The Manual of Style is the policy for editing The Orville Wiki articles. It is heavily encouraged that all new users read it before contributing.
The Orville Wiki serves to provide educational information on the characters, cast, and world of the Fox Television series by the same name. This is best done with clear and consistent language/formatting throughout all of the articles. The editing patterns and strategies that best illustrate this cohesion are what is ultimately encouraged by the Manual's policies.
It should be noted however that everything listed here are simply general guidelines for how pages should be created. Similar to Wikipedia, if a rule is actively hindering the website or page development there are special cases it can be altered or completely ignored.
For all aspects of editing that are universal to all articles on the wiki, regardless of category.
- The first mention of a page's title within an article must be bolded. Any mention of the title afterwards needs no special styling.
- Ex. The USS Orville is a spaceship from the 25th century.
- Orville is bolded (italicized) due to being the first mention on the same page within the article's contents.
- Any mentioning of previous episodes must be italicized.
- Ex. The USS Orville is usually referred to by its crew members as simply the Orville.
- Note in the example given how the Orville's official name was italicized, but its casual name was not. This also applies to out of universe media, such as Star Trek, Family Guy, etc
- This is a wiki based on an American television series, and therefore uses American English for all spelling related content.
- Pages should only hyperlink other articles once, preferably the first time they are mentioned.
- Ex. Ed Mercer is the Captain of The Orville. Ed Mercer first gained this position after his promotion by Admiral Halsey.
- Note how Mercer's page was only linked (italicized) once. This rule however does not apply within templates or lists. All characters, locations and concepts must be hyperlinked within those fields irregardless of their handling on the main page.
- Pages for cast members who play unnamed roles should not get Wiki articles, and instead should have a direct link to their IMDb page.
- Ex. Adrianne Palicki the actress portraying Kelly Grayson should have her own page, Eddie Davenport who plays Guard #1 in If the Stars Should Appear would have their IMDb linked instead.
- Generally, in-universe articles must be written in third person and with past tense.
- However, an episode's synopsis and plot sections are written in present tense.
- By default, production and other out-of-universe information is written in present tense.
- However, use past tense for past events and subjects that are dead or no longer meaningfully existent.
Any pages involving characters in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- Subsections for important arcs that occurred within the series
- If the character being edited served within the Planetary Union, write Career instead of History, and place everything before their time in the Union under Early Life.
- Subsections for important arcs that occurred within the series
Any pages involving species in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- Subsections of important milestones for the species evolution
- Subsections for complex or important aspects of their genome
- Notable Members
Any pages involving locations in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- Subsections for important milestones
- Subsections for complex or important aspects of the landscape
- Subsections for complex or important aspects
Any pages involving vessels in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- Episodic subsections in chronological order of debut
- Subsections for complex aspects
- Subsections for complex aspects
Any pages involving episodes in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- Plot Synopsis
- Main Cast
- Guest Cast
Any pages involving the cast in The Orville should be formatted in a specific order:
- The Orville
For any pages pertaining The Orville that don't fit into any of the previously explained categories, there is no official uniform policy for formatting and must be created/edited to the highest quality on context alone.
Common sense is heavily encouraged when editing pages on this nature. Format it in a way that follows The Orville Wiki's guiding principle of consistency and cohesion. There will be no degrading pages in obviously unhelpful ways for no reason other than this Manual doesn't specifically inhibit those actions.
Images are a very important aspect of articles, as they're one of the only visual mediums a reader has instant access to which illustrates the subject in question.
- Due to The Orville Wiki's status as an educational platform for the Fox television series of the same name, most (if not all) images used on articles should be protected by United States Fair use laws.
- Every article should have at least one image of the article's subject sized to at least 250px, and at most 750px.
- Images must be of clear quality enough to indubitably recognize what is being shown. This likely means any images that are taken from cameras or mobile devices of the show playing through a computer or television set will be omitted.
- Any pictures added to the articles must be promotional material from Fox or stills from episodes. Fan-made images on the pages are not accepted.
- Cast and Crew are a big exception to this rule. While fan-made content is still not allowed, their images obviously don't need to be Orville related. In that case use official pictures from photo shoots, Comic Con panels, or interviews.
- Gifs are allowed to be used within articles, however, we do prefer images for most cases. If a gif works very well in a certain context or the editor wishes to illustrate something that they can't find an image for, using a gif is allowed.
- Gifs should not be used as the main image inside Infoboxes under any circumstances.
