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How to Avoid Bias in Your Writing, Part 1: Using Affirming and Inclusive Language
May 7, 2021
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>> According to my phone it is now the top of the hour I will get it started. Thank you for joining us again my name is Kacy Walz a writing instructor for the writing center. I love hearing where everybody is from in the Chabad for sharing. Not being able to travel alike to see where everybody is participating from. Just to get started, Michael if you could move us to the housekeeping slide.
We just have a few little background pieces of information to share with you. So I already received a question in a chat about the slide PDF and a certificate of participation. We will put both of those in the chat. The certificate will come in the checkbox at the end of the presentation.
You can put a connection so you can download the slide in there as well. So we will have access to all of the information, I really recommend that you download the PDF. It has a lot of active links with other great information that you won't hear from Michael today. So it's really great resource to hold onto. Again my name is Kacy Walz I will close this webinar with Anne Shiell and your presenters Michael Dusek.
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Thank you again for joining us, with that I will hand it over to our present Michael Dusek.
>> Awesome, thank you for that great introduction Kacy, I appreciate it. Just one practical thing before we get going, for those of use using the inner tote feature if you could avoid doing that that be awesome. Because those marks left on the slides. It can be distracting. If you could avoid doing that that be great. Again, welcome this webinar is entitled how to avoid bias in your writing part one.
What we are focusing on is using affirming and inclusive language. Were looking how to bring that into writing and avoid bias by using that type of language. Before we get going a couple of disclaimers here. First, the idea of bias language and using intentional language to refer to different identities.
It is, it can be kind of intimidating topic for people to approach. Especially if you are not used to doing this. Full disclosure, I am myself and putting together and rehearsing the content of this webinar, at times I felt a little intimidated by some of the stuff.
I think the real important thing to remember here is that we are all learning. We are all working to use affirming and inclusive language in our writing. Maybe even more broadly in our daily lives. Sometimes, you can do something wrong, and you are corrected and that is an opportunity for you to learn and to grow.
So that is how I want to approach this content. If some of the stuff that I am talking about is new to you, or is a little bit intimidating and scary, that is totally okay. Again, I would encourage you to a process as a learning opportunity.
Yes, we will looking at ABA sevens bias free language guideline. These can be defined in chapter five of the APA manual. So that is warily where this is being drawn from. Principles, we will break down these principles by topic. We will look at an overview of some of these larger guidelines for avoiding bias language. We will look at some of the common issues as we as writing instructors find in student writing.
We will answer some questions, then we will practice identifying bias language and being able to recognize that in the writing of others.
We are going to look at some particular identities and some of the individual characteristics of using bias free language here. Specifically, racial and ethnic identities, and how to use bias free language when referring to those.
Look at using bias free language when referring to with individuals with disabilities, or different gender identities, different sexual orientations social economic status, and we will look at age. And then also this last bullet point looking at intersection Allie and how multiple identities can inform a person's eye individual identity.
Weatherby sexual orientation combined with their disability identity and how these can combine to conform this intersection of identity for that individual. Again if this is new to you and seems intimidating that is totally okay we will talk through the stuff my hope is that you leave with a better understanding of how to avoid bias and use bias free language in your writing. We will offer Rees' offer resources to help you as you leave this webinar. That you can refer back to and refresh yourself when you find yourself encountering situations with bias relinquishing necessary.
We will open it up at the end for a little bit of Q&A so you can get specific questions in that you might've answered there. Yes, bias free language, is general approaches. Before we get into this, I want to talk just for a second about why this is important. What this brings to your writing. Joy in using bias free language story avoiding bias in your writing, it is twofold. It has a complete benefit to you. You never want to alienate your reader. You want never want to put your reader off. You want the reader to be focused on the quality of your argument rather than some of the language features that you using to describe.
Better said, you want the reader to be more concerned with the quality of the argument that you are putting forth, rather than the language that you used to do so. Okay, so in doing that and using bias free language, it allows the reader to stay in your argument, and fully engage with the points that you are making there.
That is one reason why using bias free language is important. The other reason, this is probably even more so, when you use bias language in your writing, and the reader recognizes that, it really calls everything that you're doing into question. It has a way of coloring or tainting your argument as a whole.
