Wikipedia:WikiProject Cartoon Network/Style recommendations

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The following are style recommendations about Cartoon Network-related articles. These recommendations are established by consensus. Please discuss them on the talk page if you have ideas or questions. You should also be familiar with the guide to writing better articles. None of these recommendations override WP:MOS, which should be followed in all cases, though in some cases a rule may either augment or replace a guideline. Do not add, change or otherwise modify these recommendations without discussion. Changes which have not been discussed will be reverted.

Neutral point of view[edit]

Make sure to write from a neutral point of view. Wikipedia is not the place for writing reviews. If you can provide factual records of opinions, that is of course excellent. Press reviews, awards (even if for nominations) and quotes from show directors and creators such as blogs can and should be used - those carry weight on their own. If there is more than one take on the subject, make sure to include all and to treat all as potentially true. For these, be sure to clarify that they are opinions, not incontrovertible facts.

Watch out for overly general and vague statements, such as "there are many who think This series is great". Such weasel words are not particularly factual and usually nothing but the author's opinions in disguise. Try to provide more specific information, and back the statement up with references to magazines, websites, etc. In addition, avoid peacock terms; these pieces of fluff actually lower the prose to an unprofessional level.

Content[edit]

Essential content[edit]

Each Cartoon Network original series article should include a minimum set of standard elements:

  • An infobox, completed correctly and appropriately which usually consists of the show's name; creator, director; seasons and episode count; first and final air dates if a series has finished. A titlecard (sometimes referred to as an "intertitle") of the show should be uploaded with a proper fair use rationale, ideally without any digital onscreen graphic (the Cartoon Network screenbug) or any other distracting elements. Do not link to non-existent articles, also known as red links.
  • The {{WikiProject Animation|class=|importance=|cartoon-network=yes}} template placed on the article's Talk page. This lets others know that the article is part of this project.
  • A "Development" or "History" section. It is essential to explain how a show was made and this information is highly useful in adding a real world aspect to the article itself.
  • A "Reception" section. This shows the impact that the subject had critically, both commercially and artistically.

If these essential pieces of information cannot be found in reliable sources, then it may not be admissible within the article itself and removed.

Articles and related lists[edit]

All shows on Cartoon Network which have an article will fall into a basic framework of three articles consisting of a main show article, a character list and an episode list, the latter of which should only be created if the main article becomes excessively long. Sufficient leeway is given that this is not set in stone, but the basic idea should apply across all articles.

Main show article[edit]

All main articles should follow this basic layout.

The intro paragraph. Also known as the head or lead, it will be the very first text which readers will scan and should be able to concisely communicate what the show is about. Introduce the name of the show in bold (three tickmarks), explicitly mentioning that it airs on Cartoon Network, and any other associated networks or relay stations. The creator should be wikilinked, if there is an applicable link. If the creator does not currently have an article, do not link it. Redlinks in the intro will be removed. Mention and link any associated or prior work for the creator. For Cartoon Network original series, the producer will be Cartoon Network Studios and need not be explicitly mentioned. For co-productions, the production house should be mentioned and linked if possible. Give the air dates of premiere and if production has finished, the final airdate. Dates should not be wikilinked, as per WP:MOSNUM. A brief (one or two sentence) overview of the show can be incorporated into the introductory paragraph. Awards which are cited to the primary source (the awards organization) may be mentioned in the lead. Awards which are unable to be cited to the primary source (such as the day-time Emmys, which does not appear to maintain an archive), should not be mentioned in the lead, but may be mentioned in the body with a cite to a secondary source. Nominations should not be mentioned in the lead, but may be mentioned in the body, with the same citation stipulations.

The main text should give as much real-world information as possible, before any in-universe discussion. If known, a premise should be given. A premise is not the in-universe description, but the ideas which the creator had in mind whilst developing the show.

Production details should follow the premise. Mention or link to any external production houses used, as in co-productions, or a third-party house to help with non-animated elements (i.e., Chowder and Flapjack).

The internally parsed table-of-contents (TOC) can be modified to suit. If the article is addressing a newly launched show, the information may currently be slim, and a full TOC may be distracting. TOC's can be limited to level two, level three, etc., headings, to aid in presentation. See {{TOC}} for further details.

Character lists[edit]

Depending on the show, characters may have a section within the main article or a separate article should the article become too long.

For shows which consist of a 30-minute (or longer) single episodes which has a contiguous storyline or whose characters show personality development as part of one or many storyarcs, a separate article may be created. Character lists should contain concrete and immutable information, such as name, age and gender. Anything not explicitly known, either from internal or external sources, needs to be avoided. Personality development is to be taken with caution to avoid WP:SYNTH. One-time plot gags, minor inconsistencies, and the like are not be to taken into consideration. Analysis of character relationships is to be avoided, unless also explicitly known (i.e., the grandfather of main character).

