BoyWiki:Fledgling

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Fledglings are articles which have not yet received substantial attention from the BoyWiki editors (See Category:Fledglings). They have been created, but do not yet contain enough information to be truthfully considered articles. The community believes that fledglings are far from worthless. They are, rather, the first step articles take on their course to becoming complete.

The objective of this article is to provide a general guide for dealing with fledglings.

(In real life, a fledgling is a young bird just beginning to learn to fly. It is often used metaphorically about an inexperienced or young person, or a young entity or enterprise.)

Identifying a fledgling

A fledgling is an article which is clearly too short, but not so short as to be useless. In general, it must be long enough to at least define the article's title. This generally means 3 to 10 short sentences. Note that a longer article may be a fledgling if the topic is complex enough; conversely, a short article on a topic which has a very narrow scope may not be a fledgling.

Another way to define a fledgling is that an article so incomplete that an editor who knows little or nothing about the topic could improve its content after a superficial Internet search or a few minutes in a reference library is quite probably a fledgling. One that can only be improved by a rather knowledgeable editor, or after significant research, may not be a fledgling.

Sizable articles which lack wikification or copy editing are generally not considered fledglings, and the normal procedure is for one of the cleanup tags to be added to them, instead. Note that small articles with little information may end up being nominated for deletion.

Once a fledgling has been properly expanded and becomes an article rather than just a fledgling, you or any editor may remove the fledgling tag from it. No admin action or formal permission is needed.

Categorising fledglings

After writing or finding the short article, the editor should insert what is called a fledgling template. This is done by adding {{Stub}}, which makes it possible for the article to be flagged as a fledgling. By convention, these fledgling templates are placed either at the top or bottom of the article. Fledgling templates are composed of two distinct parts: first, a short message stating that said article is a fledgling of a particular kind and encouraging editors to expand it; second, a category link, which places the article on a fledgling category, together with other fledglings with the same subject as it.

Ideal fledgling article

When you write a fledgling article, it is important to bear in mind that its main interest is to be expanded, and that thus it ideally contains enough information to give a basis for other editors to expand upon. Your initial research may be done either through books or through a reliable search engine. You may also contribute with knowledge you have acquired from other sources or your own experience, but it is useful to conduct a small amount of research beforehand, in order to make sure that your version of the facts is correct and, in the case of encyclopedia articles, from a neutral point of view.

Begin by giving a definition or description of the topic in question. Avoid fallacies of definition. Since at times definitions are impossible, you should write a clear and informative description of the subject. State what said person is famous for, where a place is located and what it is known for, the basic details of an event and when it happened, just to give a few examples.

Next, you should try to expand this basic definition. The previously mentioned research methods will often fetch you enough information for you to be able to expose the basic points of the subject. Once you have a couple of well-structured and well-written sentences, you should internally link relevant words, so that users unfamiliar with the specifics of a subject can understand what is written on the article. Avoid linking words needlessly; in case you are in doubt, you should use the preview button and try reading the article from the point of view of somebody who has had no exposure to information regarding the subject. If no word seems hard to comprehend or relevant enough, simply don't link anything.

Once you have submitted the article, there are a number of courses it may take. An editor might get interested in it and develop it further, or you could expand it yourself once you have found more information about the subject or once you have more free time on your hands.

Locating fledglings