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Administrivia: Tips Worksheet

Installed: Don't add or remove things in this section. It doesn't do the installation, it is just a list of what has been installed. There is a section below this one for ideas and suggestions.

  1. Remember to use the discussion page for questions. They don't go in the article. Just click that discussion button at the top of every page.
  2. The idea is to make articles in Main look like they were written by the same person. A person with a good sense of humor, who doesn't talk about themself with 'I' or 'this troper', or get in arguments with themself, and who just corrects errors they might have made earlier without drawing attention to them.
  3. Use spoiler tags when you really need them, but it would be even better if you could manage to write your example without bringing up the sensitive information.
  4. If you feel the need to preface your example with "Not really an example but..." you know in your heart it's not an example. Don't add it.
  5. "I can't believe no-one mentioned X yet!" Except, you did just now, so that won't mean anything in a moment. Write your example like it's been there forever and we won't tell a soul it wasn't.
  6. If you're using a third bullet point, take a moment to think about what you're typing and where it should go.
  7. Be sure this example isn't here already.
  8. Want to share your opinion on a work? Try writing a review!
  9. A trope can't be "partially subverted" any more than a woman can be "a little bit pregnant." If it isn't played straight and it isn't quite subverted, check the Playing with a Trope page to see which one it is.
  10. An example that is almost completely spoilered out doesn't work very well as an example.
  11. Here is an example of word cruft: "Don't forget, actually, as a matter of fact, what really happened is that there's far too much Word Cruft in this example."
  12. Did you just catch an error? Be sure to fix it rather than just pointing it out.
  13. We are not interested in whether or not something is or was popular. Whether or not it was liked has nothing to do with tropes.
  14. No matter how popular your favorite show is, there are even more people out there who didn't see it. Listing your example as "Show X! Just... Show X" doesn't work. Always explain how Show X is an example.
  15. Got a spoiler you want to hide? Take a look at our Spoiler Policy, and consider whether the spoiler is really needed.
  16. Memes don't automatically make things wittier. Resist the urge to shoehorn one in.
  17. More than one page-top quote just gets in the way. Use the Quotes page for the rest.
  18. You are not reminding people of what they know. You are relating something they might not know. Things like "Don't forget", "Remember...", and "Lest we forget" are Word Cruft, overused to the point of being irritating. Just tell us the fun stuff to know.
  19. The articles aren't a chatroom. Do not put 'LOL' or emoticons in your edits.
  20. Please read Example Indentation in Trope Lists as early and as often as possible.

Ideas/Discussion

Tips for suggesting tips:

  • Installed Tip #6 applies here, too: Be sure that what you are suggesting isn't here already.
  • Don't just tell people what not to do. Tell them what they should do instead.
  • Brevity Is Wit. If you've written a paragraph, skip to the end, get to the point, and that summary is your tip. Check if the rest is covered by an Administrivia link.

Suggested tips to install:

Consistent Voice
  • If an example is poorly written or overlooks something important, change the example. Commentary in sub-bullet points, parentheses and "however, ..." digressions clutters the page.
  • A paragraph should not start with "actually", "YMMV", "wrong", "incorrect", "you mean", "to be fair", "not really", or anything of the sort. You're writing an article. Articles can provide different viewpoints, but they do not contradict themselves.
  • No "I." Period. (Full stop)
  • "You" when referring to the reader — sure, you're allowed to do that. "You" when referring to the text above you — Bad Thing!

Please Elaborate and Be Specific
  • Go look it up; we'll still be here when you get back. Better that than writing "happened in The Honeymooners, or possibly Fringe."
  • The description is the place for describing general uses of the trope. Examples that aren't from a specific work aren't examples. Don't just write "all anime ever" — give us specifics.
  • Don't add examples of works in which you assume a trope occurs, or expect it to occur; only add an example of the trope actually occurring.
  • Don't just drop a bare URL for an off-site link into an example, especially as the only thing in the example. It's better to make it a pothole for some relevant trope page.
  • Write in a way that will make sense to non-fans. Describe motives, causes and effects rather than throwing around bare character names and episode numbers. It's good form to Pot Hole the trope behind the reference (e.g., In the climax of the Alpha mission, Bob resorts to using the Omega Spark).
  • Examples in trope pages should actually mention the name of the work — a Pot Hole isn't enough. If they don't, not only are they less readable, they won't show up in page search, which will cause repeat examples.
  • If you're going to claim Word of God, back it up, or at least determine where and when it's from. Otherwise people will suspect it originated from some tripod webpage's "rumors" section in 1997. You don't have to write up a bibliography, but at least make it possible for readers to verify it for themselves.