Shows which consist of 11-minute episode segments which have only a handful of lead characters can be incorporated into the main article.

Lead or main characters in this context refer to the characters for which the show revolves around. Incidental or secondary characters in this context refer to recurring characters who do not have a primary role within the show. Minor characters, such as plot gag or one-shot characters, or any character which has made less than three major speaking appearances should not be listed. Major speaking appearance, in the context, refers to a role within an episode which has a significant plot contribution. Mob scenes, background voices and the like are not major plot elements. If the minor character has made multiple speaking appearances, the character should be credited. If the speaking character is not credited to a voice actor, or if a single character is credited to multiple voice actors excluding voice actor changes, the character should not appear in the list.

Salient details are fundamental character traits which appear with regular consistency. Plot gags which are used for single episodes are not character traits.

Unless the character's clothing is a significant part of the character, there is no real need to mention the clothing. Any specific character elements or traits agreed on by consensus between editors of any given articles to be either superfluous or required to the documentation will take precedence and usually be written within hidden comment markup and/or indicated on the talkpage.

Episode lists[edit]

Shows which are still in their initial first season will generally have the episodes listed in the main article. 11-minute episodes can be summarized with a couple of sentences. 30-minute episodes, with contiguous plot details may need to have their episodes listed in a separate article.

Episode lists are not full outlines. The purpose is not to give the entire history, but to capture the essence of the episode in a brief and concise manner. Plot giveaways, cliff-hangers, or internal inconsistencies are unnecessary.

Individual articles for episodes are to be avoided. Episodes which have won awards may superficially qualify for inclusion. However, if the only thing that can be said about an episode is that it won an award, it is not notable enough for an article fork. Individual articles are likely to be deleted, either via WP:PROD or WP:AFD.

If the main article contains the first season episodes, and a (verified) second season begins to air, a separate article can be spun out for WP:SIZE.

Crew[edit]

Crew details are generally unnecessary beyond the creator, director, producers, and voice cast. Cameramen, background painters, etc., are unnecessary and these lists may be removed. Redlinks will be converted into plain text.

Awards and award nominations[edit]

If any show has received nominations for any major media award (Annie, Emmy), the nomination/award should be linked directly to the awards organization. Some awards organizations do not maintain an archive of awards beyond a certain date, or do not maintain archives for certain awards. IMDb is acceptable only if an official archive is unavailable, and should never be used in preference for an official archive.

Media releases[edit]

Media releases (DVDs, VHS, CD, etc.) are secondary to the show, and should be mentioned further into the article. Do not link to a commercial website such as Amazon, or even the primary source. Video games may be forked into a separate article only if there is sufficient information to satisfy WP:V and WP:RS: that would include reviews from major game magazines and ratings from reliable sources. Please also be aware that video games will come under the Video games Wikiproject and their MOS may take precedence over ours, please check at the WP:VG talkpage. If the only information of a media release known is the date, title, or other minor details then an article may not be tenable and a section pending the release may be added to the main article.

"See also" sections[edit]

If the show is related to a producer or creator, link it here. Do not link to non-Cartoon Network networks, unless the creator is responsible for major works on other networks (ala Joe Murray). Keep these links in context; e.g. if the show is about food, do not link to any food related articles.

References[edit]

Ideally there should be some WP:V references. Refer to WP:RS. Primary sources are acceptable only if the primary source offers core information about the subject i.e. Lazlo is a monkey. A primary source should not offer interpretation.

Categories[edit]

Acceptable categories are:

Other categories may apply, use your noggin.

Inappropriate content[edit]

Below is a list of content that is generally considered beyond the scope of information of Wikipedia articles on Cartoon Network topics.

  1. Non-notable articles and spinouts: Avoid creating new articles on non-notable topics. A notable topic must receive significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject. A smaller article should only be split from a larger topic if the new article would itself be notable, notability is not inherited and the notability of the parent does not apply to the child article.
    Based on: Wikipedia's general notability guideline, and Wikipedia's guideline to avoiding unnecessary splits
  2. Numerous short articles: One large article usually provides better organization and context for a topic. Don't create multiple small articles when one larger compilation will do. The ideal article is neither too large nor too small.
    Based on: Wikipedia's guideline on article size
  3. Detailed in-universe explanations: Documenting a characters history can be helpful to understand their personality but avoid explaining minute elements of their personality which only appear once.
  4. Excessive fictional details: A concise plot summary is appropriate to cover a notable character or setting. Information beyond that is unnecessary and should be removed, as articles should focus on the real-world elements of a topic, such as creation and reception.
    Based on: Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information: Plot summaries, and Wikipedia's policy on undue weight
  5. Lists of minor events, media releases or characters. Specific lists of locations, villains for a given show and so on are considered inappropriate. Sometimes a concise summary is appropriate if it is essential to understanding the show.
    Based on: Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information: Plot summaries and Wikipedia's policy on undue weight
  6. Rumors and speculation: Speculation about future episodes or spinoff series should not be included.
    Based on: Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, Wikipedia is not a repository of original research or original thought

These standards have been developed in accordance with fundamental Wikipedia policies and guidelines and reflect the consensus of the community. All editors should understand and follow these standards, though they should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception.

