Argumentative Essay: The Soda Ban
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They should not contain "under construction" sections or refer to features and information that editors hope they will contain in the future. It's much worse for the lead to promise information that the body does not deliver than for the body to deliver information that the lead does not promise. Second, good ways to summarize material usually only become clear after that material has been written.
If you add a new point to the lead before it's covered in the body, you only think you know what the body will eventually contain. When the material is actually covered in the body, and checked and improved, usually by multiple editors, then you know. If having a rough, tentative summary helps you write the body, keep your own private summary, either on your computer or in your User space. Third, on contentious pages, people often get into edit wars over the lead because the lead is the most prominent part of the article.
It's much harder to argue constructively over high-level statements when you don't share common understanding of the lower-level information that they summarize. Space is scarce in the lead, so people are tempted to cram too much into one sentence, or pile on lots of references, in order to fully state and prove their case—resulting in an unreadable lead. In the body, you have all the space you need to cover subtleties and to cover opposing ideas fairly and in depth, separately, one at a time.
Once the opposing ideas have been shaken out and covered well in the body, editing the lead without warring often becomes much easier. Instead of arguing about what is true or what all the competing sources say, now you are just arguing over whether the lead fairly summarizes what's currently in the body. It is fine to include foreign terms as extra information, but avoid writing articles that can only be understood if the reader understands the foreign terms. Such words are equivalent to jargon , which should be explained somehow. In the English-language Wikipedia, the English form does not always have to come first: sometimes the non-English word is better as the main text, with the English in parentheses or set off by commas after it, and sometimes not.
For example, see Perestroika. Non-English words in the English-language Wikipedia should be written in italics. Non-English words should be used as titles for entries only as a last resort. Again, see Perestroika. English title terms taken from a language that does not use the Roman alphabet can include the native spelling in parentheses.
The native spelling is useful for precisely identifying foreign words, since transliterations may be inaccurate or ambiguous. Foreign terms within the article body do not need native spellings if they can be specified as title terms in separate articles; just link to the appropriate article on first occurrence. If possible, avoid presenting information with color only within the article's text and in tables. Color should only be used sparingly, as a secondary visual aid. Computers and browsers vary, and you cannot know how much color, if any, is visible on the recipient's machine.
Wikipedia is international: colors have different meaning in different cultures. Too many colors on one page look cluttered and unencyclopedic. Specifically, use the color red only for alerts and warnings. Articles should use only necessary words. This does not mean using fewer words is always better; rather, when considering equivalent expressions, choose the more concise. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Reduce sentences to the essentials. Wordiness does not add credibility to Wikipedia articles. Avoid circumlocutions like "due to the fact that" in place of "because", or "at the present time" for "currently". Ongoing events should be qualified with "as of ". Wikipedia "grammar bots" will replace these types of expressions with correct wording. When the principle of least astonishment is successfully employed, information is understood by the reader without struggle.
The average reader should not be shocked, surprised, or confused by what they read. Do not use provocative language. Instead, offer information gently. Use consistent vocabulary in parts that are technical and difficult. To work out which parts of the sentence are going to be difficult for the reader, try to put yourself in the position of a reader hitherto uninformed on the subject. You should plan your page structure and links so that everything appears reasonable and makes sense. A link should not take readers to somewhere other than where they thought it would go. Avoid Easter egg links , which require the reader to open them before understanding what's going on.
Instead, use a short phrase or a few words to describe what the link will refer to once it's opened. Similarly, make sure that concepts being used as the basis for further discussion have already been defined or linked to a proper article. Explain causes before consequences and make sure your logical sequence is clear and sound, especially to the layperson. Ensure that redirects and hatnotes that are likely to be useful are in place. If a user wants to know about the branch of a well-known international hotel chain in the French capital, they may type "Paris Hilton" into the search box. This will, of course, take them to the page associated with a well-known socialite called Paris Hilton. Luckily, though, a hatnote at the top of that article exists in order to point our user to an article which they will find more useful.
We cannot control all astonishment — the point of an encyclopedia is to learn things, after all. But limiting the surprises our readers find within our articles' text will encourage rather than frustrate our readers. Phrases such as refers to , is the name of , describes the , or is a term for are sometimes used inappropriately in the first sentence of Wikipedia articles. For example, the article Computer architecture once began with the sentence, " Computer architecture refers to the theory behind the design of a computer. That is not true: Computer architecture is the theory. The words "computer architecture" refer to the theory, but the article is not about the words; it is about the theory.
Thus it is better to say, " Computer architecture is the theory behind the design of a computer. This is known as the use—mention distinction. For the vast majority of articles, the introduction is using a term "Computer architecture is a theory" , rather than mentioning it. Disambiguation pages mention the term, so in such cases it is correct to write " Great Schism may refer to either of two schisms in the history of Christianity However, a content article should read " There have been two Great Schisms in the history of Christianity ". Write material that is true: check your facts. Do not write material that is false. This might require that you verify your alleged facts. This is a crucial part of citing good sources : even if you think you know something, you have to provide references anyway to prove to the reader that the fact is true.
