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This Layout Guide is an official guide as to how the Timeline articles should be written and structured. Feel free to discuss the Layout Guide on the talk page.

This guideline is applied exclusively to Timeline articles. Specific dates chosen for timeline purposes CANNOT be added to other articles without an official, clear and specific source from Marvel Studios.

Purpose

Marvel Studios has never confirmed the exact date for each and every event portrayed in the different films, tv episodes, one-shots and comics that comprise the current canon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, it is impossible to write a 100% canonical timeline with the official dates that Marvel Studios has provided.

In order to portray the most accurate timeline of the canonical events presented, some of the dates are calculated given its relative position to the dates that have been currently confirmed by Marvel, taking into account the different time references, the passage of time both on-screen and off-screen and other references given in complementary works, such as tie-in comics or artbooks. Therefore, a certain degree of conjecture is used to write the different dates in the most logical and faithful way to the events seen on-screem.

For that reason, it should not be considered as an official Marvel Studios timeline, as it portrays all events assigning the dates given their relative position in a floating timeline respect the rest of events portrayed in different canonical installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Formatting

Within one of the timeline pages, there are a few rules that must be taken into consideration:

  • Years must be written as ==Level 2 Headings==
  • Months must be written as ===Level 3 Headings===
  • Days must be written as ====Level 4 Headings====, and always in ordinal numbers.
  • Each event must be written in its own bullet point, therefore, different events, despite appearing in the same source, should appear in a different bullet point.
  • Events must be written in Present tense, and always from an in-universe perspective.

Choosing Dates

  • Once a date is provided in an official or canonical source, the date is considered to outrank other sources, except if the date is not consistent with the events provided in other canonical sources with the same importance (films or tv series).
  • Many live-actions films are considered to be set in "real time" or "present day". In that case, the events portrayed in the film are considered to begin the day the movie was first publicly released in the United States.
  • If specific dates are never provided, a calculation is done starting with a canonical date, and taking into consideration both references to the passage of time off-screen and visual clues to the passage on-screen.
  • Other events are given dates regarding their relative position to events with assigned or calculated dates, or matching similar real-world events.

Timelines for Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities presented in Marvel Cinematic Universe media present their own different timeline articles, written with the same rules as the main ones, but with some litte differences:

Date Articles

  • Articles are named as sub-pages of the main articles, using for the differentiative the simplest name available to define the reality they belong to. If available, name has to be chosen from canonical media.
  • If possible, articles need to be condensed for these realities, instead of just using the names for main timeline articles chosen for decades or years for their importance to that reality, they need to be named for their importance to their specific reality. For instance, having an article for each year in the 2010s decade doesn't mean it has to be so for every other reality, and that decade may be condensed into a single 2010s article.
    • This condensation should not, as a general rule, apply to the main article for a specific reality, only to the backstory articles in between the Point of Divergence and the alternate reality shown in media.

Points of Divergence

  • Specific dates are known to present a Point of Divergence, a moment in time where a different outcome of events results in the creation of an alternate reality. That date is properly marked with the POD template, that would explain the reason of the divergence and then link to the alternate reality created after that date.

Sourcing

  • The timeline must follow all the rules given in the Sourcing Policy, in this case, adding a reference to each individual event presented in a bullet point.
  • Links in the references must be formatted according to the rules provided in the Formatting Guide.
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