- Project News
- There are currently 3,647 Good Articles listed at WP:GA.
- The backlog at Good Article Nominations is 185 unreviewed articles. Out of 237 total nominations, 42 are on hold, and 10 are under review. Please go to WP:GAN and review an article or three as soon as you have a chance!
- The oldest unreviewed articles are: Ian Browne (cyclist), Tony Marchant, Reginald fitz Jocelin, Annie Russell, Brodie Croyle, and Jimmy Moore.
- The top five categories with the largest backlogs are: Sports and recreation (39 articles), Theatre, film, and drama (34 articles), Transport (23 articles), Music (21 articles), Politics and government (18 articles), Culture and society (13 articles), Places (13 articles), and World history (12 articles).
- The backlog at Good Article Reassessment currently stands at 13 articles up for re-review.
- If every participant of WikiProject Good Articles could review just one article in the next week, the backlog would be almost eliminated!
- GA Sweeps Update
Two members joined the sweeps team this month. They are Jwanders and jackyd101. Jwanders swept Physics sub-category quickly and is now sweeping "Astronomy and astrophysics". Meanwhile, jackyd101 is sweeping "Armies, military units and legal issues".
During February, 66 Good Articles were reviewed. Including those articles that were under GAR or on hold, 33 were kept as GA, 21 delisted, 17 currently on hold or at GAR, and 1 was exempted as they are now Featured Articles.
- Reviewer of the Month
Blnguyen is the GAN Reviewer of the Month for February, based on the assessments made by Epbr123 on the number and thoroughness of the reviews made by individual reviewers each week. Blnguyen is from South Australia and has been editing Wikipedia since 2005. He was also the reviewer for the month of December 2007, so this marks the second time that he has been GAN's Top Reviewer for the Month. Congratulations to our GAN Reviewer of the Month for February!
Other outstanding reviewers recognized during the month of January include:
- Member News
There are now 185 members of WikiProject Good Articles! Welcome to the 9 new members that joined during the month of February:
- Did You Know...
This WikiProject, and the Good Article program as a whole, would not be where it is today without each and every one of its members! Thank you to all!
- One GA Requirement - The Lead Section
In this issue, we will focus on one of the requirements for good articles: a good article article should follow Wikipedia's guideline on lead sections. So what does this guideline say, why does it say what it does, and how can good article reviewers help?
The lead section is particularly important, because for many readers, it is the only part of the article which they will read. For instance, they may have come to the article by following a wikilink in another article simply to obtain a quick overview before they continue reading the original article. They may only read the first paragraph, or even the first sentence. On the other hand, one of the joys of Wikipedia is the way that it embodies the endlessly branching tree of knowledge; if a lead is well written, it may encourage even such a reader to read on and learn something new.
This is reflected in the terminology: "lead" is a word taken from journalism, where it recognized that many readers will only read the beginning of a newspaper article, and so it is important to convey the key points first, before going into detail. Note that "lead", in this sense, is pronounced as in "leading question" and is sometimes spelled as "lede" by journalists to distinguish it from lead, the metal, which was once very important in typesetting. Wikipedia supports both spellings.
Wikipedia:Lead section is written with all this in mind, and describes two different roles for the lead: first, it should introduce the topic; second it should summarize the article. This is not always as easy as it seems; indeed, it is almost impossible to write a good lead if the article itself does not cover the topic well. It has a side benefit that an article which satisfies this guideline is probably also broad: if the lead is both a good introduction and a summary, then the article probably covers the main points.
The good article process is often the first place in which an article is judged against this criterion, yet many current good articles may not meet it. A common fault is that the lead is purely an introduction, while the rest of the article contains other information, which should be summarized in the lead, but isn't.
So, how can reviewers help to improve this? One approach is to read the rest of the article, and not the lead, first. Make a note of the significant points discussed in the article. There is usually at least one important issue in each section. Then, go back to the lead and ask the following questions:
- Does the first sentence of the lead define the topic, as described in the article?
- Is the most important information mentioned in the first paragraph?
- Is the lead a suitable length for the article? The lead guideline recommends 2–4 paragraphs depending on the article length, but judgment is more important than counting.
- Are each of the significant topics that you noted mentioned in the lead?
If the answer to each of these questions is "yes", then the article probably meets the guideline. If not, you may be able to fix it yourself by summarizing the article. If you can't, then it suggests that there are not only problems with the lead, but also the rest of the article. That is the beauty of Wikipedia:Lead section.
Finally, there isn't universal agreement on whether the lead should contain inline citations. As long as the material in the lead is developed and cited elsewhere in the article, then inline citation is not required. There are exceptions, the most significant being quotations and controversial material about living persons.
Good luck helping more articles meet this important criterion!
- From the Editors
Well, this is somewhat GA-related but at the same time not totally GA-related. However, I think this is important. Thanks to everyone who supported me at my 2nd RfA. It passed unanimously at 79 support, 0 oppose, 0 neutral. As many are impressed by my work in Good Articles processes, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone giving me a very enjoyable time at GA. There are 2 people that I want to explicitly say thank you to. They are Nehrams2020 and Epbr123. They patiently taught me how to do GA reviews properly in summer 2007. I couldn't achieve better without them. Now that I have the mop and the bucket, some of my time will be working on reducing Commons image backlog. Nevertheless, you will still see me once in a while in matters related to GA.
Please leave any comments or feedback regarding this issue here.
- Contributors to this Issue