TAPI is used by the organization; so use its official abbreviation and ticker, TEST). If it is necessary to abbreviate in a tight space, such as a header in a wide table of data, use widely recognized abbreviations (for New Zealand gross national product, use NZ and GNP, with a link if the term has not already been written out: NZ GNP; do not use the made-up initialism NZGNP).


In normal text and headings, the word and should be used instead of the ampersand (&); for example January 1 and 2, not January 1 & 2. Retain an ampersand when it is a legitimate part of a proper noun, such as in Up & Down or AT&T. Ampersands may be used with consistency and discretion in places where space is extremely limited (i.e. tables and infoboxes).


Further information: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Text formatting


Whereas italics may be used sparingly for emphasis, boldface is normally not used for this purpose. Use italics when introducing or distinguishing terms. Overuse of emphasis reduces its effectiveness.

When emphasis is intended, versus other uses of italics as described below, the semantic HTML markup <em>...</em> may be used. This helps editors understand the intent of the markup as emphasis.

Words as words

Use italics when mentioning a word or letter (see Use-mention distinction) or a string of words up to one full sentence (the term panning is derived from panorama; the most common letter in English is e). When a whole sentence is mentioned, quotation marks may be used instead, with consistency (The preposition in She sat on the chair is on; or The preposition in "She sat on the chair" is "on"). Mentioning (to discuss grammar, wording, punctuation, etc.) is different from quoting (in which something is usually expressed on behalf of a quoted source).

Quotations in italics

For quotations, use only quotation marks (for short quotations) or block quoting (for long ones), not italics. (See Quotations below.) This means that (1) a quotation is not italicized inside quotation marks or a block quote just because it is a quotation, and (2) italics are no substitute for proper quotation formatting. To distinguish block quotations from ordinary text, you can use <blockquote>.

Italics within quotations

Use italics within quotations if they are already in the source material. When adding emphasis on Wikipedia, add an editorial note [emphasis added] after the quotation.

"Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" [emphasis added].

If the source has used italics (or some other styling) for emphasis and this is not otherwise evident, the editorial note [emphasis in original] should appear after the quotation.

Effect on nearby punctuation

Italicize only the elements of the sentence affected by the emphasis. Do not italicize surrounding punctuation.

Incorrect: What are we to make of that? (The question mark applies to the whole sentence, not just to the emphasized that, so should not be italicized.)
Correct: What are we to make of that?
Correct: Four of Patrick White's most famous novels are A Fringe of Leaves, The Aunt's Story, Voss, and The Tree of Man. (The commas, the period, and the word and are not italicized.)

Italicized links

For a link to function, any italics markup must be either completely outside the link markup, or in the link's "piped" portion.

Incorrect: He died with [[''Turandot'']] still unfinished.
Correct: He died with ''[[Turandot]]'' still unfinished.
Incorrect: The [[USS ''Adder'' (SS-3)]] was a submarine.
Correct: The [[USS Adder (SS-3)|USS ''Adder'' (SS-3)]] was a submarine.

Controlling line breaks

See also: Wikipedia:Line-break handling

It is sometimes desirable to force a text segment to appear entirely on a single line—that is, to prevent a line break (line wrap) from occurring anywhere within it.

  • A non-breaking space (or hard space) will never be used as a line-break point. Unlike normal spaces, multiple adjacent non-breaking spaces do not compress into a single space. Markup: for 19 kg, code 19&nbsp;kg.

It is desirable to prevent line breaks ...

  • where breaking across lines might be confusing or awkward, such as:
  • 17&nbsp;kg
  • AD&nbsp;565
  • 2:50&nbsp;pm
  • £11&nbsp;billion
  • May&nbsp;2014
  • Boeing&nbsp;747
  • 123&nbsp;Fake Street
  • World War&nbsp;II
  • Pope Benedict&nbsp;XVI
  • before a spaced en dash. Markup: June 23&nbsp;- June 29

Whether a non-breaking space is appropriate depends on context: whereas it is appropriate to use 12&nbsp;MB in prose, it may be counterproductive in a table (where horizontal space is precious) and unnecessary in a short parameter value in an infobox (where a break would never occur anyway).

A line break may occur at a thin space (&thinsp;), which is sometimes used to correct too-close placement of adjacent characters. To prevent this, consider using &nbsp;

Always insert hard/thin spaces symbolically (&nbsp;, &thinsp;), never by entering them as literal Unicode characters entered directly from the keyboard.



  • Consistent use of the straight apostrophe ( ' ) is recommended, as opposed to the curly apostrophe ( ‘ ’ ). For details and reasons, see § Quotation marks, below.
  • Where an apostrophe might otherwise be misinterpreted as Wiki markup, use the <nowiki>...</nowiki> tags, or use &apos; entity.
  • For usage of the possessive apostrophe, see § Possessives, below.
  • For a thorough treatment of all uses of the apostrophe (possessive, elision, formation of certain plurals, specific foreign-language issues) see the Wikipedia article Apostrophe.

Quotation marks

The primary use of quotation marks is to identify and enclose speech or text which is reported verbatim. The term quotation in the material below also includes other uses of quotation marks such as those for titles of songs, chapters, episodes, unattributable aphorisms, literal strings, "scare-quoted" phrases, and constructed examples. Quotation marks existing in other sources should be changed to match the format described below when being brought onto the UniWiki.

Double or single
Enclose quotations with double quotation marks (Bob said, "Jim ate the apple."). Enclose quotations inside quotations with single quotation marks (Bob said, "Did Jim say 'I ate the apple' after he left?"). This is by far the dominant convention in current practice.
Article openings
In the bolded text typically appearing at the opening of an article:
  • Any quotation marks that are part of the title should be in bold just like the rest of the title (from "A" Is for Alibi: "A" Is for Alibi is a mystery novel ...).
  • Quotation marks not part of the article title should not be bolded (from Jabberwocky: "Jabberwocky" is a nonsense poem ...; from Bill Clinton: William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician ...).
Block quotations
Use quotation marks or block quotes (not both) to distinguish long quotations from other text. Multiparagraph quotations are always block-quoted. The quotations must be precise and exactly as in the source (except for certain allowable typographical changes. The source should be cited clearly and precisely to enable readers to locate the text in question, and to quote it accurately themselves from Wikipedia.
Punctuation before quotations
The use of a comma before a quotation embedded within a sentence is optional, if a non-quoted but otherwise identical construction would work grammatically without the comma:
  • The report stated "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate." (Compare the non-quotation The report stated there was a 45% reduction in transmission rate.)
  • The report stated, "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate."
The comma-free approach is often used with partial or interrupted quotations:
  • Free will was central to Anaïs Nin's experience of life, which she wrote "shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
  • "Life", Anaïs Nin wrote, "shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
A comma is required when it would be present in the same constructions if none of the material were a quotation:
  • In Margaret Mead's view, "we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities" to enrich our culture.
Do not insert a comma if it would confuse or alter the meaning:
  • Caitlyn Jenner expressed concerns about children "who are coming to terms with being true to who they are". (Accurate quote of a statement about some children.)
  • Caitlyn Jenner expressed concerns about children, "who are coming to terms with being true to who they are". (Misrepresentation, as a statement about all children.)
It is clearer to use a colon to introduce a quotation if it forms a complete sentence, and this should always be done for multi-sentence quotations:
  • The report stated: "There was a 45% reduction in transmission rate."
  • Albert Einstein wrote: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
No additional punctuation is necessary for an explicit words-as-words scenario:
  • The message was unintelligible except for the fragments "help soon" and "how much longer before".
Quotation characters
There are two possible methods for rendering quotation marks on the UniWiki (that is, the glyphs, displayed with emphasis here, for clarity):
  • Typewriter or straight style: "text" (recommended for the UniWiki)
  • Typographic or curly style: text (not recommended for the UniWiki – see below)
Whenever quotation marks or apostrophes appear in article titles, make a redirect from the same title but using the alternative glyphs.
Do not use grave and acute accents or backticks (`text´) as quotation marks (or as apostrophes). Likewise, avoid using the low-high („ “) or guillemet (« ») quotation marks that are common in several foreign languages. Editors may see and under the edit window as characters available for insertion; however, these are prime and double-prime symbols, used to indicate subdivisions of the degree, and should not be used to mark quotations.

Reasons to prefer straight quotation marks and apostrophes

Typographical, or curly, quotation marks and apostrophes might be read more efficiently, and many think they look better. However, for practical reasons the straight versions are used on the UniWiki.

  • Consistency keeps searches predictable. Search facilities have differences of which many readers (and editors) are unaware. For example, most modern browsers don't distinguish between curly and straight marks, but Internet Explorer still does (as of 2016), so that a search for Alzheimer's disease will fail to find Alzheimer’s disease and vice versa.
  • Straight quotation marks are easier to type and edit reliably on most platforms.

Reasons to prefer double quotation marks to single quotation marks

Normally, double rather than single quotation marks should be used for primary or top-level quotations.

  • Double quotation marks are distinguishable from apostrophes:
    She wrote that 'Cleanthes' differs from the others', but neither opinion may represent Hume's'; ... (slows the reader down)
    She wrote that "Cleanthes' differs from the others', but neither opinion may represent Hume's"; ... (clearer)
  • Most browsers distinguish single and double quotation marks. (Searches for "must see" attractions may fail to find 'must see' attractions.)

