This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are notWikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
This page in a nutshell: Take the time to read and understand a policy or guideline before you try to use it.
Often, editors cite policies, guidelines, or essays in discussions based on their titles, or even just their shortcuts. Most of the time, these match the meaning of the page, so doing so is harmless. However, especially with the more complicated guidelines, simply reading the acronym or title is not enough to understand it. Editors citing these often trip up, using them in incorrect or irrelevant situations. This not only reflects badly on the user and their arguments (no matter how valid they are), but it can also confuse new editors or even established ones.