Style[edit]

This is an encyclopedia, and articles should be written formally, not like fansites or blogs. In addition to the Manual of Style, keep these style tips in mind:

  • Do not use second-person pronouns ("you"). In addition to being ambiguous, informal, and unencyclopedic, we cannot assume that the reader is familiar with the show. Use proper nouns for character names. See also Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Avoid second-person pronouns.
  • When writing about a show be sure to keep a real-world perspective. Simply put, do not describe fiction as fact. For example: "Chowder is a chef's apprentice." This sentence talks about fiction from a perspective within its world. "The show is about Chowder, a chef's apprentice." This sentence talks about fiction from the perspective outside of its world.
  • Avoid confusing abbreviations.
  • Substandard and fluffy prose are unacceptable, even in underdeveloped articles. Ask for copyeditors to help enhance your article's prose, even if you are a solid writer. Avoid redundancies and misplaced formality, such as "in order to" and "upon". You may wish to read "How to satisfy Criterion 1a".

Verb tense[edit]

  • When describing a show which has finished production, use present tense. The verb in this usage modifies the genre of the show: these are, and will remain, animated shows, and will not cease to exist even when production has finished.
  • However, when describing a specific event related to a show, such as production, advertising, reviews, etc., use a tense appropriate for the time period in which the event occurred. Be careful to avoid phrasing that may confuse past and present tense.
    • "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" is an animated series produced by Cartoon Network Studios, which was aired between 2001 and 2005."
  • Avoid relative time terms like "currently". Relative time ages fast, and offers no context to the reader. If a show is actively airing at the time of your edit, the omission of a finale date should be sufficient.
  • Similarly, use the present tense for describing things happening in the shows, not the past tense. This is logical; even if a series was aired in the 90's, it is animated the same today as it was when it first aired. Plots should always be written in present tense, as they happen over the show's run and have not happened. An exception is when describing events that take place prior to the events of the show. For example,
    • "Courage was adopted by Muriel". The adoption occurs before the show, and is an event which has occurred in the past.

Naming convention[edit]

Articles should follow a familiar naming convention:

  • Show name (or Show name (TV series) if disambiguation is needed)
  • List of Show name episodes
  • List of characters in Show name

Each article should contain contextual links to each other, titles such as List of Show name characters or Episodes of Show name will be changed to the accepted convention for the relevant type of article.

Popular culture sections[edit]

Some shows have made their mark in influencing popular culture. However, this material is inclined to go against Manual of Style guidelines on trivia. Generally, sections entitled "Trivia", "X in popular culture", "Popular culture in X", "Goofs" or similar will be removed.

Sources[edit]

Articles related to Cartoon Network must follow the requirements for verification and use appropriate reliable sources with inline citations to support the article.

There are several considerations for Carton Network-related articles in regards to sourcing:

  • Using sites like TV.com and IMDb as reliable sources for older series (pre-1996) should be carefully considered. While such sites are not considered to be reliable sources today, prior to around the turn of the century, they did possess this credibility. Most shows pre-dating 2000 should include content from print journals or digital archives for information released during that time.
  • Similarly, plot sections should also be sourced; again, the user's manual and reviews may help here, but one may also find sufficient information contained within strategy guides or FAQs.

External links[edit]

External links in show articles should follow the same convention for external links on Wikipedia in general. Certain links are recommended for these articles, while other links should be avoided. Specifically, external links should provide information that, barring copyright and technical restrictions, would be part of a Featured Article on Wikipedia. Restricting the type of external links to be added to articles helps to avoid the section from becoming a link farm. Additionally, Wikipedia is not a TV guide or your website or blog - external links should not be added to include material that explicitly defines certain aspects of the show or its characters.

Appropriate external links - These links should be present if possible in an article

  • The show's official home page (usually provided by Cartoon Network). Only the English version of the page should be included if there are multiple languages. If no English version exists, then the official page in the language of the country of first airing should be provided, but indicate that the site is in a foreign language. If on a co-produced show, Cartoon Network and an outside studio each offer a different site, include both.
  • If the page contains substantial information that is relevant but not necessarily encyclopedic in nature, a show's page at TV.com or the Internet Movie Database may be added on a case by case basis.

