Bias in a paper replaces academic debate with offhand dismissal or outright attack. Bias can take various forms, including many logical fallacies, loaded language, and simple refusal to acknowledge opposing viewpoints. A biased argument does not rest securely on facts. It imposes an opinion on readers instead of inviting them to engage in serious reflection.

In an academic paper, you should avoid abusive, haughty, or emotionally charged language. Here are examples of each in turn:

The reporter's vile invective ruined several candidates' political futures.

How the public dares to impugn the merits of nuclear power is beyond my imagination.

These miserable urbans are left to starve, wither, and die on cold streets and on bleak doorsteps.

Such language undermines both your argument and your credibility as a writer. If you are uncertain whether a particular phrase or sentence is appropriate, check with a friend you trust, preferably one who holds a viewpoint opposite to the one you are arguing.

Awareness of Audience

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