Writing Wikipedia Articles/Week 3

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What is quality?

  • Overview: what is FA, GA, DYK, peer review?
  • The criteria: how do Wikipedians define the highest quality? Featured Article Criteria; also Good Article Criteria
  • The process: how does an article get identified as "Featured" or "Good"?
  • How can a reader tell which articles are "Featured" or "Good"?
  • What about high quality content that nobody ever bothers to nominate?
  • The more generic "Peer Review" process
  • The entry level: Did You Know (DYK)
  • What is low quality? What are some of the common problems articles have?
  • Information about a page: "Page Information" link in left-hand nav. (OER article has only 70 watchers, but has been viewed almost 20,000 times in the last month! As of March 2013.)

Is there anybody out there?


Your watchlist is a great tool for following what is happening on pages, and user pages, that you follow. But what if you're trying to collaborate with a specific user, and are interested in what they are doing in general?

The "User Contributions" feature is an important tool, when trying to get a feel for who you are dealing with and what they are up to. You can find it in on the lefthand side of any Wikipedia user page under "Toolbox" (unless you use certain preferences, that will put it in a menu called "User" next to "View History," "Edit" etc.) An example:

Additionally, when you encounter somebody for the first time, you may want to learn a bit about where they are coming from. Looking at their user page, and any discussion on their user talk page, is a great start. It can also be useful to learn a user's "edit count" -- the number of times they have made a change to a Wikipedia page. As a (pretty arbitrary) rule of thumb, you should assume anybody with less than about 1,000 edits is pretty new to the project. (They add up faster than you'd think!) You'll find that very experienced users have 20,000+ edits.

There are a couple ways to find a user's edit count:

  • While looking at the User Contributions screen, scroll all the way to the bottom. There's a link for "Edit Count." This gives you a detailed breakdown of their edit history.
  • Also at the bottom of the User Contributions screen, there is a link for "accounts", which will give you a table of the person's contributions to all Wikimedia projects; you can then find the line for "en.wikipedia.org".


  • WikiProjects
  • Signpost
  • noticeboards


Assign Writing Wikipedia Articles/interview assignment. <--SFB says: introducing main assignment first, then this next week.