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User:Friskymuffin/Theory pages

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Having gone over every single theory page on the site, I was inspired to create a help article for theory pages, because there are many common errors, and many useful tips that can make the pages look better, and be easier for others to edit and to read. There is an "official" help article on theories here, but the amount of errors and inconsistencies in style have led me to create my own "guide", so to speak. If you have any comments regarding the article, please leave me a comment!

Creating a new theory page

Making a new page

  • Firstly, if you are creating a theory page, make sure it doesn't already exist. Using the search button or checking the character's/item's/group's main page may show you that the theory page you intend to create already exists. Alternatively, you can check the theories portal, as every theory page on the site is listed there.
  • If you still can not find it, you can proceed with creating a new theory page. To do this, use the search box to type in "Theory:_____", with (____) being the character/item/group etc. you want to create a theory page for. In this example, I will use "Theory:Friskymuffin".
  • You should be led to a page with the words

"There is no page titled "Theory:Friskymuffin". You can create this page."

at the top. The red link means the page you are looking for does not exist, so you will have to create it from scratch.

Adding a header to the page

  • The first thing you will need is a template to fill in to make sure your page follows the same format as other theory pages. You can use the HeroesWiki template by selecting the "Create a theory page" button, which will produce something like this:

{{theoryheader|sort=|name=}} | FIRSTTHEORY || FIRSTCITATION || FIRSTNOTES |- |} {{theorybar}}

  • The "sort=" field states how the page will be sorted, so for articles involving characters it should be SURNAME, FIRST NAME as all characters are sorted by surname. For other pages, it can be trickier. Articles like "Shanti virus" should be sorted by "Shanti" and not "Virus" so for this page, sort=Shanti, Virus. For other articles like the Company and the Haitian, the sort field should look something like sort=Company, the or sort=Haitian, the, as they should be sorted by their names and not "the".
  • The "name=" field is an optional override of the page name. In other words, if you want the page name to be Theory:Friskymuffin but the header to read Theory:Frisky Muffin, choose name=Frisky Muffin. However, in most cases, this should be left blank.

That should all produce something like this:

Theories about Frisky Muffin

The following fan theories are about Frisky Muffin.

For help on adding theories, see the help section.


Adding theories to a page

  • Adding a theory is incredibly simple, yet some find it hard because almost every theory page is cluttered, and it's difficult to know where one theory ends and another begins. This section will tell you how to lay out a theory page in the most easy to navigate and easy to edit way, and it's just as easy as sticking your theory anywhere on the page. Firstly, back to the theory template. This is the bit you need to worry about:


But don't worry, it's incredibly easy once you know how.

  • Firstly, your theory. This can be virtually anything to do with the thing that the page is about, and although most theories are serious, there are some utterly ridiculous (yet rather funny ones), in particular pages like: Theory:Mr. Muggles and Theory:Waffles. A theory could be anything, no matter how likely or unlikely. However, if a theory has already been proven or disproven, it will be removed, so there's no point making a theory such as "Peter Petrelli has powers.", because of course he already does. Something like "Tim Kring has the power of illusion."' is a theory though, because it has not been proven either way thus far that Tim Kring possesses a power.
    • So your actual theory, goes in the FIRSTTHEORY space. After the pipe (|), leave a space then add your theory. In the case of my example theory page, my theory is:

"Frisky Muffin is a helpful HeroesWiki member". You can see what this will look like after you've added a citation and/or notes.

  • Now, a citation. A citation is basically anything that reinforces your theory. So for the theory "Tim Kring has the power of illusion." a citation could be: "Mohinder says to Sylar that Tim Kring is "very similar to Candice". (Five Years Gone). Of course this never happened, but this is an example. Citations should include a reference, such as a link to an episode, graphic novel or perhaps an interview. References are not necessary but they make the theory much more plausible. For my example theory page, my citation is:

"Frisky Muffin created a helpful theory page for other HeroesWiki members." The reference here is a link to the page in question. If you have no citation to add, simply put "None."

