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Wookieepedia:AC/Official Rookie's Guide to Mastering GAs

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"You showed me something today. You're exactly the kind of men I need in the 501st." -- Clone Captain Rex

"The best confidence builder is experience."
―Moral, The Clone Wars: Season One episode "Rookies"[src]

Hey there, and welcome to the Official Rookie's Guide to Mastering GAs, the AgriCorps's tutorial on how to nominate good articles! Writing status articles can be a daunting task for new nominators, and you don't want to throw yourself into the process unprepared. Throughout this tutorial, we'll provide you with guidelines to follow in order to make sure your article writing and nomination process goes as smoothly as possible.

Stage I: Choosing an article

The first thing you're going to do is choose an article to write. As a new nominator, one of the most important things to remember is not to pick something too overwhelming for your first nomination. Maybe Luke Skywalker is your favorite character, maybe the Millennium Falcon is your favorite ship, or maybe the lightsaber is your favorite weapon, but those topics are all gargantuan in size and are unsuitable for good article status because of their high word counts (GAs can only have up to 3,000 words). Furthermore, you're going to have to scour every single source—that means every novel, movie, television show, comic book, sourcebook, etc.—in which your subject of choice appears for information in order to write your article, and articles such as Luke Skywalker appear in hundreds of sources. Don't lose all hope of ever nominating such an article, just know that it would be best to wait until you've become more experienced before giving something like that a go.

Another important factor is that you should be interested in the subject you're nominating. For your first nomination, choosing an article about a subject that you are interested in will help motivate you to see it all the way through the nomination process. If you have a particular interest in a certain subject or era, it may also behoove of you to join one of Wookieepedia's many WookieeProjects. These are collaborative efforts between many of Wookieepedia's users to write and promote articles related to a certain era or subject. Check them out—our WookieeProjects typically have users who would be more than willing to help you throughout the nomination process.

Stage II: What are the rules?

Okay, so now that you've chosen your article, you need to learn the rules. Luckily, the GAN page comes with a nice handy list of them. Here's a breakdown of the GAN's rules:

  1. Rule 1 states that articles should be well-written and detailed. This means that they should cover every important aspect of the article subject's life/events. You'll need to scour every source in which your subject appears in order to make sure you don't miss anything here. "Well-written" also means that you're expected to have decent grammar: make sure you double-check your article for grammar mistakes. Also, make sure you understand what is and isn't original research—know that no speculation is allowed on Wookieepedia.
  2. Rule 2 mentions writing articles from a neutral point of view. What does this mean? It means that we can't take sides in our articles. So no calling anybody the good guys or the bad guys, and no saying that this or that was lucky or unlucky, etc. For more information, read the policy page.
  3. Rule 3 mentions that you must include information from all appropriate sources and appearances. Find every source and appearance which your subject makes (for some subjects, this could be as few as just one, for others, it may be tens or more) and make sure that you haven’t missed anything.
  4. Rule 4 requests that you follow all of our policies on Wookieepedia, specifically the layout guide and the manual of style. But what are they?
    • The layout guide specifies appropriate article sectioning—how to subsection your article and what belongs in each subsection—for all types of articles. While some flexibility is allowed, these are very good guidelines to keep in mind during the writing process.
    • The manual of style covers everything from appropriate article structure to properly naming articles to grammar, spelling, and tense usage to linking rules to properly creating quotes.
  5. Rule 5 requests that you don't nominate an article that's just going to change right away: for instance, nominating a character from The Clone Wars might be a bad idea if you know that that character is going to be featured in an upcoming episode; because once that episode airs, you're going to have a lot of editing to do, and reviewers are going to have to re-review the article.
  6. Rule 6 is pretty self-explanatory: if you've done your job up to this point, then there should be no reason for any improvement tags on your article any more.
  7. Rule 7 lists a basic guideline regarding the article's introduction. Remember that the intro should be a brief summary of the article's main body. This means a few things: (1) the intro does not need to be sourced, because anything and everything mentioned in the intro must also be mentioned in the article's main body, where it is supposed to be sourced; (2) intro size will vary from article to article, but as a summary, it should always be quite a bit smaller than the article's main body; (3) the intro needs to highlight all of the most important aspects of the article's subject
  8. Rule 8 requires that you have no more than a certain number of redlinks in the article, based on the overall word count of the article. If you're unsure of your word count, here's a quick way to find out: copy and paste all of the article prose, including the intro and Behind the scenes section, into a word document, and use the word document's built-in word count feature to see where you're at. (Note that words in quotations, infoboxes, templates, appearances/sources lists, external links, and notes/references lists do not count toward your word count.)
  9. Rule 9 is somewhat of a further specification of Rule 1: it requests that the article be detailed appropriately. Typically, less play-by-play prose is accepted in longer articles than in smaller articles
  10. Rule 10 requests that the article be completely and appropriately sourced. Please see our policy page for more information.
  11. Rule 11 requires that all quotes and images be sourced: make sure you fill in the source parameter for the quote as shown in the manual of style. Also, if images you use in your article are not appropriately sourced, they may be deleted (if you don't upload your own images, this is likely to be less of an issue; see our images policy for more information).
  12. Rule 12 requests that you provide quotes if they are available. One quote placed at the beginning of each section is the max, but if absolutely no relevant quotes are available, then none need be included.
  13. Rules 13 and 14 essentially reinforce information from the layout guide: if you are writing a character article, a section on the character's personality and traits must be included if information regarding the character's personality and/or traits exists. Also, for a Force-sensitive character it is required that you include a Powers and abilities section if any powers and/or abilities of the character are known; and for any exceptionally skilled character who is not Force-sensitive, you should include a Skills and abilities section instead.
  14. Rule 15 also reinforces the layout guide by reminding you that every in-universe article requires a Behind the scenes section. Articles considered out-of-universe do not need such a section, because their entire content is considered to be behind the scenes information.
  15. Rule 16 requires you to include images in the article if applicable. If no images of your article's subject or relevant related subjects exist, then don't worry about it.
  16. Rule 17 gives the word count limitations for good articles. In order for an article to qualify as a good article, it must contain at least 250 words, but no more than 3,000. If you have fleshed out your article as much as you believe is possible, but it still falls short of the 250 minimum word count, you are welcome to take the article to the comprehensive article nomination page instead. On the other hand, if your article contains greater than 3,000 words, it must be taken to the featured article nomination page; although it should be noted that any article containing 1,000 words or greater can become a featured article. If your article ends up being 1,000 words or greater, you are completely free to take it to the featured article nomination page instead.
  17. Other rules on the site: for further reading when it comes to Wookieepedia's rules, check out a list of our policies.

Stage III: Write away!

Okay, so you've picked your article, you've read up on the rules, and now it's time to write! So write away! While writing, you'll naturally want to keep all of the above rules in mind, but there are some specifics to focus on:

  • Rules 1 and 3: write everything in a professional, detailed manner. Go through all of the sources in which your subject appears and make sure you cover every important fact.
  • Remember rule 2: no point-of-view wording is allowed!
  • Double-check your grammar, and then triple-check it, and then quadruple-check it! Almost nothing makes the nomination process harder on both you and the reviewers than grammar mistakes that can lead to confusion because the reviewer misunderstood what you were trying to say in the article
  • Make sure you use the dash properly, per our guideline on the matter
  • Per the manual of style: if there are multiple different English spellings for a certain word, the American English version is preferred (For example: "color" is preferred over "colour" and "center" over "centre")

Stage IV: Is it ready?

Well, you've chosen an article, you've read the rules, and you've written up something that will soon come to be considered one of the best articles that Wookieepedia has to offer. But is it ready for nomination quite yet?

That can be a tough question, especially if you just spent hours on end working on your project. You may want to set it aside for a day or so and let your brain freshen up a bit before you take another look. If you spend too long staring at the same stuff over and over, it can become really easy to overlook mistakes.

