ELA 6: 1.19 All About That Bias

Everyone is biased in some way, so it only makes sense that an author's biases would be visible through their writing. We're looking at you, every man who's ever written a female character...

6th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School6th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:28

when that prejudice comes from an author we call it surprise surprise

00:32

authors bias. luckily for us there are a bunch of telltale signs of authors bias. [man types sitting on the beach]

00:37

loaded words stereotypes vague language and one-sided arguments. well loaded

00:44

words inspire some kind of emotion in the reader. helping to convince the

00:47

reader of the writer's perspective without the writer actually having to

00:51

make a good argument. sweet. less work for the writer good thing too [young man sleeps]

00:55

because writing is exhausting. you know, an example of loaded words

01:00

would be referring to an expert not as a doctor or a professor but as an elite. it

01:06

makes the person seem like less of a reliable authority and more like well a

01:11

snooty jerk. by using a term like elite the writer might not even directly argue [man in suit types on laptop]

01:16

that the professor's opinion is wrong, but instead let the emotional energy of

01:21

the word elite convince his readers that the guy ought to be chased out of town

01:24

with pitchforks. stereotypes on the other hand give an oversimplified view of an

01:29

entire group treating them as if while they're all the same.

01:32

unfortunately these oversimplified views are rarely positive. so if a writer [woman types sitting on couch]

01:36

includes a line about you know, say those lazy firemen, well they're using a

01:41

stereotype. and a stereotype that very few firemen would agree with. not a group

01:45

of people you want to tick off. yeah all right well vague language involves

01:50

words or phrases that aren't very specific, leaving a reader's imagination

01:53

to fill in the blanks. usually using your imagination is a good thing but the

01:58

writer should be doing most of the work here. for instance a film review might [monkey plays violin]

02:02

mention that a movie has no good characters, but the reviewer might never

02:07

actually say what a good character actually is. character that's interesting?

02:11

moral? capable juggler? without some additional, less vague

02:15

information, well, their bias has left us in the dark. and finally we have

02:19

one-sided arguments when the author only brings us one side of the story. which is

02:24

most likely their side of the story. right? so if you read an entire article

02:29

that rails against bicycle riding in cities without even one mention of why [ bicycle race]

02:33

it might be a good idea the author's probably knee-deep in bias and not wild

02:38

about bikes. maybe they never got out of training wheels or they're jealous of

02:43

everyone who's mastered the skill of riding.

02:45

who knows? so keep an eye out for these indicators of authors bias and you won't [eyes shown]

02:50

end up well stepping in it. we don't know if you've ever had to wash bias off

02:55

your sneakers, but oh it's no fun. [poop in the street]