Wikipedia:WikiProject Alien/Manual of style

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The following is a detailed guide to Alien-related articles. For the general style guide, please see Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

The following style guide coveres everything related to Alien, including character articles, general lists, general rules, templates, and infoboxes. Generally, this applies to all editors, though it is mainly used as a tool to get all members of the Alien WikiProject together on one concrete style packet.

Please quote this style guide based on the section (e.g. 1.1.7 to apply to section 1, subsection 1, number 7).

Finally, many concepts will be repeated in multiple sections. This is not an error; many rules and guidelines apply to many sections.

General rules[edit]

For other information on some of the items in this section, please see Wikipedia:Wikify.


  1. Generally, all articles or sections about fictional subjects should be written in the PRESENT TENSE, since this is a fictional universe. For example, a plot section within a film article would use the present tense. Articles about real-world subjects should use the past, present, or future tense as applicable. For example, an article or section about the making of Alien would be in the past tense, since the film was made in 1979, while an article about an upcoming sequel would probably use the future tense in most parts.


  1. Always consider notability (importance to a general audience) when editing not only Alien-related articles, but Wikipedia in general. Wikipedia is a general interest encyclopedia, not an in-depth guide to everything related to Alien (i.e. it is not Wookieepedia). For detailed information on notability, please see Wikipedia:Notability (fiction).
  2. For more information on notability and tolerance within Wikipedia, please see Wikipedia:Fancruft and Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not.
  3. Characters, terms, and other topics that do not merit their own article (or any chance of expansion with ENCYCLOPEDIC material) should be merged into their respective lists. However, avoid creating list articles of trivial material with little or no encyclopedic value. List of characters in the Alien series, for example, is a valid list, while "List of weapons used by the Colonial Marines" would not be.
  4. Likewise, if a topic has enough encyclopedic information to merit multiple sections and five or more paragraphs, it is generally safe to give it its own article.
  5. All movies, books, series, and albums may be given their own articles. However, the M577 A.P.C., which is a vehicle that only appears in a few scenes of Aliens and related comics/games, does not deserve an article.
  6. There are fine lines between splitting and merging and notability, so there will always be disputes. Please be civil and make sure your argument covers all Wikipedia and Manual of Style rules.


  1. Always italicize titles, including books, movies, episodes, series, games, and albums. Examples include: Alien 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Alien 3 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Predator 2, Aliens: Earth Hive, Mindhunter.
  2. People and characters, such as Ridley Scott and Ellen Ripley, should not be italicized except for emphasis.
  3. Song titles should be placed in "double quotes" (I.E. "The Beast Within").
  4. Italics may also be used for emphasis.


  1. The first mention of the article or list entry's subject should always be bolded, unless the title is descriptive, in which case the article title need not be bolded or written verbatim in the first sentence. (If the term is also the title of a work, its first mention should be bolded and italicized; subsequent mentions should be italicized, as noted above.)
  2. In rare cases, minor topics may feature bold headings in lieu of subheaders.


  1. Generally, all abbreviations and shorthand writing should be avoided, unless the abbreviation or shorthand is part of the official title of a work. For example, Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator rather than Superman & Batman vs. Aliens & Predator, Aliens versus Predator rather than Aliens vs. Predator for the comic (but Alien vs. Predator rather than Alien versus Predator for the film).
  2. When addressing a game, book, console, term, movie, etc., do not abbreviate unless the abbreviation is part of the official title. For example, type Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem or Aliens: Earth Hive instead of AVP:R or Earth Hive.


  1. A wikilink should only be used at the first mention, unless it is a template.
  2. In a list, major characters and terms may be wikilinked multiple times if necessary.
  3. Do not wikilink non-Alien words unless they are not extremely common (e.g. do not wikilink device or disease, but do wikilink Facehugger).


  1. Category:Alien (franchise) features numerous sub-categories, which should be studied in order to ensure proper categorization.
  2. Do not categorize things twice unless it applies.
  3. If a new category is to be created, it must feature at least five (5) entries that are not covered in existing sub-categories.


