Wikipedia talk:How to write a great article

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ĀAnyone sense the irony in "How to write a great article" having unpleasant formatting? Would anyone mind if I had a shot at tidying it up? Sockatume 19:54, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Go for it! I will help if you will :) - Taxman 00:59, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

Product placement?[edit]

Perhaps it would be nice to be a bit less Google-centric. I agree that it is a great search tool, but referring to it as many times as this article does makes me feel like I'm being targeted by product placement in an otherwise low-budget film. Perhaps some less specific references to "search engines" would be better. - User:Midg3t

Agreed. Do what you can. It also generally needs less of a preference for online resources. Just because they are handy does not make them best. I finally reallized that it is the style and how-to guides such as this one that are creating the mistaken impression that print references are not that important for articles. - Taxman 00:59, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

Reworked a bit[edit]

The current reality is that almost the only legitimate criticism left for Wikipedia is that it is not reliable and cannot be trusted. No longer can anyone claim the concept won't work, just that it is not reliable information. In that light, and considering that this article is about how to write a great article, I have strengthened the language regarding references and citations a bit. Any comments or concerns? - Taxman 00:59, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

You make it sound so easy[edit]

Its not that easy... your directions are very long, and hard to understand. And, why do i keep getting switched over to Wikimedia?

Check your article's WikiLinks[edit]

There is one problem that I've been finding quite often recently, and I am wondering where it should be addressed among all the Wikipedia Style Guide and How-To articles. I certainly think it needs to be addressed here, because if it isn't done, I don't think that the article qualifies as a great article. The problem is that many Wikipedia editors when they are writing an article seem to be perfectly happy as long as they don't get a red-link when they create WikiLinks. In reality, many of those links go off to disambiguation pages, or to unrelated pages. Most of the time, for the unrelated pages, you will have to go to a disambiguation page, and then to the article that the WikiLink intended to connect to. On the other hand, about a quarter of the time, in my experience, it turns out that the article that the WikiLink intended to connect to does not exist yet on the Wikipedia. BlankVerse 10:20, 28 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I find that my browser (currently Firefox) attempts to download an index PHP file for me to write an article. Shouldn't there be any instructions in how to go about this, for those who don't understand anything about PHP?

I think that this an issue with Firefox.

Simple Methods for Better Writing[edit]

There are some simple methods for improving quality and readability of any written communication, whether email, Wikipedia articles, business memos or personal letters. If Wikipedia contributors would follow these it would GREATLY improve article quality. These aren't hard to follow, or complicated.

One of the easiest and most important ways to improve writing quality is being concise. From Elements of Style: "A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." Some frequently seen poor writing examples are listed here: Omit needless words

Other suggestions for clear writing are here: ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

These are all from Strunk & White's Elements of Style, and the full text is available on line at: Elements of Style

I cannot stress strongly enough how these methods would improve writing quality. They are brief, very simple and anybody can remember and follow them, especially Part III, ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

Adding a link in this article to the above Strunk & White info would help.

However Elements of Style became public domain in 1995, so in theory you could extract and publish relevant portions right in this article, then add internal links to it from other Wikipedia "how to contribute" articles.

This would greatly improve Wikipedia writing quality, plus people would learn to improve all their written communications. This is so important and beneficial, I suggest putting this info in the most visible place reasonable, and add links to it from any relevant article. Joema 21:11, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

leave it as it is[edit]

leave it as it is people. i hate it when you write an article and someone merges it. im sure everyone else does

Generalizing "everybody hating" having articles merged is a complete overstatement. This article has many interesting, powerful concepts but it is still very much just a stub as far as I am concerned. Also, having this article merged isn't going to break anything necessarily, because a redirect should be setup ;-)
Adam Gradzki 22:24, 17 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I wonder if it would confuse users to have the same page be part of the Path to a featured article and Manual of Style navigational structures. That's my concern and I think that's what the anonymous writer above may be worried about. After all, these articles are likely to be visited by users who are relatively new to Wikipedia. Please articulate why you believe the navigational structures should be merged (that is, with both nav templates pointing to the same page), and how that could be done without confusing newbies! --Coolcaesar 05:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further divide the two articles?[edit]

Maybe this article should focus on how to start a NEW article from scratch (no stub needed) and the other one could show how to expnad articles, including stubs? Ccool2ax 14:19, 2 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

keep separate[edit]

The "how to write a good article" should be aimed more at new members of wikipedia, to teach them how to write a good article. The "guide to improving articles" should be aimed more at teaching you how to write a better article. Just my opinion. ddcc 03:45, 11 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. I particularly like the whole "life cycle" concept, which requires the two articles to be separate. -- Calion | Talk 06:25, 15 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it should be kept separate. It serves a distinct purpose that is useful to new writers. Overdubbed 04:09, 30 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support keeping 2 separate articles --Ancheta Wis 12:27, 21 March 2006 (UTC) As a new user, I'm certainly more inclined to read an article with this title rather than the more seriously titled "Guide to improving articles". Vermiculus 19:01, 30 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I completely concur. This is a perfectly pitched article for newbies. Merging would bury it away from the eyes of a newbie. CzechOut 18:30, 9 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

KEEP IT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'M A NEWBIE!!! Keep it in, otherwise display it more if u do merge it. lol.

I agree with this "newbie" above me. I don't think these two articles, similar as they may seem, should be merged. I'm pretty new to Wikipedia, and having these two articles separate is much easier to follow than if they were one. Just my humble opinion. Demosthenes 1 02:04, 18 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am considering merging this page with several others. Please discuss at this page. Gareth Aus 23:00, 18 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I added the pubmed bit, it is an incredibly useful resource for anything biotechnology related.

skorpion 03:43, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. The article is already getting WAY TOO LONG. Remember, this is for newbies who already have to digest the Manual of Style which is HUGE. If you think Wikipedia needs a list of special-purpose databases, please create a new article and link from this one. --Coolcaesar 06:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

this needs significant improvement[edit]

I hope it's going to be transformed soon into a resource that is worthy of its privileged position within the FA criteria. If not, I think the reference should be relocated to the bottom of the FA criteria page ("See also"). Are people going to work on it, or shall I relocate it? Tony 08:41, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]