There are too many parentheses in WIkipedia articles.
People also use "would" plus the verb rather than just using the verb. That is not good writing.
Additionally, some editors have a love affair with the verb "to state" and use it when "said" is clearly superior. "So-and-so stated" should be reserved for things like formal statements to the press or strong declarations.
I wrote an essay!
Although I'm confident that nobody cares much about my motivations for editing here, and nobody is all that likely to read this, I'm going to sketch out my approach for the unlikely event that it might help someone. My editing follows these general princples:
- I prefer to improve the presentation of content that already exists rather than generate new content, though I sometimes do that as well. My best edits involve rewriting and copy editing rather than adding new information.
- My new version after copyediting should almost definitely be shorter, in terms of both words and characters, than the previous version. Many Wikipedia articles suffer from excessive verbiage.
- Similarly, if I do add new information, I will avoid adding more than two sentences, unless I believe that the section in question needs expansion.
- I gravitate toward topics that are not likely to receive coverage in a paper encyclopedia.
Also, I think that the labor investment required to get an article to "featured" status would usually be better spent improving articles that are nowhere near that level of quality.
I really like this essay: Wikipedia:Don't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argument. It has made me consider whether I've been guilty of doing that sort of thing in the past. In general, we have too much fear of subjectivity here.