TarValon.Net Library Manual of Style
- 1 What is a Manual of Style?
- 2 Spelling and Grammar
- 3 General Formatting Rules
- 4 Citations
- 5 Categories and Pages Which This Manual Excludes
- 6 Revisions
Latest Update: May 17, 2022
What is a Manual of Style?
A manual of style, sometimes called a style guide, is a reference work that sets standards for document writing, formatting, and design. A manual of style can be designed for anything, from business communication to blog writing. The manual typically does not focus on what is grammatically "correct" or "incorrect" in an absolute sense. Rather, it provides guidance for best practice and consistency.
Currently, this manual of style applies only to TarValon.Net's Library and the articles contained within it. Other TarValon.Net materials may follow a different guide.
Why does the TarValon.Net Library Need a Manual of Style?
Although every contributor to our Library has their own writing style and preferences, a high degree of variation can make the Library's materials less cohesive and consistent, and will often introduce issues with accuracy and readability. A manual of style helps ensure all of the Library's articles meet a uniform standard in punctuation, capitalization, citation, language, and typography.
Over time, Library contributors have established some unspoken or unwritten rules for Library materials, but having an official document ensures future writers and editors compose, format, and edit articles as consistently as possible.
Who Should Use the Manual of Style?
We understand that for many Library contributors, a significant amount of time may be required to read and apply the guidelines in this manual. However, we request all writers and editors make their best effort to do so. The style guide is here as a point of reference and key resource, and it can be an invaluable tool in settling disputes between editors, or answering questions that may arise.
Do I Need to Follow the Manual to Submit Articles to the Library?
Please do your best to apply this guide to any submissions to the Library. We understand that learning to use a style guide can be an involved process, but it is crucial to ensuring the consistency and clarity of the Library's materials. A Library editor will review your submission(s) and suggest useful changes, particularly those necessary to ensure compliance with the style guide.
|Manual of Style Pages|
|Manual of Style/Abbreviations|
|Manual of Style/Article Layout|
|Manual of Style/Citations|
|Manual of Style/Wheel of Time Words and Phrases|
|Manual of Style/US English vs British English|
Spelling and Grammar
Most articles in the Library are written in English, so the majority of this manual's guidance for grammar, mechanics, spelling, and terminology will be based on English conventions from the United States. TarValon.Net is incorporated in the U.S.A., with U.S. standard English required for all legal documentation, so likewise U.S. spelling and punctuation will be used by default in the Library.
Articles written in other languages will be edited according to the prevailing rules for those languages. Whenever possible, native and/or fluent speakers of each language will be asked to edit such articles.
A basic list with the U.S. English conventions can be found at the following page: Manual of Style/US English vs British English. Articles submitted in British English or other non-U.S. English dialects will be edited to conform to U.S. conventions, but please make your best effort to use U.S. conventions in your submissions.
To avoid any confusion over spelling and word definitions, the Library's preferred dictionary is the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Avoid Using Slang
In general, avoid using slang terms and other informal expressions in articles you submit to TarValon.Net's Library. Such terms often vary in meaning depending on location, and could therefore be difficult for readers from diverse backgrounds and locations to understand.
When editing or submitting articles, slang words may be allowed in the following cases:
- Articles, written by members of TarValon.Net that are made with fun or comedic purpose, or site or WoT-related articles, such as the following:
- On personal Who's Who pages, if they have decided to use it there.
However, in such cases slang terms should not be offensive in nature and will be edited if determined to be so.
Avoid Using Contractions
Formal and scholarly writing typically avoids the use of contractions to ensure greater clarity. The exceptions are direct quotations and the above mentioned Who's Who personal pages. In general, please avoid the use of contractions in submissions to the Library (use "I am not" instead of "I’m not," or "we are" instead of "we're").
Avoid abbreviations when they may be unclear, interrupt the flow, or appear informal. Also avoid devising new abbreviations, especially acronyms.
- "Chapter" may be shortened to "Ch." in the referencing from a book.
- The Wheel of Time book titles may be replaced with acronyms when referenced inline.
- Staff and administrative positions at TarValon.Net may be referred to by their commonly used acronyms.
Please consult the following list when needing to use abbreviations - Manual of Style/Abbreviations.
Lists are commonly used to organize information of a similar kind.
TarValon.Net's Library uses unordered or bulleted lists by default, with each list item being a complete sentence. Use sentence case by default for list items.