Article naming[edit]

  1. Refer to Wikipedia:Naming conventions for detailed information.
  2. If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article (as opposed to putting it in the predicate). In any case, the title should appear as early as possible in the article — preferably in the first sentence.
  3. The first time the title is mentioned in the article, bold it. Do not put links in the title.
  4. Most article titles should be singular (unless they are lists or merged topics).
  5. Generally, one should avoid overuse of parenthesis in article titles, except in cases where there is disambiguation. Even in that case, it may be better off to just add description to the title (for example, instead of "Ripley (Alien)", one might use Ellen Ripley, unless there are several characters named Ripley. In that case, a merge or a general article may be appropriate.).
  6. Except in titles of works or in official names, avoid the definite ("the") and indefinite ("a"/"an") articles at the beginning of a page name.
  7. All movies, books, series, games, etc. should be named using their full titles, including any series title. For example: Aliens: Earth Hive rather than Earth Hive, Aliens: Colonial Marines rather than Colonial Marines.
  8. Some titles use a colon or other separator between the series title and the subtitle, in which case the article title should also use this same punctuation. For example, Aliens: Unleashed. In other cases a separating punctuation may not actually appear in the title due to the way it is stylized for a cover, but is implied by standard English punctuation and should therefore be used in the article title. For example, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem rather than Aliens vs. Predator Requiem, Alien 3: The Gun rather than Alien 3 The Gun, Batman/Aliens rather than Batman Aliens. In some cases the syntax of the title does not imply any punctuation, in which case none should be used in the article title. For example, Alien Resurrection rather than Alien: Resurrection, Aliens Online rather than Aliens: Online, Alien Quadrilogy rather than Alien: Quadrilogy. There are fine lines on the use of implied punctuation, so there will always be disputes. Please be civil and make sure your argument covers all Wikipedia and Manual of Style rules. The common-sense guideline should be to punctuate titles as though you were writing and speaking them out in a sentence.
  9. Note that some works spell out the word "versus" in their titles, while others abbreviate it as "vs." or "vs". For article names, follow the same spelling or abbreviation as the cover of the work itself. For example: Alien vs. Predator for the film and Aliens versus Predator for the comic.

List naming[edit]

  1. Refer to Wikipedia:Naming conventions for detailed information.
  2. All lists must begin with "list of..." to distinguish that they are a list. An exception is a merged topic with many subtopics included in the article, such as Alien (Alien franchise).
  3. A list's title/name should match the content of the article. For example, if an article is about characters in the Alien series, the title would be List of characters in the Alien series.
  4. Most lists are not completely singular (e.g. List of characters in the Alien series).


Article introductions[edit]

  1. All articles must have a one to three paragraph lead section that introduces the topic in a succinct manner.
  2. All articles abour fictional subjects need to begin with "In the fictional Alien universe, topic is a (brief description)...." or "topic is a (brief description) in the fictional Alien universe". For more information on this topic, see Wikipedia: Writing about fiction, particularly the guidelines on in-universe vs. real-world perspective.
  3. If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article (as opposed to putting it in the predicate). In any case, the title should appear as early as possible in the article — preferably in the first sentence.
  4. As displayed above, the first mention of the article topic must be bolded. (It should also be italicized if it is the title of a work.)
  5. Articles, especially those about characters, may not begin with a lead-off quote. This is considered unencyclopedic and may create point of view arguments over what quotation to add. Wikipedia has a sister project, Wikiquote, specifically for quotations.

List introductions[edit]

  1. A list should begin much in the same way as the article, except that the article subject is not bolded. Instead, lists often begin with "The following are (list's topic) in the fictional Alien universe".
  2. List entries (the multiple topics that make up a list) should be bolded upon first mention.
  3. List entries do not need to feature the " the fictional Alien universe" disclaimer, for it is already written in the list's opening sentence.



Copyrights, copyios, and fair use[edit]

Specific article types[edit]

List articles[edit]

There are several list articles which are part of the project, such as List of characters in the Alien series. Unfortunately these are sometimes viewed as "dumping grounds" for information that is deemed inappropriate for "regular" articles: extensive plot summaries, character biographies, in-universe information, etc. However, list articles can be just as useful and encyclopedic as other types of articles, and should be viewed not as a potential mess but rather as an opportunity to provide fine content beyond the scope of what other article types cover.

As other articles should strive for the goal of becoming featured articles, so too should list articles strive for the goal of one day becoming featured lists. To this end, when working on list articles, try whenever possible to help the article meet the featured list criteria. List articles should aim to be useful, comprehensive, factually accurate, stable, uncontroversial, and well-constructed. Project members are encouraged to help improve the list articles, and to give them the same level of consideration as other article types.