  • Finally, a note(s). Notes are points that either support the theory, place doubt over the theory, or may just be a side note that one should consider when considering the plausibility of a theory. For my example page, I will add a note to support the theory, a note against the theory, and a note for people to consider. With these, I have my finished theory! And here it is:
Theory Citations Notes
Frisky Muffin is a helpful HeroesWiki member. Frisky Muffin created a helpful theory page for other HeroesWiki members. + This is a very helpful thing to do.
- Of course Frisky Muffin would say he is a helpful member, he is obviously biased.

Whilst some may find Frisky Muffin to be helpful, others may not. It is a matter of opinion.


'This is all very simple, but there is a particular formatting that should be kept to when editing theories. Below are examples of good and bad formatting.


| [[User:Friskymuffin|Frisky Muffin]] is a helpful [[Main Page|HeroesWiki]] member.
| Frisky Muffin created a helpful [ theory page] for other HeroesWiki members.
| {{plus}} This is a very helpful thing to do.<br />
:{{minus}} Of course Frisky Muffin would say he is a helpful member, he is obviously biased.<br />
{{note}} Whilst some may find Frisky Muffin to be helpful, others may not. It is a matter of opinion.

This is the style that should be kept to in every theory page, as it is the easiest to read, to edit, and comes out perfectly on the page, as shown above. Reasons why this is the best style:

  • There is a pipe to separate the theory, the citation and the notes, and each is on a new line (from using the Shift key).

This makes it very easy for other people to see which section relates to the theory, which part is the citation, and which part the notes are. This means other people will quickly and easily be able to add their own notes or citations.

  • Links have been added where possible.

Links make it easier for other users to find the relevant pages/information, and links can also give extra detail (when talking about astral projection, a link to the wikipedia article can help people understand further what the user is trying to say. Links can be internal (linking to other HeroesWiki articles) or external (linking to web pages not on HeroesWiki). [More help can be found by clicking the appropriate links.] Links should always be added when possible to any page, including theory pages. Some links need to be styled differently, though, and users should be aware of this very important notice: Links to episodes/graphic novels/webisodes should always be in italics. This can be done by placing two apostrophes before and after the article name (before and after the link too), like so:

[[Sylar]] says "I'm back." (''[[Powerless]]'')

which will look like this:

Sylar says "I'm back." (Powerless)

The above style should be kept to at all times on theory pages.

  • If the note(s) you are adding supports the theory, it begins with {{plus}}.

If you add a note that supports the theory, like the one in the example, use the plus template, to create a small plus sign, showing that your note supports the theory. This is an easy way of seeing which notes support the theory and which do not.

  • If the note(s) you are adding does not support the theory, it begins with {{minus}}.

If you add a note that does not support the theory, and contradicts it, like the one in the example, use the minus template, to create a small minus sign, showing that your note does not support the theory. This is an easy way of seeing which notes support the theory and which do not.

  • If the note(s) you are adding neither supports nor denies the theory, it begins with {{note}}.

The note template should be used when a comment is made that does not support the theory, or cast doubt on it, but merely adds some relevant information that others might consider before adding notes of their own. Notes can be very helpful in helping you decide whether you believe in a theory or not. Make sure you carefully read your note before deciding which template to use. Only use the plus or minus sign if your note definitely supports/does not support the theory you are commenting on. Otherwise add it as a note.

  • A response to a note is made using an indent, which can be made by entering a semi-colon (:) before a plus/minus/note template.

If the comment you are adding is not a comment on the theory, but rather one of the notes made on the theory, then add a semi colon directly before the template. This will indent the comment, showing it is a response to a previous note and not the theory itself. Indented comments should still hold some relevance to the theory itself. See the example above for a clearer idea of when to use indents.

  • Each note is on a new line, with <br /> added to the end of every note that precedes another note.

