Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reducing Bias in Writing (part 1/5)

Respect people’s preferences; call people what they prefer to be called. Accept that preferences change with time and that individuals within groups often disagree about the designations they prefer. Make an effort to determine what is appropriate for your situation; you may need to ask your participants which designations they prefer.

Avoid labeling people when possible. In scientific writing, participants in a study tend to lose their individuality and may be broadly categorized as objects (with noun forms such as the gays and the elderly) and people with disabilities may be equated with their conditions — the amnesiacs, the depressives, the schizophrenics, for example. One solution is to use adjectival forms (e.g., “gay men,” “older adults,” “amnesic patients”). Another solution is to “put the person first,” followed by a descriptive phrase (e.g., “people diagnosed with schizophrenia”).

From the APA Publication Manual (6th ed) (2010): Section 3.11, Reducing Bias in Language. Guideline 2: Be Sensitive to Labels.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How to Reference Personal Communications

Personal communications may be private letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g., email or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc. Because they do not provide recoverable data, personnel communications are NOT included in the List of References at the end of your research paper. Cite any personal communications as an in-text citation only. Give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible.
M. E. Daniels (personal communication, March 2, 2014) explained in an email that…
The interviewee (M.E. Daniels, personal communication, March 2, 2014) explained during our interview that…

If you are citing a recording or archived copy of a personal communication (e.g., email message, interview, etc.), these forms are recoverable and should be referenced in your List of References as a online forum post, tape recording, video etc.

From: Citing References in Text, Section 6.20, Personal Communications, APA Publication Manual (6th ed) (2010)