Unbiased language

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Unbiased language

  1. 1. Unbiased Language “Nothing reveals ignorance and prejudice more quickly than people’s spoken and written language.” (CWR)
  2. 2. Recognizing Stereotypes Stereotypes are a part of everyday culture.  Are all stereotypes bad? Edit your writing to avoid stereotypes.  Generalized references about gender, age, race, ethnicity, and sexual preference should be eliminated.  Like most teenage drivers, he was reckless.  Like so many of his race, Michael Jordan is a superb athlete.  Frank Peters, now in his late seventies but still alert, remembers the winter of 1942.
  3. 3. Recognizing Stereotypes Also avoid pronoun assumptions.  The medical doctor is an important figure in many communities because he is the first line of defense in stopping flu outbreaks. Avoid clichés.  It was a little, podunk farming community.  Trailer trash moved in next door. When can you use a stereotype?  What if it’s a nice one?  What if the piece of writing calls for it?
  4. 4. Group Labels Use the name the group chooses for itself. Check current practice as they can and do change. Use person centered language  A child who is quadriplegic vs. a quadriplegic Gender:  Women—not ladies or girls Sexual Orientation:  Heterosexual (don’t use “normal”)  Homosexual  Bisexual and transgendered
  5. 5. Group Labels Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, Religion  African American  Asian American  Hispanics, Latino, or Chicano  Native American or specific tribe/nation  Muslim, Buddhist Age  Use senior citizen  Use specific age
  6. 6. Non-sexist Language Pronoun reference (covered previously) Universal terms:  Humanity, the human race, people vs. mankind Occupational terms (focus on occupation, not gender):  Waiter/waitress—server  Policeman—police officer  Salesman—sales person or representative  Congressman—representative
  7. 7. Non-biased Language (Word Choice)While you do want a logos appeal (of sorts) in your paper, make sure you do it with unbiased, objective wording. Take for example the sentence: "We must stop the senseless slaughter of cucumbers for the vanity of consumers" (Tomlinson 3).While it certainly is an appeal (no pun intended:) to the readers emotions, it also shows a direct bias on the part of the author--senseless? slaughter? vanity?--all imply a negative stance. Using a stat from an expert would be better.
  8. 8. Non-biased Language (Word Choice)—part 2"30 million cucumbers a year are extruded, peeled, and cored everyyear for use in the consumers pursuit of a more youthful appearance"("Cukes are vegetables, too" 6a).Okay--thats better, weve got a stat. However, the verbs "extruded, peeled and cored" are almost violent, and the "pursuit" is almost scorned by the stat provider. Notice that the writer has gone from the first person "we" in the first example to using the third person in the second example; this also serves to de-escalate the emotions. Could we do better? A more objective stat might work."The cosmetics industry processes 30 million cucumbers each year“(National Board of Vegetables Annual Report 15).
  9. 9. Non-biased Language (Word Choice)—part 3"The cosmetics industry processes 30 million cucumbers each year“(National Board of Vegetables Annual Report 15).Okay, so now were completely unbiased--and completely boring you might say:) The following sentence should be the example of how that stat affects the reader--this is where your thinking comes into play. You can create a fictional character for an example. (Melinda will use over 2000 cucumbers in her lifetime, and no research to date has proven cucumber scrubs to benefit the user). If you want to see how to do this well--look at a couple of the example papers in doc sharing--the nutrition contradiction and the perfectionism paper are great!Lastly, for more info on word choice, take a gander at this website:http://www.criticalreading.com/choice_of_language.htm
  10. 10. Non-biased Language (Word Choice)—part 3"The cosmetics industry processes 30 million cucumbers each year“(National Board of Vegetables Annual Report 15).Okay, so now were completely unbiased--and completely boring you might say:) The following sentence should be the example of how that stat affects the reader--this is where your thinking comes into play. You can create a fictional character for an example. (Melinda will use over 2000 cucumbers in her lifetime, and no research to date has proven cucumber scrubs to benefit the user). If you want to see how to do this well--look at a couple of the example papers in doc sharing--the nutrition contradiction and the perfectionism paper are great!Lastly, for more info on word choice, take a gander at this website:http://www.criticalreading.com/choice_of_language.htm

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