There are many different templates used throughout The Orville Wiki with varying meanings and effects.
- Maintenance templates such Stub or Delete must be placed at the top of the article above all the content regardless of formatting etiquette. When a page is need of special attention from the community or staff it has to be seen with as much ease as possible.
- Character, vessels, species, and other non-maintenance related templates should also be placed at the top of their respective articles, no exceptions.
- It is not required that every field in the template be filled in, especially if said information has not been revealed in the series. The only requirement is that at least two fields are placed so that the template itself is actually visible to readers. Regardless of how poorly known a concept is, there should be enough information to fill that out.
Categories on a surface might seem like a minor aspect of wiki development; they are not important solely for recommending other Orville related pages to users, but are incredibly useful for maintaining content on website.
- Every article must have at least one category. This is no exception to this. If an article exists on The Orville Wiki there must be at the bare minimum one category it can be placed into and connected to other articles.
- By extension, no categories on the Wiki should lead to "dead ends"; every category must belong to at least one parent category, up to the root.
- Ex. The category Characters is connected to the category Content which is connected to the category Browse which is connected to the The Orville Wiki and so on.
- Though category creation is not directly prohibited, it is still heavily encouraged for users to only create new ones if the category doesn't exist anywhere on the wiki and is largely warranted. Like most other nebulous ideas presented in this Manual, this is expected to be handled on a case to case basis with common sense above all else.
- Only certain species are given their own category (namely those with multiple articles that apply to their artifacts or cultures, or several characters of that species have articles). A good rule of thumb to follow is if a species has more than three named characters it likely has or warrants its own category.
Trivia is a section of every article dedicated to small, interesting, and quick bits of information on the page's subject.
- Any information added to the trivia section must be truly worth noting. Content that is already easily identifiable or unimportant to the character does not constitute as valid trivia and should not be added to pages.
- Ex. John LaMarr likes soda is not trivia, as it's far too broad and basic of a claim to deserve special attention. On the other hand Kelly Grayson appearing to have hand-to-hand experience based on the fact she is able to defeat Pria Lavesque in combat is trivia, as that is relevant to the character and connects directly into an episode plot.
- Do not mention points already addressed within the article. Trivia is meant for information that is not always possible to rely within the body paragraphs, not to repeat something already established.
- Only post trivia relevant to the page it is being written on.
- Trivia should not exceed more than two sentences. If more information is necessary or an alternative point of view to be discussed, put everything onto addendum connected to the original trivia point in question.
Quotes are presented near the top of most pages and are meant to set the tone for whatever is being discussed. With that in mind, there are some standards that must be met in order for quotes to feel relevant and not intrusive to the pages.
- It goes without saying, but the quotes themselves need to be actually relevant to the article in which they are posted on. How that is determined depends, either a quote from the subject in question or about the subject from a third party can all be recognized as valid.
- Quotes must be from something said within the series. Out of Universe dialogue or comments from cast, crew or production will not be counted as a valid quote. It must be from someone in the Universe.
- All quotes must be at least one full sentence and sensible even when out of context.
Conjecture and Bias
The Orville Wiki is designed to provide objective and canon information on all of its content. For that reason speculation, bias and conjecture are strictly prohibited, in some ways more extremely than others.
- All articles are expected to be written from a Neutral Point of View. The Orville is a television series that often deals with controversial ideas that have no definitive right or wrong answers. The Wiki articles must convey the ambiguity of the situation fairly by showcasing both sides in the most unbiased and reasonable ways possible.
- Most information on The Orville Wiki is expected to be sourced. Instead of simply writing an episode title next to a point, it is advised users create an official citation section on the page and instead leave foot notes that redirect to the previously mentioned citations section. Any information, sourced or not, is still open to scrutiny from other members of the community.
- When writing pages everything must be referred to in the Third Person. First person pronouns such as "you", "I", "we", etc, are too personalized and damage the objective tone that The Orville Wiki strive to illustrate.
- Due to the general scope of The Orville universe compared to the amount of available or released information, exceptions occasionally have to be made in regards to speculation. One prime example of when speculation is justified is in the case of naming. Every article needs to be called something, and due to The Orville not always providing definitive names for certain characters, planets, species, etc, small time speculation is necessary in those cases when creating articles.
- There will sometimes be other situations in which limited speculation may be needed to improve a Wiki page. As with other situations of this nature, it must be done with common sense and context involved.
