We here at Futurepedia like things to be uniform and everything so this Manual of Style is here to set things straight.

For information on the most basic writing techniques and styles, which are used here, see Wikipedia's Manual of Style.

Below are some basic BTTF formatting do's and don't's.

Layout guide


All in-universe articles should be structured as follows:

  1. Main article
  2. Stub
  3. Behind the scenes (notice the capitalization)
  4. Appearances (of works appeared in)
  5. Sources
  6. Notes and references
  7. See also
  8. External links
  9. Succession box
  10. Category

For more details as to what each section of an article should contain, see the Layout Guide.

OOU articles on reference works

  1. Main article
  2. Opening description
  3. Synopsis
  4. Plot
  5. Behind the scenes
  6. Appearances (of people, places, and things in work)
  7. Notes and references
  8. See also
  9. External links
  10. Category

OOU articles about real people

  1. Main article
    Opening description
  2. Stub
  3. Notes and references
  4. See also
  5. External links
  6. Category

Naming articles

There are some rules regarding how articles on Futurepedia should be named.

  • Article names should be in singular form, not plural.
  • The titles of articles about individual characters should be the name by which the character was most commonly known in the the BTTF universe, with later names preferred to earlier names, and full names preferred to partial names or nicknames. Titles, such as military ranks or titles of nobility, should be omitted.
  • Unless the name of the article contains a proper noun, only the first word should be capitalized.

Using the #

Do not use the # in a link unless you intend to direct to a section of that article with the title after the # as a section. When linking to articles, particular books and guides with numbers denoting their order, omit the # and simply put the number. Otherwise the software will look for that number as a section title on the page.

e.g. Back to the Future 7, not Back to the Future #7



If something is in-universe, or is described as such, it belongs to the Back to the Future universe exclusively and not into the real world. An in-universe perspective will strive for verisimilitude; that is, it will be written as though the author existed within the BTTF universe. Articles about any in-universe things, such as characters, vehicles, terminology, or species, should always be written from an in universe perspective. Characters are for example in-universe, but the actors who play them are not in-universe. Pseudohistory is an integral part of in-universe treatment of canon material. Basically, in-universe articles should never refer to Back to the Future, its publications, actors or creators by name.


Out-of-universe is the opposite of in-universe. Something written from an out-of-universe (OOU) perspective is written from a real life point of view. It will refer, for example, to real life publications, actors, authors, events, and so on, acknowledging that its subject is fictional. Articles about books, movies, games, or other real life BTTF material should obviously be written from an out-of-universe perspective, and should be noted as such. If a section of an in-universe article shifts to an out-of-universe point of view, such as listing of a character's published appearances or behind the scenes details, the section should be tagged Behind the scenes.

Past tense

All articles should be written in the past tense. For reasons of logic and consistency, it makes sense for in-universe articles to be written after all the events have taken place, about the year 2100, with full knowledge of events that took place in alternate timelines in the past. The past tense should also be used for real-world articles, even for places and things that continue to exist today, because the our knowledge of these places today may be different than what the writers of the films and books knew about them, and because this wiki is constantly being updated.

These three policies of style are together referred to as futurefication.


Use the == (heading) markup for headings, not the ''' (bold) markup. Example:

===This is a heading===

which produces:

This is a heading

If you mark headings this way, a table of contents is automatically generated from the headings in an article. Sections can be automatically numbered for users with that preference set and words within properly marked headings are given greater weight in searches. Headings also help readers by breaking up the text and outlining the article.

  • Capitalize the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading, and leave all of the other letters in lower case.
  • Avoid links within headings.
  • Avoid overuse of sub-headings.

Usage and spelling

Though the readers and editors of Futurepedia speak many varieties of English, we prefer standard American English spelling, punctuation, and word usage. This is the variety of English used in the first printings of most primary sources.

If the title of an article differs in different varieties of English, the American title should be the article title, with alternate names being used as redirects (for example).


"It's not a question of where the hell are we, but when the hell are we."
—Doc Brown, 2015

All in-universe articles should be in past tense, per the quote above.

The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, the articles on Futurepedia are presented as historical recordings that have been pieced together from scraps of information left over from the Back to the Future era. As such, all details pertaining to this history have not yet been uncovered, and more information may be added at a later date. Keeping articles written in past tense provides consistency and flavor. Secondly, the Back to the Future universe takes place over several timeframes. Writing in-universe articles in past tense properly relates the timeline of that universe with our own perspective.

Despite this, do not include phrases like "His ultimate fate is unknown" or "what happened to them after that is a mystery".

Capital letters

The wiki software will automatically capitalize the first word of the title of the article on its page (unless Template:Title is used allowing the user to start an article with a lowercase letter), however when linking to in text, only capitalize the first word if it is a proper noun.

Examples: George McFly punched Biff Tannen outside Hill Valley High School. Marty McFly put on his radiation suit.


Exceptions to italics


Quotations should follow this general format:

  • If the quote is less than a paragraph long, simply including it in the article's body with "quotation marks" will suffice.
  • If the quote is at least a paragraph in length, or a dialogue, insert as a block quote:
"Block quotes are indented with a colon at the beginning of each new paragraph. Each paragraph needs only one colon, not a new colon for each line (word wrap will accomplish this automatically).
New paragraphs, however, do require their own colon."

Please be sure to provide as much information as possible (for instance: source, page if applicable, and characters speaking if applicable).

  • Users should not correct the capitalization, spelling, grammar, or word usage within direct quotes taken from copyrighted sources as such modifications jeopardize our Fair use claim on that material. Article quotes ought to be verbatim and any changes, edits, or exclusions should be explicitly noted by using square brackets ("[ ]"). Any errors made by the author may be noted by using "[sic]".
  • Quotes that serve as introductions to article subsections should not contain internal links because they appear unprofessional and are generally distracting. The only exception to this rule would be in-universe words or phrases of an obscure nature (ie. flux capacitor).
  • Redundant internal links should not be added to quotes because they serve little purpose beyond making the quotes appear cluttered and messy. Links should only be added to quotes if they contain a specific article's ONLY mention of a particular concept, but even then, it is better to integrate the internal link into the body of the article's text.
  • Piped links should be avoided as much as possible. If the context of the quote is not readily apparent, it is best to add appropriate information to the quote attribution field of the quote template rather than adding piped links to ambiguous pronouns such as "you", "he", or "they".


  • Single speaker
"Great Scott!"
Emmett Brown to Marty McFly
  • Two or more speakers
Buford Tannen: "You yellow?"
Marty: "What did you call me?"
Buford Tannen and Marty McFly
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