Category Archives: 4. Classroom Exercises

Avoiding Gender Bias in Writing

[Instructors: Use this Classroom Exercise as a quick change-of-page in your classrooms. Used the exercise and key PDFS at the end of the post.]

Let’s take a look at gender bias. Many people are unaware of their biases and mean no harm, but they may call unnecessary attention to gender, invoke gender stereotypes, or use expressions that can be offensive. In the sentences below, change the word that is gender insensitive to one that is gender neutral.

  1. After a long discussion about the merits of the candidates, the board appointed Sofia Merced (as) chairwoman.
  2. The instructor asked a student to show his work to the class.
  3. Manmade chemicals sometimes mimic the composition of substances found in nature.
  4. Our nation’s forefathers experienced great hardships before and during the Revolutionary War.
  5. The tourists asked the policeman on Madison Avenue for directions to the Metropolitan Museum.
  6. The university offers many resources to help freshmen adapt to their new situation.
  7. After the discussion devolved into a free-for-all, it was clear a middleman was needed to help both sides come to a compromise.
  8. Many of the students spoke their mother tongue before they spoke English.
  9. Ask the speaker if he has completed the PowerPoint slides to accompany his talk .
  10. The roommates encountered many problems with their landlord.


Avoiding Gender Bias Key

First Writing Assignment (Diagnostic)

Objective: For this assignment, you will provide a sample of your writing to help your instructor evaluate your strengths and areas of focus for improvement in your writing. At the same time, you will reflect on the business communication course you will be taking this term and what you can do to be successful in it.

Prompt: Respond fully to this question:

What do you hope to learn in your business communication course, and how do you plan to ensure your learning?


Consider sharing specific successes as well as challenges (if any) you may have experienced in the past and hope to remedy in your business communication class.

Assessment: As a first writing sample, this assignment is typically not graded, so relax and write naturally to provide your instructor with a snapshot of your current writing skills. Your instructor will tell you how to format your response.

Which Is It–i.e. or e.g.?

[Instructors: Download PDFs of the exercise and suggested solutions at the end of the post.]

Image from Bird GEI

The Latin abbreviations i.e.and e.g.are often confused because although they do not mean the exact same thing, they are closely related.

I.e. is the abbreviation for id est, or in English, that is. It is another way to say in other wordsand is used to introduce further clarification.

Example: My job requires good communication skills, i.e., clear writing and fluent conversing.

E.g. stands for the Latin exempli gratia, or in English, for example, and is used to introduce an example.

Example: I enjoy team sports, e.g., field hockey and basketball.

Follow these rules when using i.e. and e.g.

  • Never italicize i.e. or e.g.
  • Always include periods after each letter.
  • Do not start a sentence with i.e. or e.g.
  • Place a comma before and after the abbreviation.

Your task. In the sentences below, choose the correct abbreviation, i.e. or e.g.

  1. As an ER nurse, Joe works the late shift, (i.e. or e.g.), from 12 am to 8 am.
  2. The Winter Olympics include a variety of outdoor activities, (i.e. or e.g.), luge, freestyle skiing, and speed skating.
  3. As sea levels continue to rise, many American cities will be affected, (i.e. or e.g.) New Orleans, New York City, and San Diego.
  4. In addition to hiking and painting, I regularly participate in self-supported bicycle touring, (i.e. or e.g.), traveling hundreds of miles with all my camping equipment.
  5. The marketing team will require only the basic presentation materials for the Atlanta trip (i.e. or e.g.), Product Benefits PowerPoint and Competitor Comparison Checklist.
  6. We eliminated the Cronos shoe from our upcoming catalog after customer complaints pointed us to a significant quality issue, (i.e. or e.g.), the red ink was not colorfast.
  7. I will be traveling on business to three big cities, (i.e. or e.g.), Atlanta, Austin, and Denver.
  8. Our new product line will introduce many new flavors, (i.e. or e.g.), mango chutney, maple walnut, and peach cream.
  9. The hotel offers an array of business services, (i.e. or e.g.), free Wi-Fi, copying, and faxing.
  10. Some African countries, (i.e. or e.g.), Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt, had a high GDP.

Which Is It Exercise

Which Is It Answer Key