It is possible to achieve a wide variety of formatting styles using the markup language of MediaWiki, which is the Wiki engine on which Conservapedia runs. The object of this page is to detail a number of important conventions designed to encourage better continuity amongst articles.
Note: this page will be subject to much debate and discussion before the final consensus is reached. Please check back frequently.
The first and possibly the most important part of creating a Conservapedia article is giving it an appropriate title. The article's title will be the main way the article will be found by other Conservapedia users. Here are some basic guidelines that will help you give appropriate titles to your articles:
- Ensure your title contains the word or words most appropriate to its content.
- Do not pluralize your title unless absolutely necessary.
- Capitalize only the first word unless the following words are proper nouns.
- Avoid punctuation unless absolutely necessary.
Before any headers are presented an article should have one or more opening paragraphs. Your opening paragraph should summarize what your entry is about. It is not necessary to mention the subject matter by name in your opening sentence, for example, an article on dogs need not open with:
A dog is a quadrupedal mammal that has been domesticated for many...
When the following will suffice:
A quadrupedal mammal that has been domesticated for many...
Enriching typography is a great way to assist the readability of your content.
Bold text is used to draw attention to a particular word or phrase.
Italic sections of text are usually used to portion off a portion of text, indicating it is integral to the sentence without being part of its continuation.
Topics relevant to the superseding topic should be under their own heading. The contents of each page are automatically generated from the page's headings, so as a courtesy to other site users it is good practice maintain comprehensive headings. All headings should be properly capitalized. The first letter of the first word is capitalized, and the rest of the heading is capitalized according to the same rules that apply to normal text in a paragraph. Drop any unnecessary initial article or pronoun. For example, use "Career" rather than "His Career" or "2016 campaign" rather than "The 2016 campaign".
There are four levels of sub heading which can be used to place a heading within another. This is a good idea for pieces of information which are relevant only to a particular heading.
Bullets & Numbering
Bullet points and enumerated lists are used to consolidate and collate lists or collections of small pieces of information. A good courtesy when including bulleted or enumerated lists in your content is to make sure there are adequate line spaces before and after the list to assist clarity.
Visual aides can be a great inclusion to an article if properly applied. For instance, the key image for the article is typically placed at the top of the page, aligned to the right, and thumb nailed with an appropriate caption. Appropriate dimensions for the thumbnail will be left to the editor's discretion, but we would prefer that thumb sizes are kept to a minimum, preferably under 3000 pixels.
Stubs and Other Templates
If your article is in need of more content, a stub should be placed at the top of the page. A stub (template page here) is an inclusion that lets people know that the topic requires expansion.
All statements that can be referenced should be referenced. If a reference cannot be found, then the fact template should be placed. Reference tags should always be named so they may be reused, and should always appear after the period of the referenced sentence. References should always be displayed at the bottom of the page, under the "References" heading.
Placing your page in the right categories can greatly increase its exposure. Category tags should always be the final part of the page source.