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Anti-Racism Resources: Anti-Racism and Writing

Anti-Racism and Writing

As a student, scholar, or educator, employing anti-racist strategies in your work makes your work more accessible to those outside of your social group and helps advance equity in scholarship. This page contains resources designed to help identify bias, write in a way that is more inclusive of all groups, and help researchers include more diverse resources in their body of research.

Hover your mouse over the undefined for a description of the resource.

Why does Implicit Bias Matter?

Everyone has biases that are born from their life experiences. Many of these biases are unconscious and affect how we as students and scholars interact with the information we consume. Discovering your implicit biases and learning how to address them is an important step in becoming an actively anti-racist writer.

Diversity in Source Selection

Reading and Resource Lists

These reading and resource lists provide information on a diverse set of resources to help people branch out of their comfort zone. They can help you discover resources related to anti-racism across the learning spectrum.

Employing Anti-Racist Writing Strategies

Language that perpetuates oppression:

1. Avoids discussing differences

2. Erases differences

3. Assumes uniform readership

4. Minimizes significance of discrimination

5. Speaks of oppression as only in the past

6. Exoticizes

7. Presents stereotypes as evidence

8. Disrespects sources from "other" perspectives

9. Fails to distinguish sources’ views from writers; own

10. Misunderstands or misrelates sources' views

Suhr-Sytsma, A. & Brown, S.E. (2011) Theory in/to practice: addressing the everyday language of oppression int he writing center. Writing Center Journal 31(2). https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A356452954/AONE?u=klnb_fhsuniv&sid=AONE&xid=708f58ee

 

You can reduce bias in scholarly writing by:

1. Actively choosing clear and inclusive terms. e.g. refer to human beings as "people" or "individuals" not as "man" or "mankind" which excludes other genders.

2. Choosing labels carefully. Use the labels community members have chosen for themselves. Be aware that language can evolve over time.When in doubt, consult advocacy groups from within the community you are discussing so you can choose the appropriate language.

3. Avoiding dehumanizing language. Using nouns to label people has the effect of erasing their humanity. Do not refer to people as colors or use pejorative terms.  e.g. "criminals" vs. "people with a criminal record" or "illegal aliens" vs. "undocumented immigrants."

4. Referring to non-White racial and ethnic groups by their specific names rather than treating them as a collective. e.g. referring to everyone who lives on the continent of Asia as "Asians" rather than by their nationality or lumping all Native Americans together irrespective of tribal affiliation.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Bias Free Language. APA Style Blog. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-free-language

Anti-Racist Writing Strategies E-books