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These are some great essays that I will guide other editors to read if I believe it will help them.

Put yourself in the enemy's shoes[edit]

Writing for the opponent is the process of explaining another person's point of view as clearly and fairly as you can, similar to devil's advocate. The intent is to satisfy the adherents and advocates of that perspective that you understand their claims and arguments.

It's a great way to end an argument in real life, and it can often halt an edit war in an instant. It also can result in you having a greater understanding of the opponent's position, and ideally not viewing them as an "opponent" or even "enemy" anymore, but rather just an individual with different assumptions about the world.

Writing for the opponent is also the process of editing an article from the perspective of a viewpoint opposed to your own. By doing so, you can sharpen and apply your NPOV editing skills.

For example it is possible to explain Nikita Khrushchev's view of the USA, without either agreeing or disagreeing with it. Likewise, it is possible to explain why certain individuals did terrible things, without either endorsing them or adding one's own proofs that they were evil or wrong. The expression therefore means the ability to communicate another viewpoint without any elaboration.

Note that writing for the opponent does not necessarily mean one believes the opposite of opponents' POV. The writer may be unsure what position he wants to take, or simply have no opinion on the matter. What matters is that you try to "walk a mile in their shoes" and on this occasion, not judge them.

Writing for the opponent contributes to the neutral point of view of Wikipedia. Wikipedians do not need to "sacrifice" their own viewpoints but simply to acknowledge that another viewpoint than their own may be possible:

  • "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." —Aristotle
  • It is the mark of good editors to be able to understand and present various POV, including those they find distasteful.
Source: Wikipedia:Writing for the opponent