Article of the Week

Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences occur when writers try to combine more than one idea into a single sentence. They cause confusion because readers are not sure when one idea ends and the next one begins. Read our entry and test your knowledge with our quiz!



Avoiding Bias

In academic writing, it is important to avoid stating unsupported judgments and opinions. While you often want to persuade readers that one side of an issue is correct, you must support your statements with facts to avoid bias.

 

Here are a few examples of biased sentences that would need to be corrected:

Biased Example: Only immoral voters support politicians who agree with the death penalty.

This is an opinion, not a statement of fact. It would be better to say something like:

Unbiased Example: Many people feel that voting for candidates who support the death penalty is immoral, but opponents feel that capital punishment is necessary as a deterrent.


Another biased example is included below:

Biased Example: Everyone on Wall Street is corrupt and greedy; we should lower the salaries of all CEOs of large corporations.

This is also an opinion, and it is too general. It would be better to say:

Unbiased Example: A growing movement of young people believes that Wall Street CEOs are corrupt and greedy. This movement has proposed lower salaries for these CEOs.


Bias can also stem from personal opinions:

Biased Example: There should be more Medicare benefits for people who are unemployed because I am unemployed and cannot pay my medical bills.

It is best to avoid “I” in scholarly and formal writing. It is usually inappropriate to use your own life experiences and opinions, unless specifically asked. It would be better to say: 

Unbiased Example: The unemployed often have trouble paying their medical bills because of the limited benefits of Medicare. 


Biased writing can marginalize certain groups, or define others by limitations:

Biased Example: Man’s time on this earth is precious. 

This statement uses the gender-specific word “man” to refer to all humans, leaving out women.

Unbiased Example: Our time on this earth is precious.