Spoilers
  • Our Spoiler Policy in a nutshell: Don't bring up spoilers if you don't have to. If you do, make the writing legible to someone who won't highlight the spoilers and make sure they're not given away by their length or context.
  • Do not put links or Wiki Words inside spoilers. This will result in people accidentally clicking said link when they select the spoilered text to read it.
  • Spoiler—click to reveal 
  • Don't spoiler tag the name of the work you're spoiling, or the name of the trope that's the spoiler. It doesn't help at all.
  • If a work is short enough that you could reasonably fit all of it in an example (for example, jokes), you don't have to use spoilers. After all, if the reader reached the spoilered-out part in your example, it means they reached the point where learning the twist wouldn't count as being spoiled.

Administrivia and other tips with accompanying pages
  • Tropes Are Not Good. Your favorite work isn't going to get any cooler for being mentioned on this page. Don't add it unless it belongs.
  • If you feel this page needs a sharp snappy explanation, make one yourself at the Laconic Wiki. Change the /Main/ part of the URL to /Laconic/ and edit the page.
  • If you think there's a problem with a trope — e.g. it's too specific, it's being misunderstood, it's suffering Trope Decay, it's extensively poorly written — take it to the Trope Repair Shop. If you think it absolutely does not belong, bring up the possibility of taking it to the Cut List.
  • Is there something about the way the site is run that bugs you? Bring it up — politely, and with a minimum of hostility — in the "Wiki and Forums" section of the TV Tropes Forum.
  • Looking for some way to be helpful? Check out Needs Wiki Magic Love and List of Shows That Need Summary.
  • Don't use the kind of phrases that are in the Permanent Red Link Club (I Am Not Making This Up, So Yeah, This Troper). They've been sent there for a reason.
  • Follow the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment: don't add examples that are going to get people riled up.
  • Avoid referring to wiki-specific trivia in examples. Nobody cares if an example used to be the Trope Namer or if it was almost the Trope Namer or if there were extensive arguments on TV Tropes about it. We already have a page detailing trope renamings, so don't feel like you need to memorialize the fallen trope name.
  • Avoid adding subjectives on an article's main page. It is now policy that these items go on subpages.
  • Keep from throwing in links to Sinkholes. Typing in a style like Buffy Speak is fine, but it's Not an Example of the trope.
  • No Lewdness, No Prudishness. If a work contains sexuality, state the facts and don't gush; but on the other hand don't whitewash it either.

How to Write an Example
  • Favor understatement over exaggeration. Do not use either at the expense of clarity.
  • A Pot Hole to the extent of "HEY LOOK I MADE A REFERENCE" or "LOLZ I MADE A FUNNY" can really take the fun out of the joke. Save them for potential "huh, I don't get it" situations.
  • However, please remember that English is a lot of tropers' second language, who won't be able to appreciate the word play that seems so obvious to you. A brief explanation, or even a link to the expression you're referring to, is often much appreciated.
  • Brevity Is Wit. Nobody wants to read a Wall of Text.
  • If you've finished a complete sentence with a full thought, you can complete it and start a new one, and you don't have to keep adding to the sentence and leave it open at the end, because, well...
  • Don't shoehorn. If you have a work or trope you want to Entry Pimp, make the effort to find pages where it belongs.
  • Don't respond to an example with another example from a different work. Each example should be under its own work entry.
  • Don't ask, "Does this belong here?" in the main page. Use your best judgment and be bold. If you really, truly can't decide, ask on the discussion page.
  • Don't refer to "the page quote" in an example. The page quote can change, and the person changing it probably won't notice that your example now needs to be updated. It's OK to copy the current page quote in an example, if that's the best way to illustrate it, and then your example won't be broken if the page quote changes.
  • The source of an example should be explicit near the beginning of the example. It does no good to have the source work hidden in a Pot Hole or buried three lines deep.

TV Tropes lingo
  • The trope description or example you're writing might be someone's first experience of TV Tropes. Favor clear language over catchy jargon and clever Pot Holes.
  • Don't pothole because you can, much less because you kind of can, barely; do it if (and only if) it explains something or adds something.''

  • People who edit make up just over 1% of all traffic. That is, about 99% of traffic are non-editing readers. Try to keep this in mind when editing.
  • When linking to pages such as Big "NO!", Flat "What." or "No. Just... No" Reaction, make sure the trope happens in the scene you're describing, and not just in your description of said scene (for example, don't link to Big "NO!" because something made you say "NOOO!", or to Flat "What." when describing something that is weird to you but did not make the In-Universe characters say "What").