Names and titles

Quotation marks should be used for: articles and chapters (books and periodicals italicized), songs (albums italicized), and individual episodes of television and radio series and serials (series title italicized).

For example: The song "Example" from the album Example by the band Example.

Do not use quotation marks or italics for locations.

Many, but not all, of the above items should also be in title case.

Punctuation inside or outside

On the UniWiki, use the "logical quotation" style in all articles, regardless of the variety of English in which they are written. Include terminal punctuation within the quotation marks only if it was present in the original material, and otherwise place it after the closing quotation mark. For the most part, this means treating periods and commas in the same way as question marks: Keep them inside the quotation marks if they apply only to the quoted material and outside if they apply to the whole sentence. Examples are given below.

Did Darla say, "There I am"? (mark applies to whole sentence)
No, she said, "Where am I?" (mark applies to quoted material only)

If the quotation is a full sentence and it coincides with the end of the sentence containing it, place terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. If the quotation is a single word or fragment, place the terminal punctuation outside.

Marlin said: "I need to find Nemo."
Marlin needed, he said, "to find Nemo".

If the quoted sentence has been broken up with an editorial insertion, still include the terminal punctuation inside the closing quotation mark.

"I need", said Marlin, "to find Nemo."

If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause that should be preceded by a comma, omit the full stop but other terminal punctuation, such as a question mark or exclamation mark, may be retained. A question should always end with a question mark.

Dory said, "Yes, I can read", which gave Marlin an idea.
Dory said, "Yes, I can read!", which gave Marlin an idea.

If the quoted sentence is followed by a clause identifying the speaker, use a comma outside the quotation mark instead of a full stop inside it, but retain any other terminal punctuation, such as question marks.

"Why are you sleeping?", asked Darla.
"Fish are friends, not food", said Bruce.

Do not follow quoted words or fragments with commas inside the quotation marks, except where a longer quotation has been broken up and the comma is part of the full quotation.

"Fish are friends," said Bruce, "not food."
"Why", asked Darla, "are you sleeping?"

Brackets and parentheses

The rules in this section apply to both round brackets ( ), often called parentheses, and square brackets [ ].

If a sentence contains a bracketed phrase, place the sentence punctuation outside the brackets (as shown here). However, where one or more sentences are wholly inside brackets, place their punctuation inside the brackets. (For examples, see § Sentences and brackets, below.) There should be no space next to the inner side of a bracket. An opening bracket should usually be preceded by a space, for example. This may not be the case if it is preceded by an opening quotation mark, another opening bracket, or a portion of a word:

He rose to address the meeting: "(Ahem) ... Ladies and gentlemen, welcome!"
Only the royal characters in the play ([Prince] Hamlet and his family) habitually speak in blank verse.
We journeyed on the Inter[continental].

There should be a space after a closing bracket, except where a punctuation mark follows (though a spaced dash would still be spaced after a closing bracket) and in unusual cases similar to those listed for opening brackets.

If sets of brackets are nested, use different types for adjacent levels of nesting; for two levels, it is customary to have square brackets appear within round brackets. This is often a sign of excessively convoluted expression; it is often better to recast, linking the thoughts with commas, semicolons, colons, or dashes.

Avoid adjacent sets of brackets. Either put the parenthetic phrases in one set separated by commas, or rewrite the sentence:

Incorrect:    Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919) (also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader.
Correct: Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919, also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader.
Correct: Nikifor Grigoriev (c. 1885–1919) was a Ukrainian insurgent leader. He was also known as Matviy Hryhoriyiv.

Square brackets are used to indicate editorial replacements and insertions within quotations, though this should never alter the intended meaning. They serve three main purposes:

  • To clarify. (She attended [secondary] school, where this was the intended meaning, but the type of school was unstated in the original sentence.)
  • To reduce the size of a quotation. (X contains Y, and under certain circumstances, X may contain Z as well may be reduced to X contains Y [and sometimes Z].) When an ellipsis (...) is used to indicate that material is removed from a direct quotation, it should not normally be bracketed (see § Ellipses, below).
  • To make the grammar work. (Referring to someone's statement "I hate to do laundry", one could properly write She "hate[s] to do laundry".)

Sentences and brackets

  • If any sentence includes material that is enclosed in square or round brackets, it still must end—with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark—after those brackets. This principle applies no matter what punctuation is used within the brackets:
She refused all requests (except for basics such as food, medicine, etc.).
  • However, if the entire sentence is within brackets, the closing punctuation falls within the brackets. (This sentence is an example.) This does not apply to matter that is added (or modified editorially) at the beginning of a sentence for clarity, which is usually in square brackets:
"[Principal Skinner] already told me that", he objected.
That is preferable to this, which is potentially ambiguous:
"He already told me that", he objected.
But even here consider an addition rather than a replacement of text:
"He [Principal Skinner] already told me that", he objected.
  • A sentence that occurs within brackets in the course of another sentence does not generally have its first word capitalized just because it starts a sentence. The enclosed sentence may have a question mark or exclamation mark added, but not a period. See the indented example above and also
Alexander then conquered (who would have believed it?) most of the known world.
Clare demanded that he drive (she knew he hated driving) to the supermarket.
It is often clearer to separate the thoughts into separate sentences or clauses:
Alexander then conquered most of the known world. Who would have believed it?
Clare demanded that he drive to the supermarket; she knew he hated driving.

Brackets and linking

Brackets inside of links require special handling:

He said, "[[John Doe|John &#91;Doe&#93;]] answered."

He said, "John [Doe] answered."

[http://example.site On the first day &#91;etc.&#93;]

On the first day [etc.]

The <nowiki>...</nowiki> markup can also be used: <nowiki>[Doe]</nowiki> or <nowiki>[etc.]</nowiki>.

If a URL itself contains square brackets, the wiki-text should use the URL-encoded form http://example.site/foo.php?query=%5Bxxx%5Dyyy, rather than ...query=[xxx]yyy. This will avoid truncation of the link after xxx.


Use an ellipsis (plural ellipses) to indicate an omission of material from quoted text or some other omission, perhaps of the end of a sentence, often in a printed record of conversation. The ellipsis is represented by ellipsis points: a set of three dots.

Ellipsis points, or ellipses, have traditionally been implemented in three ways:
  • Three unspaced periods (...). This is the easiest way and gives a predictable appearance in HTML. Recommended.
  • Pre-composed ellipsis character () generated with the &hellip; character entity or as a literal "". This is harder to input and edit and too small in some fonts. Not recommended.
  • Three periods separated by spaces (. . .). This is an older style that is unnecessarily wide and requires non-breaking spaces to keep it from breaking at the end of a line. Not recommended.
Function and implementation
Use an ellipsis if material is omitted in the course of a quotation, unless square brackets are used to gloss the quotation (see § Brackets and parentheses, above, and the points below).
  • Put a space on each side of an ellipsis ("France, Germany, ... and Belgium"), except that there should be no space between an ellipsis and
    • a quotation mark directly following the ellipsis ("France, Germany, and Belgium ...").
    • any (round, square, curly, etc.) bracket, where the ellipsis is on the inside ("France, Germany (but not Berlin, Munich, ...), and Belgium").
    • any terminal punctuation, colon, semicolon, or comma, directly following the ellipsis ("Are we going to France ...?").
  • Place terminal punctuation after an ellipsis only if it is textually important (as is often the case with exclamation marks and question marks and rarely with periods).
  • Use non-breaking spaces (&nbsp;) as needed to prevent improper line breaks, for example,
    • to keep a quotation mark (and any adjacent punctuation) from being separated from the start or end of the quotation ("...&nbsp;we are still worried"; "Are we going to France&nbsp;...?").
    • to keep the ellipsis from wrapping to the next line ("France, Germany,&nbsp;... and Belgium", not "France, Germany,&nbsp;...&nbsp;and Belgium").
Pause or suspension of speech
Three periods (loosely also called ellipsis points) are occasionally used to represent a pause in or suspension of speech, in which case the punctuation is retained in its original form: Virginia's startled reply was "Could he ...? No, I cannot believe it!". Avoid this usage except in direct quotations. When it indicates an incomplete word, no space is used between the word fragment(s) and the ellipsis: The garbled transmission ended with "We are stranded near San L...o", interpreted as a reference to either San Leandro or San Lorenzo.
With square brackets
An ellipsis does not normally need square brackets around it, because its function is usually obvious—especially if the guidelines above are followed. Square brackets, however, may optionally be used for precision, to make it clear that the ellipsis is not itself quoted; this is usually only necessary if the quoted passage also uses three periods in it to indicate a pause or suspension. The ellipsis should follow exactly the principles given above but with square brackets inserted immediately before and after it (Her long rant continued: "How do I feel? How do you think I ... look, this has gone far enough! [...] I want to go home!").


Commas are the most frequently used punctuation marks and can be the most difficult to use well. Some important points regarding their use follow below and at § Semicolons.

