When we write, we sometimes craft language that is close to what we mean, but not quite right. It’s the job, then, of editing and proofreading to catch those weak bits and strengthen or remove them. Sometimes, that faulty language is either biased or loaded, meaning it infers a message that we don’t mean and don’t want soiling our intended meaning. These terms may contain or imply sexism, racism, or ethnocentric views, or may suggest to the reader that “this writer isn’t telling the truth.” In any case, language like this is bad news, and it’s important to catch and fix language that might be misinterpreted in such ways.
For this week’s Self Check assignment, you’ll be revising a problematic statement and giving a sentence or two explaining why you changed what you did. Here’s a sample of a problem statement, as well as the rewritten line and a bit explaining the changes:
Dr. Steven Grant, a paleontologist and poor conversationalist, agreed with the findings.
This is biased text, as mentioning that Dr. Grant was a poor conversationalist can call into doubt his credibility without using any facts to back it up. Here’s that same statement with the biased language removed:
Dr. Steven Grant, a paleontologist, agreed with the findings.
Using the above example as a guide, rewrite the following 3 lines of biased or loaded text to remove any bias or loaded effect.
If you meet a nurse, tell her how important her job is.
Democrats fail 50% of the time.
Students performed better on the test—even those from foreign universities.
Submit your document. Your document should:
Be 12 pt, Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, and double spaced.
Consist of at least 6 sentences (3 rewritten lines, and 3 lines explaining the original lines’ problems).
Be saved and submitted as a Word document (either .doc or .docx).