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BioShock Wiki
BioShock Wiki

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To maintain a clean, consistent formatting, editors are expected to follow these guidelines. Some are rules that must be followed to prevent inconsistencies due to differing opinions.

This Manual of Style outlines a standard of clean, consistent formatting for articles on this wiki. The formatting described here is a guideline and can be overridden where circumstances warrant it, unless otherwise indicated. These guidelines will never be unerringly perfect for every situation. However, please try your best to keep to the advice outlined in this article so others may use your edits as an example when creating and editing their own articles.

A sample article based on these guidelines can be found on BioShock Wiki:Manual of Style/Sample.

Discuss this article on the talk page if you have suggestions, improvements or if you encounter situations not covered by this Manual of Style.

Article layout[]

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. The structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well-structured article, and you're more likely to have a high-quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually lead to a confusing or unreadable article.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curveball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Article message boxes[]

The BioShock Wiki has several Article message boxes. These indicate the state the article is in or what should happen to the article. They generally are not part of the content of the page, with the exception of Template:Upcoming.

These templates are placed in the section where the template applies. If the template applies to the entire page, the template should be at the top of the article, just below the templates {{For}} and {{Main}} if they exist.

A full list of Article message boxes can be found at Category:Article management templates.

Lead section[]

Unless an article is very short, it should start with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead must not have a section header. The table of contents, if displayed, appears after the lead section and before the first subheading.

The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write "Andrew Ryan was the primary architect of [[Rapture]] and the head of [[Ryan Industries]]."

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes — '''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example:

The Splicers, also known as the Aggressors, are those citizens of Rapture who...

Follow the normal rules for italics in choosing whether to put part or all of the title in italics. This will mainly apply to the titles of books and games:

The Demon Soul is a novel in the [[War of the Ancients]] trilogy.

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example, "The Thuggish [[Splicer]] is the bread and butter of Rapture's combat..." versus "The Thuggish Splicer is the bread and butter of Rapture's combat..."

Unless the article itself is a spoiler, do not place ANY spoilers in the lead section! Any spoilers should be below a {{Spoilers}} or {{SpoilersInfinite}} for BioShock, BioShock 2 and its DLC's and BioShock Infinite and its DLC's respectively.

Table of contents[]

A table of contents will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default, this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To the force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned - but only if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box (an infobox) is not occupying the top-right corner of the article (rare exceptions exist).

  • Right-aligned TOC that floats next to text: {{tocright}}

Section headings[]

Use the == (two equal signs) style markup for main headings, equivalent to <h2>. Do not use a single =. This is because a single = creates an <h1> heading which is already used by the page header and would be bad coding.

Always keep headings short and simple. Headings are guidelines to your page's structure and should inform the reader rather than confuse. To keep it short, avoid unnecessary words or redundancy in headings, i.e. avoid a, an, and the, pronouns, repeating the article title, and so on. Also, try to avoid giving identical titles to different sections.

When linking to an article from a level 2 heading (==), use {{Main}} instead of adding the link in the heading.




For the help page, see Help:Images.

Images make an article memorable and pretty. They can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can detract from an article. When choosing images, keep in mind placement, size, and the appropriateness of the image to the section. Let images flow with the text instead of break it up.

Large images such as screenshots should use the "thumb" (example:[[Image:CoolImage.png|thumb]]) option which displays large images as thumbnails. Images should generally be right aligned and 250 pixels in width to enhance readability by allowing a smooth flow of text down the left margin. If an infobox is not being used in an article, a right aligned picture in the lead section is encouraged.

Do NOT place images within a sentence! Instead, place them between the lines. Do the same in lists; place images above the line where the image applies.

When dealing with images related to the text in a section, place them on a separate line. The order should be Header, Image, Template (if applies), section text. Example:



Captions should be italicized. If the text contains any italicized words on itself, then don't change this. The italicized part will become regular text, as to stand out:

''As seen in ''[[BioShock]]''.'' would result in:
As seen in BioShock.


When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more and having more inline images would detract from the readability of articles, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged. Gallery sections are placed after the Video(s) section if it exists.

For the captions, the same guidelines for regular images apply.


For more information on references, see Help:References.

References are used to backup any claims made in the article. In addition to ensuring that the content in the articles is verifiable, they also help users find the origin. A reference can be added by adding <ref></ref> tags. This should be right after the sentence, after the period. Use named references to prevent duplicate references that clutter the reference section.

