February 2012 -->

Walden University Writing Center

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

Banishing Bias: A Guide to Reducing Bias in Academic Writing


By Sarah Prince, Writing Consultant

Note: This post has been updated per APA 7.

Possibly because I am short (only 5’4” on a good day), have long brown hair, and sound much like a drunken squirrel when nervous, many people don’t believe that I’ve spent over 30 years on this earth. Frequently, these misperceptions concerning my age cause those around me to take liberties with what they call me. Friends and colleagues alike often don’t flinch when addressing me as girlie, little lady, or honey, terms usually reserved only for children. I can safely say that none of these terms is meant to be malicious. However, this biased language still bothers me because it diminishes my experiences and accomplishments. For instance, a little lady running a marathon or a sweet girlie getting her doctorate is a bit hard to picture, right?


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Who Needs the Manual? APAstyle.org

By Melanie Brown, Dissertation Editor and Writing Faculty Member

All right: You need the manual. You have to follow APA style in your dissertation or doc study, so you need the manual. Right? Well. What if you knew how to find answers to your questions about APA from a reliable source other than the Publication Manual? Then you don’t need that manual, do you?

So. Where can you go to find answers to your APA style questions besides the Publication Manual? Two places come to mind. One is, of course, here. Students contact us in the Writing Center every day with questions about APA style.


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When Is a Literature Review a Literature Review?

Photograph of Jamie Patterson
By Jamie Patterson, Dissertation Editor

The hardest chapter or section to write for any doctoral student is the literature review. In your studies you won’t have written anything quite like it, which makes it difficult to write and difficult to successfully complete. As a dissertation editor I read about four dissertations per week and of those four, usually only one will have a true literature review.

A true literature review is text that synthesizes and analyzes all the available current research from peer-reviewed sources. Seems pretty straightforward, so why is it so hard to write? Let’s talk about all the things that the literature review will or will not include, and you'll start to see the difficulties.


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Get It Done!

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By Writing Center Staff

Stuck in a rut while writing your dissertation or doctoral study? Perhaps you just can't seem to complete a certain chapter, or maybe your chair has told you the content or writing is not quite up to par. Consider registering for a capstone intensive to give you a kick start. Along with faculty members, Writing Center staff attend these intensive retreats to guide candidates through the writing and revising process and answer questions. See the upcoming capstone intensives for DBA, EdD, and PhD here.

If you cannot attend an intensive retreat, create your own custom learning schedule by viewing our webinars, working one on one with an editor, or joining a capstone proposal writing group. Our next dissertation-specific webinar is Chapter 2: The Literature Review on Thursday, February, 23rd. Register here. To schedule an appointment with an editor for a chapter/section review, see our Tutoring page

We are rooting for you as you continue this doctoral journey!

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