User talk:Jongarrettuk/Better writing guide (current draft)

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At present there are many articles in the Wikipedia namespace that seek to give guidance on how to write better articles. I propose consolidating these into a much smaller number. On User:Jongarrettuk/Better writing guide I propose how these could be consolidated. The proposal is not to change advice, just to consolidate it. If I have inadvertently moved what you consider to be good advice that is currently in the Wikipedia namespace, please re-add it. I'm hope that the proposal to merge all these articles, in principle, will be welcomed. Of course, it may be preferred to have 2, 3 or 4 inter-connected articles than just one and would welcome advice on how this could be done. (In particular, perhaps all the guidance on layout should be spun off into one consolidated article on layout.) I'm also aware that putting lots of different bits of advice together may throw up anomalies or bits that people now disagree with (including bits that I myself disagree with:) ). I ask for support for the consolidation. Once the consolidation has happened, the advice can be changed in the normal way. Please feel free to improve on the current draft consolidation, but don't remove or add advice that is not currently on the Wikipedia namespace. If all goes well, I'll add a new Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles page on the 19th, though maybe some bits of the new article will need to be phased in over a longer period. I'll also take care to preserve all the archived discussion in one place. jguk 19:36, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Maurreen's response[edit]

Jguk, I've only taken a couple of glances at this. It looks like you've put a lot of work into it. I have a couple of suggestions.

You might want to consider a diffent title, maybe "Better Article Guide." "Better Writing Guide" leads me to expect guidance on writing only, and writing in general (not just for Wikipedia).

If you propose to delete all the other guidance you've merged en masse, I doubt you'll get much support. I think you'd have a greater chance if you do them one at a time. Maurreen 06:58, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

please don't delete[edit]

I think it might be quite useful to have a summary of many editing guidelines together in one place as you propose here. However, the individual guidelines should still be covered in more depth in their own articles (as they are now) -- and linked prominently from the summary article. Otherwise they can't be linked individually (as pointers to editors), expanded with sufficient detail to handle obscure cases, or discussed and altered individually. -- Rbellin 05:11, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think what you say may be true for some of the individual articles, but I think if you looked at all of those that I'm proposing to merge, you'd agree that it is not true for all of them. I was myself unsure about whether to remove or summarise and link to Wikipedia:Guide to layout. Are there any others you think should be dealt with that way? jguk 20:38, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I favor retaining individual pages for all of the non-layout articles linked from User:Jongarrettuk/Better writing guide. The guidelines that are about writing content and style deserve to be individually linked and discussed. If the consolidated writing guide page links each of them prominently from the section discussing them, then we've got the best of both worlds. -- Rbellin 01:22, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I generally agree with Rbellin. I do not favor any mass deletions or redirects. If pages were to be considered individually, that might be different. Maurreen 05:52, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you could say which pages in particular you believe should be kept. Having considered each page individually, it's the Wikipedia:Guide to layout page that I am most in favour of keeping. jguk 07:05, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That's understandable. But, for one thing, it might take me a couple weeks to go through them all, and I don't think you want to wait that long.
I've left a note on the pages which I think should be redirected and there has been no response on those pages. I will seek to tread carefully, but I will also seek to redirect where I think appropriate. (Though I am, of course, willing to listen to all constructive suggestions.) jguk 01:11, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Jguk, two people have asked you not to do this. You don't have consensus. Maurreen 13:03, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The pages I have changed have no people disagreeing with the proposal to change on their talk pages. It would be useful if you and Rbellin outline which pages you feel, in particular, need to be kept so I can take on board your comments. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, so I need to use my own judgment. jguk 15:54, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I wrote just above, unambiguously, that I favor retaining all the non-layout pages which you merged into this article as separate short articles. This is better for individual discussion and modification, by far, than the maze of twisty little links which now stem off the main talk page for the "Better writing guide". I ask that you revert all of your article-deleting redirects, and instead create prominent links from the individual sections of the "better writing guide" to the individual articles. I think your deletion of these articles was hasty and ill-conceived, the more so since it was already clear that disagreement existed before you redirected them. -- Rbellin 17:22, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As a parallel case, please consider Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. On your model, the individual pages Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a soapbox, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and Wikipedia:No original research would have been deleted and redirected. Instead, they've been linked prominently from the broader article and provide in-depth discussion and motivation, and a place to raise Talk-page issues about the individual principles. I think this is the right way to structure things: one summary article which links to more detailed discussions. -- Rbellin 20:44, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I have sought help about this disagreement at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration. Maurreen 14:38, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)