- Trivia is allowed to be of a somewhat speculative nature. However, the trivia must have some basis in canon, entirely unfounded content with absolutely nothing in the series to support it is in violation of these guidelines.
Every user regardless of their status or seniority have the ability to undo edits on The Orville Wiki. Our goal is to have as many contributions as possible count but to also maintain the highest quality for the articles. There are some important rules which, when followed, help us achieve both of these ends.
- The revert button is not a toy. It should only be used as a last resort whenever an edit presented is completely unusable to the article in question. Anything less than that should simply be tweaked to something more appropriate, if the original contribution wasn't noticeably productive to the page in question.
- Every time an edit is undone there must be at least a sentence long explanation why. Undoing edits without explaining why is not only frustrating to other contributors, but is largely unhelpful as often times they don't know what it is they did incorrectly, and may do it again soon after.
- This is of course not applicable to spam or obvious vandalism. Which may be undone without any written explanation at all.
- Avoid getting into "revert wars" whenever possible. They seldom lead to anything productive and can be disruptive to the community as a whole. If a revert is undone, and that action is then reverted, do not continue undoing the edit. Instead, go to the message board of the user who initiated it or talk in the article's comment section and discuss the situation until a mutual conclusion is reached. If that isn't possible, contact a local Administrator to make the final decision.
Users on the Orville Wiki have the privilege of being able to nominate exceptional pages in the mainspace to be featured articles to be displayed on the front page and highlighted as a representation of our Wiki's content. However, there are a handful of guidelines an article must exceed or adhere to in order to be eligible for nomination.
- The article must have flawless grammar. This doesn't just apply to simple typos or misspellings, the nominated article must also contain the proper spelling and syntax of words recognized officially by this Manual of Style.
- Ex. All instances of commonwealth spelling must be corrected to american spelling, the wording must be in present tense, etc.
- Nominated articles are also expected to have the proper page layout in regards to the topic they're covering. Though this not as strictly enforced.
- The article is expected to be concisely written, while simultaneously containing all the information necessary on their designated subject. Pages that are too wordy or contain large amounts of off topic and generally irrelevant information should either be streamlined or neglected from nomination.
- The article must have a reasonable amount of high quality photos placed comfortably throughout the page. The rule of thumb with photo placement is to try and do a right-left-right scheme with the article's first picture being in the designated Infobox (which always skews towards the right) and having each photo distanced not too close, but not too far from the preceding one. Though both of these ideas are encouraged in most cases, it still depends on the specific page and what ends up looking the best.
Page Creation and Deletion
Page creation is one of the core aspects of building a wiki and a community. However, as The Orville is a huge universe with such a vast array of content, we need to have specific guidelines for what constitutes being worthy enough to have a page created.
- The general rule of thumb with article creation is that if there isn't enough content to fill up an entire page, the character/concept doesn't have an official name, or users won't often be interested in looking it up, the article doesn't need to exist. Brief information about very minor characters or one off planets/species can easily be added into paragraphs or sections of larger articles.
- Pages should only contain information that is relevant and desirable to document. Just because a character, location, or concept might've appeared or did something in a certain episode does not warrant it being written on their designated page. Only add what is necessary to understanding the history and role the article's subject plays within the series.
- Articles that fill up less than a page should not be created even if they may "theoretically" become more content heavy in the future. Only create it after that information has been revealed within the show, articles are meant to be bulked up as soon as they're created, not to be placeholders for what's to come.
- Episode articles however are a glaring exception to this rule, as we know with complete impunity they will be given more content soon. In those cases, making short pages on future episodes is not in violation of this policy.
- Characters/concepts that don't adhere to the aforementioned policies but are nonetheless still important to document can be placed on Minor pages.
- Articles that are created need to be on topics that have a sustainable amount of professionalism.
- Ex. A page on the Top 10 Most Popular Crew Members on The Orville would not be worth creating, as it doesn't have anything to do with encyclopedic content that this wiki strives to create.
- Articles on subjects not related to The Orville do not warrant their own page, even if said topic has been mentioned within the series.
- Ex. Kermit the Frog should not have his own page on this Wiki, even though Captain Mercer did mention him in Command Performance; he is not a character in The Orville and is not relevant to the information this Wiki is trying to convey.
- Administrators or Content Moderators can delete pages that violate these policies at their own discretion. However, users are completely within their right to question or challenge any instance of this occurring. The officer should always provide a coherent explanation; if the majority of the community believes a removed page was actually relevant to the wiki, it can be undeleted.