Wikipedia:Peer review/James Clerk Maxwell/archive1

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James Clerk Maxwell[edit]

(more info)

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because…

This article is probably pretty close to WP:GA standard. It has had a few goes at FAC but never came close, but in the past few month I've made a few changes. I would like to know what people think has to happen before it will succeed at GA. Many thanks. Jamesx12345 17:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Comments from Tim riley

I am ignorant about almost everything Maxwell is famous for, and my few minor comments below are wholly about the prose.

  • Lead
    • "Maxwell proposed that light was in fact undulations in the same medium that is…" – trouble with tenses here? A "was" and an "is" seem to be uneasily yoked.
I think it still works the same way, so have changed that.
    • "Maxwell also helped … He is also known" – perhaps lose the first "also"
    • "centennial" – unusual term in British English: "centenary" would be more usual
Changed to centenary
  • Early life, 1831–39
    • "was born 13 June" – was born on 13 June?
Must be a mistake on my part
    • "first cousin of notable artist Jemima Blackburn" – as she is blue-linked perhaps you could lose the "notable" (QED) and turn the tabloidese phrasing into formal English by adding "the" instead
  • Education, 1839–47
    • "James' early education" – American form of possessive of a word ending in "s" – an unwelcome surprise in so British an article. Perhaps James's – as in St James's, St James's Park, St James's Palace etc.
I have added an "s", but as a James myself, I personally like the American version as well.
Point taken, but I think the revision looks better. Tim riley (talk) 16:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
    • "his older cousin Jemima" – second blue link really wanted?
    • "There is a "however" in each of the first three paras of this section. I'd be inclined to lose those in the second and third.
I've completely rejigged a paragraph, I'm not if it's any better.
Spot on, I'd say. Tim riley (talk) 16:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Edinburgh University, 1847–50
    • "polarized" and "polarizing" – elsewhere in the article you generally favour "–ised" and "–ising". Just checking that the zeds here are deliberate.
Changed. Despite being a Scot, you wouldn't know it from my spelling.
    • "by the famous scientist" – as with Jemima, perhaps the existence of a Wikipedia article relieves you of the need to use "famous"" – rather a peacockish term, some may think.
I'm not even sure he is "famous" as such.
    • Second para – titles of his papers: the first is in title case, the others in sentence case: is this deliberate? (Further sentence-cased titles later – Saturn's rings etc.) The authors of the Wikipedia article on On Physical Lines of Force doesn't follow your practice.
Per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Capital_letters#Composition_titles, I'm going to change all of them to title case.
  • University of Cambridge, 1850–56
    • "aside from some tutoring" – another phrase more American than British; perhaps "apart from…"?
No idea why that was there.
    • "he would die" – reads rather oddly: perhaps just "he died"?
    • "she helped in his lab" – just a thought: is "lab" a touch informal for an encyclopedia article? Not sure, and I leave you to consider the point.
I would be inclined to say it is OK. "she helped in his laboratory" sounds a bit clumsy. Perhaps "she helped with laboratory work"?
If you're happy with your original wording then definitely ignore my comment. Tim riley (talk) 16:19, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
    • "with his wife Katherine" – no need to tell us her name again
  • Later years
    • "He died in Cambridge" – the last person named before the "he" is Cavendish. Better make this "Maxwell died…"
  • Colour analysis
    • "for the earlier of which" – suggests one of two, but you mention several
Added paper to make clear.
  • Kinetic theory and thermodynamics
    • "This approach generalized" – another stray "ized"
Searching for "z" in the article I found a few more strays.
  • Control theory
    • "This paper is considered a classical paper" – repetition of "paper", and do you mean "classical" or "classic"?
Changed to "central"
  • Legacy
    • A touch of WP:OVERLINK here – does, e.g., "mathematics" really need another link at this point?

Those are my few quibbles; I hope some of them are of help. I knew hardly anything about Maxwell, and am left open-mouthed with admiration of his sheer breadth of genius. I hope lots of other artsy types like me will read this article and learn. I have reviewed a few GA nominated articles from time to time, and this one seems to me to meet all the GA criteria. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


Tim riley (talk) 17:05, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for you for taking the time to review this. I am pretty sure it's almost all correct, but some of the phrasing was a bit odd. A review from somebody with a good grasp of English almost certainly made it more readable. I'll put it up for a GA review and see what happens. Many thanks. Jamesx12345 19:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)