Using links in references is fine, but try to avoid repeating links, as described below.

References to Audio Diaries or Voxophones should look like this:

Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Working Late Again


[[<speaker>|<speaker>'s]] Audio Diary: [[<diaryname>]]

Remember that references are for referencing a source with a footnote, NOT for offhand remarks, comments or any other content that belongs on TALK pages!


For more information about links, see Help:Links.

Any good article contains some links to other relevant pages. Pages are considered dead-end pages if they do not contain any links, and they can be found on Special:Deadendpages.

Links should not use a different link text unless necessary. Italicizing text can happen around the link: ''[[BioShock]]'' vs [[BioShock|''BioShock'']]

Place text that includes the text of the link after the bracket: [[safe]]s vs [[safe|safes]]. Note that this doesn't work for apostrophes, in which case, link BioShock's as [[BioShock|BioShock's]].

Prevent multiple links to the same page in quick succession. In a list, link only the first occurrence. As a rule of thumb, link once per section, unless the section spans multiple paragraphs.


Tables should use a "class" design when possible and should include as little 'fancy' formatting as possible. Tables can also be made sortable by adding a "sortable" class.

For long tables, it is recommended to create an "alt" class to alternate row colors to enhance readability. The below examples use "toccolours" as a class, but this is only for the purposes of demonstration and isn't generally recommended.

With row headings, table caption, sortable[]

I am a caption
Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row heading 1 Row data 2b Row data 3c
Row heading 2 Row data 2b Row data 3a
Row heading 3 Row data 2c Row data 3b

{| class="toccolours sortable"
|+ I am a caption
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3

Without row headings, with alt rows[]

Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3

{| class="toccolours"
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3

Bugs and glitches[]

No game is unflawed, and as critically acclaimed the BioShock series may be, even they are not bug-free. List each bug on a separate line, by means of a bullet list. Denote on which platforms the bug or glitch appears with {{Platforms}}.

Navigation boxes[]

Navigation boxes should be placed at the end of an article, above the categories. They give links to different articles in the same category or related to the same subject matter. A full list of Navigation boxes can be found at Category:Navigation templates.

See also, references, external links, and navigational tables[]

For more information of reference format, see Help:Cite.

The last sections, if they exist, must always be "See also", followed by "References", followed by "External links". In the case of "See also", use bullets to list the internal links. Under the references section should be placed <references/>. Finally, in the external links should be all external links.

Other languages[]

The BioShock Wiki has several sister wikis in different languages, which you can find here. When linking an article to the article in a different language, use the following style:

<!--Interwiki links-->
[[de:BioShock Wiki:Manual of Style]]
[[fi:BioShock Wiki:Manual of Style]]

This goes after the last section of the page and before any categories. If you don't see any categories, the interwiki links will be the last item on the page.


Categories should be added to the end of an article - a full list can be found on Special:Categories.

All articles should be accessible starting from Category:BioShock Wiki, via subcategories.


A disambiguation line is sometimes put at the beginning of an article to link to another article with the same or similar title. The line should be italicized and indented once. Most usually contain the phrase, "Were you looking for X?" For example:

Were you looking for "[[The Battle of Terrafield]]", an official novel?

The template {{for}} can also be used for this purpose.

Disambiguation pages[]

For pages that merely exist to disambiguate a specific term or title, use {{Disambig}}, followed by '''{{PAGENAME}}''' can refer to: and a bullet list with the different articles with the same name.

Disambiguation pages are not supposed to contain any categories, other than those added by {{Disambig}}.

These pages also must not use {{Games}} as they are not actual article pages.

A list of all disambiguations can be found in Category:Disambiguations.


For quotation, use the {{Quote}} template to give them the proper format. Include the name of the person who said the quote and the page name that gives the source of the quote. This may also be a file, but be sure to prefix the file name with a colon (:) to prevent the image showing up: <code>[[:File:Example.jpg]]</code> to link to File:Example.jpg.

Quotes must always be identical to the source material, even when the original contains spelling or grammar mistakes.

Quotes that are dialogue that is not from the Radio or Public Address Announcements; Use the game it comes from.

For quotes whose source is the page they are listed on, use |nocat=true.

