Religious FundamentalismOkay, so I am doing this paper for school and my topic is religious fundamentalism but my teacher says that i can't be too biased with the way I write it. I really don't...
Okay, so I am doing this paper for school and my topic is religious fundamentalism but my teacher says that i can't be too biased with the way I write it. I really don't know how I could make my point and persuade someone to be on my side with out becoming biased and in a way racist against other religions.
I disagree with #6. Writing an argumenative paper and presenting both sides most often creates a weak paper. As far as bias goes, like most posts have stated, your teacher is probably warning you not to include a personal opinion. By nature of argument, you are going to be bias toward one side. This does not, however, need to become an emotional bias, nor a "racist" type of bias.
Avoid using any kind of emotional language and certainly deny yourself the right to include your own opinion. Report facts, statistics, and quotes from other scholarly sources, and analyze the information objectively. If you are against religious fundamentalism, show actual cases where it has endangered society, or specific groups of people.
You can show your disagreement with religious fundamentalism without coming right out and saying, "These people are nuts!" Does that make sense?
A number of good suggestions are given above. I would like to support the idea that one way you can water down your argument would be to constantly reassure your reader that you are not making generalisations. Your essay is obviously going to look at Islam and the way that a tiny minority of Muslims are drawn into armed conflict as a result of their faith. Constantly stressing that you are aware that there is a huge number of Muslims who practise their faith and co-exist in a multi-cultural world without any problems would be one way of avoiding extremism in your own writing.
As #3 asks, what exactly are you writing? Are you supposed to present an informational paper about religious fundamentalism or a persuasive paper taking a stand about some aspect of the way in which religious fundamentalism is impacting your life or school?
If you are presenting information, stick with the facts and don't allow your bias or belief to enter into the paper at all. If you are writing an opinion piece, yes - you'll be presenting your beliefs, but make sure you have facts to support your arguments.
If you are writing a paper designed to persuade people without being offensive, you may want to use the paper as an opportunity to clear up misconceptions about the position you support. In other words, give ample attention to the arguments against your position, and then try to explain, as dispassionately as possible, why those arguments are mistaken. Rather than attacking the views of other people, try to respond to attacks on your views.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what you're going to say? Without knowing, it's hard to give advice. Basically, you just need to tell what the fundamentalists believe. You need to not put in your own opinion about it. If you say "Religion X believes that women should be subordinate to men" for example, you're just telling the truth, not giving your opinion.
It is hard to stay neutral on an emotionally charged topic. I suggest looking for articles from well-known and mostly balanced news sites such as Time, The Wall Street Journal, and other informative journalistic efforts. Then, at least you know your source is not outwardly biased.
You might want to consider writing a Rogerian essay, which means explaining the different positions on an issue and then finding common ground for those positions. But I certainly agree with those who have said we need more information on the nature of your assignment.
I always tell my students to offer the other side of the argument they are making. By doing this, you are admitting that there are alternative sides to the discussion and that you, yourself, are not biased to them.