Formatting Guide

SCOP uses the Packetizor question submission system to place written questions in the set. Before submitting a question, check to make sure that you have listed all alternate answer lines (including foreign terms and titles where applicable), and have verified all your facts with multiple resources. It is very noticeable when a set borrows heavily from Wikipedia; if all of the clues in your question are from the introduction to the Wiki page on your topic, you should probably find another resource (or, preferably, more than one) and restructure your question around it.

Remember to add pronunciation guides wherever you feel it is necessary. When in doubt, add a pronunciation guide; the set will be read by many inexperienced moderators, and it is our job to help them in any way we can to preserve the quality of the packet. If you think a word will need a pronunciation guide but you do not know how to pronounce it, leave a comment on the question’s cell in the answer spreadsheet (use Ctrl+Alt+M) so that the editors can add a guide later. Put your pronunciation guide in two sets of square brackets like this [[proh-nun-see-AY-shun]].

General Formatting

  • Pronunciation guides use double square brackets [[ ]].
  • Notes in answer lines use round parentheses ( ).
  • The required portions of answer lines use pipes | |.
  • Italics (only in the text of a question, not the answer line) use [i] [/i].
  • Subscripts use [sub] [/sub].
  • Superscripts use [sup] [/sup].
  • DO NOT use “curly” (AKA “smart”) apostrophes or quotation marks. Either turn off “smart quotes” in your docs’ options or replace curling apostrophes and quotation marks BEFORE submitting your questions.
  • Do not use bolding or underlining.
  • Use CE and BCE, not AD and BC.
  • When possible, write out numbers and equations longform. Rather than writing “sinx+2y=2 billion” write “sine of [i]x[/i] plus two [i]y[/i] equals two billion.”
  • Punctuation marks go inside ending quotations, not outside them (“example,” not “example”.). I understand if you personally disagree with this guideline, but please follow it; consistency is very important to a question packet.

Accents

  • For an acute accent: \’ (backslash, apostrophe) before the accented letter
  • For a grave accent: \` (backslash, backquote) before the accented letter
  • For a tilde: \~ (backslash, tilde) before the accented letter
  • For a circumflex: \^ (backslash, circumflex) before the accented letter
  • For a dot above a letter: \. (backslash, period) before the accented letter
  • For an umlaut: \” (backslash, quotation mark) before the accented letter
  • For a Hungarian umlaut: \H{ } (backslash, capital H, curly brackets) where the curly brackets surround the letter being accented
  • For a cedilla: \c{ } (backslash, lowercase c, curly brackets) where the curly brackets surround the letter being accented
  • For a breve: \u{ } (backslash, lowercase u, curly brackets) where the curly brackets surround the letter being accented
  • For a caron: \v{ } (backslash, lowercase v, curly brackets) where the curly brackets surround the letter being accented

Answer Lines

  • Notes in answer lines use round parentheses ( ).
  • The order for prompts within answer lines is first “accept,” then “prompt,” and finally “do not accept.”
  • Separate notes with semicolons, as in (accept |x|; prompt on “y” before it is read; do not accept z).
  • Use “before it is read” rather than “before mention” or “before mentioned” in answer lines.
  • Do not use italics or quotation marks in answer lines.

Titles

  • Do not mark titles with italics or quotation marks in answer lines.
  • Italicize the titles of long works (symphonies, masses, novels, epic poems, etc.) in the body of a question.
  • Enclose the titles of short works (essays, short stories, songs in larger musical works, short poems) in quotation marks in the body of a question.
  • Again, DO NOT USE ITALICS OR QUOTATION MARKS in the answer line of a question. See the example questions for further details.

Tossup Formatting
You can cross-reference this information with an example tossup

Tossups have a 425-character limit, including spaces. This is before pronunciation guides and before the “for 10 points” prompt is added. You can check your character count in Google Docs by selecting “Word count” under “Tools.”

Regarding your “FTP” prompt, you can either:

  • Use the Packetizor shortcuts, in which case you can just write “ftp” if you want the “f” in “for” to be lowercase or “FTP” if you want the “F” in “For” to be uppercase; or,
  • Write out the entirety of “For ten points,” rather than “for 10 points” or other variations.

Bonus Formatting
You can cross-reference this information with an example bonus

Keep your leadin and each bonus part at or under two lines in Packetizor. This is measured before pronunciation guides, but does include the “for 10 points each” prompt.

Regarding your “FTPE” prompt, you can either:

  • Use the Packetizor shortcuts, in which case you can just write “ftpe” if you want the “f” in “for” to be lowercase or “FTPE” if you want the “F” in “For” to be uppercase; or,
  • Write out the entirety of “For ten points each,” rather than “for 10 points each” or other variations.
  • End your lead-in with comma (,) or ending punctuation (. ! ?), NOT with a colon (:) or a dash (-).