User:Whiteknight/New Book Guide/Style

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Having lots of content in a book is one thing, having lots of good content is another entirely. Some books need to add more content, and some need to improve the content they already have. Working on style is all about improving content. Style of composition is one of the metrics that are used when reviewing a page, so getting it right is important and will have an effect on the way the page is viewed by readers and treated by editors. Books that need style help are typically in the Revise or Review states.

Note that improving the style of a page or a book may involve the creation of significant amounts of new content.

Content Dumps

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Content can come from anywhere. It can be imported from Wikipedia, donated and converted to Wikitext from authors elsewhere in the internet, or dumped into the editor as a stream of consciousness without rhyme or reason. In all these cases, the content will have a very long journey before it's considered "good" stylistically.

Style Checklist

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When working to improve the style of a book, there are a few things worth noticing:

  1. Consistency. Books need to be consistent in style from one page to the next, and in the page from one paragraph to the next.
  2. Voice. Make sure the same narrative is being directed at the same audience throughout
  3. Spelling. Many browsers include spell checking functionality now. Just do it right.
  4. Grammar. Harder than spelling since it isn't as easy to automate, grammar is still very important and can negatively impact readability if it's really neglected.
  5. Structure. Make sure the page flows from easy to hard, that later things build on earlier things in a logical way. Don't jump around too much or go off on tangents—use a separate page to talk about a separate topic.

How To Improve Style

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  1. Fix spelling and grammar mistakes
  2. Use proper terminology (keeping in mind the target audience)
  3. Break long blocks of text up with headings, lists, tables, diagrams, or other effects.
  4. Read, review, and revise paragraphs for consistency in voice and presentation.