Wikipedia:The perfect article

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A perfect Wikipedia article...

  • Fills a gap; search for existing or related articles on the topic first.
  • Has a great title so it can be linked to and found easily and follows existing naming conventions.
  • Starts with a clear description of the subject; the lead introduces and explains the subject and its significance clearly and accurately, without going into excessive detail.
  • Is understandable; it is clearly expressed for both experts and non-experts in appropriate detail, and thoroughly explores and explains the subject.
  • Is nearly self-contained; it includes essential information and terminology, and is comprehensible by itself, without requiring significant reading of other articles.
  • Branches out; it contains wikilinks and sources to other articles and external information that add meaning to the subject.
  • And branches in; editors have found and edited other significant wiki pages which make mention of the topic and link them to the article.
  • Acknowledges and explores all aspects of the subject; i.e., it covers every encyclopedic angle of the subject.
  • Is completely neutral and unbiased; it has a neutral point of view, presenting competing views on controversies logically and fairly, and pointing out all sides without favoring particular viewpoints. The most factual and accepted views are emphasized, and minority views are given a lower priority; sufficient information and references are provided so that readers can learn more about particular views.
  • Is of an appropriate length; it is long enough to provide sufficient information, depth, and analysis on its subject, without including unnecessary detail or information that would be more suitable in "sub-articles", related articles, or Wikimedia sister projects.
  • Reflects expert knowledge; it is grounded in fact and on sound scholarly and logical principles.
  • Is precise and explicit; it is free of vague generalities and half-truths that may arise from an imperfect grasp of the subject.
  • Is well-documented; all facts and opinions are cited from reputable sources, preferably sources that are accessible and up-to-date.
  • Involves original writing but not original research; a Wikipedia article generally is the written work of its users; it will not violate another's copyright or plagiarize another's work, but its summary of information must still be completely reliably sourced; in addition, all quotes are marked with quotation marks and cited.
  • Is clear; it is written to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding, using logical structure, and plain, clear prose; it is free of redundant language.
  • Is engaging; the language is descriptive and has an interesting, encyclopedic tone.
  • Follows standard writing conventions of modern language, including correct grammar, consistent verb tense, punctuation and spelling.
  • Includes informative, relevant images—including maps, portraits, artwork, and photographs—that add to a reader's interest or understanding of the text, but not so many as to detract from it. Each image should have an explanatory caption and ALT text.
  • Is categorized for better searching and easier grouping.
  • Has interlanguage links if possible.
  • May not be attainable. Editing may bring an article closer to perfection, but ultimately, perfection means different things to different editors. For more information, see our editing policy.

See also[edit]