Inappropriate external links - These links should be avoided in articles, though if determined by consensus to be valuable, they may be included:

  • Fan-based sites or fan created websites which include MySpace pages and blogs - These tend to be self-published venues and are not appropriate for verifiability within Wikipedia.
  • Forums, even if official forums provided by Cartoon Network or the co-producers - Again, these are self-published forums and are not appropriate

Unacceptable external links - Links to sites that offer complete downloads of episodes, seasons, or other copyright-infringing works. These links are never allowed in articles and should be deleted without discussion if found

Screengrabs and media sleeve art[edit]

For information on adding pictures, see Wikipedia:Picture tutorial.

Wikipedians assert that the usage of screengrabs of shows and sleeve art of physical medias are protected under the fair use provision of U.S. Copyright law (but see exceptions below). To notify others of the copyright status of such images, uploaded images should include the tag {{Non-free television screenshot}}, {{Non-free character}}, {{Non-free promotional}} or {{Non-free logo}}. Some screengrabs or sleeve art may be categorized elsewhere, in which case the uploader is still required to provide valid information on the image's source and copyright status. For rendered art or other official graphics that are not screengrabs, use the general {{Non-free character}}, {{Non-free promotional}}, or {{Non-free fair use in}} tag and provide information (See Wikipedia:Non-free content for information on what the requirements are). Channel, show and programming slot logos may use the {{Non-free logo}} tag. Do not upload screengrabs that have been watermarked.

All non-free images must be accompanied by a fair use rationale for each article they appear in, explaining why the image is being used in that article along with Category:Cartoon Network images. Any such images that do not contain a proper rationale may be deleted in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy.

Screengrabs are great for enhancing the comprehensiveness of articles, and all main articles should have at least a couple. Do not go overboard, because excessive placement of fair use images has been known to spark controversy and objection, especially with Featured Article candidates. Sleeve art for physical media should appear in the infobox (see below for more info on the infobox).

For captions, try to conform to the guidelines set forth in Wikipedia:Captions and Wikipedia:WikiProject Writing Captions.

Image file formats[edit]

For sleeve art and screengrabs, JPEG will work fine as will PNG at 24-bits. PNG or SVG are preferred for logos.

Airdates[edit]

Airdates should be provided for the premiere airdate in the infobox as well as summarized in the article's lead. These should be provided from primarily English-speaking regions, including North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. Airdates in non-English countries should not be included in the infobox (unless it is first aired in a non-English country), but if determined to be necessary to include, can be discussed further in the article's body.

Care should be taken in stating airdates. Airdates can be unverifiable so please find a reliable source for this information. An article may be written in a specific form of English (American English, British English, etc.) use a date format that matches the version of English that is used in the article. See WP:DATE and WP:ENGVAR for further details. Dates should not be wikilinked.

Organization[edit]

Here are a few ideas for how to organize articles. These do not necessarily have to correspond to the actual section headers and divisions, and they are no more than suggestions. Do not try to conform to them if they are not helping to improve the article.

For main show articles:

  • Lead section: The name of the game in bold italics, first air date, production studio(s) and other identifying information go first. Then, a brief summary of the article. Finally, why the show is notable and important; this is the key part of the lead section, because it establishes the main idea that will be carried throughout the article.
  • Infobox: see below for more information.
  • Concept: going over the significant parts of how the show. Remember not to include intricate minor details regarding locations or non-speaking characters.
  • History: discuss development, airing, impact, critical response, etc. This can easily be several different sections.
  • Trivia: Such information should be integrated into appropriate areas of the article.
  • External links and references. Cite sources! If you are unsure what to include for references, reviews, interviews and development blogs are all good candidates.

For character lists:

  • A brief intro paragraph linking back to the main article
  • Main characters. As above, give as much concrete and immutable information as possible. Name, age, gender, if known. Roles, jobs or careers may also be explicit. Link to the voice actor.
  • Secondary characters. Also as above, only recurring characters which meet appearance requirements.

For episode lists:

  • A brief intro paragraph linking back to the main article
  • Break down the episodes into seasons and the dates spanned.
  • Use the template {{Episode list}}

Channel articles[edit]

Articles which deal with the international versions of Cartoon Network should adhere to some basic style:

  • Variants which receive relay feeds from other countries should not have their own separate articles. Cartoon Network maintains a list of international networks at their website
  • Any network article should contain, at the very least, the launch date of the network. If geographical areas are limited, it may be feasible to include a channel listing which carries the network. For larger geographical locations, such as the United States network, this is not feasible.
  • If a network relays programming, any information about the relay should be provided.
  • Lists of any current or past shows aired on any channels, please add them to the relevant lists regarding the channel or slot.
  • International variants should not contain programming or scheduling information. Most programming is subject to change, is not verifiable, and falls into not a television guide.
  • Major programming events may be given a brief overview.