  • Pairs of commas are used to delimit parenthetic material, forming an appositive. Using commas in this way interrupts a sentence less than using round brackets or dashes to express parenthetical material. When inserting parenthetical material in a sentence, use two commas, or none at all. For example:
Incorrect: John Smith, Janet Cooper's son is a well-known playwright.
Correct:    John Smith, Janet Cooper's son, is a well-known playwright.
Correct:    Janet Cooper's son John Smith is a well-known playwright. (when Janet has multiple sons)
Correct:    Janet Cooper's son, John Smith, is a well-known playwright. (when Janet has only one son)
  • Do not be fooled by other punctuation, which can distract from the need for a comma, especially when it collides with a bracket or parenthesis, as in this example:
Incorrect: Burke and Wills, fed by locals (on beans, fish, and ngardu) survived for a few months.
Correct:    Burke and Wills, fed by locals (on beans, fish, and ngardu), survived for a few months.
  • Modern writing uses fewer commas; there are usually ways to simplify a sentence so that fewer are needed.
Awkward: Mozart was, along with the Haydns, both Joseph and Michael, and also Beethoven, one of Schubert's heroes.
Much better:    Schubert's heroes included Mozart, Beethoven, and Joseph and Michael Haydn.
  • In geographical references that include multiple levels of subordinate divisions (e.g., city, state/province, country), a comma separates each element and follows the last element unless followed by other punctuation. Dates in month–day–year format require a comma after the day, as well as after the year, unless followed by other punctuation. In both cases, the last element is treated as parenthetical.
Incorrect: He set October 1, 2011 as the deadline for Chattanooga, Oklahoma to meet his demands.
Correct:    He set October 1, 2011, as the deadline for Chattanooga, Oklahoma, to meet his demands.
  • On Wikipedia, place quotation marks by following the system described above. This is called "logical quotation".
Incorrect: She said, "Punctuation styles on Wikipedia change too often," and made other complaints.
Correct:    She said, "Punctuation styles on Wikipedia change too often", and made other complaints.
  • A comma may be included before a quotation embedded within a sentence (see § Quotation marks above).

Serial commas

A serial comma (also known as an Oxford comma or a Harvard comma) is a comma used immediately before a conjunction (and or or, sometimes nor) in a list of three or more items: the phrase ham, chips, and eggs includes a serial comma, while ham, chips and eggs omits it. Editors may use either convention so long as each article is internally consistent; however, there are times when the serial comma can create or remove confusion:

  • Sometimes omitting the comma can lead to ambiguity:
The author thanked her parents, Sinéad O'Connor and President Obama, which may list either four people (the two parents and the two people named) or two people (O'Connor and Obama, who are the parents).
  • Including the comma can also cause ambiguity:
The author thanked her mother, Sinéad O'Connor, and President Obama, which may list either two people (O'Connor, who is the mother, and Obama) or three people (the first being the mother, the second O'Connor, and the third Obama).

In such cases of ambiguity, there are three ways to clarify:

  • Add or remove the serial comma.
  • Use paragraph breaks, bullet lists, or numbered paragraphs to clarify.
  • Recast the sentence (first example above):
    • To list four people: The author thanked President Obama, Sinéad O'Connor, and her parents.
    • To list two people (the commas here set off non-restrictive appositives): The author thanked her father, President Obama, and her mother, Sinéad O'Connor.
      Clearer (but wordier): The author thanked her father and her mother, who are President Obama and Sinéad O'Connor respectively.
  • Recast the sentence (second example above):
    • To list two people: The author thanked President Obama and her mother, Sinéad O'Connor.
    • To list three people: The author thanked her mother, President Obama, and Sinéad O'Connor.
      The clarity of the last example depends on the reader knowing that Obama is male and cannot be a mother. If we change the example slightly, we are back to an ambiguous statement: The author thanked her mother, Irish President Mary McAleese, and Sinéad O'Connor.
      Clearer: The author thanked President Obama, Sinéad O'Connor, and her mother; or The author thanked President Mary McAleese, Sinéad O'Connor, and her mother.


A colon (:) informs the reader that what comes after it demonstrates, explains, or modifies what has come before, or is a list of items that has just been introduced. The items in such a list may be separated by commas; or, if they are more complex and perhaps themselves contain commas, the items should be separated by semicolons:

We visited several tourist attractions: the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which I thought could fall at any moment; the Bridge of Sighs; the supposed birthplace of Petrarch, or at least the first known house in which he lived; and so many more.

A colon may also be used to introduce direct speech enclosed within quotation marks (see § Quotation marks above).

In most cases a colon works best with a complete grammatical sentence before it. There are exceptional cases, such as those where the colon introduces items set off in new lines like the very next colon here. Examples:

Correct: He attempted it in two years: 1941 and 1943.
Incorrect:    The years he attempted it included: 1941 and 1943.
Correct (special case):    Spanish, Portuguese, French: these, with a few others, are the West Romance languages.

Sometimes (more in American than in British usage) the word following a colon is capitalized, if that word effectively begins a new grammatical sentence, and especially if the colon serves to introduce more than one sentence:

The argument is easily stated: We have been given only three tickets. There are four of us here: you, the twins, and me. The twins are inseparable. Therefore, you or I will have to stay home.

No sentence should contain more than one colon. There should never be a hyphen or a dash immediately following a colon. Only a single space follows a colon.


For usage in marking up description (definition) lists, see Wikipedia:Description lists.

A semicolon (;) is sometimes an alternative to a full stop (period), enabling related material to be kept in the same sentence; it marks a more decisive division in a sentence than a comma. If the semicolon separates clauses, normally each clause must be independent (meaning that it could stand on its own as a sentence); in many cases, only a comma or only a semicolon will be correct in a given sentence.

Correct: Though he had been here before, I did not recognize him.
Incorrect:    Though he had been here before; I did not recognize him.

Above, "Though he had been here before" cannot stand on its own as a sentence, and therefore is not an independent clause.

Correct: Oranges are an acid fruit; bananas are classified as alkaline.
Incorrect:    Oranges are an acid fruit, bananas are classified as alkaline.

This incorrect use of a comma between two independent clauses is known as a comma splice; however, in very rare cases, a comma may be used where a semicolon would seem to be called for:

Accepted: "Life is short, art is long." (citing a brief aphorism; see Ars longa, vita brevis)
Accepted: "I have studied it, you have not." (reporting brisk conversation, like this reply of Newton's)

A sentence may contain several semicolons, especially when the clauses are parallel in construction and meaning; multiple unrelated semicolons are often signs that the sentence should be divided into shorter sentences, or otherwise refashioned.

Unwieldy: Oranges are an acid fruit; bananas are classified as alkaline; pears are close to neutral; these distinctions are rarely discussed.
One better way:    Oranges are an acid fruit, bananas are alkaline, and pears are close to neutral; these distinctions are rarely discussed.

Semicolons are used in addition to commas to separate items in a listing, when commas alone would result in confusion.

Confusing:   Sales offices are located in Boston, Massachusetts, San Francisco, California, Singapore, and Millbank, London, England.
Clear: Sales offices are located in Boston, Massachusetts; San Francisco, California; Singapore; and Millbank, London, England.

As seen in the examples above, a semicolon does not automatically require the word that follows it to be capitalized.

Semicolon before "however"

The meaning of a sentence containing a trailing clause that starts with the word "however" depends on the punctuation preceding that word. A common error is to use the wrong punctuation, thereby changing the meaning to one not intended.

When the word "however" is an adverb meaning "nevertheless", it should be preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma. Example:

It was obvious they could not convert these people; however, they tried.
Meaning: It was obvious they could not convert these people. Nevertheless, they tried.

When the word "however" is a conjunction meaning "in whatever manner", or "regardless of how", it may be preceded by a comma but not by a semicolon, and should not be followed by punctuation. Example:

It was obvious they could not convert these people, however they tried.
Meaning: It was obvious they could not convert these people, regardless of how they tried.

In the first case, the clause that starts with "however" cannot be swapped with the first clause; in the second case this can be done without change of meaning:

However they tried, it was obvious they could not convert these people.
Meaning: Regardless of how hard they tried, it was obvious they could not convert these people.

If the two clauses cannot be swapped, a semicolon is required.

A sentence or clause can also contain the word "however" in the middle, if it is an adverb meaning "although", which could have been placed at the beginning but does not start a new clause in mid-sentence. In this use the word may be enclosed between commas. Example:

He did not know, however, that the venue had been changed at the last minute.
Meaning: However, he did not know that the venue had been changed at the last minute.


Hyphens (-) indicate conjunction. There are three main uses:

  1. In hyphenated personal names: John Lennard-Jones.
  2. To link prefixes with their main terms in certain constructions (quasi-scientific, pseudo-Apollodorus, ultra-nationalistic).
    • A hyphen may be used to distinguish between homographs (re-dress means dress again, but redress means remedy or set right).
    • There is a clear trend to join both elements in all varieties of English (subsection, nonlinear), particularly in American English. British English tends to hyphenate when the letters brought into contact are the same (non-negotiable, sub-basement) or are vowels (pre-industrial), or where a word is uncommon (co-proposed, re-target) or may be misread (sub-era, not subera). American English reflects the same factors, but is more likely to close up without a hyphen. Consult a good dictionary, and see National varieties of English above.
  3. To link related terms in compound modifiers:[3]
    • Hyphens can help with ease of reading (face-to-face discussion, hard-boiled egg); where non-experts are part of the readership, a hyphen is particularly useful in long noun phrases, such as those in Wikipedia's scientific articles: gas-phase reaction dynamics. However, hyphens are never inserted into proper names in compounds (Middle Eastern cuisine, not Middle-Eastern cuisine).
    • A hyphen can help to disambiguate (little-celebrated paintings is not a reference to little paintings; a government-monitoring program is a program that monitors the government, whereas a government monitoring program is a government program that monitors something else).
    • Many compounds that are hyphenated when used attributively (adjectives before the nouns they qualify: a light-blue handbag, a 34-year-old woman) or substantively (as a noun: she is a 34-year-old), are usually not hyphenated when used predicatively (descriptive phrase separated from the noun: the handbag was light blue, the woman is 34 years old). Where there would otherwise be a loss of clarity, a hyphen may optionally be used in the predicative form as well (hand-fed turkeys, the turkeys were hand-fed). Awkward attributive hyphenation can sometimes be avoided with a simple rewording: Hawaiian-native culturenative Hawaiian culture.
    • Avoid using a hyphen after a standard -ly adverb (a newly available home, a wholly owned subsidiary) unless part of a larger compound (a slowly-but-surely strategy). In rare cases, a hyphen can be added to improve clarity if a rewritten alternative is awkward. Rewording is preferable: The idea was clearly stated enough can be disambiguated as The idea clearly was stated often enough or The idea was stated with enough clarity.
    • A few words ending in -ly function as both adjectives and adverbs (a kindly-looking teacher; a kindly provided facility). Some such dual-purpose words (like early, only, northerly) are not standard -ly adverbs, because they are not formed by addition of -ly to an independent current-English adjective. These need careful treatment: Early flowering plants appeared around 130 million years ago, but Early-flowering plants risk damage from winter frosts; only child actors (no adult actors) but only-child actors (actors without siblings).
    • A hyphen is normally used when the adverb well precedes a participle used attributively (a well-meaning gesture; but normally a very well managed firm, because well itself is modified) and even predicatively, if well is necessary to, or alters, the sense of the adjective rather than simply intensifying it (the gesture was well-meaning, the child was well-behaved, but the floor was well polished).
    • In some cases, like diode–transistor logic, the independent status of the linked elements requires an en dash instead of a hyphen. See En dashes below.
    • Use a hanging hyphen when two compound modifiers are separated (two- and three-digit numbers; a ten-car or -truck convoy; sloping right- or leftward, but better is sloping rightward or leftward).
    • Values and units used as compound modifiers are hyphenated only where the unit is given as a whole word; when using the unit symbol, separate it from the number with a non-breaking space (&nbsp;).
Incorrect: 9-mm gap
Correct: 9 mm gap (Markup: 9&nbsp;mm gap)
Incorrect:    9 millimetre gap
Correct: 9-millimetre gap
Correct: 12-hour shift
Correct: 12 h shift

Multi-hyphenated items: It is often possible to avoid multi-word hyphenated modifiers by rewording (a four-CD soundtrack album may be easier to read as a soundtrack album of four CDs). This is particularly important where converted units are involved (the 6-hectare-limit (14.8-acre-limit) rule might be possible as the rule imposing a limit of 6 hectares (14.8 acres), and the ungainly 4.9-mile (7.9 km) -long tributary as simply 4.9-mile (7.9 km) tributary).

For optional hyphenation of compound points of the compass such as southwest/south-west, see § Compass points, above.

Do not use a capital letter after a hyphen except for a proper name: Graeco-Roman and Mediterranean-style, but not Gandhi-Like. In titles of published works, follow the capitalization rule for each part independently (resulting in, e.g., The Out-of-Towners), unless reliable sources consistently do otherwise in a particular case (The History of Middle-earth).

Hyphenation rules in other languages may be different. Thus, in French a place name such as Trois-Rivières ("Three Rivers") is hyphenated, when it would not be in English. Follow reliable sources in such cases.

Spacing: A hyphen is never followed or preceded by a space, except when hanging (see above) or when used to display parts of words independently, such as the prefix sub- and the suffix ‑less.

Image filenames and redirects: Image filenames are not part of the encyclopedic content; they are tools. They are most useful if they can be readily typed, so they always use hyphens instead of dashes. Similarly, article titles with dashes should also have a corresponding redirect from a copy of the title with hyphens: for example, Michelson-Morley experiment redirects to Michelson–Morley experiment, because the latter title, although correct, is harder to search for.

Non-breaking: A non-breaking hyphen (&#8209;) will not be used as a point of line-wrap.

Soft hyphens: Use a soft hyphen to indicate optional locations where a word may be broken and hyphenated at the end of a line of text. Use of soft hyphens should be limited to special cases, usually involving very long words or narrow spaces (such as captions in tight page layouts, or column labels in narrow tables). Widespread use of soft hyphens is strongly discouraged, because it makes the wikitext very difficult to read and to edit (for example, This Wi&shy;ki&shy;source ex&shy;am&shy;ple is dif&shy;fi&shy;cult to un&shy;der&shy;stand). An alternative syntax improves readability:

{{shy|This al|ter|na|tive syn|tax im|proves read|a|bil|ity}}

Hyphenation involves many subtleties that cannot be covered here; the rules and examples presented above illustrate the broad principles.


Two forms of dash are used on the UniWiki: en dash () and em dash (). Enter them as &ndash; or &mdash;. Do not substitute a double hyphen (--).

  • In article titles, do not use a hyphen (-) as a substitute for an en dash, for example in eye–hand span (since eye does not modify hand). Nonetheless, to aid searching and linking provide a redirect with hyphens replacing the en dashe(s), as in eye-hand span.

Sources use dashes in varying ways, but for consistency and clarity the UniWiki adopts the following principles.

Punctuating a sentence (em or en dashes)

Dashes are often used to mark divisions within a sentence: in pairs (parenthetical dashes, instead of parentheses or pairs of commas); or singly (perhaps instead of a colon). They may also indicate an abrupt stop or interruption, in reporting direct speech. In all these cases, use either unspaced em dashes or spaced en dashes, with consistency in any one article:

  • An em dash is always unspaced (that is, without a space on either side):
Another "planet" was detected—but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn.
  • An en dash is spaced (that is, with a space on either side) when used as sentence punctuation:
Another "planet" was detecte d– but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn.

Dashes can clarify the sentence structure when there are already commas or parentheses, or both.

  • We read them in chronological order: Descartes, Locke, Hume—but not his Treatise (it is too complex)—and Kant.

Use dashes sparingly. More than two in a single sentence makes the structure unclear; it takes time for the reader to see which dashes, if any, form a pair.

  • The birds—at least the ones Darwin collected—had red and blue feathers.
  • "Where is the—", she began, but the line went dead.
  • Avoid: First—and most spectacularly—came the bishops—then the other clergy. Better: First—and most spectacularly—came the bishops, who were followed by the other clergy.

Other uses (en dash only)

The en dash (–) has other roles, beyond its use as a sentence-punctuating dash (see immediately above). It is often analogous to the hyphen (see § Hyphens, above), which joins components more strongly than the en dash; or to the slash (see the section below), which separates alternatives more definitely. Consider the exact meaning when choosing which to use.

In ranges that might otherwise be expressed with to or through
Here the ranges are ranges of numbers, dates, or times. For other ranges, such as ranges of physical locations, see § In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between.
  • pp. 7–19;   64–75%;   Henry VIII reigned 1509–1547

Do not change hyphens to dashes in filenames or URLs.

Do not mix en dashes with prepositions like between and from.

  • 450–500 people
  • between 450 and 500 people, not between 450–500 people
  • from 450 to 500 people, not from 450–500 people

If negative values are involved, an en dash might be confusing. Use words instead.

  • −10 to 10, not −10–10

The en dash in a range is always unspaced, except when either or both elements of the range include at least one space.

  • July 23, 1790 – December 1, 1791 (not July 23, 1790–December 1, 1791)
  • 14 May – 2 August 2011 (not 14 May–2 August 2011)
  • 1–17 September;   February–October 2009;   1492 – 7 April 1556
  • Christmas Day – New Year's Eve;   Christmas 2001 – Easter 2002;   10:30 pm Tuesday – 1:25 am Wednesday;   6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (but 6:00–9:30 p.m.)
  • wavelengths in the range 28 mm – 17 m.
In compounds when the connection might otherwise be expressed with to, versus, and, or between

Here the relationship is thought of as parallel, symmetric, equal, oppositional, or at least involving separate or independent elements. The components may be nouns, adjectives, verbs, or any other independent part of speech. Often if the components are reversed there would be little change of meaning.

  • boyfriend–girlfriend problems;   the Paris–Montpellier route;   a New York–Los Angeles flight
  • iron–cobalt interactions; the components are parallel and reversible; iron and cobalt retain their identity
  • Wrong: an iron–roof shed; iron modifies roof, so use a hyphen: an iron-roof shed
  • Wrong: a singer–songwriter; not separate persons, so use a hyphen: a singer-songwriter
  • red–green colorblind; red and green are separate independent colors, not mixed
  • Wrong: blue–green algae; a blended, intermediate color, so use a hyphen: blue-green algae
  • a 51–30 win;   a 22–17 majority vote;   but prefer spelling out when using words instead of numerals: a six-to-two majority decision, not the awkward a six–two majority decision;  avoid confusingly reversed order: a 17–22 majority vote[4]
  • a 50–50 joint venture;   a 60–40 split;   avoid using a slash here, which indicates division
  • the Uganda–Tanzania War;   the Roman–Syrian War;   the east–west runway;   the Lincoln–Douglas debates;   a carbon–carbon bond
  • diode–transistor logic;   the analog–digital distinction;   push–pull output;   on–off switch
  • a pro-establishment–anti-intellectual alliance;   Singapore–Sumatra–Java shipping lanes
  • the ballerina's rapid walk–dance transitions;   a male–female height ratio of 1.14

An en dash between nations; for people and things identifying with multiple nationalities, use a hyphen when applied as an adjective or a space as a noun.