This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Basically, if there is more than one note (as there usually is), finish the first note with a period (.) and then add <br /> to the end. This basically means the next note will start on a new line, as just using the Shift key does not always work. Then press the Shift key to start a new line, adding another note. Simple. And if you add a third note, finish the second with the line break tags and start another new line. Keeping the theory pages in this format make it really easy to see where one note starts and the next finishes. As you can see with the bad example below, it can be very hard to tell notes apart when this style is not kept.

  • A pipe and a dash (|-) are added to the end of the theory on a separate line, so new theories can be added below it.

This makes it easier for a completely new theory (on the same topic) to be added underneath the one already submitted. The pipe and dash together tell the system that a new row is starting, so a theory made below this pipe-dash can be added (in exactly the same style as the first theory) below other theories. Simply, this means that any theory page can have several different theories.

  • The bottom of the theory page is denoted with a pipe and a bracket (|}).

This tells the system that the table is finished, and no more information can be added to the table underneath the pipe-bracket. In other words, all theories must be submitted above this. The pipe-bracket should only be used at the bottom of a theory page, above the theory bar.


| [[User:Friskymuffin|Frisky Muffin]] is a helpful [[Main Page|HeroesWiki]] member.| Frisky Muffin created a helpful [[User:Friskymuffin/Theory_pages|theory page]] for other HeroesWiki members.| {{plus}} This is a very helpful thing to do.<br />:{{minus}} Of course Frisky Muffin would say he is a helpful member, he is obviously biased.<br />{{note}} Whilst some may find Frisky Muffin to be helpful, others may not. It is a matter of opinion. |- |}

This is exactly the same text, but left in a cluttered, hard to read state. It will bring up the same text as the good example will, but when editing theory pages, it is much harder to navigate through when the page looks like this, as opposed to the good example above. An extra moment spent adding new lines here and there could make this example far more accessible and simple to navigate, like the good example. This is an example of how you should not add theories to pages.

Theory Bar

The theory bar should be added to the bottom of every theory page, so that the page can be filled with relevant links to help pages etc. and the page is categorised as a theory. The theory bar contains links to all other theories through the different portals, so you can navigate from one theory to another with ease. Adding the theory bar and applying the finishing touches to a page could not be easier. To add the theory bar, simply find the end of the theories table (denoted by the |}), leave a line, and then enter:


This will add a bar to the bottom of the theory page, like so:

  Theories edit
See Also: 9RedTime travel

What your page should look like

After you have done all of this, your theory page should be complete. The complete version of my example theory page can be found here, if you want to see the end product in its entirety. Feel free to edit the article and add your own test theories to see if you can use the different features of theory articles (such as the three templates) and keep to the correct style. If you have any comments regarding this article, please leave me a comment!

Common errors

There are many common errors in theory pages, that are easily avoided. Here are some examples:

  • Punctuation - finish every sentence with a period/full stop. This goes for theories, citations and notes. When referencing an episode/graphic novel/webisode, write the citation, then add the episode name in brackets and italics after the full stop, like this:

[[Adam]] is trapped by [[Hiro]]. (''[[Powerless]]'')

which will look like this:

Adam is trapped by Hiro. (Powerless)

  • Spelling - this is a no brainer, always check your spelling. Preview your changes before submitting them to make sure you haven't made any errors, preventing you from having to edit the same article twice or three times rather than just once.
  • Capitalization - there are many words/phrases that are commonly misspelt or have capital letters where they do not belong. Of course, a capital letter is always added after a period, regardless of whether the word would usually be capitalized. Some examples of bad capitalization: (minus are wrong, plus are correct)

- Bob is in The Company.
+ Bob is in the Company.

- Isaac was an Evolved Human.
+ Isaac was an evolved human.

- Bennet worked with The Haitian.
+ Bennet worked with the Haitian.

All names, places and pronouns begin with a capital letter. If you are unsure, check the article related to the theory page, and you'll be able to see the correct spelling.