What is happening in the picture?

Where was the picture taken?

Who are the people?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  It is a random picture I found on the internet, but I can make some inferences from the picture. It is possible that the people are migrating as they have bags carrying their belongings.  The lack of vegetation indicates that this is a dry part of the world.  Together this evidence suggests that the picture could have been taken on the border between the USA and Mexico or in the Middle East.

In many questions in geography and the other humanities subjects, there is no correct answer.  This means we should use tentative language.  This is because the answer to many questions is not certain and people could have many different viewpoints on the issue.  Tentative language is often used in academic writing as things are open to discussion and debate.

Examples of tentative language

  • tends to…
  • appears to…
  • suggests that…
  • would seem to…
  • possible or possibly
  • probable or probably
  • likely
  • may or may be
  • might, might be or might have been
  • could be
  • could have been
  • would
  • would have been
  • appears
  • suggests
  • indicates

Tentative sentence starters

  • It appears that…
  • It seems that…
  • It may be the case that…
  • It points to…
  • It suggests that…
  • One might speculate that…
  • This indicates…
  • One is struck by…
  • It is worth wondering if…
  •  It leads one to question whether…
  • It is likely that…
  • It is unlikely that…
  • There is a possibility that….