  • Japanese–American trade;   but a family of Japanese-American traders or a family of Japanese Americans
  • an Italian–Swiss border crossing;   but an Italian-Swiss newspaper for Italian-speaking Swiss
  • France–Britain rivalry;   French–British rivalry
  • Wrong: Franco–British rivalry; "Franco" is a combining form, not independent, so use a hyphen: Franco-British rivalry

A slash or some other alternative may occasionally be better to express a ratio, especially in technical contexts (see § Slashes, below).

  • the protein–fat ratio;   the protein/fat ratio;   the protein-to-fat ratio
  • Colons are often used for strictly numeric ratios, to avoid confusion with subtraction and division: a 3:1 ratio;  a three-to-one ratio (see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Ratios).

Use an en dash for the names of two or more entities in an attributive compound.

  • the Seifert–van Kampen theorem;   the Alpher–Bethe–Gamow theory
  • the Seeliger–Donker-Voet scheme (developed by Seeliger and Donker-Voet)
  • Comet Hale–Bopp or just Hale–Bopp (discovered by Hale and Bopp)

Generally, use a hyphen in compounded proper names of single entities.

  • Guinea-Bissau; Bissau is the capital, and this distinguishes the country from neighboring Guinea
  • Wilkes-Barre, a single city named after two people, but Minneapolis–Saint Paul, a union of two cities
  • John Lennard-Jones, an individual named after two families

Do not use an en dash for hyphenated personal names, even when they are used as adjectives:

  • Lennard-Jones potential with a hyphen: named after John Lennard-Jones

Do not use spaces around en dash in any of the compounds above.

Instead of a hyphen, when applying a prefix to a compound that includes a space
  • ex–prime minister Thatcher;   pre–World War II aircraft

Use this punctuation when there are compelling grounds for retaining the construction. For example, from a speech that is simply transcribed and cannot be re-worded; or in a heading where it has been judged most natural as a common name. Otherwise recasting is better.

The en dash in all of the compounds above is unspaced.

To separate parts of an item in a list

Spaced en dashes are sometimes used between parts of list items. Below are two examples.

  • Pairing performers with instruments:
    • James Galway – flute; Anne-Sophie Mutter – violin; Maurizio Pollini – piano.
  • Showing track durations on an album:
    • "The Future" – 7:21
    • "Ain't No Cure for Love" – 6:17
    • "Bird on the Wire" – 6:14.

Other dashes

Do not use substitutes for em or en dashes, such as the combination of two hyphens (--). These were typewriter approximations.

For a negative sign or subtraction operator, use a minus sign: . Input by clicking on it in the insert box beneath the edit window or by typing &minus;.


Generally, avoid joining two words with a slash, also called a forward slash or solidus ( / ), because it suggests that the words are related without specifying how. Replace with clearer wording.

An example: The parent/instructor must be present at all times. Must both be present? (Then write the parent and the instructor.) Must at least one be present? (Then write the parent or the instructor.) Are they the same person? (Use a hyphen: the parent-instructor.)

In circumstances involving a distinction or disjunction, the en dash (see above) is usually preferable to the slash: the digital–analog distinction.

An unspaced slash may be used:

  • in a fraction (7/8), though the "fraction slash" (7&frasl;8, producing 7⁄8) is preferred
  • to indicate regular defined yearly periods that do not coincide with calendar years (e.g., the 2009/2010 fiscal year), if that is the convention used in reliable sources; see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Longer periods for further explanation
  • to express a ratio, in a form in which a slash is conventionally used (e.g., the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E ratio for short)
  • where a slash occurs in a phrase widely used outside the UniWiki, and a different construction would be inaccurate, unfamiliar, or ambiguous (e.g., www.defense.gov/news/news.aspx)

A spaced slash may be used:

  • to separate run-in lines in quoted poetry or song (To be or not to be: that is the question: / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune), or rarely in quoted prose, where careful marking of a paragraph break is textually important
  • to separate items that include at least one internal space (the NY 31 east / NY 370 exit), where for some reason use of a slash is unavoidable

To avoid awkward linebreaks, code spaced slashes (and fraction slashes) with a non-breaking space on the left and a normal space on the right, as in: My mama told me&nbsp;/ You better shop around. For short constructions, both spaces should be non-breaking: x&nbsp;/&nbsp;y.

Do not use the backslash character ( \ ) in place of a slash.

Prefer the division operator ( ÷ ) to slash or fraction slash when representing elementary arithmetic in general text: {{{1}}}. In more advanced mathematical formulas, a vinculum or slash is preferred: xn/n!. (See UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Common mathematical symbols and Wikipedia:Help:Displaying a formula.)


Avoid writing and/or: Instead of Most suffered trauma and/or smoke inhalation, write simply trauma or smoke inhalation (which would normally be interpreted to imply or both); or, for emphasis or precision, write trauma or smoke inhalation or both. Where more than two possibilities are present, instead of x, y, and/or z write one or more of x, y, and z or some or all of x, y, and z.

Number sign

Avoid using the # symbol (known as the number sign, hash sign, or pound sign) when referring to numbers or rankings. Instead write "number", "No." or "Nos."; do not use the symbol . For example:

Incorrect:    Her album reached #1 in the UK album charts.
Correct: Her album reached number one in the UK album charts.

Terminal punctuation

  • Periods ("full stops"), question marks, and exclamation marks are terminal punctuation&mdashb;the only punctuation marks used to end English sentences.
  • In some contexts, no terminal punctuation is necessary. In such cases, the sentence often does not start with a capital letter. See § Quotation marks, and § Sentences and brackets, above. Sentence fragments in captions or lists should in most cases not end with a period. See § Formatting of captions and § Bulleted and numbered lists, below.
  • For the use of three periods in succession, see § Ellipses, above.
  • Clusters of question marks, exclamation marks, or a combination of them (such as the interrobang), are highly informal and inappropriate in UniWiki articles.
  • Use the exclamation mark with restraint. It is an expression of surprise or emotion that is unsuited to a scholarly or encyclopedic register.
  • Question marks and exclamation marks may sometimes be used in the middle of a sentence:
    • Why me? she wondered.
    • The Homeric question is not Did Homer write the Iliad? but How did the Iliad come into being?, as we have now come to realize.
    • The door flew open with a BANG! that made them jump. (Not encyclopedic, but acceptable in transcription from audio, or in direct quotation.)


In normal text, never put a space before a comma, a semicolon, a colon, or a terminal punctuation mark (even in quoted material). Put a space after these, unless they end a paragraph or are followed by a closing parenthesis, quotation mark, or similar.

Spaces following terminal punctuation

The number of spaces following the terminal punctuation of a sentence in the wiki markup makes no difference on the UniWiki; the MediaWiki software condenses any number of spaces to just one when rendering the page (see Sentence spacing). For this reason, editors may use any spacing style they prefer on the UniWiki. Multiple spacing styles may coexist in the same article, and adding or removing a double space is sometimes used as a dummy edit.

Consecutive punctuation marks

Where a word or phrase that includes terminal punctuation ends a sentence, do not add a second terminal punctuation mark. If a quoted phrase or title ends in a question mark or exclamation mark, it may confuse readers as to the nature of the article sentence containing it, and so is usually better reworded to be mid-sentence. Where such a word or phrase occurs mid-sentence, new terminal punctuation (usually a period) must be added at the end.

Incorrect: Slovak returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985 after growing tired of What Is This?.
Acceptable: Slovak returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985 after growing tired of What Is This?
Better: Slovak, after growing tired of What Is This?, returned to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1985.

Punctuation and footnotes

See also: Wikipedia:Citing sources

Ref tags (<ref>...</ref>) are used to create footnotes (sometimes called endnotes or notes). The ref tags should immediately follow the text to which the footnote applies, with no intervening space (except possibly a hair space. Any punctuation (see exceptions below) must precede the ref tags. Adjacent ref tags should have no space between them. Ref tags are used for explanatory notes, but are more often used for citation footnotes.

When ref tags are used, a footnote list must be added, and is usually placed in the Notes and References section near the end of the article in the standard appendices and footers.

Exceptions: ref tags are placed before dashes, not after; and where a footnote applies only to material within parentheses, the ref tags belong just before the closing parenthesis.

Punctuation after formulae

A sentence that ends with a formula should have terminal punctuation (period, exclamation mark, or question mark) after the formula. Within a sentence, place other punctuation (such as commas or colons) after the formula just as if the text were not a formula.

Dates and time

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Chronological items

Dates should only be linked when they are germane and topical to the subject, as discussed at UniWiki:Manual of Style/Linking § Chronological items.

Time of day

Time of day is normally expressed in figures rather than being spelled out. Use context to determine whether to use the 12- or 24-hour clock.

  • 12-hour clock times are written in the form 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. or in the form 11:15 am and 2:30 pm, with a space (preferably a non-breaking space) before the abbreviation. Use noon and midnight rather than 12 pm and 12 am; it may need to be specified whether midnight refers to the start or end of a date.
    • 12-hour clock times may be used when signing message on talk pages, or otherwise referring to times in real life that are separate from EVE.
  • 24-hour clock times are written in the form 08:15 and 22:55, with no suffix. Midnight written as 00:00 begins the day; 24:00 ends it.
    • 24-hour clock times should be used at all times when referring to any time related to EVE. Further, UTC (EVE time) should be used in these cases.