So if the reader comes across your work and they see bias being displayed in the language that you're using. It calls a lot into question. So, just really be cognizant of that. It also builds your credibility as an author. Have a more credible to the reader. We want the reader to take our arguments as credible.
Sold to look at some of these general approaches and guidelines for using bias free language, it's an overarching ethos here. This heading I think is an important one. Proactive inclusion, instead of passive respect. What the ATA really meant by this. When looking at this phrase, it is less about following specific guidelines based on the manual. It is more about being proactively working against exclusion through your language.
It is not enough to be passive respect. Where you are switching one word for another based on my guideline in the APA manual. That is good, but what the APA want you to do is be proactive in this. Engage in these conversations and surrounding some of the identities that you are dealing with.
This is also acknowledging what we are doing, it takes effort. You have to be proactive in recognizing some of the nuances and the intersection Allie of these situations. When you are describing these identities. The reason why talk about this is the APA want you to engage in these conversations, rather than just kind of passively picking out a few changes that you need to make it right. So that is kind of the overarching vetoes for this as we approach bias free language in terms of general comments.
As you look at these general guidelines, first you want to prioritize people's humanity. We are using adjective forms, or descriptive noun phrases. So really we want to change labels, what we are describing different identities. We want to choose labels with sensitivity. Ensuring the individuality and the man of the of a person.
So a couple of examples that I picked out, you probably don't want to use language to refer to a group like the poor. For the depressive people with the depressants. You want to use this people first language. So instead of saying the poor, you would say something like people living in poverty. That way we are acknowledging the humanity of that group and of that individual there.
Instead of saying, depressive, you would say something like individuals with depression or individuals suffering from depression.
Again, acknowledging a person's phone humanity as being the central aspect rather than being defined by something else. That is the first one that is really essential. You will see that notion of people first saw him in the first language throughout the second general guideline is to focus on specificity and relevance. So you want to be as specific as you can and APA in academic Riding in general. This also applies when you are referring to specific groups for ethnicities. Specific identities that are sent. So, you want to in these examples, use the nation or region of origin rather than this kind of generalized subtype location. The example that I came up for periods instead of saying North American. You want to be more specific.
You want to say exactly what you are referring to. So example would be Canadian, that would be more specific part of North America. Whenever you can be more specific, it is to your benefit to do so. This also includes 20 using bias free language. It is a good technique, to use without bringing bias into your writing. The other part of this bullet point is the notion of relevance. Although it is possible to describe many different identities that a person may have. You can talk about a person's age, disability status, gender identity, participation in research or rethink an edge identity.
I could go on and on about the number identities of a person. He should only be used if you're writing a very relevant. I don't need to talk about a person's age, if I am describing their research about chemical synthesis right? That is not relevant information. It is important also when looking at how to avoid bias in your writing, think about is my descriptor here relevant? Do I need to include this aspect of this person identity? Can that be omitted? Is it relevant?
>> It is important to keep that in mind. Be sensitive to labels. Where the rubber meets the road, here is you need to call people what they prefer to be called. Just simply point. Where this is a little more challenging at times is that these labels change over time. This is really based on historical aspects. We will talk about this more as we move on. These labels may change over time. You need to be aware of that, you have to come to be current on that.
Has a researcher, it is incumbent upon you to be proactive. And be informed about these changes when you are referring to a specific identity and using labels to refer to that identity. In a way this is part of your due diligence as a researcher. To make sure that you are using the correct and up to date labels.
As we move on in the presentation if you aren't sure about that, how you can find an appropriate label to used to refer to a spiffy entity. Provide operational definitions for your labels. This is again about specificity and telling the reader exactly what you mean. For example that I have here is if you're looking at say if you're describing two groups in the research that you have done, and you label these two groups high verbal envelope.
Keys are distinctions that you are drawing within your research. To refer to these two groups is important to let the reader know what you mean by that. Two of the participants that scored lower are going to be referred to as the lower group and then those who scored above the X score are to be referred to as a high verbal group. It is about being specific and let the reader know what you mean.
Offering a definition of the label that you lose using can kind of clear that up for the reader. It can make it less biased especially when you were using words like low and high. Offering this definition breaks up this by an area between good and bad. You are explaining exactly what you mean to the reader. By the labels that you are using. It is important to users as well.
