Teflpedia:Style standards

From Teflpedia

The Teflpedia style guide is a style guide for Teflpedia entries. Generally, the best practice is to copy the general writing style of existing articles. Don't worry too much if you introduce content that happens to be poorly phrased; the content can be improved later, perhaps by another editor. Most of what's been written about this on the other wiki is also relevant to Teflpedia.[1]

Language[edit source]

General dos[edit source]

  • Write in Standard English. American English, British English, etc are all legitimate forms of English.
  • Write in "summary style".[2]
  • Keep sentences short and direct; paragraphs should be short.
  • State the obvious first [3]
  • Establish facts first - before noting any contrasts and before noting any opinions.
  • Use the minimum information principle; don't include too much information. If a term can be spun off into a different article covering a narrower subject, it should be spun off to such a subarticle.
  • Use the adverb typically, and the adjective typical; they allow you to generalise and simplify an idea. Exceptions to this can be explained later.
  • Use inclusive (non-discriminatory) language:

General don'ts[edit source]

  • Avoid waffling with phrases like "What is often overlooked is the fact that..." See [3]
  • Don't use "Rathering"; e.g. don't say "It is a common misconception that there is a future tense in English, however that is not the case." state the facts first; e.g. "English has two tenses, present and past" and then deal with any misconceptions.

Use more than prose[edit source]

  • Where you can, use:
    • Tables
    • Bulleted lists
    • Numbered lists

Links[edit source]

Links are very important.

  • Include links to other relevant articles with [[like this]]. Occasionally you might need slightly awkward phrasing to get the links in. Get those links in!
  • Try to link directly to the term as used in our title on a subject rather than a different term with identical meaning. For example, link to dependent possessive pronoun rather than "possessive adjective" (see Teflpedia:Scientific grammar). This maintains consistent terminology. If an article needs renaming, we can change the links to that article.
  • If a term that can be linked is used multiple times, it should be linked the first time it is used in the article. Link again when you feel that there is a need.

EFL v. ESL v. ESOL etc[edit source]

The great acronym debate continues. For now, let's use English as a foreign language as an umbrella term to cover, English as a foreign language, second language, etc.

Use the following terms:

Be careful; does the article talk about education in general? If so, just use teacher/student.

Technical linguistics[edit source]

Linguistics can be somewhat technical. As a result, please use linguistic notation where appropriate.

Sounds[edit source]

  • When mentioning a vocal sound, link to the sound, followed by the IPA symbol, e.g.
"EFL learners often struggle with the unvoiced dental fricative /θ/".

Subsequent mentions of the sound can just use the symbol.

Important: Remember that the IPA symbol represents the sound but is not the sound itself. If you're writing about the symbol, link to the symbol. If you're writing about the sound, link to the sound.

Article titles[edit source]

Main: Teflpedia:Article title

  1. The article title should generally be
    • Common - the most common way of describing something
    • Unambiguous - because ambiguous titles may suffer from having incoming links that are supposed to be pointing at something else.
    • Modern (as opposed to traditional); modern grammar > traditional grammar - because modern grammar is more coherent than traditional grammar.
    • Scientific (as opposed to pedagogic) scientific grammar > pedagogic grammar. Unfortunately, pedagogic grammar can sometimes be plain wrong. Its inclusion would negatively affect the coherency of the wiki.
      • The four criteria above do not necessarily produce a consistent result; judgement may be required.
  2. Alternative titles should be created as redirects or disambiguation pages.
  3. This includes, usually, the singular rather than plural, e.g. "Noun" not "Nouns". Plural titles should be created as Redirects. This can create some minor problems when the countable and uncountable forms of a word have slightly different meanings.
  4. With certain exceptions titles should have only the first letter capitalised.
    Exceptions are "proper names" of places or people; book or film titles etc.

Lead section[edit source]

Main: Teflpedia:Lead section

The lead section or lede of a Telfpedia article is usually a descriptive introduction, traditionally with the page name in bold used in the first sentence, and no header.

Special sections[edit source]

Main: Teflpedia:Article structure

Some subjects are given their own sections, and corresponding headers, at the foot of the page if they are required. This follows the meaning, form, pronunciation, appropriacy axiom.

References[edit source]