  • For full dates, use the format 10 June 1921 or the format June 10, 1921. Similarly, where the year is omitted, use 10 June or June 10. For choice of format, see below.
  • Do not use numerical date formats such as "03/04/2005", as this could refer to 3 April or to March 4. If a numerical format is required (e.g., for conciseness in long lists and tables), use the YYYY-MM-DD format: 2005-04-03.

Choice of format


  • For month and year, write June 1921, with no comma.
  • Abbreviations for months, such as Feb, are used only where space is extremely limited. Such abbreviations should use three letters only, and should not be followed by a period (full stop) except at the end of a sentence.


  • Due to the location of CCP Headquarters, when seasons are referenced, use the applicable season in the northern hemisphere.

Years and longer periods

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Other periods
  • Do not use the year before the digits (1995, not the year 1995), unless the meaning would otherwise be unclear.
  • When referring to the real world, the Gregorian calendar should be used for all dates.
  • When specifically referring to in-game lore, the YC (Yoiul Conference) calendar date should be used. The YC calendar is identical to the real-world calendar, except that 2003 was YC105.


See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Words to watch#Relative time references

The term "current" should be avoided. What is current today may not be tomorrow; situations change over time. Instead, use date- and time-specific text.

Incorrect: He is the current ambassador to ...
Correct: As of March 2011, he is the ambassador to ...


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Numbers

Uniwiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Numbers clarifies a number of situations, including the following:

  • In general, write whole cardinal numbers from one to nine as words, write other numbers that, when spoken, take two or fewer words as either figures or words (with consistency within each article), and write all other numbers as figures: 1/5 or one-fifth, 84 or eighty-four, 200 or two hundred, but 3.75, 544, 21 million. See UniWiki:Manual of Style § Numbers as figures or words et seq. for exceptions and fine points.
  • In general, use a comma to delimit numbers with five or more digits to the left of the decimal point. Numbers with four digits are at the editor's discretion: 12,345, but either 1,000 or 1000. See UniWiki:Manual of Style § Grouping of digits et seq. for exceptions.
  • Write out "million" and "billion" on the first use. After that, unspaced "M" can be used for millions and "B" for billions: 70M and 25B. See UniWiki:Manual of Style § Numbers as figures or words for similar words.
  • Write 3%, three percent, or three per cent, but not 3 % (with a space) or three %. "Percent" is American usage, and "per cent" is British usage (see § National varieties of English, above). In ranges of percentages written with an en dash, write only one percent sign: 3–14%.
  • Fewer vs. less: In most cases, use fewer with countable nouns and less with non-countable ones. However, less than (not fewer than) is recommended before nouns that denote distance or time. For example, I picked fewer than one hundred apples, but we go on our trip in less than four weeks, and he can run the 100 m in less than ten seconds, because the word time can be understood to be implied after less. In short, if you'd count it, say fewer. If you'd measure it, say less.


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Currencies and monetary values
  • Use the full abbreviation on first use (US$ for the US dollar and A$ for the Australian dollar), unless the currency is already clear from context. For example, the Government of the United States always spends money in American dollars, and never in Canadian or Australian dollars.
  • Use only one symbol with ranges, as in $250–300.
  • In articles that are not specific to a country, express amounts of money in United States dollars, euros, or pounds sterling. Do not link the names or symbols of currencies that are commonly known to English-speakers ($, £, ), unless there is a particular reason to do so; do not use potentially ambiguous currency symbols, unless the meaning is clear in the context.
  • Most currency signs are placed before the number; they are unspaced ($123), except for alphabetic signs (R 75).
  • In the context of the UniWiki, ISK is understood to mean "InterStellar Kredits", the in-game currency of EVE, as opposed to the Icelandic krona.

Units of measurement

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Units of measurement
  • The main unit in which a quantity is expressed should generally be an SI unit or non-SI unit officially accepted for use with the SI. However,
    • Scientific articles may also use specialist units appropriate for the branch of science in question.
  • In a direct quotation, always keep the source units. If a conversion is required, it should appear within square brackets in the quote, or else an obscure use of units can be explained in a footnote.
  • Where space is limited (such as tables, infoboxes, parenthetical notes, and mathematical formulas) use unit symbols. In main text it is usually better to spell out unit names, but symbols may also be used when a unit (especially one with a long name) is used repeatedly. However, spell out the first instance of each unit in an article (for example, the typical batch is 250 kilograms ... and then 15 kg of emulsifier is added), except for unit names that are hardly ever spelled out (e.g., the degree Celsius). Most unit names are not capitalized. Use "per" when writing out a unit, rather than a slash: meter per second, not meter/second. (For spelling differences, follow § National varieties of English, above.)
  • For ranges, see § En dashes: other uses, above, and UniWiki:Manual of Style/Numbers, at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Date ranges.
  • When dimensions are given, each number should be followed by a unit name or symbol (e.g., write 1 m × 3 m × 6 m, not 1 × 3 × 6 m).
  • When they form a compound adjective, values and spelled-out unit names should be separated by a hyphen: for example, a five-day holiday. An exception is when the hyphenated construction has another meaning in the context.
  • Unit symbols are preceded by figures, not by spelled-out numbers. Values and unit symbols are separated by a non-breaking space. For example, 5 min. The percent sign and units of degrees, minutes, and seconds for angles and coordinates are unspaced.
  • Standard unit symbols do not require a full stop (period). However, non-standard abbreviations should always be given a full stop.
  • No s is appended, e.g., km, not kms.
  • Write powers of unit symbols with HTML, e.g., 5 km<sup>2</sup> not Unicode superscripts and subscripts.
  • For quantities of bytes and bits, specify whether the binary or decimal meanings of K, M, G, etc. are intended. The IEC prefixes kibi-, mebi-, gibi-, etc. (symbols Ki, Mi, Gi, etc.) are not familiar to most readers and should not generally be used (for exceptions, see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Numbers § Quantities of bytes and bits).
    • When discussing computer equipment and other real life hardware concepts, units should be specified as stated above.
    • When discussing in-game concepts (particularly drones), megabits (Mbits) should be used.

Common mathematical symbols

  • For a negative sign or subtraction operator, use a minus sign (, Unicode character U+2212 MINUS SIGN). Input by clicking on it in the insert box beneath the edit window or by typing &minus;.
  • For a multiplication sign between numbers, use × (Unicode character U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN), which is input by clicking on it in the edit toolbox under the edit window or by typing &times;. The letter x should not be used to indicate multiplication, but it is used (unspaced) as the substitute for "by" in terms such as 4x4.
  • Exponentiation is indicated by a superscript, an (typed as ''a''<sup>''n''</sup>. Exponential notation can be spaced or unspaced, depending on circumstances.
  • Do not use programming language notation outside computer program listings. In most programming languages, subtraction, multiplication, and exponentiation are respectively represented by the hyphen-minus -, the asterisk *, and either the caret ^ or the double asterisk **, and scientific notation is replaced by E notation.
  • Symbols for binary operators and relations are spaced on both sides:
    • plus, minus, and plus-or-minus (as binary operators): +, , ± (as in 5 − 3);
    • multiplication and division: ×, ÷;
    • equals, does not equal, equals approximately: =, , ;
    • is less than, is less than or equal to, is greater than, is greater than or equal to: <, , >, .
  • Symbols for unary operators are closed-up to their operand:
    • positive, negative, and positive-or-negative signs: +, , ± (as in −3);
    • other unary operators, such as the exclamation mark as a factorial sign (as in 5!).
  • Variables are italicized, but digits and punctuation are not; only x and y are italicized in 2(5x + y)2. The semantic HTML element <var>...</var> can be used to distinguish variables from other uses of italics, as illustrated in the code example above.

Grammar and usage


For thorough treatment of the English possessive, see Apostrophe.

Singular nouns

  • For the possessive of most singular nouns, including proper names and words ending with a double-s, add 's (my daughter's achievement, my niece's wedding, Cortez's men, the boss's office, Glass's books, Illinois's largest employer, Descartes's philosophy, Verreaux's eagle).
Exception: Abstract nouns ending with an /s/ sound, when followed by sake (for goodness' sake, for his conscience' sake).
  • For the possessive of singular nouns ending with just one s (sounded as /s/ or /z/), there are two practices advised by different grammar and style guides:
    1. Add 's: James's house, Sam Hodges's son, Jan Hus's life, Vilnius's location, Brahms's music, Dickens's novels, Morris's works, the bus's old route.
    2. Add either 's or just an apostrophe, according to how the possessive is pronounced:
      • Add only an apostrophe if the possessive is pronounced the same way as the non-possessive name: Sam Hodges' son, Moses' leadership;
      • Add 's if the possessive has an additional 'z' sound at the end: Jan Hus's life, Morris's works.
      • Some possessives have two possible pronunciations: James's house or James' house, Brahms's music or Brahms' music, Vilnius's location or Vilnius' location, Dickens's novels or Dickens' novels.
Apply just one of these two practices consistently within an article.

Plural nouns

  • For a normal plural noun, ending with a pronounced s, form the possessive by adding just an apostrophe (my sons' wives, my nieces' weddings).
  • For a plural noun not ending with a pronounced s, add 's (women's careers, people's habits, the mice's whiskers; The two Dumas's careers were controversial, but where rewording is an option, this may be better: The career of each Dumas was controversial).

Official names

  • Official names (of companies, organizations, or places) should not be altered. (St. Thomas' Hospital should therefore not be rendered as St. Thomas's Hospital, even for consistency.)