Lastly, take care with ordering and descriptions of groups to avoid false hierarchies. Alright so, some of you might not be familiar with this term. A false hierarchy occurs when the author uses one group usually the group that they belong to. As the standard against which others are judged. What this does is it creates a kind of a stigmatized difference. It is normal versus abnormal binary, where everything is compared to what is thought of it air quotes normal.
So this is what is referred to as a false hierarchy. It is a hierarchy that is not actually there. You are just setting up a comparison that stigmatizes difference. So again, be cognizant of when this may be appearing in your writing. Avoid doing that.
Before we move on, it is a kind of general approaches and guidelines that the APA talks about when they talk about avoiding bias language. I think this is a great place to start.
We always want to be proactive, we want to be engaging in this kind of conversation. in combating exclusive language within our writing. From there let's take a look at some of these topics and these different kind of identity categories or topics if you will. We will talk about how these can be treated suddenly differently and talk about some of the examples issues we see an astute student writing related to these topics.
To begin with we will talk about racial and ethnic identity and how to avoid bias free language when you refer to racial and I ethnic identity groups.
Again as I mentioned on the previous line terms change over time. Because of that group preference for all because of negative connotation and legacy of negative connotation. A label for one group that was perfectly appropriate 50 years ago, often times is not still appropriate today. Because of those legacies and added negative connotation. When referring to racial or ethnic group, you need to be cognizant that the terms of change over time. And you as the researcher need to find the most up-to-date way to refer to that identity. This next bullet point that we are drawing at a distinction between race and ethnicity.
Race will be the physical difference that has social significance. Which is distinct from ethnicity which is a shared culture like language or cultural practices. So these two things are subtly different. It is important to keep in mind that that is the case and to think about how that may play out woman forward to this. Specificity of origin is something is preferred when referring to Marie Chilton ethnic identities. With distinction around Americans.
Here is an example, saying Korean-American and referring to Korean is referred to a completely identity those are two distinct identities. Again it is important to recognize the nuance there that using the word like Korean first two that specific identity which refers to a different identity.
Then again guidance to continue from the last lives, you need to get some tiredness on currency a preferred and out in terms of different groups. Go to a group that is engaging in advocacy for this specific identity.
That will be a good place to find this preferred language to use when referring to that identity. Seek out and be proactive and seek out guidance and support for their preferred terminology. For language, parallel comparisons preferred avoid naming or other things.
This is like when we talked about false hierarchies. And how to avoid them. You do not want to set up when you are talking about identities or talking about them in your research. You won't don't want to refer to them as one is the Stanley and the others together. We are trying to remove that bias IN every from that formal writing. It is important to think about that and try to remove that. The care with collective terms for nonwhite racial and ethnic groups. Be intentional about the language that you use referring to these ethnic groups.
You also want to avoid the term minorities and avoid assumptions about social economic status. We talk about this a little but more the next light. The word minorities is really, it is really fraught with other trappings and other ideas that come along with this. It can be kind of a problematic word to use. It implies it can apply something of a person's socioeconomic status. Which is completely separate from the racial and ethnic identity. So you want to be careful using the term minority, because it has a connotation and both of those realms. In both of the racial and ident the ground in the socioeconomic realm.
These two things may not or are not inherently connected. So be careful when you use that type of language.
Okay a few issues we see in student writing referred to racial and ethnic identity. First we encounter instances of non- parallel language. For example, it is using the phrase African-American and the word white to refer to ethnic identities. These are not parallel. The African-American parallel to that would be European American. Be cognizant of the language that you're using that is parallel you will comparing to like things. We also see students referring to groups in noun form based on characteristics.
Here again we encounter this idea that we need to use people first language and respect as person's individuality and humanity. So instead of saying Hispanic youth say something like Hispanic participant.
Again, prioritizing the humanity of this group. On specific racial categories. You too encounter that sometimes, where the student deemed to be more specific where they're referring to. In accurate use of the term minority, also uses goal for socioeconomic status. As we are looking at and avoiding bias and bias free language. The term minority is not a good one. I would say be extremely intentional in using that your writing.
As you might kind of guess we do run into some outdated terminology. And you know that is a teaching moment. That is an opportunity for growth and to learn. But we do encounter that sometimes.