Material that seems to naturally stem from sourced claims might not have been actually claimed. In searching for good references to cite, you might even learn something new. Be careful about deleting material that may be factual. If you are inclined to delete something from an entry, first consider checking whether it is true. If material is apparently factual, in other words substantiated and cited, be extra careful about deleting. An encyclopedia is a collection of facts. If another editor provided a fact, there was probably a reason for it that should not be overlooked. Therefore, consider each fact provided as potentially precious.
Is the context or overall presentation the issue? If the fact does not belong in one particular article, maybe it belongs in another. Examine entries you have worked on subsequent to revision by others. Have facts been omitted or deleted? It may be the case that you failed to provide sufficient substantiation for the facts, or that the facts you incorporated may need a clearer relationship to the entry. Protect your facts, but also be sure that they are presented meaningfully. The advice about factual articles also applies to articles on fiction subjects. Further considerations apply when writing about fictional topics because they are inherently not real.
It is important to keep these articles verifiable and encyclopedic. If you add fictional information, clearly distinguish fact and fiction. As with normal articles, establish context so that a reader unfamiliar with the subject can get an idea about the article's meaning without having to check several links. Instead of writing:. Works of fiction are generally considered to "come alive" for their audience.
They therefore exist in a kind of perpetual present, regardless of when the fictional action is supposed to take place relative to the reader's "now". Thus, generally you should write about fiction using the historical present tense , not the past tense. Conversely, discussion of history is usually written in the past tense and thus "fictional history" may be presented in that way as well. Articles about fictional topics should not read like book reports ; instead, they should explain the topic's significance to the work. After reading the article, the reader should be able to understand why a character, place, or event was included in the fictional work. Editors are generally discouraged from adding fictional information from sources that cannot be verified or are limited to a very small number of readers, such as fan fiction and online role-playing games.
In the latter case, if you absolutely have to write about the subject, please be especially careful to cite your sources. If the subject, say a character in a television show, is too limited to be given a full article, then integrate information about that character into a larger article. It is better to write a larger article about the television show or a fictional universe itself than to create all sorts of stubs about its characters that nobody can find. The most readable articles contain no irrelevant nor only loosely relevant information. While writing an article, you might find yourself digressing into a side subject. If you are wandering off-topic, consider placing the additional information into a different article, where it will fit more closely with that topic.
If you provide a link to the other article, readers who are interested in the side topic have the option of digging into it, but readers who are not interested will not be distracted by it. Pay attention to spelling , particularly of new page names. Articles with good spelling and proper grammar can help encourage further contributions of well-formed content. Proper spelling of an article name will also make it easier for other authors to link their articles to your article.
Sloppiness begets sloppiness, so always do your best. Avoid peacock terms that show off the subject of the article without containing any real information. Similarly, avoid weasel words that offer an opinion without really backing it up, and which are really used to express a non-neutral point of view. Believe in your subject. Let the facts speak for themselves. If your ice hockey player, canton , or species of beetle is worth the reader's time, it will come out through the facts.
However, in some cases for example, history of graphic design using superlative adjectives in the " Note that to use this type of superlative adjective format, the most reputable experts in the relevant field must support the claim. Avoid blanket terms unless you have verified them. For example, this article states that of the 18 Montgomery Counties in the United States, most are named after Richard Montgomery. This is a blanket statement. It may very well be true, but is it reliable? In this instance, the editor had done the research to verify this. Without the research, the statement should not be made. It is always a good idea to describe the research done and sign it on the article's talk page. If you wish to, or must refer to an opinion, first make sure someone who holds some standing in that subject gives it.
A view on former American President Gerald Ford from Henry Kissinger is more interesting for the reader than one from your teacher from school. Then say who holds the opinion being given, preferably with a source or a quote for it. Compare the following:. Sometimes the way around using these terms is to replace the statements with the facts that back them up. Instead of:. By sticking to concrete and factual information, we can avoid the need to give any opinion at all. Doing so also makes for writing that is much more interesting, for example:. Show, don't tell. The first example simply tells the reader that William Peckenridge was important. The second example shows the reader why he was important. When repeating established views, it may be easier to simply state: "Before Nicolaus Copernicus , most people thought the sun revolved round the earth", rather than sacrifice clarity with details and sources, particularly if the statement forms only a small part of your article.
However, in general, everything should be sourced , whether within the text, with a footnote, or with a general reference. Make omissions explicit when creating or editing an article. When writing an article, always aim for completeness. If for some reason you cannot cover a point that should be explained, make that omission explicit. You can do this either by leaving a note on the discussion page or by leaving HTML comments within the text and adding a notice to the bottom about the omissions. This has two purposes: it entices others to contribute, and it alerts non-experts that the article they are reading does not yet give the full story. That's why Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia—we work together to achieve what we could not achieve individually.
