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Capstone Aed 204

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Stereotypes can be assessed in a text by understanding what source the author is getting his or her information from. If the author is getting information from a secondary source, the source must be understood in its proper context. For example, if someone is presenting facts about a waste management service to the public, and these facts are coming from the perspective of a company accused of having a negative history of waste disposal, the source could be biased in that the company has poor credibility when it comes to waste management in the past. If, however, an independent or government institution was presenting the facts to the public, there is less a chance of bias because the second opinion is coming from a source that does not have personal interests at stake, but is rather non-biased in their assessment. Being non-biased is the key to understanding if an author is showing bias or not. Does the author present both sides of the argument? Or does the author only show one side of the argument and try to conceal other parts of the argument from the reader?

In addition, if an author shows false generalizations of stereotypes, this is evidence of bias. Whenever an author uses the phrase "all" or "everyone" it should be viewed skeptically. For example, if an author said that "all white people with upper class income vote Republicans," this is a false generalization and should be viewed as a stereotype more than an actual fact. Another example is if the author says that all women perform less efficiently than men, this is also a false generalization. The use of the term "all" is a good indicator of a stereotype, and if facts can be presented to contradict the author's claims, then that too is an indication of a stereotype.

The only level of bias that is acceptable is if the author is providing a conclusion that is drawn from the facts. In other words, the author researched the subject matter themselves, and after looking at all the facts, concluded based on their findings. Only when all the known facts have been examined can a non-biased conclusion be made. It is important to note that this bias is acceptable only if it is backed up by facts and can be verified by independent researchers. If the bias contains false information, it is not an acceptable level of bias, or if facts were omitted. Only when the facts are true, and all the facts are considered, is it no longer considered bias, but rather an informed and educated opinion. This can be addressed to the students by pointing out the differences between false generalizations or bias, and a non-biased presentation of the facts and a conclusion drawn from the facts. If the conclusion can not be drawn from facts, but rather personal generalizations, it should be considered biased…...

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