Wikipedia:Peer review/Scotland/archive1

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Scotland[edit]

Moving toward version 1.0 it would be good to get this major article to featured article status. All comments welcome, thanks/wangi 14:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Apologies; I was alerted about this and did not have any time to see the article, but now I do.
  • I think "Council areas of Scotland" should be moved to the bottom.
  • "Scotland has over 790 islands, divided into four main groups..." - I find this quite suprising, myself. Perhaps a citation.
  • The climate sections (temperatures; "300 days of sunshine"; "In comparison, much of lowland Scotland receives less than 800 mm (31 inches) annually."; "Braemar experiences an average of 59 snow days per year, while coastal areas have an average of less than 10 days.") require citations.
  • I have fixed some formatting issues (spaces before/after a period). Iolakana|T 21:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

++++Peirigill's suggestions++++
The first thing you will be told at FA review is that you need a thorough copy-edit. (You would be told this no matter what.) That said, here are some things to watch out for:

  • Basic grammatical errors.
    • "The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 initiated a chain of events which started to move the Kingdom of Scotland away from its originally Gaelic cultural orientation." "Original" refers to "orientation," not "Gaelic," so shouldn't this be "its original Gaelic cultural orientation"? I'm an American, so if the original version is accepted British usage, I'll defer.
    • "When her youngest son David I later succeeded, Scotland gained something of its own gradual 'Norman Conquest'." The period should go inside the quotation marks: "When her youngest son David I later succeeded, Scotland gained something of its own gradual 'Norman Conquest.'" Again, if this is simply a difference between my American and your British usage, I'll defer.
  • Snakes are sentences that are too long to be easily comprehended in a single pass. They are usually the result of trying to fit too many ideas into one sentence. You will likely be told that this is not "brilliant, even compelling" prose and violates FA requirement 2a. The best solution is to split each snake into two or three smaller sentences, without repeating words between sentences. Examples:
    • "The word Scot was borrowed from Latin and its use, to refer to Scotland, dates from at least the first half of the 10th century, when it first appeared in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as a reference to the Land of the Gaels, analogous to the Latin Scotia."
      • Try "The word 'Scot' first appeared as a name for Scotland in the early tenth-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. There the Latin term 'Scotia' was anglicized to refer to the Land of the Gaels." (This is just a suggestion, which may have distorted the facts, but it shows how to divide the sentence.)
    • "It is entirely possible that Scotland was inhabited in palaeolithic times, as southern Britain was, but repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land-mass of modern Scotland, have destroyed any evidence of human habitation before the mesolithic period."
      • Try "Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land-mass of modern Scotland, have destroyed any evidence of human habitation before the mesolithic period. It is possible but unknown whether Scotland, like southern Britain, was inhabited in palaeolithic times." (The word "entirely" was redundant.)
    • "Scots law is the law of Scotland. It is a unique system with ancient roots and has a basis in Roman law, combining features of both uncodified civil law dating back to the Corpus Juris Civilis and common law with medieval sources."
      • Try "Scots law is a unique system with ancient roots. Its combines features of uncodified Roman civil law dating back to the Corpus Juris Civilis and common law based on medieval sources." (See below for why I eliminated the first sentence.)
    • "Its industrial decline following World War II was particularly acute, but in recent decades the country has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services and electronics sector (see Silicon Glen), the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas, and latterly the devolved Scottish Parliament, established by the UK government under the Scotland Act 1998."
      • Try "Scotland experienced an acute industrial decline following World War II. Only in recent decades has the country enjoyed a cultural and economic renaissance. Factors fuelling this recovery included a resurgent financial services and electronics sector (see Silicon Glen), the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas, and latterly the devolved Scottish Parliament, established by the UK government under the Scotland Act 1998."
  • Redundancy will be a problem:
    • "The word Scot was borrowed from Latin and its use, to refer to Scotland, dates from at least the first half of the 10th century, when it first appeared in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as a reference to the Land of the Gaels, analogous to the Latin Scotia." You'll notice I avoided saying "Latin" twice in my suggested edit above.
    • "Scotland continues to constitute a separate jurisdiction in public international law and private international law." Just say "public and private international law" and link the word "public" to "public international law" by putting an extra set of brackets around [public international law|public].
    • "Scots law is the law of Scotland." You could say "The legal system of Scotland is called 'Scots law," or could you skip this unhelpful sentence entirely and move on with the rest of the paragraph: "Scots law is a unique system of jurisprudence with ancient roots."
    • "Groups of settlers began building the first permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first significant villages around 6,000 years ago."
      • Try "Settlers began building the first permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago. The first villages appeared around 6,000 years ago." (I trust that the people who built the first houses weren't the same ones who built the first villages.)
    • "The main political debate in Scotland tends to revolve around attitudes to the constitutional question."
      • Try "The main political debate in Scotland revolves around the constitutional question." (See below for concerns about "main" and "tends to" in this sentence.)
  • Weasel words are a problem unless backed by a source which confirms the uncertainty or ambiguity. The best solution is usually to remove the vague words. If important exceptions or qualifications exist, state them explicitly.
    • "It is entirely possible that Scotland was inhabited in palaeolithic times."
    • "It is believed that the first group(s) of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 11,000 years ago."
    • "Groups of settlers began building the first permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first significant villages around 6,000 years ago."
    • "In the following centuries, the Kingdom of the Scots expanded to something closer to modern Scotland."