Hyperbole In Examples
  • DON'T EMPHASIZE EVERYTHING!!! WHEN EVERYTHING HAS EMPHASIS, NOTHING IS EMPHASIZED!!!
  • Use bold, italics and CAPS judiciously; especially don't combine them unless you have a very good reason that doesn't involve how impressed you are with the example. People can read an example and understand the weight of it just fine in plain formatting without your "help."
  • Don't pitch your example. Good LORD, don't pitch your example! Where to begin? Suffice it to say, wading through oh so much masterful emphasis taken Up to Eleven and brilliant hyperbole going Beyond The Impossible is the single absolute epitome of sheer pure annoyance, and gets old incredibly fast. Yeah. THAT IS ALL.
  • The examples list isn't a competition. Adding sugary adverbs and Pot Holes doesn't make your example "better."
  • "Subversion" is not the cooler version of "aversion."
  • Don't swear just for the sake of it. The idea is to keep the pages objective to an extent, and foul language as emphasis betrays that goal.
  • Don't insult the reader. Telling a person they "have no soul" or "are inhuman" because they aren't affected by something the way you are serves only to make the example more annoying, not more powerful.
  • Deconstructions and subversions are not more interesting because they are "brutal" or "cruel."

Grammar
  • Poor grammar makes for a degraded reading experience; horrible grammar may get deleted outright. Have a look at Tips on Grammar to at least get the most common blunders out of the way.
  • Write out your sentences. Just because there exists an acronym for some commonly used phrase doesn't mean that everyone will recognize what it means.
  • "Because" is much better than "due to the fact that."
  • Ending punctuation is a good thing. No, brackets do not count. They're not going to show up on the example page. When in doubt, punctuate.
  • "It's" is only short for "it is" or "it has". "Its" means "belonging to it." If you're not sure which one you should use, try replacing the word with "it is" or "it has"; if the sentence no longer makes sense, then you probably want "its."
  • The past tense of the verb "lead" is "led", not "lead". The noun "lead" is the heavy metal in car batteries, and (mistakenly) in pencils.
  • "Then" and "than" are not the same word. "Then" is for something relating to a time frame; i.e., "I jousted back then" or "And then he died." "Than" is used for comparisons, such as "Bob has more Steve Carell bobblehead memorabilia than Alice" or "I bet I can eat more churros in one sitting than you!"

Manual Of Style

Formatting, Interface, Punctuation, and Structure
  • Forgotten how to do some markup trick? There's a Show Markup Help button, just a bit above and to the right of the editing box.
  • The --> markup is for inserting quotes, not for adding bullet points.
  • When using the --> markup, the number of dashes should be one more than the current number of asterisks in the current bullet point.
  • If you want to continue text at the current bullet point's level of indentation after a quote or other line breaking feature, you can use the "::" markup to do so; use one more colon (":") than there are asterisks in the current bullet point.
  • Before you hit "save," proofread your entry and/or hit "preview" at the bottom-left of the page. There's no need to rush, and no need to keep re-editing the page as you or others find the mistakes after the fact.
  • "’", "", "�", "?", and generally weird symbols where they do not belong are likely formatting errors caused by incompatible character encoders. Use this utf8-to-latin-converter to fix them. If the characters above show up as normal characters for you, try to avoid using apostrophes, accented characters, or quote marks.
  • Please stick to a consistent format when adding examples. Most pages use the following format:
* WikiWord: Because this example contains Wiki Words.
Some pages use a hyphen, and some put examples in parentheses after the trope name, but all pages (are supposed to, and should be fixed if they don't) pick one and stick to it.
  • Remember to close your parentheses.
  • Italic, bold, and italic and bold coding does not work inside of a Pot Hole. If you want to bold or italic and link something, place the coding outside the link, like so: ''[[PotHole This is a link]]'' If you want to make a Pot Hole with emphasis on part of it, rewrite the pothole.
  • To make a link out of several words, you don't need to use CurlyBrackets. Just use CamelCase to make it into a Wiki Word. (Unless you want the link to include lowercase words; e.g., Lord of the Rings.)
  • HTML markups (<i>italics</i>, <b>bold</b>, <a href="some website">link</a>, etc.) do not work on the wiki, so don't put them in.
  • Pages with a lot of long lists of examples in various media, or where one or two media have a lot of examples, should be folderized rather than using small caps headers for the media types.
  • If an image is interfering with bullet points, move it to the right with [[quoteright:]].
  • In Character pages, rather than putting the actor/voice actor of the character into the tropes list, instead place it in quote form directly under the character's name.
  • Using a redirect to go to a page that is also a redirect doesn't work. Link directly to where the link should really go.
  • Each work's example should have a single bullet all to its own. If you want to start talking about another show, start a new single bullet. See Example Indentation.
  • When a trope gets renamed, if you want to go through the pages for works which list that trope and change the links to the new name, great. But if you do so, please put the new trope name in its correct alphabetical position in the list rather than leaving it exactly where it is and just changing the name.
  • Learn the Text Formatting Rules. Don't use the external link markup for internal links.
  • If you want to add information to an example, just add the information. That's not what bullet points are for.
  • Don't write new examples in blank paragraphs that divide the categories. You need to hit the "enter" button on your keyboard before you write a new example.
  • If a trope you were editing has folders, just please don't write under the [[/folder]] part when adding a new example.
  • Don't link to disambig. pages. If you do get linked to a disambig. page, go back to the page it was on, figure out which link it's referring to and fix it. Don't link to just Battlestar Galactica, it should either be Series.Battlestar Galactica Classic or Series.Battlestar Galactica Reimagined depending on which you are referring to.
  • Please make sure you are namespacing works. For example, Series/DoctorWho or WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic. It helps with ambiguity as well.

