Posted by: episystechpubs | May 3, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Can I just use “it”?

It’s Friday and Cinco de Mayo weekend. If you’re in San Diego, huge events celebrating the Mexican culture are taking place in Old Town and Balboa Park—just be careful out there!

The next four suggestions are all decent, straightforward ways to avoid gender bias. In our documentation at Symitar, we use number six a lot, and as we move toward more concise task documentation, number nine is extremely useful because it not only avoids gender bias, it promotes active writing. From DailyWritingTips.com “Ten Ways to Avoid Gender Bias”:

6. Replace the Pronoun with an Article

Before: “Ask the student to prepare his presentation.”
After: “Ask the student to prepare a presentation.”

7. Revise the Sentence to Use the Pronoun One

Before: “A prepared student is more likely to succeed than if he has not done sufficient research.”
After: “A prepared student is more likely to succeed than an unprepared one.”

8. Revise the Sentence to Use the Pronoun Who

Before: “A student is more likely to succeed if he does sufficient research.”
After: “A student who does sufficient research is more likely to succeed.”

9. Revise the Sentence to the Imperative Mood

Before: “A student must be well prepared for his presentation.”
After: “Be well prepared for the presentation.”

I think I might’ve said “edtiors ndeeded,” instead. 🙂

Thank you, Jolie L., for the photo!

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