Before you nominate the article, make sure you proofread it at least a couple times from the reviewer's standpoint. Are you sure you've got every relevant piece of information covered? Is your grammar spick and span? Have you made any technical errors regarding templates or references? If everything looks good to go and it fits the specifications of the GAN rules and site policies listed above, then you’re ready to nominate!

Stage V: Nominate it!

Let’s take a quick look at just how to nominate an article. Once again, the GAN has a handy list covering this, too:

  1. Add the {{GAnom}} template to the top of the article. In the edit summary for this edit, please type "GAnom" or something indicating that this edit was the one wherein you nominated the article for GA status; (while this will have no effect on you directly, it will make the nomination archiver's life a lot easier when he/she needs to find this particular edit after the nomination process is over)
    • Note that if the article you are nominating has been nominated before, you will need to add a (second nomination) parameter to the GAnom template like so: {{GAnom|Article name (second nomination)}}
  2. Now, in the GAnom template you just added there will be a redlink leading to your nomination page. Click on that redlink and follow the instructions there to create the page.
  3. Go to the bottom of the GAN page and add your nom by copying and pasting the code provided on the GAnom template that you added to your article

Stage VI: The review process

Finally, your article has been nominated, and it's time to be reviewed. Here's a basic rundown of how the review process works:

Users will read and review your article, and they will leave objections on the nomination page if they see any mistakes. Always try to deal with objections as efficiently as possible; remember that the faster you fix these objections, the sooner your article will pass and become a GA. If you feel that an objection is either unfair or if you outright disagree with it, it is within your right to reply to the objector and state specifically why you don't think you need to make the change to your article. Even if you disagree with the objector, always try to remain civil and respectful of each other; it will make the process go smoother and better for everybody involved.

Now, this one of the most important parts of the entire nomination process: learn from objections. If someone makes an objection to one of your nominations, remember what they objected to and how it had to be fixed so that you can avoid making the same mistake in the future. That way, you won't keep running into the same objections every time you nominate an article. Indeed, if you learn from your mistakes and make sure that you don't repeat them, you'll have fewer and fewer objections in future nominations!

Once you believe you've addressed an objection, make sure you note that you've fixed it on the nomination page, beneath the objection. However, do not strike the objection: the right to do so remains with the reviewer alone—unless the objection is deemed unjust by the AgriCorps.

So, who are the AgriCorps anyway? They are a panel of Wookieepedians who monitor/oversee the good article nominations page. As the main reviewing body for the GAN page, they are analogous to the Inquisitorius of the FAN page and the EduCorps of the CAN page.

In order for a good article to pass, it must receive at least five votes in favor with no outstanding objections after a minimum of one week on the nomination page. Of those five votes in favor, at least three votes must come from either Inquisitors or AgriCorps members, and of those three votes, at least two must be from AgriCorps members. Alternatively, an article can pass with a "snowball" vote of five AgriCorps/Inquisitorius votes (at least three of which must be AC votes) after just 48 hours on the nomination page.

Note that if you allow any objection on your article nomination to go unaddressed by you for two weeks, your nomination will be considered idle and will be removed from the page by the AgriCorps. So make sure that you are following your nomination page; you'll want to stay on top of any objections made to your article so that you can address them quickly.

Once your article has achieved the required number of votes, it will be archived by an AgriCorps member and added to Wookieepedia's list of good articles!

Recap

Okay, let's review:

  1. Choose an article about a subject you like; and make sure it's not overwhelmingly large
  2. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the GAN and our site policies so that you know what's expected of your article
  3. During the writing process, make sure you keep those rules you learned in mind, and after you've finished writing, proofread your work before you nominate it
  4. Once your article has been nominated, do your best to respond to objections as quickly and respectfully as possible, and learn from your mistakes so that you know not to repeat them in the future.
  5. Soon, you should have your article passed and added to Wookieepedia's growing list of good articles!

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