CZ:Article mechanics

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Revision as of 13:30, 6 February 2007 by imported>Larry Sanger (Starting page; kicking off with "no long quotations")
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Introductory material

Bold titles

The first sentence



How to write 'em particularly for controversial topics.

The first paragraph

The introductory section

Summaries for longer articles

Article structure

Narrative coherence and flow

Prioritization of article sections

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage

Miscellaneous style guidelines

No long quotations

As a general rule, we should not use quotations that are longer than one sentence, and we should not use many quotations in any one article. The purpose of a quotation is typically to illustrate or support some point. Quotations are, therefore, texts that support the main text, which the Citizendium writes.

There are at least two main reasons for this policy against many and long quotations.

First, such quotations prevents collaboration on the substance of the text (quotations are uneditable). It is inherently biased to have an extended quote that speaks for the Citizendium, since in that case the Citizendium is made to endorse a whole series of points that are only that source's idiosyncratic views. Second, the practice of adding a long quotation cannot be generalized. If we have a long quotation that supports one point, why should we not have long quotations that support every point? There is a vast universe of books and other potentially supporting verbiage. We can find long quotations for everything, if we wanted to. Therefore, unless there is some particularly good reason to use a quotation beyond one sentence, don't do it; summarize.

The exceptions will, perhaps, be in cases where texts themselves are the primary subject of an article. Even in this case, extended quotations are to be used sparingly and only with excellent justification.