    • "When her youngest son David I later succeeded, Scotland gained something of its own gradual 'Norman Conquest'."
    • "The main political debate in Scotland tends to revolve around attitudes to the constitutional question."
    • "The critical year was perhaps 1018, when Malcolm II defeated the Northumbrians at the Battle of Carham." Say something like "History took a critical turn in 1018, when..." (Also, "year" is generally considered a redundant word when you specify a date.)
    • "The names of these areas are sometimes still used as geographical descriptors." Just say "The names of these areas are still used as geographical descriptors."
  • Citations are needed for claims that are not common knowledge, especially assertions of uniqueness or importance, or you may be accused of POV:
    • "Scots law is also unique in that it allows three verdicts in criminal cases including the controversial 'not proven' verdict."
    • "Now that devolution has occurred, the main argument about Scotland's constitutional status is over whether the Scottish Parliament should accrue additional powers."
    • "The most famous site from this period is the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the Mainland of Orkney."
    • "The main political debate in Scotland tends to revolve around attitudes to the constitutional question."
  • Pronouns with remote antecedents will earn you mockery in the FA review. This requirement can be particularly irritating, so do your best to eliminate the problem now. This happens when you use a pronoun like "it" that does not refer to the last stated noun. It may be absolutely clear from context what "it" refers to, but if it's not the most recent noun, you will be told you are violating 2a. Examples:
    • "Following the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Its industrial decline following World War II was particularly acute, but in recent decades the country has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services and electronics sector (see Silicon Glen), the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas, and latterly the devolved Scottish Parliament, established by the UK government under the Scotland Act 1998." You will be asked whether "its" refers to Scotland or Europe. See above for my suggested edit to divide the second sentence, which is a snake, into shorter sentences, to see how I avoided the pronominal problem.
    • Go through the article thoroughly looking for these. Stop at every pronoun and determine whether its meaning could even possibly be misinterpreted.
  • Per WP:CAPTION, some FA reviewers prefer that all captions be complete grammatical sentences. Take advantage of this requirement so that your pictures reinforce and illustrate your article rather than just decorating it.
    • Instead of "Robert the Bruce," say say something like "Robert the Bruce's decisive victory over the English was a turning point in Scottish nationalism." Let the caption expand the article.
    • Instead of "A North Sea Oil Platform," say something like "Scotland's North Sea oil platforms tap into the largest oil reserves in the European Union."
    • Instead of "Scottish Ten Pound Notes," say something like "Scottish Ten Pound Notes honor such famous Scots as..."
    • Do this for all your captions.
    • Why is the image of Robert Burns in the Music section instead of the Literature section?
  • Per WP:MOS, section headers must not contain the name of the article.
    • "Scottish inventions" should be changed to "Inventions."
  • Check for comprehensiveness. Check with Scottish Wikipedians, and with Wikipedians who list some fluency in Scots or in Scots Gaelic in their userboxes. Look at other countries whose articles have FA status.
    • My main field is choral music, so I'm surprised to see that no mention of vocal music whatsoever appears in the Music subsection, although the heterophony of Gaelic psalm-singing in the Hebrides is quite notable. I'd like to see at least a mention of waulking songs, too.
    • Tha beagan Gàidhlig agam; I'd like to see some mention of the twentieth-century resurgence of Scots Gaelic literature in such poets as Somhairle MacGill-Eain and Deorsa mac Iain Deorsa, and attempts to restore and strengthen Scots Gaelic such as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig? Radio nan Gàidheal and Tele-G are mentioned, but only much later, in the Media section. I'd love to see a picture of a bilingual traffic sign, like Image:Sanas.jpg, in this section.
    • Where is Scotland's greatest philosopher? Where is Hume?
    • Scotland's contributions to science is really far too cursory. Where are Napier, Watt, and Maxwell? A passing reference to electromagnetics and radar really seems insufficient when we're talking about people whose names are famous.
  • Watch out for lists and miscellaneous information. Convert them to prose unless it would severely impair comprehension.
      • "Currently there are six cities in Scotland:" does it really improve comprehension to bulletpoint them? Why not just say, "Currently there are six cities in Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling."
      • "Scotland has 13 universities and one university college, including the four ancient universities founded in the medieval period:" does this short list really help?
      • The National symbols section seems very disjointed, almost like a trivia section. This will pose a problem at FA review. Can this section be converted to prose, and perhaps reorganized to flow more easily? William Wallace really sticks out between unicorns and thistles (and frankly, I'd have expected Robert the Bruce sooner than Wallace.)
  • Per WP:LEAD, the lede concerns me:
    • The lede should be an abstract of the article, summarizing its most important information. My rule of thumb is that if something is important enough to merit a section header, it should be mentioned in the lede. Etymology, Subdivisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Education, Culture... none of these are even mentioned in the lede. In some cases, like Culture, I would suggest adding some mention in the lede. In others, like Etymology, I question whether the information merits its own section. Etymology could easily be subsumed under history, when you discuss the Gaels and Picts.
    • Conversely, the lede should not contain information that doesn't appear in the main article. I don't see the HMNB Clyde or the Trident ICBM system mentioned anywhere in the article. (Is the military mentioned at all? That might merit its own subsection.)
    • The lede should summarize and not go into undue detail. There's a lot of detail in the paragraph on the HMNB Clyde. Even "1 May 1707" could simply be "1707," with the precise date given in the main article.
  • The gallery may be a problem. Ideally, there would be no gallery because every imoprtant image is in use illustrating your article.
    • Why not put the clàrsach picture in the Music section?
    • Why not have Hadrian's Wall and Sueno's Stone in the First Millenium section?
    • Why not put the Isle of Lewis in the Geography section (or the Language section, with a caption saying "The Isle of Lewis is home to x% of the Gaidhealtachd, or Gaelic-speaking population"?