Best Practices For Page Longevity
  • Refer to things elsewhere on the wiki only if you have to — even things on the same page. Page quotes, page images, Trope Namers, nearby examples and so on are all liable to change, and when they do any writing that refers to them ceases to make sense.
  • Avoid wording that will become dated. "The latest" happenings won't be so "recent" in a month or so. If it's necessary to establish a time frame for something, use a name, an episode number or the like.
  • When discussing a work that has not been released yet, it will save future editors time if you pretend that it already has been released. Just be sure that what you're adding is likely to be in the final release.

Make Edit Love, Not Edit War
  • Whenever you delete content, explain yourself in the edit history page (via the edit reason) or the discussion page. Conversely, if some piece of content is suddenly gone, first check both these places for an explanation. This prevents Edit Warring and helps tell good faith editing from vandalism.
  • If you decide to rewrite a trope description or an example, salvage the good points from the earlier version. There's no reason to just throw away all the work that went into it.
  • If you have to change the page image or quote, link the old one from the corresponding Image Links Wiki or Quotes Wiki entry, respectively (start one if necessary). There will always be people who liked it, so be nice and save them the searching time.
  • Trying to edit war with someone with "moderator" next to their name in a page's history is a Very Bad Idea.
  • YMMV sections are for describing the different ways to look at a work, not for making rulings about which is the right one. If your agenda can't play nice, it's not welcome.
  • If you must correct something someone has written, do just that, and no more. Write a polite, brief note in the edit reason field, and do not refer to the whole thing on the page itself.
  • If an example becomes contentious, direct people to the Discussion page to thrash it out in more detail there. This is the best way to stop a budding Edit War.
  • If a trope, audience reaction, etc. is put repeatedly on some page and does not fit, you should leave an edit-only visible marker (%% Markup) to prevent it from being added again. Include an explanation for why that item does not fit.
  • Don't use the note markup to correct mistakes. Repair, Don't Respond.

Interoperability In New Examples and Wiki Magic
  • When you mention a work, try to make it a link, at least if you think there's any chance it could ever warrant a page. Even if it doesn't have a page here yet, it may get one later.
  • When you add trope examples for your favorite work, consider helping the Wiki Magic along by adding that work as an example on the trope page.
  • Adding a page on a work? It's a good idea to add at least a few examples of tropes the work uses for the Wiki Magic to act on.
  • Found a broken link? Do your part and fix it. If it's for a work you're familiar with, make a quick page for Wiki Magic; if it's for a trope that's at a different name, either change the link or create a redirect; if it's to a trope that doesn't exist or an external page that can't be found, remove it.
  • Planning to remove or replace a main page quote or image? Take care — there may be paragraphs or examples which will need to be fixed, because they rely on the reader seeing the quote or image in question for reference. If you can't be bothered to read the whole article, a CTRL+F for "picture", "image" and "quote" will usually catch everything.

Accurate Trope Identification
  • Tropes are often similar and sometimes have Subtropes that deal with more specific situations. Read the description and see if you're really adding the example in the best place before posting it.
  • Not every trope name is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Read the actual trope description before you base an example or Pot Hole on the title.
  • An example might not actually be an example of the trope it's listed as, but it's probably an example of something. Consider moving it to the right trope rather than deleting it outright.
  • Remember, these are lists of tropes; just because an artist/creator has an article here doesn't make them a trope, and just because they appear in a work doesn't mean they go in the trope list. If it's interesting enough to mention, put it in the main article.
  • If you commonly add examples of a certain trope, check that trope's main page every now and again, as they can commonly have their definitions changed and/or have usage restrictions placed on them.

