Age should be reported as part of the description of participants in the Method section. Be specific in providing age ranges; avoid open-ended definitions such as “under 18 years” or “over 65 years.” Girl and boy are correct terms for referring to individuals under the age of 12 years. Young man and young woman and female adolescent and male adolescent may be used for individuals aged 13 to 17 years. For persons 18 years and older, use women and men. The terms elderly and senior are not acceptable as nouns; some may consider their use as adjectives pejorative. Generational descriptors such as boomer or baby boomer should not be used unless they are related to a study on this topic. The term older adults is preferred. Age groups may also be described with adjectives. Gerontologists may prefer to use combination terms for older age groups (youngold, old-old, very old, oldest old, and centenarians); provide the specific ages of these groups and use them only as adjectives. Use dementia instead of senility; specify the type of dementia when known (e.g., dementia of the Alzheimer’s type).
Write about the people in your study in a way that acknowledges their participation but is also consistent with the traditions of the field in which you are working. Thus, although descriptive terms such as college students, children, or respondents provide precise information about the individuals taking part in a research project, the more general terms participants and subjects are also in common usage.
Indeed, for more than 100 years the term subjects has been used within experimental psychology as a general or starting point for describing a sample, and its use is appropriate. Subjects and sample are customary when discussing certain established statistical terms (e.g., within-subject and between-subjects design).
Further, the passive voice suggests individuals are acted on instead of being actors (“the students completed the survey” is preferable to “the students were given the survey” or “the survey was administered to the students”). “The subjects completed the trial” or “we collected data from the participants” is preferable to “the participants were run.”
from Reducing Bias in Language (3.11)
Guideline 3: Acknowledge Participation APA website
This sounds as if the writer meant, “It will not be worth my while to write to you again.” Simply write, “Thanking you,” and if the favor which you have requested is granted, write a letter of acknowledgment.
Strunk, William, Jr. (1999). The Elements of Style, New York
Section V. Words and Expressions Commonly Misused Bartleby.com
A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.”
And for plenty of good reasons, since:
it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
it is a major component in acid rain
it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
accidental inhalation can kill you
it contributes to erosion
it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients
He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical.
Bias may be promoted when the writer uses one group (often the writer’s own group) as the standard against which others are judged, for example, citizens of the United States. In some contexts, the term culturally deprived may imply that one culture is the universally accepted standard.
The unparallel nouns in the phrase man and wife may inappropriately prompt the reader to evaluate the roles of the individuals (i.e., the woman is defined only in terms of her relationship to the man) and the motives of the author. By contrast, the phrases husband and wife and man and woman are parallel.
Usage of normal may prompt the reader to make the comparison with abnormal, thus stigmatizing individuals with differences. For example, contrasting lesbians with “the general public” or with “normal women” portrays lesbians as marginal to society. More appropriate comparison groups might be heterosexual women, heterosexual women and men, or gay men.
from Reducing Bias in Language (3.11)
Guideline 2: Be Sensitive to Labels APA website
Personal communications may be private letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g., email or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, etc. Because they do not provide recoverable data, personnel communications are NOT included in the List of References at the end of your research paper. Cite any personal communications as an in-text citation only. Give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible.
M. E. Daniels (personal communication, March 2, 2014) explained in an email that…
The interviewee (M.E. Daniels, personal communication, March 2, 2014) explained during our interview that…
If you are citing a recording or archived copy of a personal communication (e.g., email message, interview, etc.), these forms are recoverable and should be referenced in your List of References as a online forum post, tape recording, video etc.
From: Citing References in Text, Section 6.20, Personal Communications
APA Publication Manual (6th ed) (2010) APA website
Recognize the difference between “case,” which is an occurrence of a disorder or illness, and “patient,” which is a person affected by the disorder or illness and receiving a doctor’s care. “Manic-depressive cases were treated” is problematic; revise to “The patients with bipolar disorders were treated.”
(from Reducing Bias in Language (3.11). Guideline 2: Be Sensitive to Labels)
Avoid terms such as “patient management” and “patient placement” when appropriate. Usually, the treatment, not patients, is being managed; some alternatives are coordination of care, supportive services, and assistance. Also avoid the term “failed,” as in “eight participants failed to complete the Rorschach and the MMPI,” because it can imply a personal shortcoming instead of a research result; did not is a more neutral choice (Knatterud, 1991).
(from Reducing Bias in Language (3.11). Guideline 3) APA website
Respect people’s preferences; call people what they prefer to be called. Accept that preferences change with time and that individuals within groups often disagree about the designations they prefer. Make an effort to determine what is appropriate for your situation; you may need to ask your participants which designations they prefer, particularly when preferred designations are being debated within groups.
Avoid labeling people when possible. A common occurrence in scientific writing is that participants in a study tend to lose their individuality; they are broadly categorized as objects (noun forms such as the gays and the elderly) or, particularly in descriptions of people with disabilities, are equated with their conditions—the amnesiacs, the depressives, the schizophrenics, the LDs, for example. One solution is to use adjectival forms (e.g., “gay men,” “older adults,” “amnesic patients”). Another is to “put the person first,” followed by a descriptive phrase (e.g., “people diagnosed with schizophrenia”). Note that the latter solution currently is preferred when describing people with disabilities.
from Reducing Bias in Language (3.11). Guideline 2: Be Sensitive to Labels. APA website