First-person pronouns

While certain topics and articles found on the UniWiki will be based on opinion, such as fittings or guides, UniWiki articles should be written in an impersonal voice and style, so never use I, my, or similar forms (except in quotations). This restriction does not apply to talk or user pages.

Also avoid we, us, and our: We should note that some critics have argued against our proposal (personal rather than encyclopedic). But these forms are acceptable in certain figurative uses. For example:

  • In historical articles to mean the modern world as a whole: The text of De re publica has come down to us with substantial sections missing.
  • The author's we found in scientific writing: We are thus led also to a definition of "time" in physics (Albert Einstein); Throughout the proof of this theorem we assume that the function ƒ is uniformly continuous. Often rephrasing using the passive voice is preferable: Throughout the proof of this theorem it is assumed that the function ƒ is uniformly continuous.

Second-person pronouns

In general, writers should avoid addressing the reader directly by using the second-person generic you or your; it is often ambiguous, and contrary to the tone of an encyclopedia (see also § Instructional and presumptuous language, below).

That said, there are certain types of articles on the UniWiki where such language can be appropriate. Using the generic you on pages such as guides, syllabi, and articles covering PvE encounters is acceptable, as it avoids making the UniWiki come across as entirely dispassionate. The UniWiki is written by players for players, after all.

  • Use a noun or a third-person pronoun: instead of When you move past "Go", you collect $200, use When players pass "Go", they collect $200, or A player passing "Go" collects $200.
  • If a person cannot be specified, or when implying "anyone" as a subject, the pronoun one may be used, as an alternative to the vernacular you: a sense that one is being watched. Other constructions are usually preferable, because usage of one can seem stilted.
  • The passive voice may sometimes be used instead: Impurities are removed before bottling.


See also: Collective nouns

Use the appropriate plural; allow for cases (such as excursus or hanif) in which a word is now listed in major English dictionaries, and normally takes an s or es plural, not its original plural: two excursuses, not two excursi as in Latin; two hanifs, not two hanufa as in Arabic.

Some collective nouns—such as team (and proper names of them), army, company, crowd, fleet, government, majority, mess, number, pack, and party—may refer either to a single entity or to the members that compose it. In British English, such words are sometimes treated as singular, but more often treated as plural, according to context. Exceptionally, names of towns and countries usually take singular verbs (unless they are being used to refer to a team or company by that name, or when discussing actions of that entity's government). For example, in England are playing Germany tonight, England refers to a football team; but in England is the most populous country of the United Kingdom, it refers to the country. In North American English, these words (and the United States, for historical reasons) are almost invariably treated as singular; the major exception is when sports teams are referred to by nicknames that are plural nouns, when plural verbs are commonly used to match. See also § National varieties of English, above.

Verb tense

See also: Tense

By default, write all articles in the present tense, including for those covering products or works that have been discontinued. Generally, do not use past tense except for deceased subjects, past events, and subjects that no longer meaningfully exist as such.

  • The PDP-10 is a discontinued mainframe computer family.
  • Earth: Final Conflict is a Canadian science fiction television series that ran for five seasons between October 6, 1997 and May 20, 2002.
  • The 2006 Dublin riots were a series of riots which occurred in Dublin on 25 February 2006.
  • The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960.

Tense can be used to distinguish between current and former status of a subject: Dún Aonghasa is the ruin of a prehistoric Irish cliff fort. Its original shape was presumably oval or D-shaped, but parts of the cliff and fort have since collapsed into the sea. (Emphasis added for clarity.)



Avoid the use of contractions in encyclopedic writing; e.g., instead of the informal wasn't or it's, write was not and it is. However, contractions should not be expanded mechanically; sometimes, rewriting the sentence is preferable.

Gender-neutral language

See also: Wikipedia:Writing about women

Use gender-neutral language where this can be done with clarity and precision. For example, avoid the generic he. This does not apply to direct quotations or the titles of works (The Ascent of Man), which should not be altered, or to wording about one-gender contexts, such as an all-female school (When any student breaks that rule, she loses privileges).

Ships may be referred to using either feminine forms ("she", "her", "hers") or neutral forms ("it", "its"). Either usage is acceptable, but each article should be internally consistent and employ one or the other exclusively. As with all optional styles, articles should not be changed from one style to another unless there is a substantial reason to do so.

Contested vocabulary

Avoid words and phrases that give the impression of straining for formality, that are unnecessarily regional, or that are not widely accepted. See List of English words with disputed usage and Wikipedia:List of commonly misused English words; see also § Identity below.

Instructional and presumptuous language

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Words to watch#Editorializing

In general, editors should avoid such phrases as remember that and note that, which address readers directly in an unencyclopedic tone. They are a subtle form of UniWiki self-reference.

This guideline is relaxed in the case of guides, syllabi, and articles describing PvE encounters. In these cases, such language can and should be used when necessary to draw the reader's attention to important pieces of information.

Similarly, phrases such as of course, naturally, obviously, clearly, and actually make presumptions about readers' knowledge, and call into question the reason for including the information in the first place. Do not tell readers that something is ironic, surprising, unexpected, amusing, coincidental, etc. Simply state the sourced facts and allow readers to draw their own conclusions. Such constructions can usually just be deleted (and letter case adjusted if necessary), leaving behind proper sentences, with a more academic and less pushy tone: Note that this was naturally subject to controversy in more conservative newspapers. becomes This was subject to controversy in more conservative newspapers.

Subset terms

A subset term identifies a set of members of a larger class. Common subset terms are including, among, and et cetera (etc.). Do not use redundant subset terms (so avoid constructions like: Among the most well-known members of the fraternity are included two members of the Onassis family. or The elements in stars include hydrogen, helium, etc.). Do not use including to introduce a complete list, where comprising, consisting of, or composed of would be more accurate.


When there is a discrepancy between the term most commonly used by reliable sources for a person or group and the term that person or group uses for themselves, use the term that is most commonly used by reliable sources; if it isn't clear which is most used, use the term that the person or group uses.

Use specific terminology. For example, it is often more appropriate for people or things from Ethiopia (a country in Africa) to be described as Ethiopian, not carelessly (with the risk of stereotyping) as African.

Foreign terms

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Text formatting#Foreign terms

Foreign words should be used sparingly.

No common usage in English

Use italics for phrases in other languages and for isolated foreign words that are not current in English. See UniWiki:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Foreign terms for details.

Common usage in English

Loanwords and borrowed phrases that have common usage in English—Gestapo, samurai, vice versa—do not require italics. A rule of thumb is not to italicize words that appear unitalicized in general-purpose English-language dictionaries.

Spelling and romanization

See also: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English), Wikipedia:Romanization, Category:Romanization

Names not originally written in one of the Latin-script alphabets (written for example in Greek, Cyrillic, or Chinese scripts) must be given a romanized form for use in English. Use a systematically transliterated or otherwise romanized name (Aleksandr Tymoczko, Wang Yanhong); but if there is a common English form of the name (Tchaikovsky, Chiang Kai-shek), use that form instead.

The use of diacritics (such as accent marks) for foreign words is neither encouraged nor discouraged; their usage depends on whether they appear in sources in English and on the constraints imposed by specialized UniWiki guidelines (see also UniWiki:Manual of Style/Proper names|Diacritics). Provide redirects from alternative forms that use or exclude diacritics.

Spell a name consistently in the title and the text of an article. See relevant policy at Wikipedia:Article titles; see also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). For foreign names, phrases, and words generally, adopt the spellings most commonly used in English-language references for the article, unless those spellings are idiosyncratic or obsolete. If a foreign term does not appear in the article's references, adopt the spelling most commonly used in other sources.

Sometimes the usage will be influenced by other guidelines, such as § National varieties of English (above), which may lead to different choices in different articles.

Technical language

See also: Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable

EVE is a game that is loaded with jargon, and it would be unrealistic to avoid using jargon on the UniWiki. To the contrary, because EVE University is a teaching institution, it can be considered part of the UniWiki's intended purpose to include (and subsequently explain) as much EVE jargon as possible. That said, while some topics are intrinsically technical and should be discussed using appropriate terms (even if those terms are jargon), editors should try to make such topics understandable to as many readers as possible.

Elsewhere on the UniWiki, minimize jargon where possible, and explain it when using jargon is unavoidable.

Avoid excessive wikilinking (linking within the UniWiki) as a substitute for parenthetic explanations such as the one in this sentence.

For unavoidably technical articles, a separate introductory article (like Exploration) may be the best solution.

When the notions named by jargon are too complex to explain concisely in a few parenthetical words, write one level down. For example, consider adding a brief background section with {{|main}} tags pointing to the full treatment article(s) of the prerequisite notions; this approach is practical only when the prerequisite concepts are central to the exposition of the article's main topic and when such prerequisites are not too numerous. Short articles like stubs generally do not have such sections.

Media files

See also: Wikipedia:Creation and usage of media files


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Images
See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Images, Wikipedia:Picture tutorial
  • Use captions to clarify the relevance of the image to the article (see § Captions, below).
  • Each image should be inside the major section to which it relates (within the section defined by the most recent level 1 level 2 heading or at the top of the lead section), not immediately above the section heading.
  • Avoid sandwiching text between two images that face each other, and between an image and an infobox or similar.
  • It is often preferable to place images of faces so that the face or eyes look toward the text. However, it is not necessary to reverse an image simply to have the subject facing the text.
  • Multiple images in the same article can be staggered right-and-left (for example, Timpani).
  • The thumbnail option may be used (thumb), or another size may be fixed. See UniWiki:Manual of Style/Images for information on when and how to use other sizes.
  • Avoid referring to images as being on the left or right. Image placement is different for viewers of the mobile version of Wikipedia, and is meaningless to people having pages read to them by assistive software. Instead, use captions to identify images.
  • Alt text takes the place of an image for text-only readers, including those using screen readers. Images should have an alt attribute added to the 'alt' parameter. See Wikipedia:Alternative text of images for more information.

