Bias, Rhetorical Devices, and Argumentation
There are both good and bad arguments. Bad arguments consist of biases and fallacies. Good arguments
include rhetorical devices and logic. Arguing your points and supporting your claims with evidence make
your paper strong and ultimately persuade your reader to accept your viewpoint, so learning the correct
techniques for argumentation is important.
means holding opinions about a person or group that are stereotypical, prejudiced, or judgmental.
Types of bias include political bias, gender bias, racial or ethnic bias, religious bias, and age bias.
Academic writing requires you to be unbiased so your reader does not feel offended or excluded and also
so you emerge as a fair and accurate researcher and writer. Writers must use caution to avoid bias in
their own writing and also to avoid using research that is biased or one-sided.
The following are examples of common types of bias:
Type of Bias
Republicans are the reason gay marriage laws will
Men take all the good jobs and always make more
money than women do.
Racial or ethnic bias
Our country has so many economic problems
because of all the illegal immigrants from Mexico.
Muslims believe in killing others for eternal reward.
Senior citizens do not know how to drive properly
and should not have driver’s licenses.
Using emotion the wrong way most often creates what is known as a
. Fallacies occur when you
use an illogical argument. The following concepts are common fallacies found in writing:
Blaming a group or a person for a problem
: Racial quotas are the reason I cannot find a better job.
: Using fear to try to scare readers
: If you sit too close to the television set, you will go blind.
: Appealing to someone’s vanity to persuade him or her
: You are too smart to be a Democrat.
: Attacking a person rather than attacking an argument
: The president is stupid for proposing a tax cut at this time.
: Creating a position that is easy to refute and then attributing that position to
someone else (such as a source that is arguing the opposite of what you are arguing)
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