Talk:56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot

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Former good article nominee 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot was a Warfare good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
May 16, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
WikiProject Military history (Rated B-Class)
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GA Nomination[edit]

I'm terribly sorry, but there is simply no way I can pass this for GA at this stage. Huge sections of the article are lacking in citations for events and no secondary sources (i.e. books) have been used for citations. Whilst I do give kudos for the primary sources, this article must have extensive referencing from secondary sources to come close to being ready for GA. For the books mentioned, particulaly the Richard Cannon and the website which are devoted to this topic, you must make clear where information from these is being used to construct the article.

Even if the citations were OK, there are other problems. The article needs more on this unit's activites, which are laid out here like a list. Some discussion of the units achievements (i.e. what outcome resulted from their participation in these actions) is needed rather than the very narrative progression used here. The paragraphs are also too short and you should consider amalgamating the shorter ones together to make a chunkier block of text which can give more narrative flow and allow for more discussion. It might also be a nice touch, if the Times articles mention the regiment specifically, to include excerpts from them (as they are out of copyright) to illustrate the regiment's reputation and name. Likewise this can be done with the Cannon text as that too is out of copyright.

Although they are not essential to the GA process, some more pictures, especially of the regiment in action, would really brighten the piece up. Its something to think about. In all, this is not a bad start and is verging towards a B-Class article (needs just a few more citations). However, it isn't there yet and is still some distance off a GA. Good Luck, I recommend thoroughly citing the piece using more texts than simply the Times and then reapplying after giving the article a fleshing out and a thorough copyedit. All the best.--Jackyd101 23:19, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I won't argue it's not wonderful, I just happened to have it open when I was musing on GAs... but to deal with the points in order:
  • I think you overestimate the amount of printed material out there (though I did remember one general work which I forgot to note) - there is, as far as I can tell via COPAC, one general history of the 56th ever written, and this article is heavily derived from it until 1844. (There are two histories dealing with the 2nd/Essex, the later incarnation - one in WWI and one in WWII - but those are beyond the scope of this article) After 1844, the regiments.org page is used as the main source - before 1844, it agreed with Cannon as far as I am aware - with the Times references used simply to fix dates, throw in the odd bit of colour such as the yellow fever, etc. [In effect, I've cited everything not from those sources...]
  • I don't feel it's necessary or appropriate to repeatedly footnote two sources that a) agree; b) are comprehensive; c) were used throughout the article. Cannon is footnoted exactly once, where quoted directly, but it rapidly becomes meaningless and confusing to have a footnote marker at the end of each paragraph (or sentence). It gives a false impression of complexity and depth whilst merely serving to distract the reader. (I've relabelled "references" as "sources", which may help to clarify this...)
  • Images - I'd love some. I can't find any, despite digging. The best place I can think to find some is modern books of regimental colours, etc, which are sadly going to be copyrighted current artwork; I might be able to turn up contemporary (thus out-of-copyright) work digging through a library, but I wouldn't be able to get copies.
  • I don't understand what you mean by "what outcome resulted from their participation in these actions" - in most cases, "they were there" is pretty much the sum of the historical record, and the absence of any further commentary just means they didn't do anything remarkable in that event. Where events are described in detail in the historical record I have reflected that, but we don't need to recount each battle. (This regiment is a little more tedious than most - an awful lot of minor duties and being left as garrisons while others did the interesting work. I still haven't determined if they actually did anything in the Crimean War, or just turned up in time for the armstice...) It's the nature of the beast; it is sent places, it has brief spells of actively doing things, and then it just wanders around a lot. It would be confusing to not discuss the wandering, especially in the context of the British Army - the archetypical colonial police force - and so I can't really see much way to reduce this form of repetitive "from A to B, a year, to C...". Shimgray | talk | 23:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reasoned response. Just to clarify, when I talk about references I'm using the critera for a GA which gives a rough estimate for the degree of footnoting articles require to reach this level. This article falls short of that guideline, ergo: fail. Of the three sources listed at the bottom, I am familiar with the book Redcoats and cannot remember any specific writing about this regiment. However, if there is something particular then that is precisely the type of thing which should be footnoted, so that a reader can see where the point comes from and read further if they want (equally, if the book doesn't mention the regiment then it probably shouldn't be used as a source in the article). With something like Cannon, it is quite important to include it in the footnoting whenever used as it is an unusual and potentially biased source, so it is recommended that it be referenced where it is used. The digitised copy allows for the use of page numbers, so a person searching for the reference can go straight to that page if the number is given in the reference. An article I developed into an FA recently was cited as a good example of how to properly footnote something, check out Thomas Crisp. There only a couple of sources have been used and where they have I have made a small note. This is the degree of referencing Wikipedia needs if it is to be taken seriously.
As far as pictures go, that was more along the lines of ...it would be nice if... If there aren't any then theres nothing to be done. What I meant but badly explained with the "what outcome resulted from their participation in these actions" was that the article could provide a little more exposition about the event the regiment took part in even if the regiment's precise role is unclear. For example when it talks about the Helder Campaign, it could mention in passing the aims of that campaign and why it failed. Although this is not strictly relevant and should not be done in too great a detail, it would provide context without a casual reader seeking an extra (and in this case red) link. Its just an idea for expanding the article and making it more comprehensive.
Again, the real problem here is the referencing. There is a set standard for GA (see WP:GA? and some of the discussions at WP:GA/R) and this didn't meet it. Sorry.--Jackyd101 12:25, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Just noticed you have removed Redcoat, apologies for missing that.--Jackyd101 12:26, 17 May 2007 (UTC)