Other media files

See also: Wikipedia:Videos

Other media files include video and audio files. Style recommendations for such files largely follow recommendations for image files (as far as applicable).

Avoid entering textual information as images

Textual information should almost always be entered as text rather than as an image. True text can be colored and adjusted with CSS tags and templates, but text in images cannot be. Images are not searchable, are slower to download, and are unlikely to be read as text by devices for the visually impaired. Any important textual information in an image should also appear in the image's alt text, caption, or other nearby text.


Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Captions

Photographs and other graphics should always have captions, unless they are "self-captioning" images (such as reproductions of album or book covers) or when they are unambiguous depictions of the subject of the article. In a biography article no caption is necessary for a portrait of the subject pictured alone; but one might be used, to give the year, the subject's age, or other circumstances of the portrait along with the name of the subject.

Formatting of captions

  • Captions normally start with a capital letter.
  • Most captions are not complete sentences but merely sentence fragments that should not end with a period. However, if any complete sentence occurs in a caption, then every sentence and every sentence fragment in that caption should end with a period.
  • The text of captions should not be specially formatted, except in ways that would apply if it occurred in the main text.
  • Captions should be succinct; more information about the image can be included on its description page, or in the main text.
  • Captions for technical charts and diagrams may need to be substantially longer than those for other images. Captions for technical images should fully describe all the elements of the image and indicate the image's significance.

Bulleted and numbered lists

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Embedded lists
  • Do not use lists if a passage is read easily as plain paragraphs.
  • Use proper wikimarkup- or template-based list code (see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Lists).
  • Do not leave blank lines between items in a bulleted or numbered list unless there is a reason to do so, since this causes the Wiki software to interpret each item as beginning a new list.
    • Indents (such as this) are permitted if the elements are "child" items
  • Use numbers rather than bullets only if:
    • A need to refer to the elements by number may arise;
    • The sequence of the items is critical; or
    • The numbering has some independent meaning, for example in a listing of musical tracks.
  • Use the same grammatical form for all elements in a list, and do not mix sentences and sentence fragments as elements.
    • For example, when the elements are:
      • Complete sentences, each one is formatted with sentence case (its first letter is capitalized) and a final period (full stop).
      • Sentence fragments, the list is typically introduced by an introductory fragment ending with a colon.
      • Titles of works, they retain the original capitalization of the titles.
      • Other elements, they are formatted consistently in either sentence case or lower case.



Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Linking
See also: Wikipedia:Links

Make links only where they are relevant and helpful in the context: Excessive use of hyperlinks can be distracting and may slow the reader down. Redundant links (like the one in the tallest people on Earth) clutter the page and make future maintenance harder. High-value links that are worth pursuing should stand out clearly.

Linking to sections: A hash sign (#) followed by the appropriate heading will lead to a relevant part of a page. For example, [[EVE University Management#Director of Operations]] links to a particular section of the article EVE University Management.

Initial capitalization: The UniWiki's 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: The Buzzard is used for exploration, but other frigates can also be used (see Covert Ops).

Check links: Ensure that the destination is the intended one. Occasionally, redirects lead to the EVE Lexicon rather than a more appropriate page.

External links

See also: Wikipedia:External links

External links should not normally be used in the body of an article. Instead, articles can include an External links section at the end, pointing to further information outside the UniWiki as distinct from citing sources. The standard format is a primary heading, ==External links==, followed by a bulleted list of links. Identify the link and briefly indicate its relevance to the article. For example:

* [https://fiction.eveonline.com/stories/chronicles EVE Chronicles]
* [https://www.eveonline.com/ EVE Online homepage]

These will appear as:

One major exception to this guideline is when referencing in-game items that do not have an entry on the UniWiki. As of this writing, the UniWiki does not have an internal item database, nor does it have pages for most in-game items. Thus, in the event that a particular item must be referenced explicitly, it is acceptable to link to an available public database of items for this purpose. This should be done sparingly—most item references do not need to be linked.


Keep markup simple

The simplest markup is often the easiest to edit, the most comprehensible, and the most predictable. Markup may appear differently in different browsers. Use HTML and CSS markup sparingly; in particular, do not use the CSS float or line-height properties because they break rendering on some browsers when large fonts are used.

An HTML character entity is sometimes better than the equivalent Unicode character, which may be difficult to identify in edit mode; for example, &Alpha; is understood where Α (the upper-case form of Greek α) may not be.

Formatting issues

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Text formatting

Typically, the use of custom font styles will:

  • reduce consistency, since the text will no longer look uniform;
  • reduce usability, since it might be impossible for people with custom style sheets (for accessibility reasons, for example) to override it, and it might clash with a different skin as well as inconvenience people with color blindness (see below); and
  • cause disputes, since other editors may disagree aesthetically with the choice of style.

Outside article text, different font sizes are routinely used in navigation templates and infoboxes, tables (especially in larger ones), and some other contexts where alternatives are not available (such as table captions). Specify font sizes relatively (for example in CSS with font-size: 85%) rather than absolutely (like font-size: 8pt).

Color coding

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Color

Information should be accessible to all. Do not use color alone to mark differences in text: they may be invisible to people with color blindness. Also, black-and-white printouts, older computer displays with fewer colors, and monochrome displays (older PDAs and cell phones) cannot show such distinctions.

Choose colors that can be distinguished by the readers with the commonest form of colorblindness (red–green), such as maroon and teal; and additionally mark the differences with change of font or some other means (maroon and alternative font face, teal). Avoid low contrast between text and background colors. Viewing the page with Wickline can help with the choice of colors. See also color coding.

In addition to vision accessibility problems, usage of only color to encode attributes in tables (for example, Gold, Silver, or Bronze achievement levels) instead of a separate sortable column, disables the use of the powerful Wikitable sortability feature on that attribute for all readers. Even for readers with unimpaired color vision, excessive background shading of table entries impedes readability and recognition of Wikilinks. Background color should be used only as a supplementary visual cue, and should be subtle (consider using lighter, less-dominant pastel hues) rather than a glaring spotlight.

Scrolling lists and collapsible content

See also: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Accessibility#Users with limited CSS or JavaScript support

Scrolling lists, and collapsible templates that toggle text display between hide and show, can interfere with readers' ability to access the UniWiki's content. Such mechanisms are not to be used to conceal "spoiler" information. Templates are not normally used to store article text at all, as it interferes with editors' ability to find and edit it, and watchlist for changes.

When such features are used, take care that the content will still be accessible on devices that do not support JavaScript or CSS.

Collapsed or auto-collapsing cells or sections may be used with tables if it simply repeats information covered in the main text (or is purely supplementary, e.g. several past years of statistics in collapsed tables for comparison with a table of uncollapsed current stats). Auto-collapsing is often a feature of navboxes. A few infoboxes also use pre-collapsed sections for infrequently accessed (usually navigational) details. If information in a list, infobox, or other non-navigational content seems extraneous or trivial enough to inspire pre-collapsing it, consider raising a discussion on the article (or template) talk page about whether it should be included at all. If the information is important and the concern is article density or length, consider dividing the article into more sections, integrating unnecessarily list-formatted information into the article prose, or splitting the article.

Invisible comments

Main article: UniWiki:Manual of Style/Hidden text

For invisible control characters, see UniWiki:Manual of Style/Text formatting § Private Use Area and invisible formatting characters

Editors use invisible comments to communicate with each other in the body of the text of an article. These comments are visible only in the wiki source; they are not visible in read mode.

Invisible comments are useful for alerting other editors to issues such as common mistakes that regularly occur in the article, a section title being the target of an incoming link, or pointing to a discussion that established a consensus relating to the article. They should not be used to instruct other editors not to perform certain edits, although where existing consensus is against making such an edit, they may usefully draw the editor's attention to that. Avoid adding too many invisible comments because they can clutter the wiki source for other editors. Check that your invisible comment does not change the formatting, for example by introducing unwanted white space in the rendered page.

To leave an invisible comment, enclose the text you intend to be read only by editors between <!-- and -->. For example:

  • <!--> If you change this section title, also change the links to it on the pages .... </!-->
  • <!--> When adding table entries, remember to update the total given in the text. </!-->

This notation can be inserted with a single click in Wiki markup, just under the edit pane in edit mode.


  1. ^ Using phrases like In early life is acceptable for section headings.
  2. ^ Placing comments in this way disrupts the software's handling of section edits and their edit summaries, and even heading display. For example, if one clicks the edit section button, the section heading is not automatically added to the edit summary; or in some cases, the edit section button fails to appear at all.
  3. ^ Specifically, compound attributives, which are modifiers of a noun that occur within the noun phrase. (See hyphenated compound modifiers.)
  4. ^ It is not logically possible to have a "12–35 victory", except in a game where a lower score is better. Otherwise, use a construction like Clovis beat Portales, 35–12, or Jameson lost the election, 2345 votes to 6789, to Garcia, with parties, result, and number order in logical agreement.
Personal tools
EVE University