Okay so here would be an anticipated question. Is Caucasian, inappropriate term to use instead of white? The answer here is as follows. APA discourage the use of Caucasian as an alternative to white or European. Because of its racist origins. Instead, APA uses white, and black as parallel terms. When possible the APA recommends being specific about regional or national origin. An example would be Scandinavian or Swedish.
The word Caucasian is something that is discouraged in APA style. Instead, APA want you to be as specific as possible. So using black or Scandinavian or Swedish these would be again more specific way to refer to a group that you made into as Caucasian.
Alright, let's take a second and let's look at these examples and what I am looking for you to do is to select the best option for affirmative and inclusive language for these two. Please launch the poll here we go. He would go and take a look at these two options for affirmative and inclusive language. The options are as follows I prefer to study school for underprivileged minority students. Or I prefer to study underfunded schools with majority black populations. I will go on differs I can go ahead and use the questionnaire here and chime in and tell me what you feel comfortable doing.
Okay I see this awesome participation I will give those who have participated but would like to another 30 seconds to do so. So if you feel comfortable putting your vote in here, go ahead and do so in the next 30 seconds. Okay it looks like we have gotten a majority of people to participate. That is awesome thank you for doing so.
It looks like about 78% of you thought that second option would be the better option here. That is actually the case, we are doing here is looking at the first sentence here you're looking at the term minority as I mentioned in my discussion that is a pretty loaded term. Informative and inclusive language purposes. Using something like majority black populations would be a more inclusive and affirmative way to that.
So yes, you guys were right on the ball there thanks for your participation. To move on then, let's talk about disability and using bias language to people with disability identities.
This is complexities of the person 1st and identity language or allowing for both. So if we are looking to the sum person first the assumption is emphasized rather than simply peers or something like a person who is blind. Again a person the idea here is being this individual being defined by their disability. They are an individual with a disability. That is different right?
You could also use identity first language here. The disability is the focus, which allows a person to claim the disability and choose their own identity. So, saying something like blind person, would be appropriate in this case. Again you can see there is a humanity of prioritizing a person's humidity here. That is a central tennant in APA style.
To continue on, you really want to defer to group and individual preference. This is one of our general guidelines here as well. You want to always prefer to people as they wish to be referred to. Be sensitive to these labels was the bullet point from the first lie. So again defer to a group or individual preference, expressed preference of people with disabilities regarding identification stupidities matter of style.
Yes even if stylistically using this preferred language to refer to this disability identity doesn't fit within APA guidelines or isn't stipulated in APA guidelines or even if it goes against the APA manual says, there is group and individual preference that supersedes that.
That takes precedence to anything that you read the APA manual. Again, being sensitive to labels that a person would choose. You want to avoid condescending euphemisms referring to people with disability identities.
For example like special needs is one that you may hear from time to time. This is condescending. So you want to avoid that kind of language. As well as terms that could be used as slurs.
Yes so, yeah. Three so common issues we see in student writing but this is not investing groups language preferences. As I mentioned a couple times it's really incumbent upon you as a researcher to do that leg. To investigate what a specific disability identity you would like to be referred to as a use that language in your academic writing. That is part of being a diligent researcher. But we do see students who sometimes don't go that extra step. I am here to tell you to go that extra step. It is important that you do show so you can refer to the populations that you are researching or referring to the way that they would prefer it.
Also sometimes you see students assumptions of language they privilege able-bodied is. So again this should be a case where you're setting up this fall's hierarchy of normal versus abnormal. Again we want to avoid that in our APA and in academic writing more broadly.
Here is a common question some groups of people prefer people first language, while others prefer identity first language. How do I know which one to use? That's a great question. Different identities to different things. So how do I know? APA encourages writers to consult self advocacy groups and people within the communities for guidance. When that is impossible writers can use either approach or mix approaches.
So really what the APA saying here is, if you are unsure whether to use people first language or deadly first language, go to someone who identifies as part of this particular group or is all that identity. Asked them, or look at an advocacy group and see what language they use and make that and put that into writing and use it yourself. Do not make assumptions here. The best thing to do according to the APA is to go to the source and to ask people how they like to be referred to.
Okay in the second practice, I am looking for the best option of affirmative and inclusive language. What is the best option number one, one of my clients is brain-damaged. Option number two, is of my clients had a traumatic brain is. Option number three. One of my clients had special needs.
Take a minute and go ahead and use the pool to identify which option is the best option for using affirmative and inclusively was.
