This article gives guidelines and tips to help write good articles here on JQDB

General Principles Edit

Internal consistencyEdit

An overriding principle is that style and formatting should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout JQDB as a whole. Being consistent within an article promotes clarity and cohesion. Therefore, even where the Manual of Style permits alternative usages, be consistent within an article.


Writing should be clear and concise. Articles are supposed to introduce readers to topics, or remind them of what they had half-forgotten: it is not their purpose to dazzle readers with editors' learning or vocabulary. Plain English works best: avoid jargon, vague phrases, and unnecessary complexity.

Article titles, headings, and sectionsEdit

Article titlesEdit

This guidance applies to the titles of JQDB articles, not to the titles of external articles that are cited.

  • Titles should match the article contents and should not be over-narrow or over-broad.
  • Titles are generally nouns or noun phrases (Effects of the wild, not About the effects of the wild).
  • Titles should be short—preferably fewer than ten words.
  • The initial letter of a title is capitalized (except in very rare cases, such as eBay). Otherwise, capital letters are used only where they would be used in a normal sentence (Funding of UNESCO projects, not Funding of UNESCO Projects).
  • A, an, and the are normally avoided as the first word (Economy of the Second Empire, not The economy of the Second Empire), unless part of a proper noun (The Hague).
  • Special characters—such as the slash (/), plus sign (+), braces ({ }), and square brackets ([ ])—are avoided; the ampersand (&) is replaced by and, unless it is part of a formal name (Emerson, Lake & Palmer).
  • The final visible character of a title should not be a punctuation mark, unless the punctuation is part of a proper name (Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!), an abbreviation is used (Inverness City F.C.), or a closing round bracket or quote is needed (John Palmer (schooner)).


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