How to Trump Political Biases (and Others) in Your Content

 

free for use with no attribution

free for use with no attribution

Writing objectively isn’t always easy – especially if the content surrounds hot-button issues like the upcoming presidential election or religious values. If you’re going to be a content writer, however, you have to learn to rise above biases and personal opinion.

Subjective Content Can Sneak up on You

It’s probably easy for you to avoid obvious biases in your writing, like direct political slander or harsh accusations, but can you read between the lines as well? Personal beliefs often come through even when that wasn’t the intention. Assuming everyone feels the way you do can inadvertently influence your writing, and change your perspective from one of objectivity to writing from a specific viewpoint.

Biased words can easily slip under the writer’s radar, such as using words like blessing (“Parenthood is a blessing”), radical (“The radical activists”), or gender-specific words (“Your boss probably wants his coffee”). Word choices like these can alienate readers, even if the writer thought they were being unbiased. Instead, strive for using gender-neutral terms and completely impartial language choices.

Making broad generalizations, such as assuming everyone wants to find love or nobody enjoys their job, can discredit you and make readers doubt your authority. Don’t make presumptuous statements, even if you feel relatively certain you’re right. There will always be an exception that disproves you, so it’s best to steer clear of this kind of “blanket” writing altogether.

How to Silence Personal Biases

There’s no use trying to be completely unbiased all of the time. Prejudice happens to the best of us, no matter how much we work to shut it out. Even the most fair and honest person has personal values that might differ from the beliefs of others – it’s what makes us human. Striking a balance between differing perspectives takes time and practice, but it ultimately makes for outstanding content.

It might be hard to write about things you don’t necessarily believe in or don’t quite understand, but it’s these topics that deserve your attention the most. Learning how to write from a neutral point of view requires exploration of the opposite side, and the discovery of a middle ground.

One easy way to avoid subjective writing is eliminating “I” phrases and replacing them with factual statements. This automatically cuts out your own personal viewpoint, opening your writing to embrace other perspectives. Avoiding “I think” and “I believe” statements ensures none of your readers are feeling attacked if they think differently than you. You have a voice of authority in content writing, and that comes with the responsibility of treating everyone fairly.

free for use with no attribution

free for use with no attribution

Striking a Balance

You don’t have to completely remove all traces of yourself from your writing; if you did that, your content would be generic an uninteresting. Insert your personality through tone, voice, and stylistic choices instead of personal beliefs. Elements like these make for great content writing, not making a political statement or talking down to certain groups.

Finding a balance between writing objectively and using your own voice can be difficult – especially if your voice is intricately connected with your views and beliefs. The key is to master inclusive language, which doesn’t stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics. This includes race, gender, religion, economic standing, sexual orientation, etc.

Inclusive language makes a conscious effort to keep your beliefs out of your writing, yet it still allows you to make a direct point. Keeping your writing objective doesn’t mean you have to float around the message you’re delivering or speak less strongly about your topic. You can instill just as much passion into your writing without having to filter it – as long as you’re actively aware of the words you use, and their possible implications.

One way to effectively strike a balance between your beliefs and your writing is to turn your opinions into fact-based truths. For example, if you’re certain that people benefit from smartphones, support your argument using charts of usage, polls from users, and hard evidence that backs you up. If you encounter facts or data that oppose your argument, include them as well and let your reader decide. You can write persuasively without supporting only one side of an argument.

Another way to ensure your own beliefs aren’t sabotaging your writing is to ask another person to read it, preferably one who doesn’t exactly share your views. Ask them what the tone is saying to them: does it offend, or uplift? If they can pinpoint your true beliefs behind your writing, you’ve probably left too many subliminal hints behind. Double-check your work for gendered terms and words that can be construed as subjective.

free for use with no attribution

free for use with no attribution

How Your Writing Will Improve

Using inclusive language instead of discriminating language will open your reader base, retain your field authority, and encourage thought-provoking conversation. It will engage readers instead of isolating them, and show that your business or brand is for everyone, not just certain people. Your writing will become more confident, accurate, and relevant.

You’ll also gain more footing in the content writing realm, since you’ll become known as a strong voice that sends a message without resorting to insults or underhanded digs. The strongest thought leaders are those who lead with honest, truthful information – not those who alienate entire sectors of their audience.

Perfecting your objective content writing will give you more than what you put into it. It will open your mind to the lives of others, giving you a well-rounded personality you can use to enhance your writing. It places you in a position of unlimited potential by embracing all walks of life – giving you the opportunity to put your writing in the hands of the entire world.

 

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Devin Pallone

Devin is a graduate student at the University of South Florida, where she is studying creative writing. Her interests include reading, writing fiction, and trying not to get addicted to Netflix. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her husband and their husky, Indy.

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