Writer Biases

Bias = strong feeling in favor of or against a thing, a person, or a group of people
Writers often use persuasive language to influence a reader’s opinion. In order to put ourselves in a better position to evaluate their opinions or idea, we need to recognize biases and how they are expressed.
Let’s look at the article again, Reducing Disposable Bag Pollution. Here, we can see three examples that the writer uses to influence readers.

  1. Using Comparative language.  The writer compares a specified time a bag is used with unspecified time a bag takes to decompose.  The statement implies the writer’s bias.
    “These bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but they remain in our landfills, oceans, parks, and beaches for thousands of years
  2. Using Direct Criticism.  The writer uses strong words to let readers know their feelings.
    “Both plastic and paper disposable bags are costly, environmentally damaging, and completely unnecessary
  3. Using Inclusive Pronouns.  The writer assumes readers share their opinion by using pronouns such as our.
    “…but they remain in our landfills…” And “…created a plastic wasteland in our oceans.”
  4. Use adverbs such as in reality, in fact, and consequently, to strength important points.
    “Consequently, neglect in passing new laws has only worsened the problems.”

Richard Carrigan, MSE

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years and a filmmaker for the past ten years. He has experience teaching English as a Second Language in Asia and teaching university students in the United States. He earned his undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University and his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.