Bias, Assumption and Viewpoint
A bias is a strong leaning in eithera positive or negative direction.A bias is very similar to a prejudice
Good critical readers must be aware of their own biases and the biases of others.Sometimes writers simply state their biases; however, most biases are implied by the writer.
A critical reader will study the author’s line of reasoning, notice whether opinions are supported by facts and reasons, and then decide if the author’s bias has hindered the making of a good argument.
Their biases will influence the way they present the material.Such caution is especially importantwhen the material deals with a controversial issue.
Pay attention to the author’s tone and choice of words to determine if a bias is present.Loaded Words:connotations evokeemotional responsesWriters who have a particular point of viewand want to persuade you to accept that view often make use of loaded words or phrases.
A fact of statement taken for grantedAny examples?
Imagine the author sitting in front of a blank computer screen. The author’s viewpoint is the very reason the author types anything at all on his/her computer!
So how do we know what the author’s viewpoint is, anyway(and why should we care?)Think about the details the author includes to make a point about a subject.If we figure out the author’s views, we can understand what he/she wrote!
Author’s Viewpoint Includes
His/her attitude -- what she thinks, feels, and believes.His/her purpose for writing -- why she writes the story
The words the author uses gives us clues about how the author feels about life’s issues!For example, if the author was describing America using words like:honor, cherish,treasure, andproud…we can infer (infer means piece the clues together) that the author’s viewpoint about America is…
A good place to live and a great nation to be a part of!
If an author used the following words to describe the beach:cold, bitter wind,nauseating smell of fish,shrieking seagulls…wecan infer (piece the clues together, remember?)that the author’s view about life at the beach is…
The beach is…
An awful, cruddy way to spend vacation!
Bias: a strong leaning in eithera positive or negative directionAssumption: a fact or statement taken for grantedViewpoint: the purpose the writer has and the details and attitudes which he/she includes