Ethical Writing and Inclusive language in Dissertation Research

It’s difficult to know how to ethically write a dissertation these days as we all try to navigate the ‘woke’ culture whilst simultaneously paying attention to established academic norms. I tend to keep two words in mind when researching and writing – ‘be kind’. This extends to everyone. Inclusive language subscribes to the idea that diversity carries a responsibility and conveys respect. Therefore, we should always attempt to be sensitive to differences between cultures and individuals. We should promote equal opportunities when we consider whom we might include in our research and how much involvement participants have in the research process. Alongside this, content should not make definitive assumptions in relation to belief systems. One individual is not superior to another on the grounds of race, ethnicity, age, gender, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition. Researchers should attempt to ensure that their writing is free from bias and stereotypes and should employ gender neutrality by using plural nouns (“psychotherapists, clients/supervisees”) as default/wherever possible to avoid using “he, she,” or “he/she.”

– Dr.  Niall MacGiolla Bhuí

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