Okay awesome thank you for participating for those who felt comfortable doing so. Overwhelmingly, this second choice, was voted in the poll to be the best option for inclusive language. That is the correct answer. Use of the word brain damage is not inclusive for people first language. You were not acknowledging humanity you know prioritizing the community of people in the first option. Option number three, I cautioned against using the word special needs to refer to individuals with disabilities. It can be thought of somewhat condescending.
So definitely be careful with how you use that particular phrase. In this case one of my clients had a traumatic brain injury would be the best example of inclusive language. Because we are acknowledging and prioritizing this person's humanity. We are also being specific, where we are not using an outdated term like brain damage would be.
You are instead using a specific and medical term which is in line with the guidelines that we looked at the beginning of the presentation. So yes, great job there and thank you for participating. If you're going to move on to talk about gender.
Also gender identity, distinguishes the social identity or construct of gender biological, encouraging clarity around both. So gender and are two different things. Gender being their own identity as a in terms of gender. Where's the are your biological markers that you are born with. U.S. at birth. That is more of your biological.
People need to remember that these are two different things. You really want to avoid mixing one with the other. Introduces concept of non- binary gender, since gender, and transgender, discouraging dated, disparaging and binary labels. So this is something that is kind of expanding in today's culture and broadly. It is continuing to expand.
So, he cognizant of different gender identities and as always, to your due diligence to find out how that particular idea gender identity prefer to be perverted. And avoid using outdated and disparaging labels. You want to avoid generalizing with the mail forms. For example like mankind.
You can see the nuanced and subtle reference there of the mail for mankind. Instead you can say of humankind. To include all individuals.
Continue on this then, refer to people by names and pronouns that they used to refer to themselves. So again, this gets back to the concept of you know, prefer to people as they wait wish to be referred to. This general principle of being sensitive to persons labels and doing your research that you know only what was appropriate to use. Identify and self identify pronouns or just pronouns, saying identified towards self identify pronouns is preferable then saying per pronouns when it comes to discussing someone's gender identity. When does discussing their agenda identity say prefer pronouns has the implication for it implies that this is a person choice?
They choose to be one gender identity or another. And, that is not the case. It is not how these identities are to be thought of. So using the app per pronouns, it is a little problematic and it should be avoided. It also comes up to here with the use of the word they. When it is indicated as a pronoun or gender is unknown. So if you are not sure about since gender identity, it is appropriate to use the eight to refer to that person. This is about doing your research, and finding out if what the identity is before using a gender pronoun and it is the responsible thing to do as well.
Common student issues around gender identity that we see is nonparallel language. Students referring to men and males women being one term on the parallel for being men. So using parallel language are females and men is nonparallel. Females and male would be parallel language. So just you know language like that in combining terms is an important aspect that we have seen all of these topics here.
We also see's students defaulting to heat pronouns when referring to hypothetical people. So when you're setting up a hypothetical and the writing, we see students referring to people as he, which is a gender thing. So we want to avoid doing that as well. Defaulting to stereo typical genders, for example when using the pronoun she went discussing nursing. As this might be thought of as a stereotypical application of that gender pronoun. So you want to avoid doing that as well. Terms with inherent gender bias. In terms like firemen and set a fire fighter. We also see students using binary labels like the opposite.
When we are dealing in more complex nuance world of gender identity, there isn't one or the other. It is not binary. So using terminology like doubts is not.
Okay another hypothetical question here. Do I have to use the singular they? So this is from the APA style blog. If you are you writing about a person who uses they, as their pronoun, then yes, you have to use it. Respectful and inclusive language is important. As part of APA style. If you are writing about a generic person, you should use a singular they if your sentence can lose a pronoun. If you are not using that person's name instead of using a pronoun to refer to them. It is appropriate and you should use day to refer to the person.
Okay let's do another practice here launches the poll again. We are looking for the best option for an affirmative and inclusive language. Option number one, the group of five females and five males. The group of five women and five men. Option number three, the group had five females and five men. Go ahead and let me know which one of those is going to be the most inclusive.
Either the first answer (“five females and five males”) or the second answer (“five women and five men” could be acceptable, depending on the context of your writing. APA guidance is to generally avoid using “male” and “female” as nouns, which would make the second answer (“five women and five men”) the best choice. However, there may be times when writers may need to use “male” and “female” as nouns, such as in a study with a broad age range of participants. Writers want to be mindful about whether they are writing about gender identities (“woman,” “man”) or about biological sex assignment (“female,” “male”).
