The perfect Memory Alpha article...
- ...begins with a clear definition of the article's subject. The article needs to explicitly describe the topic in clear and succinct language that gives the reader a clear idea of what the rest of the article will cover. The definition is often an introduction to the subject.
- ...uses simple and unambiguous language. Although Memory Alpha is primarily intended for other Star Trek fans, it should also be readily accessible for non-fans. This means that jargon should be explained, and the context should be established, to make the setting and background abundantly clear for all readers.
- ...is long. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but long articles are considered better because they can cover the given topic much more thoroughly. This may not be possible for all articles, of course, because information may not be available for all aspects of the subject. However, where such information is available, it should always be included.
- ...is well-documented. It's crucial to document references to individual episodes, as well as cite other sources that may be referred to in the course of the article.
- ...is well-written. This almost always means that the article has gone through many, many revisions to fix small grammar and spelling mistakes, to remove vague language, and to reorganize the text for a more logical progression. Often, the later revisions of the article have very little (if any) resemblance to the original submission.
- ...is well-structured. The article should begin with a clear introduction, and follow a logical progression of descriptions to thoroughly cover all aspects of the subject. Sections should almost always be used to divide the material into appropriate parts.
- ...includes contributions from many members. The best articles contain knowledge that has been submitted by a wide range of fans from all across the world, with different perspectives on the material.
- ...is written in an interesting, engaging style. Long, rambling sentences should be avoided – the goal of every article is to inform and entertain the reader.
...does not exist.
Although these guidelines are useful in helping to define what the perfect article is, we also realize that it is very hard to meet these standards. Perfection may be the Borg's goal, but it's not easily reachable. Remember that perfection is not required – we'd much rather have a large number of good articles than just a few perfect articles. It takes a long time to refine and revise any article towards perfection. Spend more time writing good articles, and just keep the ideals of the perfect article in the back of your mind as you contribute.