This something: Clarify your “this”

Good academic writers value nothing if not clarity. To this end, every time you use a demonstrative pronoun (this, that, these, or those), use a word or a short phrase afterward to clarify what the demonstrative pronoun refers to.

Compare clarity in the following:

Not clarified

The income of middle class families has fallen over the last decade, compared to the decade before. This shows that the government should research the causes of this.

Clarified

The income of middle class families has fallen over the last decade, compared to the decade before. This decrease shows that the government should research the causes of this disparity.

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Shane Bryson

Shane finished his master's degree in English literature in 2013 and has been working as a writing tutor and editor since 2009. He began proofreading and editing essays with Scribbr in early summer, 2014.

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