TypeCraft:Manual of Style
On the TypeCraft wiki you write about linguistic issues which are related to data stored in the TypeCraft database. Articles may belong to categories such as:
- Grammar Squib - a short linguistic expose
- Typological Features Template - a tiny sketch grammar in table format exposing important grammatical features of the described language
- SketchGrammar - a small sketch of the grammar of the described language
- Annotating [LANGUAGE NAME] - a discussion page that raises annotation issues.
TypeCraft wiki pages can be cited, and we have started to add at the end of relevant pages how they should be cited.
Writing online text is different from writing articles for the print press.
The online reader is more someone who scans through information. (S)he tries to quickly find out what a page is about. If something catches her/his interest, (s)he stays a little longer, and for example starts to scan for links that lead her/him more directly to what is interesting.
This means that with most readers you do not have much time to develop your point (and much less than in a book, or a long feature article). It is therefore crucial to get to the point directly. If you have this really fantastic opening visual clue, use it.
Use plain language, use informative headings and links and get to the point
Most likely those that read your TypeCraft wikipage are language experts well familiar with linguistic terminology. You do not want to write too rudimentary, and you might want to use a shared linguistic terminology to get information across in an efficient way.
Use clear headlines. Make them informative.
Use scientific style but get faster to the point than in a standard linguistic article, where you are expected to provide background. Rather use links instead. Use data from your annotated text to ground your analysis, exemplify a fact. Also, discuss your annotation.
Online is always about visual effects. Break your writing up by a graphic element or white spaces. Use lists when possible or highlight elements by bold text etc.
What is unique to TypeCraft is that you can keep your linguistic writing close to the data. However avoid proliferation of examples. If interested in the data, the reader can go directly to your material in the database for further inspection.
Sign you TypeCraft wiki articles. Link to your user page. If you are interested in communication with other users of TypeCraft about your data, provide a TypeCraft e-mail link from your user page. Do not provide your e-mail address directly, use the "my preferences" menu instead, and enable TypeCraft e-mail service instead.
Your page in numbers
Rather create several TypeCraft wiki pages than one long one. Here are some simple guidelines:
- use three headers and if needed two sub-headers for each section.
- do not use more than one link in each section or sub-section.
- do not use more than two graphical elements per article. Make sure that they helps readers by being informative or by breaking up the format. Random photos are boring.