Wikipedia:Compare criteria Good v. Featured article
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A good article meets a basic set of editorial standards and is all around decent. It has the following attributes:
- Well written: prose and layout are clear; it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
- Accurate and verifiable: sources are reliable, listed, and cited; no original research, copyright violations, or plagiarism are present;
- Broad: it covers the main aspects of the topic without going into unnecessary detail.
- Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias.
- Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
- Images: it is illustrated, if possible and relevant, by images with acceptable copyright status and fair use rationales where necessary.
A featured article exemplifies our very best work and has the following attributes:
- High and reliable quality—(a) engaging prose of a professional standard; (b) comprehensive coverage of major facts, details, and context; (c) factual accuracy, with citations for verification against reliable sources; (d) neutral presentation of viewpoints; and (e) stable content.
- Style compliance: it follows the entire Manual of Style and has—(a) a concise, summarizing lead; (b) an substantial but not overwhelming table of contents; and (c) consistently formatted inline citations.
- Media. It has images in accordance with image use policies; in particular, they have acceptable copyright status and fair use rationales where necessary.
- Length. It stays focused on the main topic without going into unnecessary detail.
- Both criteria require: compliance with the general policies regarding content for all Wikipedia articles; avoidance of unnecessary detail; stability; neutrality; factual accuracy and verifiability; and acceptable copyright status for media.
- Neither has absolute length requirements, although featured articles tend to be long; one of the original purposes of the GA process was to recognize short articles of good quality.
- Featured articles must be our very best work; good articles meet a more basic set of core editorial standards and are merely decent.
- A good article must be well written; a featured article must have an engaging, professional standard of writing.
- A good article must comply with only five style guidelines; featured articles must comply with all style standards.
- A good article must be broad; a featured article must be comprehensive. The "broad" standard merely requires coverage of the main points; the "comprehensive" standard requires that no major fact or detail is omitted.
- Featured articles are usually subject to greater scrutiny in regard to factual accuracy and verifiability. In particular, the inline citation requirements are stricter with featured articles.
- Good articles are generally not required to be as well-illustrated by media.