So, you're probably here because you're bored or you're expecting a tutorial or at least an idea of how to write a Featured Article on an Organization. Well, I'll try not to disappoint. I'm Ataru and I do have some experience in the realm of Featured Articles (henceforth referred to as FA) here on Wookieepedia, and with organizations. I've written over twenty FAs and three of them are on organizations. That said, take everything I say with a grain of salt, because everyone has their own personal style of writing, and it's all slightly different from user to user. The basic principles are the things you should take away from this, not necessarily the methodology—though it does work.


Starting out with something as large as the Imperial Navy for a first effort is not a good idea. It's huge!

Featured Articles are a class all unto themselves. A lot of thought needs to and should be placed into them from the beginning. If you're new to the process, I suggest checking out the nomination page and taking a look at how it all works, then read some of the articles—particularly organization ones if that's what you're interested in writing. Finally, start small. Don't start with, say, Jedi Order or Rogue Squadron, because those articles should properly be at least hundreds of kilobytes in length and a new user to FA might not be up to that sort of commitment. Something simpler, with a handful of appearances, such as the Hand of Judgment or Rakehell Squadron if I can plug my own work, is a more realistic project that will still provide some challenge for the eager FA writer.

For a full selection of organization FAs, go to this link and you'll see a handful there. I've personally written Rakehell Squadron and Zeison Sha, as well as the largest FA on Organizations as of this writing, Wraith Squadron. However, Bureau of Scouting and Exploration Services and Empire Reborn are a couple other excellent articles that I have enjoyed on organizations and exemplify quality articles, to name a few.

Now, you're ready to begin. The first thing is to pick the article. The way I would select my topic depends on how familiar I am with the source materials-i.e. the books, comics, games, etc. that the organization appears in. Given that I and many others generally pick things we know something about, it's probably safe to say you'll do the same.

For a character, or for a planet or species, there are very set guidelines about what type of sections you need. It's all spelled out in the Layout Guide and Manual of Style. Organizations, however, fall into a very broad and very diverse classification. You wouldn't expect Wraith Squadron to have the same type of layout as the Empire Reborn—they're completely different topics with very different structures and purposes. So, for the purposes of this tutorial, I recommend you start with how the article should be structured.

As a brief aside, I'm assuming you want to start from the ground up-as in, completely rewrite the article. Most of the time, I don't bother to keep what others have written before me. It's a harsh reality, but having the entire article written by one person keeps it consistent and ensures that you've checked everything that's written for accuracy. There have been FAs that have used others' prose, but I don't generally recommend it.

Anyway, all organizations need at least two basic sections: History and Behind the scenes. History should be a prose summary of the organization's history, organized chronologically, well-written, from an in-universe perspective, properly referenced, and supported by relevant quotes and pictures where available. It's the bread and butter of an article, and is the counterpart of a "Biography" section in a character article. It's the organization's story in the Star Wars universe, and as the writer, it's your job to make sure it's well-written and properly referenced, as well as coherent enough for a casual reader to follow the section.

Now, the Behind the scenes (hereafter referred to as BTS) is a different matter, but I'll get to that later. Depending on your topic, you might have a Members section—unless there aren't any known members of that organization. There could be a Philosophy section for religious, intellectual, or Force-sensitive groups. Common Abilities or Common Skills sections are good for Jedi/Sith/Force-sensitive organizations, as well as military, paramilitary, and other skill-intensive organizations, where applicable. One might find an Equipment section in a military group. Locations is a possibility. Structure or Organization are also possible candidates. There is simply a wide variety of choices. A good idea is to look at comparable organization FAs and lay them out in the same way. Scratch that. It's imperative, or else it will never pass the nomination process. An important note is that precedent can and will be cited on WP:FAN. All squadron articles should adhere to the standard set by Wraith Squadron and Rakehell Squadron, for example. This is to allow consistency for the sake of the readers. The importance of determining the structure first cannot be understated. Basically, if there is an enough information to merit a particular section without being unnecessarily repetitive, the section should be created.

