Sensitive language helps you avoid bias. Consult the APA (2010) manual's section on sensitive language for more information (pp. 71–76).
Be specific rather than descriptive.
Biased: I surveyed older adults while collecting data.
This statement does not give specific information about the age of the participants, allowing the reader to make assumptions. Without specific information, "older adults" could refer to anyone who is 65 years and older.
Better: I surveyed participants between ages 70 and 84 while collecting data.
This statement specifically tells the reader what the age range was for the participants in this survey, ensuring that the reader does not make assumptions about the ages of the participants.
Keep wording parallel.
Biased: The man and female turned out to be the directors of the Red Cross.
While "man" is fine on its own, paired with "female," it is not parallel. Additionally, "female" should only be used as an adjective (i.e., "the female participant"), not as a noun (like in this sentence). Instead, always use "man" with "woman" and "male" with "female" and only use "male" and "female" as adjectives and "man" and "woman" as nouns.
Better: The man and woman turned out to be the directors of the Red Cross.
In this sentence, the parallel terms "man" and "woman" are used. Also, "female" and "male" are not used as nouns at all.
Be aware of sexual identity terms. These often change, so consult the APA Style website for the most up-to-date terminology.
Biased: The population who were homosexual in the survey responded "No" 75% of the time (Martin, 2010).
In this sentence, the entire population is considered to be "homosexual," which is not very descriptive. Per APA (2010), "homosexual" is not a specific enough term (p. 74).
Better: The population who were lesbian responded "No" 75% of the time (Martin, 2010).
Instead, in this sentence, the term "lesbian" is used to be more specific about the sexual orientation of the population surveyed.
Use parallel racial and ethnic identity terms.
Biased: Those surveyed who are African American responded similarly to those who reported being White. In comparison, the non-Whites also responded similarly to the Asians surveyed.
There are many forms of nonparallel terms here: (a) The term "African American" is paired with "White," which is not parallel. (b) The African American population is also labeled as "non-Whites," using one racial group as the primary group. (c) The term "Asian" is also not parallel.
Better: Those surveyed who are African American responded similarly to those who reported being European American. In comparison, the African-Americans also responded similarly to the Japanese Americans surveyed.
This sentence uses parallel terms for all racial identities, as well as using the specific term "Japanese-American." For detailed instructions on these terms, consult the APA style manual's Supplemental Material: Writing Clearly and Concisely.
Use "people-first" language when discussing labels.
Biased: The epileptics consulted with specialists during the trial to address their particular needs.
This sentence defines people by a label instead of acknowledging that they are people first.
Better: The individuals with epilepsy consulted with specialists during the trial to address their particular needs.
Here, the personhood of the individuals is affirmed and placed first in the sentence. This way, the reader sees the person first, then the label. Also note that the APA (2010) manual provides three "General Guidelines for Reducing Bias." General Guideline #2 instructs APA writers to "be sensitive to labels" and that researchers should "respect people’s preferences; call people what they prefer to be called" (pp. 71–72).
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Vital things to know about a good argumentative essay
Argumentative essays can be such a bore to write. You don’t know where to start, you don’t know where to take it... it’s just a horror. Luckily, with these tips, you should be well on your way to writing the best ever piece of work.
You must always pick a topic that you are passionate about. How do you expect to write a good essay when you’re not even into it? You should pick a topic you already know a little bit about.
If you are passionate, you will come across as more convincing to the reader, which is ultimately your goal through this type of work. If you write about something you don’t care about, your readers are not going to feel your vibe and you might not get too far.
Do Your Research
You should always do your research before you start writing. If you don’t have supporting facts and evidence, how do you expect to convince your audience of your point? Research helps the audience know that you are knowledgeable about the topic and you are trustworthy. Some things to gather include:
Investigate Both Sides
If you only mention your side of the argument and why you think it is best, you won’t really get anywhere – your audience will just think you’re being overly biased. If you investigate both sides of the argument, give good points and bad points about both but make sure you explain why your side is better, your argument will seem more balanced and overall more convincing.
Always plan your work. This will help you grab a starting point and really get into the spirit of it. You should plan out how it is going to start, in what order you are going to investigate your points (make it work), and how you’re going to end it.
Make sure when you end it, you back up your original point that your side of the argument is the best side. You must state that although both sides have good points and bad points, yours is definitely the best.
With these tips, you should be a lot more confident in writing your argumentative essay and you should really be able to write the best thing you ever have – something really to be proud of.