Biases can be a moving target, though, so smart copyeditors build a library of resources they can refer to for their work.
Below are several resources we recommend for your library.
Our sponsor, Conscious Style Guide, is a great resource for respectful, inclusive language of all kinds, including age, empowerment, health, and more. Visit a guide section on the site, and you’ll find a list of annotated articles on the topic and resources for additional information.
The Copyeditors’ Knowledge Base houses resources of all kinds, including those related to bias. Check out “Editing Tools” and “Profession-Related Reading” for resources like “Bias-Free Language” and “General Guidelines for Reducing Bias.”
You can do your own search for a nonprofit organization that speaks out for a specific community, such as people with disabilities. Check the website to see if it has style or media relations guidelines. These groups are interested in ensuring that the people they represent are talked about fairly and respectfully. A couple of examples:
- GLAAD Media Reference Guide
- Disability Language Style Guide from the National Center on Disability and Journalism
- National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide
ADVICE FROM COPYEDITING
For deeper advice, check out Charged Language (with John McIntyre) and Inclusive Language: A Practical Approach to Avoiding Bias (with Sarah Grey) in our Recorded Classes.
Grey’s course book includes a list of resources to check. Download the PDF Resources for Inclusive Language to get the resources for free.
If you still haven’t found what you want, try doing a Google search for “sensitive language style guides” for many more resources. Scroll to the bottom of the first results page for other suggested searches.
What’s your favorite resource for bias-free language? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it here!
Here’s another source to check out: Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center Guide to Fair and Accurate Language