Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/North African Campaign

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edit North African Campaign

I need some ideas on how to improve my article comedic wise. I don't think it's as funny as it could be. Thanks. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 14:51, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

I'll do this one. --ChiefjusticePS2 10:36, March 28, 2014 (UTC)
Humour: 5 "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more". Loath as I am to come off as the sort of anorak who thinks that quoting Shakespeare in order to lend credibility to everything I am about to say (which I totally am) it seemed appropriate as this article is about war and we're slowly clearing your year old review requests. I liked the article in the main, you certainly have a habit of writing about my favourite topics, however the article does feel as though it lacks focus; it seems to have a lot of momentum but you seem to struggle to decide what and who should bear the brunt. You make a promising start by setting out the details of the campaign (more on this later) and the first section was good too but from there you seem to get lost.

As I mention, you seem to feel that the belligerents in this conflict should be the source of the humour but you are unsure of which of them it should be, for example at times the Italians are hopeless and bumbling but everyone else doesn't seem to be sure and this is replicated throughout the rest of the article. This means that we can't derive humour from all sides of the conflict as we're never sure what anybody is going to do. I'd suggest that you might consider giving each side a subtle character trait and having their actions repeatedly bear this trait out. You have already established that the Italians are a bit hopeless, why not establish the British, the Germans and the French as something else? You already hint towards the British being untroubled by collateral damage, so why not also encourage the idea that while they are brimming with "stiff-upperlipedness" they aren't particularly good at choosing their battles. For instance where you say:

"In a typical gallant act of bravery the 30,000 strong Western desert force attacked the 300,000 strong Italian army and smashed them."

Consider something like

"British field reports indicated that the Italians numbered 30,000 and the British tacticians reasoned that an upright British chap could easily defeat two Italians before succumbing to blunt force trauma, heat exhaustion and bullet wounds, leaving approximately 15,000 slightly less upright British chaps to win the day for Blighty. However, the British forces tactical assessment had been flawed as they had failed to notice some 270,000 Italians, who had been 20 miles behind the advance force digging their desert adapted tanks out of sand dunes for the fifth time that day"

I don't know how well the above fits with what you want to do with the article but I hope it conveys the point I am trying to make. By portraying both sides as clownish you give yourself many more opportunities for jokes. In the above scenario you can then go on to explain why the Italians were able to retreat (their tanks were already very close to Tripoli) and how the British respond (stopping because they have to make a tactical re-assessment given half their troops were not quite as dead as anticipated). This could be expanded to cover other aspects of your article and generally give the whole thing a more satisfying feel.

I would, if I was you, stay away from certain stereotypes. A good example is the British drinking tea stereotype this sort of thing should be avoided especially where it seems that you are substituting it for a lengthy explanation. I'm sure your intention was not to cop-out of writing but that is the distinct impression it gives. Stereotypes do have their place in the article but should be used carefully and as sparingly as possible; things become stereotypes for a good reason and the more of them there are the less humour you are deriving from your own originality and ideas. The general rule should be to ask yourself "Is the stereotype taking the place of an explanation?" e.g. "The British were drinking tea so they didn't notice the attack". If the stereotype fits with the point you are making then by all means use it e.g. "The French surrendered to the Germans, something that was rapidly becoming a national pastime". I hope that demonstrates the point I am trying to make, if it doesn't just let me know and I'll try and articulate it in a less confusing way.

You might also want to consider revising the ending where you say " the Brits completely forgot about the campaign because they thought history was boring." as it just doesn't fit with the rest of the article and comes out of nowhere, forgive me for saying so but it sounds a bit juvenile, especially when compared to the humour in the rest of the article. I appreciate the difficulties that are to be found in concluding articles satisfactorily but this really does want changing, even if you make the same point try to consider making it in a different way. There is a bit of silliness in the article as well, and while silliness has its place, like most things, it doesn't do you any favours where it does appear. You mention one of the generals appearing in Monty Python, this didn't seem to fit and fell a bit flat for me, remember that satire is based in believability and when you mention something that's plain impossible and blatantly untrue it generally seems like you couldn't think of anything to say and the joke doesn't work, certainly not in the context it occurs at the moment.

You might also want to consider setting out the aims of the two sides of this conflict and why it was fought, you discuss the location and identify the belligerents but don't go much further than that. This may serve limited comedic value but your jokes will have that much more significance if the reader is familiar with the context of the conflict.

I don't want you to get the idea that I dislike the article, I don't, I just think that there is a lot of room for improvement, there are flashes of excellence here and some superb ideas and, as with Democratic Oligarchy you just need to give yourself the opportunity to make the jokes and increase the areas of excellence. You've got the framework of something really special, you just need to work at it.

Concept: 7 I like the general ideas behind the article, the style is good, but as I mentioned above the tone breaks in places. Ensure that the encyclopaedic tone is maintained throughout the article. For instance, the style is meant to be similar to the kind you would find on wikipedia, no profanity, third person narration, giving events and facts rather than opinions. There are acceptable breaks from this and indeed those breaks are an important part of successful satire, but try to ensure that you stick to its broad aims. I will re-state what I said above and remind you that your tone should always be adult in nature, i.e. not using throwaway statements like "because it was boring" or "but it wasn't interesting". Breaks in the tone let the article down, they might not be obvious problems but they make the reader wince and they can be more disappointing than a botched joke.
Prose and formatting: 6 I noticed and corrected a few errors as I read through the article, make sure that you don't neglect your proofreading when you make your changes. The info-box is taking up most of the article at this point and, while it's a good aspect of the article for parodying the wikipedia style, you might want to consider editing it down a bit to make room for an extra image to illustrate the middle of the article as it seems to me that it could use an image. Nothing else to say on this really, I think the improvements will come naturally as you work at the article.
Images: 6 There isn't anything wrong with either image in of themselves and the first image serves its purpose and I wouldn't suggest changing it. I do like the second image and I like the caption as well, my only problem is that you only mention Rommel once in the article itself and thus he seems a strange candidate for the image, especially considering the wide availability of public domain images on this topic. I'd suggest that you expand Rommel's role in the article itself, he wasn't exactly a minor participant in the war in northern Africa - he was the commander of the German Afrika Korps (a force of approximately 30,000 soldiers) after all. As I say, he is an ideal candidate for an image if we are going by historical significance, but I'd suggest you look at making his involement a bit clearer in your text.
Miscellaneous: 6 My overall grade of the article.
Final Score: 30 Reading this back I'm concerned that I haven't adequately conveyed that I don't dislike this article, I actually like it quite a lot, there is a lot of promise and I'd love to get involved in helping you to expand it and improve it. There are a lot of small errors here that can be corrected fairly easily and I think you are more than capable of doing so. Your main focus should be the characterisation of the groups involved in the article; see where doing that takes you and then reconsider the rest of the article from there. You may find that by changing the article to make the traits of those involved clearer you will have a much longer article and will have changed a lot of the issues I highlight above. There is a great deal of potential here and with a bit of work much of that can be realised. If you have any questions or comments about the above then let me know on my talk page. Best of luck making your changes.
Reviewer: --ChiefjusticePS2 12:27, March 28, 2014 (UTC)
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