I can't spare the time to do a thorough copy-edit myself (see the peer review for Concerto delle donne to see how involved that gets. You'll recognize my contributions quickly, because all the stricken sections are mine.) But hopefully these suggestions will help you polish before you get to FA review. Peirigill 03:08, 6 August 2006 (UTC) An afterthought: regarding comprehensiveness in music coverage, what about the Scottish folk song tradition? You mention its influence on American country music, but what about mentioning particularly famous songs like "Loch Lomond" and "Auld Lang Syne"? Peirigill 00:35, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Article needs inline citations if it is to have any chance of being FA. It also needs a little more balance;e.g. there is simply too much about sport, compared with, say, literature; the literature section should mention some Gaelic authors, as these are of particular Scotland-based interest. A Miscellaneous section is needed, "Inventions" for instance has no place under "Economy" section. The history section is full of inaccuracies and misunderstandings, and is imbalanced. I may at least give this article a go again and fix the history section. Regards, Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 18:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I second the concern with the placement of the Inventions subsection. I must disagree with Calgacus' recommendation of a "Miscellaneous" section of any kind; miscellany and trivia sections will not meet with approval at FA. Peirigill 22:25, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
A few more observations on the article follow. There is only one detailed map of Scotland (plus the locator maps in the infobox), and it does not show Stirling (one of the 6 cities), let alone many of the other places mentioned. More dates would help. Dates given in the Early Scotland section jump from "6000 years ago" to 832, while the Medieval Scotland section dates jump from 1066 to 1306, then at the end from 1370 to 1707 to (next section) 1603. I found the whole Maid of Norway section confusing. Perhaps a clearer introduction like "A succession crisis arose when the Maid of Norway, last direct heir of Alexander III of Scotland, died in 1290. Scotland's nobility asked Edward I, King of England..." would work. Hope this helps, Ruhrfisch 02:56, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Please see automated peer review suggestions here. Thanks, AZ t 01:29, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Long way to go. Terribly long article, needs a summary, too many distracting templates/galleries within the prose, long ToC. Try and model Scotland as per the sections recommended by Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries. Regards, =Nichalp «Talk»= 09:37, 12 August 2006 (UTC)