I see, I see they brought the sea, seer, and Sam. Do a little research on that.
Two sexual orientation defined sexually cases a person's sexual and emotional attraction to another person and the behavior and/or social affiliation that may result from this attraction. It really has to do with what a person is attracted to and their social affiliation based on their behavior and associate affiliation based on attraction.
This term is preferable to sexual preference or sexual identity as the orientation itself is not a choice. Again we are getting into some of those nuance languages that refers to a group or situation in the way that they would like to be referred to him. Always be cognizant of that.
Avoid birds from homosexual or homosexuality which isn't inclusive, and which has been associated with negative assumptions and stereotypes historically.
Right so again this might be something that is changed in recent history. But it is something that is to be aware of in your academic writing.
To continue here, on guidance of specific and umbrella terms based on current norms. That is again due diligence as a researcher. Find advocacy group or someone of the sexual orientation that you are referring to and make sure and get some guidance as to how to refer to that individual to that identity. Four orientation process usually.
Again is important to remember sexual orientation is not binary is not directly related to a person's gender or. So these are separate things. Sexual orientation is different from a person gender. It can also be addition from a person's biological. As researchers and academics is important to think of these three things as separate, and treat them as such. To recognize that one does not determine the other. As we move forward in the next 2 minutes, we will think about intersection Alley and how this might influence one another. One does not determine another. People’s identity does not determine the sexual orientation.
Categories that are assumed as binary or heterosexual identity we do encounter that in student writing. That is something that should be avoided. For the sake of time I will skip over this anticipated question. But for those of you downloaded slides take a look at this it has great information and changing language to use around sexual orientation and can be really useful to take a look at that. We are actually going to jump to this practice too. In the interest of time. Okay so stucco socioeconomic status.
Income, education, occupational proceeds in this socially given notion of what is a prestigious job. And other elements of social status and class. So we're talking about status in class. Be specific here, this is another one of our general principles. Be specific when referring to high and low income individuals. Which is contextual. Avoid negative, coded or generalized terms. Yes, using the phrase like inner-city that is a super loaded term. I really encourage you to avoid using that. It's not just a geographical place it brings up notions of social economic status that is negative and not necessarily true.
You are being too general and being biased. Uses strength -based instead of a deficit -based language. Instead of seeing people without a college education that would be deficit -based language, you would say people with a high school education. Although that is subtle and nuanced, you are using strength -based language is that a deficit -based language in a way of being more inclusive in avoiding bias more effectively.
As I mentioned on the previous side you really need to avoid conflating social economic status with race and ethnicity. A person's racial and ethnic identity is different from socioeconomic status the need to be treated that way. A common issue we see is using terms that can convey judgment attitudes or pejorative connotations regarding socioeconomic status. Using a ward like before a poorly educated, or single parenthood, using judge mental attitudes and bring this into your writing will show the reader that you are bias and let make them less likely to believe what you say. It will affect your credibility negatively as an academic.
Just this one sure. Hypothetical question here, what if I'm using a source that uses outdated or offensive language? That's a great question so if you're using a source and that using language that is no longer appropriate or thought of as inclusive. You want to avoid quoting the source and paraphrase instead. That's an elegant solution. Put it in your own words which includes inclusive language.
That will allow you to use inclusive and affirmative language if it is necessary to use the sources language, include a statement in your writing that can help acknowledge the problematic language to the readers. If you have the user quote acknowledge that. Acknowledge to the reader that this is problematic language. But the best way would be the elegant solution where I will paraphrase this passage, and use language that is appropriate for today.
'S all right and here's our fifth practice we will do this when we get a few minutes. I compliment here. We are looking for the best option for affirmative and inclusive action. Option number one, and my job at work with the homeless. Option number two in my job, I work with people who are homeless. An option number three is I work with people who are experiencing housing insecurity. Take about 30 seconds once the poll gets to 45 seconds we will move on.
