Conservapedia:Sloppy writing

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This a proposal to improve Conservapedia or its policies and guidelines. It is not official, and does not have wide acceptance. Please regard it as tentative and formative.

Sloppy writing has no place in an encyclopedia. Articles should be well written, and even discussions about improving articles require a certain level of academic rigor. (Debates are okay, but should be conducted on the pages of our Debate Topics.) Sloppy writing includes referring to something, but not describing it. This is especially bad in an introductory sentence or paragraph. A typical instance (from an Amazon book review):

It mentions how civilizations, species, indigenous people and cultures are being destroyed by greed and materialism, by most of us ...

The phrase "mentions how" promises to give specific examples of this destruction. But the writer has used the phrase merely as a synonym for "makes the claim". This is a misuse of language, and it's a common rhetorical device used in debates and polemics. It has no place in an encyclopedia.

When we allude to things that illustrate a point, we must mention at least one of those things. Otherwise, it's better to retreat a bit and merely state that X claimed Y.

If we say that X showed that Y is true, we are duty bound to explain, summarize or even quote verbatim the argument X gave.

If an advocate makes a point without giving arguments or examples, it may be wise to point out this fact. For instance, when criticizing the Patriot Act, opponents generally say that it will "violate civil rights" but they do not mention which civil rights they mean. This is about as useful as calling a bill "stupid".

If politicians oppose or support a measure without giving a reason, it's better to lump them together as a voting bloc and simply report the number who are pro and con, e.g., a bill in Congress might pass 65-30 in the Senate and 230-200 in the House.

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