Pronouns allow writers to refer back to a noun without repeating it. However, sometimes it is unclear which noun a pronoun refers to, resulting in confusion for the reader. Here are examples:
On Joseph Biden's article:
Wrong: Template:!xt. (Whose?)
On the Salton Sea article:
Wrong: Template:!xt (What?)
Much Better: Template:Xt
This essay describes ways in which writing is often considered to be vague, and then discusses strategies to avoid such problems.
Phrases such as "in the past", "presently", "soon" and "once was" can reduce the clarity of an article, apart from their anchorage in the moment of editing, when the moment of reading is a moving phenomenon. Without citations, these phrases can even be used to make false claims and statements. Here are examples:
Sometimes a date is uncertain or disputed. In the case of a disputed historical date use an unitalicized, unspaced "c." (which stands for "circa") immediately prior to the date. For example, Gráinne O'Malley's birth date is believed to be around 1530, so it could be written as: Template:Xt
The use of vague time words is sometimes acceptable when talking about the future, but try to be as specific as possible. Remember that Oilfield Wiki is not a crystal ball, so avoid speculative statements.
Vague words and incorrect statements
When used by the merely clueless, vague words make an article confusing and cause them to lack possibly important information. In the hands of those with more sinister intents, they can be used to make articles that are readable enough to impart wrong or biased information, but confusing enough to prevent readers from questioning the reliability or factuality of the article. Vandals can also vandalize an article by replacing specific information with vague statements. Always use citations, especially when – for whatever reason – you must use somewhat vague words. Doing this helps Oilfield Wiki become more reliable and accurate.
How to improve vague articles
When you come across an article that is very vague, begin by replacing vague statements with clearer facts. If you lack the time or the expertise to do so, use one of the tags below:
|Tag||Template that will be shown (and correct usage)