Category talk:Wikipedia guidance essays

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What exactly is this?[edit]

What exactly is a "guidance essay"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I suppose it's an essay that fits the description on {{Guidance essay}}: it "contains comments and advice of one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, though it may be consulted for assistance."
A guidance essay would fall between a page that has consensus to give guidance, and an essay giving personal views or opinions. It may be one or other of those, or somewhere in between. The template advises readers to check edit history, etc, to help assess how much consensus the essay has. If a guidance essay can be seen to have wide consensus it could be recategorised as a guideline; conversely, if it has been around a while and nobody consults it, then it could be recategorised as a user essay. SilkTork ✔Tea time 00:56, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
The description on that template doesn't really differentiate it from plain old essays. I know what an essay is; I want to know what makes it a "guidance" essay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • user:WhatamIdoing, I understand that when a category's purpose is not obvious one should post a short explanation, or use a template such as this. XOttawahitech (talk) 15:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
    Ottawahitech, I'd be happy to do that, except that I don't actually know what this cat's purpose is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:02, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
    Hopefully the editor who created this category will chime in when they get a chance. XOttawahitech (talk) 19:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

That cat's purpose is to hold those essays which have been tagged with {{Guidance essay}}, which explains that the essay is not a policy or guideline, but it contains advice and guidance rather than opinion. It may be that this discussion is better placed on Template talk:Guidance essay, as the cat only serves to hold those essays which have been tagged with that template, and if there is some uncertainty about the wording of the template, perhaps some discussion could be held to improve the wording. The template is now quite widely used. The description on Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays says: "Essays that don't fit into other categories listed below and may be consulted for assistance" - so essays tagged with the template are not civility essays, deletion essays, etc. SilkTork ✔Tea time 16:07, 5 July 2013 (UTC)