Wikipedia:The perfect article
This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
A perfect Wikipedia article...
- Is on a notable topic.
- Fills a gap not provided by existing or related articles.
- Has an appropriate structure.
- Is well-written.
- Is clear; it is written to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding, using a logical structure and plain, clear prose. It is free of redundant language.
- Is understandable; it is clearly expressed for both experts and non-experts in appropriate detail, and thoroughly explores and explains the subject.
- Is precise and explicit; it is free of vague generalities and half-truths that may arise from an imperfect grasp of the subject.
- Involves original writing but not original research; a Wikipedia article generally is the written work of its users. It will not violate another's copyright or plagiarize another's work, but its summary of information must still be completely reliably sourced. In addition, all quotes are marked with quotation marks and cited.
- Is engaging; the language is descriptive and has an interesting, encyclopedic tone.
- Follows standard writing conventions of modern language, including correct grammar, consistent verb tense, punctuation, and spelling.
- Includes informative, relevant media content — including maps, portraits, artwork, photographs, audio tracks (recorded voice, speeches...), video tracks (films, animations...) and audiovisual media — that add to a reader's interest or understanding of the text, but not so much as to detract from it. Each medium should have an explanatory caption and ALT text.
- Is of an appropriate length; it is long enough to provide sufficient information, depth, and analysis on its subject, without including unnecessary detail or information that would be more suitable in "sub-articles," related articles, or Wikimedia sister projects. It is not a stub.
- Is nearly self-contained; it includes essential information and terminology, and is comprehensible by itself, without requiring significant reading of other articles.
- Acknowledges and explores all aspects of the subject; it covers every encyclopedic angle of the subject.
- Is encyclopedic; it doesn't contain non-encyclopedic information.
- Is completely neutral and unbiased; it has a neutral point of view, presenting competing views on controversies logically and fairly, and pointing out all sides without favoring particular viewpoints. The most factual and accepted views are emphasized, and minority views are given a lower priority. Sufficient information and references are provided so that readers can learn more about particular views.
- Is stable; A stable article is one which any side in a controversy can look at and say, "Yes, this article describes my side accurately and does not give an unfair advantage to the other side."
- Makes use of verifiable sources.
- Is well-documented; all facts and opinions are cited from reputable sources, preferably sources that are accessible and up-to-date.
- Reflects expert knowledge; it is grounded in fact and on sound scholarly and logical principles.
- Follows proper navigational procedures.
- Is not an orphan or a dead-end.
- Branches out; it contains wikilinks and sources to other articles, and external information that add meaning to the subject.
- Branches in; editors have found and edited other significant wiki pages which make mention of the topic, and linked them to the article.
- Is categorized for better searching and easier grouping.
- Has interlanguage links if possible.
- Observes proper red link standards; it does not have an excessive number of red links, or any red links that could not conceivably be turned into articles or redirects.
- Is not an orphan or a dead-end.
- Has several high quality images which are relevant to the article.
- May not be attainable; editing may bring an article closer to perfection, but ultimately, perfection means different things to different editors. For more information, see our editing policy.