All right awesome, so you guys are pretty on top of this. The third option would be the most inclusive language. Instead of saying homeless we are experiencing housing insecurity. Homeless is a loaded phrase. It brings in a lot of other connotations that aren't necessarily inclusive. Although the second option is using people first language and is prioritizing a person's humanity. The best option would be option number three here. Let's talk a bit about age. Gender and terms by age. So one thing that we want to avoid. Let me start over when referring to age is appropriate to refer to different stages of life. Child or adolescent versus adult.
Use age-appropriate words and as such is boy or man instead of male. Be specific it is an overarching theme. Included cyst gender, transgender, or non- binary descriptions as needed. So as you are referring to specific individuals, that is part of another identity, that is needed include that. It goes back to that idea of relevance. Is it relevant to include that information there? That's up to you as a reader keep that as a manager working towards this.
You really want to work to have clarity on old rebels. Avoid such terms as seniors or the elderly. These are too broad in general. Turns beginning with Holder are accepted like older adults or older patients are preferable. When ever possible be specific include specific age ranges or averages when possible. Avoid conflating old age with older individuals with infirmity or disease or disorder.
These two things aren't necessarily connected. Older individuals can be very healthy and vibrant. Some do not assume or in your language in your writing conflates being ended Vance age with being infirm or anything like that.
I will post to this one in the interest of time, we will do this one practice, however. Again, we are looking for the best affirmative and if inclusive language here. You have three options. The researchers studied adolescents, the researchers studied adolescents aged 13-17, or the researchers studied adolescents under the age of 18 what is the best options?
Okay it looks like he has on top of us went to the best option is option number two. The researchers studied adolescents aged 13-17. They were using specific words to refer to the group which is adolescents and the age range of the people they were referring to here.
This is about being as specific as possible which is one of the overarching guidelines in avoiding bias. Okay well one more section here, before we get to offering some resources. This notion of intersection alley.
The APA to find this is this way the way that individuals are shaped by and identify with a vast array of cultural, structural, sociobiological, economic and social context. So it is the way that the site different identities can come together. And how these individuals can be shaped by multiple things. Which is pretty critical.
Is a new section in the APA, so those of you are interested in reading the manual. I can hear all's view saying me, me, me. You can check it out is pretty interesting reading. In a study, writers should identify individuals’ characteristics and group memberships and describe how these intersect in ways that are relevant.
So here again we are talking about relevance including that if that is important these intersections of these at different identities. If that is again relevant in your writing. I think will go through this practice so we can get to the resources before you get to time. I apologize for falling behind. Yes, I think this would be better spent looking at resources here. Okay so some action steps that you can take for reducing and eliminating bias in your writing.
Number one, understand and reflect on your own bias implicit and explicit. So the reality is that we all come from different backgrounds and different cultural backgrounds. We all bring something of our own individual bias to the table. So being open and reflecting about that in reflecting on to say about that can be a really good way for you to start eliminating or reducing bias. Be aware of the general APA guidelines so you can refer to Chapter five in the APA manual as needed. To help you with that.
Practice proactive language generally. So try this stuff on maybe in your daily life or in writing assignments. Get some practice using this type of language. Prioritize people over style. Yes this people first notion. Do the work when writing about a group or people, reserved to the preferences when possible. Do the legwork care. You should know how a group needs to refer to. If needed explain language and choice in your writing. Explain to the reason why you did that and give them your rationale just like you used one term over another. Why use one bit of language over another. Two okay to these resources, a good place is thought would be the avoiding bias webpage. That's offered to the writing Center. That's a good jump off.there. We have a blog post about inclusive in academic writing and APA using the singular they. This is something the students may not be super familiar with this is a good blog post. Then there is inclusive language policy in announcement you can check out that blog post in the middle. Another blog post about bias the language and then a fourth one about welcome, the singular they. Into the APA style with the seventh edition.
These are some great resources that we can jump off if you want to learn more about policy language. And these are good places to refer to as you are writing to make sure you are doing that these best practices when coming back to using bias free language. So move from there since we are right at the time, I will go ahead and this webinar today. Thank you, guys, for joining me and for participating, wth open hearts in this webinar, I know this content can be intimidating but putting in your legwork, as researchers and using bias free language is really going to help credibility as an author. It would help with the overall professionalism as a scholar. So definitely reach out to writing support at Walden.U.edu if you have questions beyond the webinar. Then again thank you for joining and thank you for Kacy Walz and Anne Shiell, I will sign off. Have a good day everyone.