The last prose section in the article is the Behind the scenes section, which, unlike everything else in the article, is written Out-Of-Universe. This section contains background information on the organization, such as mentioning the first source it appeared in, as well as information gleaned from sources such as author's websites, Wookieepedia interviews, Wizards of the articles, etc. that is pertinent to the organization. At a bare minimum, the BTS should state the organization's appearances and sources, if there are, say, fewer than ten. See an example on Zeison Sha. BTS is important, so put the time and thought into it that was placed into the history. My suggestions for BTS are to search, author's/creator's websites, and Wizards of the, as a bare minimum. Other objectors may have other ideas—BTS sources are largely dependent on the topic.

Next, I would check your Appearances and Sources section, and find what you will need to check. Everything from Appearances has to be referenced in the article somehow, unless it's a Mentioned Only appearance with only a minor mention. Not all sources have to be referenced, as some sources only repeat material that is stated in appearance. However, all unique information from sources should be present in the article.

Okay, now that you know what sections go in the article and what sources to check, it's time to start writing. I generally start with the introduction, which is a 1-3 paragraph overview of the topic. Then, I move onto the infobox, a tabular-based short-list of key facts about the organization. It's not always possible to fill in all of the fields in the organization: (See {{Organization}}), but fill in as many as possible. An important thing to note is that introductions do not get footnotes (references, or simply refs), but infoboxes do. Full discussion of sourcing and referencing can be found at Wookieepedia:Sourcing.

From that point on, it's fairly straightforward to write each section. Good grammar, diction, and sentence structure, is a must, and context is good also. To explain what I mean by context, I'll give an example:


Context is everything

Without context: The Wraiths were successful in destroying the Implacable, but several pilots were lost and the Night Caller was damaged.
With context: The Wraiths were successful in destroying the Star Destroyer Implacable, but they lost two of their pilots, Falynn Sandskimmer and Eurrsk Thri'ag, in the engagement and the New Republic corvette Night Caller was also damaged.

Obviously, this is a hypothetical example from a hypothetical article on, say, Wraith Squadron, but in the second example, I've attached qualifiers to the vast majority of the nouns, especially proper nouns, to give a brief description of what they are, without forcing the reader to click on the link and navigate away from the article.

Make sure that you scour all of your sources for information, and try to have a good level of detail without delving into "he did this and then she did this", which is commonly referred to as "play-by-play."

Another thing to beware of is called "flowery prose" or "prosetry." Again, this point is best illustrated with an example:

Flowery: "The Wraiths' volley of torpedoes ripped through the Star Destroyer like a hot vibroblade through cheese, inflicting horrific damage on the Imperial craft—entire compartments were blown out into space, such was their damage."
Non-flowery: "The Wraiths' volley of torpedoes hit the Star Destroyer and inflicted significant damage on it, to the point where numerous compartments were blown out into space."

The first sentence is written with overdone metaphors, slight hyperbole, and a tone that is unfit for encyclopediac writing. Stick with just the facts, and resist the urge to make logical assumptions or indulge in rhetorical posturing. One small use of clever wordplay every once in a while is okay. Repeating it throughout the article is frowned upon, due to the lack of encyclopediac tone.

A final warning with writing is to only write what's in the source. Don't make logical assumptions except in very rare cases. To assume is to fill in a gap of canon, and that's called Original Research, or OR. If you can't cite it from a source, it's probably not a good idea to have it in the Featured Article.

The way I write articles is that once I've finished with the article, I fill in quotes and images—these are supplements to the prose, not replacements for it. Finding images and quotes of good quality is subjective, and it may take some requests to others for rescans of poor quality images. That will probably be handled on the FAN page, but be sure all images you use are correctly sourced. Other things to check are proper categorization and external links, at least to CUSWE. See Eyrezer's Guide for info on that.

Once you're done writing, read back over it—I recommend backwards, because your mind will not fill in any gaps—and check it for errors. This is called copyediting, and will save you some objections on the FAN page. Then, apply {{FAnom}} and wait to see what people think of it. If you get objections to the nomination, do your best to address them, but don't feel afraid to approach the objector civilly with questions if you're not sure what they want. Be patient, and don't take objections personally—objections are ways of making the article better. It's a learning process, to be sure. Eventually, however, your patience and perseverance will pay off and your article will become featured once all the objections are addressed.

For other tips, I recommend What is a featured article?, and particularly Four Dot's Character Article Tutorial, which although written with character articles in mind, has general advice on FA in general. Cheers, and as always, have a Super Terrific Friendly Un-frustrating day. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order (Talk page) 18:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

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