Sometimes multiple lists are part of the same sentence. In this situation, use a semicolon to divide the elements of the outer/main list, with commas dividing secondary lists:
"Aes Sedai have many skills like diplomacy; research; mediating with royalty, nobles, and angry innkeepers; fighting Trollocs, Myrddraal, and other Shadowspawn; and always staying calm when all the tea is gone."
Read more examples about this rule at Merriam-Webster.com A Guide to Using Semicolons in the section Semicolons Separate Phrases or Items in a List or Series.
General Formatting Rules
Page and Category Titles
The title of a page or category in the Library should be written in title case.
Avoid using "A," "An," or "The" as the first word in an article title. For example, use "Keeper of the Chronicles" instead of "The Keeper of the Chronicles" or "A Keeper of the Chronicles."
All article headings in the Library should be written in title case.
There are four tiers of headings in the Library:
- A Level 1 heading is the title of the page itself.
- A Level 2 heading is the highest heading tier on the page.
- A Level 3 heading is a subheading under a Level 2 heading.
- A Level 4 heading is a subheading under a Level 3 heading.
Each heading below Level 2 should be nested under a heading of the preceding tier. Thus, a Level 4 heading should always be under a Level 3, not a Level 2.
Note: never use a Level 1 heading within an article.
Numbers and Dates
Spell out numbers from one to nine and use numerals for 10 and greater.
Exceptions involving numbers under 10:
- Chapter numbers in titles or text
When writing dates, always use numerals for days and years, and spell out the full name of the month ("November" not "Nov.").
Use the following format for both real-world and Wheel of Time dates that appear on Tower related pages:
Month Day, Year
- Real-world: September 4, 2021
- Wheel of Time: Aine 4, 998 NE
There are several calendars and abbreviations associated with Wheel of Time events:
- The Toman calendar uses "After the Breaking," which is abbreviated AB.
- The Gazaran calendar uses "Free Years," which is abbreviated FE.
- The Farede calendar uses "New Era," which is abbreviated NE.
Specific Wheel of Time Words and Phrases
There are some words and phrases that Robert Jordan chose to write in unique ways in The Wheel of Time. To maintain consistency, the Library uses the same formatting for those words and phrases in articles. (Do not use this format in page, category, or section titles!)
In most cases, country, town, city, and personal names should always be capitalized. The same applies to official titles and the names of channeling weaves.
Many unique Wheel of Time words are italicized, or both capitalized and italicized. Other words are both singular and plural with one spelling. Please consult with the Manual of Style/Wheel of Time Words and Phrases when in doubt on how to format Wheel of Time words and phrases.
Apostrophes and Quotations
Use vertical ('), not curly (’) characters for apostrophes and quotation marks. Do not use accent (á), backtick\grave (à), low-high („ “) or guillemet (« ») marks as apostrophes or quotation marks.
For a quotation within a quotation, use single quotes nested inside double quotes:
The Brown Sister asked: "Did that novice say 'I lost the book' before she left?"
Serial Comma (Oxford Comma) Use
TarValon.Net's Library uses the serial/Oxford comma, except when doing so would make the meaning of a sentence unclear. This is the placing of a comma before the final item in a list (e.g., "I love baking, babies, and toddlers" not "I love baking, babies and toddlers").
No spaces should be inserted before a comma, semicolon, colon, period/full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark. A single space should be added after each of these punctuation marks.
Some editors may prefer to double-space between sentences, but this will not appear on the published page as the Library software reduces any extra spaces to a single space.
A single empty line should be inserted before each heading, regardless of its level. After the heading, there should not be an empty line between the heading and its text.
The source material used in TarValon.Net's Library comes from the The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan, and any accompanying works, such as The World of Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" and The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game. The Wheel of Time Companion is not used as a source for articles submitted to TarValon.Net's Library.
All Wheel of Time statements and quotations in an article must be followed by an appropriate reference. The Library has templates to link to a book, or a chapter within a book, which may be useful to include in your references - Category:Chapter Templates.
Be aware there are various templates which are required for specific instances/purposes. For more information on citations, refer to the manual on Citations.
Categories and Pages Which This Manual Excludes
However, there are several categories that either follow other manuals, or are written in free style and are not bound to prescribed formatting. Articles in those categories may follow this manual if desired, but overall they are exempt from any mandatory compliance.
- Free style articles: Category:The Real World, Category:Music, Poetry and Stories by the Fans.
- Tar Valon Times articles: Category:Tar Valon Times.
- All class transcripts under the Category:TarValon.Net Classes
Revisions to this document will be done annually.
Revisions will also be made whenever there is a need to change, or add a section or a rule.
- Latest Revisions
- First published - April 25, 2022
- Copy edited - May 17, 2022