Objective Writing Tips: Keeping Your Research Paper Free of Bias
Objective writing is essential for writing an effective and credible research paper. Bias weakens your position and your paper. You can keep your research paper bias free by paying close attention to your research, language and construction and looking at the following aspects of your paper:
- Source material
- Opposing viewpoints
- Chosen language
- Pronoun usage
- Expressed thoughts
Objective writing tip #1: Evaluate your sources for bias
For any research paper, you want reliable, credible sources. Every source should be evaluated during the research process to maintain objective writing. Sticking with scholarly journal articles and publications is one way to avoid bias. A second is to seek websites that have “.edu,” “.gov” or “.org” domain extensions. Not every site, article or book presents information free of bias. In addition, some sources have hidden agendas. Because of this, always evaluate your sources.
Objective writing tip #2: Balance your position with the opposing view(s)
A good research paper is balanced with every side or argument of a topic. Objective writing means including arguments that take a different position and explaining those opposing viewpoints thoroughly within the body of your paper. You can refute opposing views with supporting evidence that logically shows why your unbiased argument is a stronger one. In addition, include reliable details and evidence that is supportive of your assertions and thesis statement.
Objective writing tip #3: Use objective language
Objective writing is about always presenting information fairly and credibly to allow someone to draw conclusions. Avoid subjective language whenever possible to increase the credibility and objectivity of your words. For example, avoid using any language that is construed as a value judgment, such as “wonderful,” “awesome” or “sarcastically.” Similarly, avoid overly emotional phrasing and any adjectives or adverbs that exaggerate. For example, avoid using “very” or “really” to emphasize a point. Also reword any language that singles out a specific group of people in a negative light.
Objective writing tip #4: Avoid first-person and second-person pronouns
While taking one side of an issue over another is clearly based on your opinion, you can make objective writing a reality by avoiding first-person and second-person pronouns. The fact that the paper is yours makes it clear that the ideas, thoughts and conclusions that are not cited are your own. Unless you are conducting primary research and discussing it, write in the third person using third-person pronouns when applicable. Otherwise, personal comments, such as “I think” or “my opinion is” come across more as a biased opinion rather than a logical argument with supporting evidence.
Objective writing tip #5: Express your thoughts explicitly
Objective writing is also achieved through expressing your thoughts explicitly. The more specific you are with certain pieces of information, the stronger your argument and the stronger the supporting evidence. For example, instead of writing “most of the world,” write “82 percent of the world’s population.” Specifics help keep your writing objective and your argument credible.
Keeping your writing objective is essential to writing an effective, credible and well-presented research paper. By following these tips to keep your writing bias free and working through the research process and the writing process, you can achieve objective writing that keeps your argument and supporting evidence as the main factors that help your readers draw conclusions.
4.3 Research objective(s)
What are the research objectives?
In general, research objectives describe what we expect to achieve by a project.
Research objectives are usually expressed in lay terms and are directed as much to the client as to the researcher. Research objectives may be linked with a hypothesis or used as a statement of purpose in a study that does not have a hypothesis.
Even if the nature of the research has not been clear to the layperson from the hypotheses, s/he should be able to understand the research from the objectives.
A statement of research objectives can serve to guide the activities of research. Consider the following examples.
- Objective: To describe what factors farmers take into account in making such decisions as whether to adopt a new technology or what crops to grow.
- Objective: To develop a budget for reducing pollution by a particular enterprise.
- Objective: To describe the habitat of the giant panda in China.
In the above examples the intent of the research is largely descriptive.
- In the case of the first example, the research will end the study by being able to specify factors which emerged in household decisions.
- In the second, the result will be the specification of a pollution reduction budget.
- In the third, creating a picture of the habitat of the giant panda in China.
These observations might prompt researchers to formulate hypotheses which could be tested in another piece of research. So long as the aim of the research is exploratory, ie to describe what is, rather than to test an explanation for what is, a research objective will provide an adequate guide to the research.