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Guidelines to help eliminate bias in scholarly writing

This entry was posted in Academic Writing , on May 19 , 2020.

  1. Substitute gender-neutral words and phrases for gender biased words. A common mistake is the inadvertent use of sexist terms that are deeply entrenched in our culture , such as chairman instead of chairperson, mothering instead of parenting , and mankind instead of humankind.
  2. Use designations in parallel fashion to refer to men and women equally: “ 5 men and 14 women” , not “ 5 men and 14 females.”
  3. Do not assume that certain professors are gender related(e.g., “ a bright and a beautiful female professor “)
  4. Avoid gender- biased pronouns(e.g.,”  A consultant may not always be able to see his clients”) . A few nonsexist alternative to this pervasive are to:
    1. Add the other gender: “ his or her clients”. This alternative should be used only occasionally because it can become cumbersome.It is, however,preferable to awkward constructions such as s/he,him/her, or he (she).
    2. Use plural form : “ Consultants …. their clients”.
    3. Delete the adjective”to see clients”.
    4. Rephrase the sentence to eliminate the pronoun:” Clients may not always be seen by their consultants”.
    5. Replace the masculine or feminine pronouns with one or you.
  5. Do not identify people by race or ethnic group unless it is relevant . It is relevant ,try to ascertain the currently most acceptable terms and use them.
  6. Avoid language that suggests evaluation or reinforces stereotypes. For example, referring to a group as culturally deprived is evaluative , and remarking that the “Afro-American students, not surprisingly , won athletic events athletic events” reinforces a stereotype.
  7. Do not make unsupported assumptions about various age groups (e.g., that the elderly are less intellectually able or are remarkable for continuing to work energetically ).


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