Help! (Special Article)Edit

So you've found this page either on your own, or you've been directed here by myself, PerfectDark, or another member of or this wiki. Don't feel intimidated by how much there is possible with this Wiki and how much there is still to do! We are here to help. Sometimes some of the members or Admin will not know how to help you, but that will change with time and with new members. Right now, I want to make this special page apart from the rest of the wiki to show you how to navigate pages and how to create your own.

To start, when you make a new page, and you feel like it needs to be separated into different sections, type a Title, then hit enter and type your text body, then when you're happy with it, click the "Normal" button dropdown menu up there at the top ^^^ and select "Heading 2" for a look like the beginning of this paragraph "Help!". Experiment with what looks the best but it's probably wise to keep the entire site looking the same.

When making a new article, usually what people do is keep it professional. Don't speak in first person, or tell the reader anything about you, or say "you, yours, you are" or anything like that. When new members or unregistered users come to the site they may not know how a Wiki works. Only by reading other wiki pages will you get a good idea of how to make one, and even if you mess up, you can always edit it and hit Save.

When you need to make a minor change to the page after you've created it, or editing someone elses page, instead of hitting Save once more, click the box on the bottom of the page that says "Minor Edit". Doing so will make your spelling/grammar whatever edit so that it won't clog up the changes log.

In time the other users and I will edit this page to be a great resource to new people who show an appreciation for a Wiki page, and in turn learn themselves so they can go on to other Wiki pages in the future and enjoy what it has to bring.

Finally, if you want to get in contact with anybody on this site, click on their name. Doing so will bring you to their "User Page". Click on the tab on the top of their page that says "Talk Page". This is not a messenger, just a sort of Personal Message zone for asking questions and the like. Formatting in the Talk Page doesn't really matter, what is annoying is when nobody bothers to leave their name after the message or a timestamp, it just irks me lol.

SO! when you leave a message on a Talk Page on someones profile, afterward, type four tilde keys ~ ~ ~ ~ without spaces. That's all. Like this! PerfectDark 23:22, September 9, 2010 (UTC)

How to make a great articleEdit

So you've decided that you're going to write the perfect Article for Modhalo. That's great! Before you start, there are a few general guidelines and suggestions that we hope will help you in your quest.

  • Research in advance. It's always vital to make sure that you know what you're writing about before you start writing! This includes reviewing the information related to the episode, either through an online episode guide or even watching the episode in which your subject appears to double-check your data.
  • Introduce the topic. Start off your article with a sentence or short paragraph that roughly summarizes the subject. You don't have to include all the details, but the introduction should give the reader a clear idea of what the article is about, simply by reading the first paragraph and no further. (Also, be sure to bold the subject in the first sentence.)
  • Organize your sections. If you're writing a longer article, it's useful to divide it into sections. Try to split up the text into natural segments. Sometimes, it's useful to write the entire article first, and then divide it into sections where there are natural breaks.
  • Add an image. Modhalo is not an image gallery, but uploading one or two images to illustrate your article can add that extra flare that helps your work stand out.
  • Add external links and references. Modhalo may not have a lot of information, but it also can't have it all. Adding links to outside web pages that contain additional information can be especially useful to readers!
  • Check your spelling and grammar. This is always important, of course, but doubly so if you've set the high goal of writing the perfect article! Go ahead and use an external text editor or word processor if that will help you spot your mistakes.

And finally,

  • Read your article aloud. This may sound silly, but the best way to review and revise your perfect article is to read it through in its entirety, listening to how it sounds as you read it. This makes it easier to spot errors and changes that you'd like to make.

In addition, some contributors might find it useful to consult with other Modhalo Archivists to get ideas for changing and refining the text. Post an early draft of the article and get comments on the talk page. Even better, offer comments on other articles' talk pages, too! Sharing ideas and opinions helps build a stronger article base for everyone.

The Perfect Modhalo ArticleEdit

  • ...begins with a clear definition of the article's subject. The article needs to explicitly describe the topic in clear and succinct language that gives the reader a clear idea of what the rest of the article will cover. The definition is often an introduction to the subject.
  • long. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but long articles are considered better because they can cover the given topic much more thoroughly. This may not be possible for all articles, of course, because information may not be available for all aspects of the subject. However, where such information is available, it should always be included.
  • well-documented. It's crucial to document references to individual episodes, as well as cite other sources that may be referred to in the course of the article.
  • well-written. This almost always means that the article has gone through many, many revisions to fix small grammar and spelling mistakes, to remove vague language, and to reorganize the text for a more logical progression. Often, the later revisions of the article have very little (if any) resemblance to the original submission.
  • well-structured. The article should begin with a clear introduction, and follow a logical progression of descriptions to thoroughly cover all aspects of the subject. Sections should almost always be used to divide the material into appropriate parts.
  • ...includes contributions from many members. The best articles contain knowledge that has been submitted by a wide range of fans from all across the world, with different perspectives on the material.
  • written in an interesting, engaging style. Long, rambling sentences should be avoided – the goal of every article is to inform and entertain the reader.

The perfect Modhalo article...does not exist.

Although these guidelines are useful in helping to define what the perfect article is, we also realize that it is very hard to meet these standards. Perfection may be a lofty goal, but it's not easily reachable. Remember that perfection is not required – we'd much rather have a large number of good articles than just a few perfect articles. It takes a long time to refine and revise any article towards perfection. Spend more time writing good articles, and just keep the ideals of the perfect article in the back of your mind as you contribute.

Perfection is not requiredEdit

One of the most disconcerting features of the wiki system is its incompleteness. At any given time, there are probably going to be more pages that are in some stage of incompletion than finished, polished articles. And this is a good thing – it means the wiki is expanding!

This may go against common sense – most people are used to seeing web pages as completed, static works that don't change (and probably don't need to change). When writing a page, you may have the urge to make sure the article is finished and polished before you post it. You need to fight that urge! It's better to have a rough, unfinished article that can be refined and revised instead of no article at all.

The key to the lack of perfection is the opportunity for collaboration. You may only post a rough, vague skeleton of an article (or even less, and just a stub (few sentences or two), but that's okay, because other members can pitch in and add their own ideas. It's like the old cliché goes – two heads are better than one.

And ultimately, this process will attain perfection, because everyone is working together towards a common goal. That goal is just a lot further off than it might seem.