The aim of this page is to describe ways to clarify text or request such clarification. There are inline cleanup tags to flag specific wording that is likely to be confusing to the average reader.
When you need to flag unclear text
It is always best to take care of something when you notice it, but that is not always possible. You can choose one of these templates that tag text with inline messages to request specific clarifications that you cannot provide yourself:
- ((Clarify)) to mark individual phrases or sentences
- ((Confusing)) to mark sections (or entire articles, though this is undesirable because it makes it unclear what exactly needs to be improved)
- ((Definition needed)) to mark a term as ambiguous or unclear and in need of a definition
- ((Examples)) to mark individual phrases or sentences which require examples for clarification
- ((Explain)) to mark individual phrases or sections which require further explanation for general (i.e. non-expert) readers
- ((Non sequitur)) to mark individual mentions of someone or something in an out-of-context way, the relevance of which is unclear
When using these templates, be specific: mark individual phrases, sentences, and sections in preference to entire articles. Also be sure to leave specific suggestions for improvement on the article's talk-page.
The templates' pages will almost always have additional documentation on usage and parameters. If not, you can leave a message on the template's talk page requesting such information be added.
How to mark articles for clarification
- To ask for clarification for a particular phrase or sentence, simply type ((clarify)) or ((what)) (after the phrase or sentence) to display a superscripted tag (the tag will link here):
- This is a confusing sentence, which needs readers to apply much energy and time in order to understand the implicit meanings behind it, and needs to be clarified/rewritten.
- To ask for further explanation of a point made in a particular phrase or sentence, simply type ((explain)) or ((elucidate)) (after the phrase or sentence) to display a superscripted tag (the tag will link here):
- This sentence contains unexplained jargon.
- To ask for clarification for a particular section, simply type
((Confusing|section)) at the top of the section, to generate the following tag-box:
- then update the article's talk page with specific aspects to be improved.
- To ask for clarification for an entire article, consider first whether it would be more productive to tag individual phrases, sentences, or sections with ((clarify)). If you cannot identify specific parts of the article that need clarification, write what aspects of the article you believe need clarification on the article's talk page before tagging the entire article with ((confusing)).
There are some common situations where use of a more specific clarification template might make the desired clarification clearer. A common case is an article citing a scientific measurement without indicating how the measurement was taken. For example, the following statement about solar intensity at the earth's surface without specifying the sun's elevation could be annotated with the following tag:
- The following tag links to a Wikipedia project to clear bias based on the source of the information:
- "The sun's intensity is 90 watts per square meter."