Every aspect that you cover means less work for someone else, plus you may cover something that someone else may not think of but which is nevertheless important to the subject. This example not only tells the reader that the subject was a mathematician, it also indicates her field of expertise and work she did outside of it. The years of her birth and death provide time context. The reader who goes no further in this article already knows when she lived, what work she did, and why she is notable. Wikipedia:Manual of Style biographies has more on the specific format for biography articles. This Manual of Style is a style guide containing This style guide , known as the Manual of Style , contains A trusted third party is an entity that facilitates interactions between two parties who both trust the third party.
In cryptography , a trusted third party is an entity that facilitates interactions between two parties who both trust the third party. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Explanatory supplement to the Wikipedia Manual of Style guideline. This is an explanatory supplement to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style guideline. This page is intended to provide additional information about concepts in the page s it supplements. This page is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines , as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. About Wikipedia Administration How to contribute Tutorial.
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See also: Wikipedia:Too long; didn't read. For the pending changes reviewer user rights, see Wikipedia:Reviewing pending changes. Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style linking. For the essay about over-citing obvious things, see Wikipedia:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue. See also: Help:Using colors. For the principle of least astonishment as applied to potentially offensive content, see WP:Offensive material least astonishment and wmf:Resolution:Controversial content. See also: Wikipedia:Verifiability. Main page: Wikipedia:Manual of Style writing about fiction. For information about the Topic namespace, see Wikipedia:Flow. Main page: Wikipedia:Spellchecking.
Number of characters is listed on the right under the Prose column. Not like this: An egg food is an ovum produced by We do not do one-liner entries here, and the lead section does not contain notes about whether something is a noun, etc. The purpose of an encyclopedic definition is not to just inform the reader of the basic meaning of term, but to explain the import of the subject contextually. If a reader leaves the article after reading only the lead section, they should come away with a deeper sense of the meaning than they would get from a dictionary entry. Starting an article Getting started Layout Visual structure of articles The perfect article A checklist of components Article development Suggested stages of an article Manual of Style Comprehensive style guide Writing better articles A collection of advice.
Wikipedia help pages. Reference desks? Advice for young editors Avoiding common mistakes Etiquette Simplified Manual of Style Simplified rule-set "Ignore all rules" "The rules are principles" Style-tips Tip of the day Your first article article wizard. Why create an account? Missing Manual Ask for help on your talk page? Wikipedia essays. Essays on building, editing, and deleting content. Articles must be written All Five Pillars are the same height Avoid vague introductions Be a reliable source Civil POV pushing Cohesion Competence is required Concede lost arguments Dissent is not disloyalty Don't lie Don't search for objections Editing Wikipedia is like visiting a foreign country Editors will sometimes be wrong Eight simple rules for editing our encyclopedia Explanationism External criticism of Wikipedia Here to build an encyclopedia Levels of competence Most ideas are bad Need Neutrality of sources Not editing because of Wikipedia restriction The one question Oversimplification Paradoxes Paraphrasing POV and OR from editors, sources, and fields Process is important Product, process, policy Purpose Reasonability rule Systemic bias There is no seniority Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia Tendentious editing The role of policies in collaborative anarchy The rules are principles Trifecta Wikipedia in brief Wikipedia is an encyclopedia Wikipedia is a community.
For example, parents should love their children is a widely-shared value. Backing or refuting that this value should apply to a specific parent in question might be the goal of an attorney in a criminal trial. Warrants are important because if your audience does not accept your warrant, they are not likely to accept your argument. Warrants can be questioned, which is why they often require backing. Support for the warrant.
It might take the form of a well-reasoned argument or sub-argument that directly strengthens the warrant. To strengthen your warrant, you might give additional evidence that shows that the causal relationship is not really just a simple correlation. Counterarguments to your claim. Situations where your claim does not hold true. This may also include your response to the counterargument. The degree of certainty in your argument.
Your argument may state that something is true percent of the time, most of the time, or just some of the time. Words used to moderate the strength of your argument include always , sometimes , usually , likely , loosely , etc. Schools should ban soda from their campuses to protect student health. Backing for Warrant 1: Studies show a high correlation between sugary drinks and obesity rates. Backing for Warrant 2: Schools try to provide for the well-being of students in many other ways, such as campus security and counseling for behavioral and mental health. Qualifier: Even though students would still have access to soda before and after school, banning soda from school campuses would reduce their overall consumption, which is an important contribution toward protecting their health and well-being.
It was created by British philosopher Stephen Toulmin and consists of the following six parts: Claim The argument being made, a statement that you want the audience to believe, accept, or act upon. Grounds The evidence that supports your claim. Warrant: The logic or assumptions that connect your evidence to the claim. Warrants are often left unstated and commonly take one of the following six forms: Warrant Based Generalization: What is true of the sample is likely true of the whole.