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Note, this is my first time on this stack exchange, I did look at other questions here to see if mine would be appropriate, and based on the other questions in the "wikipedia" tag I decided to ask it here, but if it needs to improve, please let me know what to change.


In the talk page for the Taylor Swift article, it says "This is an FA class article". I wondered what that means, so I started searching a bit, and before coming here I did try to find the answer on my own but it is surprisingly difficult. Here's one of the searches I did on Google:

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Also, if you click on any of those pages, it just says (for example): "This category contains biography articles that have been judged "FA" on the assessment scale by the Biography WikiProject. Articles are automatically added to this category based on a parameter in the project banner template."

There is no link for me to click and find out what "FA" means.

The other classes seem to be:

  • FA
  • A-Class
  • article
  • A
  • GA
  • B
  • C
  • Start
  • Stub
  • Featured
  • list
  • FL
  • List
  • Book
  • Category
  • Disambig
  • Draft
  • File
  • Project
  • Redirect
  • Template
  • NA
  • ???

(the last class called "???" is not a typo, it has a hyperlink going to here).

However this seems to be a list of "categories", one of which is "FA-Class", and even at the categories help page it doesn't tell us what FA-class means.

What are these things like "FA-Class" and where can I learn more information about them?

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2 Answers 2

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I spend (too much) time editing Wikipedia articles, especially BLPs (biographies of living people). Since I am an "experienced" editor (I've been wasting time there since 2011), I can affirm that for biographical articles, regardless of whether the person is living or dead, the usual Wikipedia article assessment criteria apply.

Assessments for articles are determined by the Wikiproject to which they belong. Some Wikiprojects have their own, atypical criteria for assessing articles, i.e. classifying according to quality. Wikiproject Biographies use the typical quality classes for content assessment.

The other "types" listed by OP aren't necessarily about content, but rather, are structurally part of MediaWiki, e.g. a template or a category. Note that these are broken out by Wikiproject. In other words, there is a Biography Category and a Biography Template. These are not considered articles though!

FA Featured article Professional, outstanding, and thorough; a definitive source for encyclopedic information. No further content additions should be necessary unless new information becomes available; further improvements to the prose quality are often possible.

FL Featured List List class is less common for biographical articles than other sorts, and is even less common for featured list status. There are only 186. See criteria for "unfeatured" list below to get a better idea.

A The article is well organized and essentially complete. Good article status is not a requirement for A-Class. Very useful to readers. A fairly complete treatment of the subject. A non-expert in the subject would typically find nothing wanting. Style problems may need solving.

GA Good article Useful to nearly all readers, with no obvious problems; approaching (but not equaling) the quality of a professional encyclopedia. Some editing by subject and style experts is helpful.

B The article is mostly complete and does not have major problems, but requires some further work to reach good article standards. Readers are not left wanting, although the content may not be complete enough to satisfy a serious student or researcher. A few aspects of content and style need to be addressed. Expert knowledge may be needed. The inclusion of supporting materials should be considered if practical, and the article checked for general compliance with the Manual of Style and related style guidelines.

C The article is substantial but is still missing important content or contains irrelevant material. The article should have some references to reliable sources, but may still have significant problems or require substantial cleanup. Useful to a casual reader, but would not provide a complete picture for even a moderately detailed study. Considerable editing is needed to close gaps in content and solve cleanup problems.

Start An article that is developing but still quite incomplete. It may need to cite additional reliable sources. Provides some meaningful content, but most readers will need more. Article needs substantial improvement in content and organization. Also improve the grammar, spelling, writing style and use less jargon.

Stub A very basic description of the topic. Provides very little meaningful content; may be little more than a dictionary definition. Readers may not see how features of the topic are significant. Any editing or additional material can be helpful. Adding meaningful content is a priority.

List e.g. Lists of American Jews or even more granular, Lists of American Jews in the finance industry; (these get vandalized a lot! Also, the talk pages associated with them and biographical lists in general are amusing to read but maybe I think so because I'm ironic and Jewish.) Meets the criteria of a stand-alone list, which is an article that contains primarily a list, usually consisting of links to articles in a particular subject area.

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Those are assessment grades. The page has a rubric on the meanings of each class type. Most WikiProjects (editor affinity groups on-wiki) use those class definitions, though some are more stringent than others.

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