Other
  • Fanon theories are not canon theories, so make sure what you are posting on the Fridge pages are not a conclusion you drew from shipping or other assumptions.
  • Both good and bad writing inspire more writing like it. Be the change you want to see in TV Tropes and fix every bad example you see. If bad style is all over the place, that's no excuse for producing more of it.
  • While writing in the main namespace, stay focused on the actual work. Fan speculation, Audience Reactions, Shipping-induced wishful thinking and the like should go in the YMMV tab.
  • Don't mention other unrelated works in examples. Just because someone has the same name as a character from your favorite show or comic doesn't mean you should say "not to be confused with..."; and just because a particular usage of a trope really reminds you of your favorite show doesn't mean it will be meaningful to anyone else. "As in [show]..." should be avoided.
  • Use the # sign instead of writing "episode" every single time. It's so much easier.
  • Don't bring fan arguments into examples.
  • Don't Pot Hole things to the page you're already on. No one reading a page needs to be linked to that page; they're already reading it! Adding these potholes just makes people hover over more words for literally no reason. In fact, even linking it at all is probably bad.
  • From our experience, Real Life examples are especially prone to being useless noise and natter fuel. If there is even the slightest doubt as to its relevance, its coherence, your ability to describe it in a way that adheres to the next section of this page and the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement, or anything else about its inclusion, don't put it in.
  • When writing examples or even tropes, please remember that TV Tropes isn't just for people with your interests. Please do not put walls of text about the physics of a trope or get angry when other people don't also know what color socks Alice was wearing on Your Favorite Show.
  • If you created a new work page and are changing the page type, do NOT check "does indexing". That was used for turning a page into an index only.
  • The Preview Button is your friend. There's no rush to adding to or editing a trope or works page, so make sure everything you wanted to put in actually works the way you want it to. It is also true that Wiki Magic dictates whatever mistake you miss will be corrected eventually, but please be courteous. Save yourself (or somebody else) the effort of an extra edit, and try to catch mistakes before you hit that "Save" button.
  • Try not to edit angry or under the influence. We feel for your bad day, or need to relax, but be careful not to take out your bad day on other people in edit reasons or make edits you may regret (or not even remember making) later.
  • Page quotes should more-or-less work out of context. If a quote needs more than a couple words explaining the setting, it is probably bad. If the explanation is longer than the quote itself, it's definitely bad. If those explanations include spoiler tags, it's horrible. Go put it in the Examples section where it belongs. Alternatively, consider if the explanation is even necessary; if the quote is snappy and can illustrate the trope without the full context, there's nothing wrong with leaving details out.
  • Do NOT use "and how!" In your edits.

Issues of "Political Correctness"
  • TV Tropes is not interested in letting people publicly upload their offensive views pertaining to race, nationality, gender, or sexual preference.
  • TV Tropes is also not interested in playing Political Correctness Gone Mad. Use the following points as a guide:
    • First of all, use your common sense. Don't say something that you know is offensive. If you have to ask yourself if it is, then so will others, and you're better off keeping it to yourself, or wording it better.
    • Don't use slurs unless you are quoting the work, or if is appropriate within the context or the article. Again, use your head here.
    • If you are speaking about the issue of some form of Values Dissonance, Moral Dissonance, or Unfortunate Implications, be sure to voice your opinion in an intelligent manner. Don't just say "X work is racist/sexist/homophobic." Say something more like "X work has [issue X], which some could find offensive." Even if the work has very blatant examples of Unfortunate Implications (or sometimes, unfortunate explications), clarify what they are rather than simply blurting it out.
    • When it comes to presenting topics pertaining to religion, try to write from a secular point of view. Not everyone believes in the same god as you, not everyone believes in god at all. Write from a secular point of view, but not from the perspective that all religion (or the particular one that you don't like) is a silly superstition either.
    • When addressing issues pertaining to homoerotic undertones, actual gay romances, or issues pertaining to "gayness" as a whole, err on the side of caution. TV Tropes has a fairly progressive mindset on these subjects, and is not interested in playing Heteronormative Crusader. This means:
      • Do not write from the point of view that anything "gay" is "gross."
      • If a work contains same-sex romance, that in and of itself doesn't make it inappropriate for children, unless it involves situations that would also be inappropriate with an opposite-sex couple. It's not Getting Crap Past the Radar either, unless the radar is known for normally allowing only opposite-sex romance.
      • Do not use the word "gay" or any similar phrase to mean "stupid," "annoying," or anything else inherently negative.
      • Again, don't use slurs unless you are quoting a work, and it is appropriate within the context of why you are quoting it. In this case it's best to clarify that it was done in-universe.
    • Use your head.

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