Generally, links in the quote template are to be avoided. There's one exception to this rule: If the source of the quote is not linked anywhere on the page (and cannot be linked), you may link the source in the template. This should be used sparingly.

Quotes that do not have a source specified will be listed in Category:Quotes without a source.

Basic page structure[]

A basic structure used by all article pages is roughly as follows:

Note that outside the usage of {{Games}} nothing is mandatory
  1. {{Games}}
  2. Templates
    1. {{For}} and {{Main}}
    2. Notices - Category:Notice templates
  3. Images
  4. Infobox(es)
  5. Lead section
  6. History/Background Section
  7. Sections about individual games - repeat the sections below for each game where necessary
    1. Subsections for the game
    2. Map (Levels)
    3. New Discoveries (Levels)
      1. Single Use Events (Levels)
      2. Plasmid Vigors (Levels)
      3. Weapons (Levels)
      4. New Enemy encounters (Levels)
      5. Audio Diaries (Levels)
      6. Kinetoscopes/Need to know Theatres (Levels)
    4. Walkthrough (Levels)
  8. Audio Diaries (For characters)
    1. Game
      1. Level
  9. Video(s)
  10. Gallery
  11. Bugs/Glitches using {{Platforms}}
  12. Behind the Scenes
  13. References
  14. Navbox/{{LevelsSubsections}} - Category:Navboxes
  15. Interwiki
  16. Categories


Grammar is a writer's toolbox. You can't build good sentences without knowing how to use your tools. Since a wiki article must be as clear as possible for all the people reading it, editors must keep close to correct grammar standards to ensure clear communication.


Titles such as "Weapon" or "Ammunition" should be capitalized in headings, but in the body of an article they should remain lowercase; i.e. "weapon" and "ammunition". ADAM and EVE should always be uppercase.

Games are capitalized as follows:

Would You Kindly should have each word capitalized unless transcribing as it appears in-game as such.

Titles of works[]

Italics are used for the titles of works, such as books and games. The titles of articles, chapters, and other short works are not italicized but are enclosed in double quotation marks.

For example, italicize BioShock and Burial at Sea, and use quotes for "BioShock: Rapture chapter 7".

BioShock 2 Multiplayer is always italicized in full: ''[[BioShock 2 Multiplayer]]''!


A man chooses, a slave obeys
― Andrew Ryan[src]

We now come to the meat of an article: the words themselves. When you are editing wikis, you are both academic and artist. You need to be accurate, but you also need to be interesting. Neither one can dominate; you must skillfully balance both.

Keep your writing concise. Don't use two words where one will do. Keeping your writing simple will make it easy to understand and easy to expand on. Use complete sentences whenever possible. When you write, use grammar as a toolbox: know the rules, but only break them on purpose.

Check your spelling and grammar. Do not use 'u' in place of 'you' or '2' in place of 'to'. Write the way you would for a class paper or a newspaper article.

Keep all of the topics you cover within the scope of the article. What that means is, you don't need to give a detailed history of humans on the page about Winston Churchill. Consider the article's title as your point of origin and write from that perspective. Make use of the wiki's ability to link to more detailed articles or external sources for more information.

Write from an impersonal perspective.' Do not use "I" or "you." For example, do not write, "In BioShock you will encounter many types of Plasmids." Instead, use impersonal wording such as "In BioShock the player will encounter many types of Plasmids." Avoid drawing attention to the author (yourself) as much as possible.

Be bold. If you know something is wrong, correct it. If you think you could word something better, write it. If an article has a glaring deficiency, fill it. Even if your first attempt isn't golden, you can fix it later or someone else will come along and fix it for you. Don't be afraid to screw up.

Non articles[]

Aside from articles about various subjects, the wiki also contains transcriptions of various in-game materials, such as newspaper clippings, audio diaries, voxophones, radio messages, scripted events and public address announcements. As creating these is a human task, and developers aren't infallible, they can and will contain mistakes. Whenever you encounter any of these mistakes, whether they are spelling mistakes, misspellings or incorrect usages of foreign words, they must appear on the wiki exactly as they appear in the game. Use {{Sic}} to add a small note in which the correction is kept. Usually, this note also contains some context. An example can be found on the documentation page for Template:Sic.


Every article can be improved (even this one). Following these guidelines will not ensure a perfect article the first time, but it will give the article a stronger skeleton. It's ultimately your job as an editor to put meat on it.

See also[]

External links[]