By Mr Field

What is it? Why do we need to recognise it?

Bias is putting across an unfair or unbalanced opinion.

If you were asked to write a fair and balanced account of a football match between

Queensland and NSW, you would have to describe exactly what happened truthfully.

If you supported Queensland, you might describe any NSW tries as ‘lucky’,

but any Queensland try as ‘fantastic’ or ‘skilful’. Doing this would be biased. You

 would be putting across an unfair or unbalanced opinion.

This is an account of a football match written by a Queensland supporter.
Queensland lost 38 - 0 !

“NSW was so lucky in the game. The superb and skilful Queensland players were beaten by the lucky, cheating NSW players.
The referee was totally biased, he allowed four tries that all should have been 'no-tries'.
I have never seen so much luck and cheating.”

Here the writer is showing bias.

NSW is always described a lucky or

cheating, whereas Queensland is

always described as superb. He insults

the referee and gives no credit to the

NSW players.


As historians we have to be very careful of bias - if we are using a source from a long time ago,

it is important to know who wrote the source, who created the source and, most importantly, why

 they wrote what they did. Did they have a reason for writing what they did? Were they being fair

 and balanced, or were they showing bias?

Bias can be very useful though - it allows us to learn about people’s opinions, what they believed,

 including what or who they supported.

Recognising bias is a skill that all historians need to develop.

 Copy in your book, and complete the sentences in the box on the right. Then add in the missing words from the table below:

- Bias is where someone has an_______ opinion about something.

- We can recognise bias by
finding ______  _______.

 - Bias is useful to us, as it helps
us find out a person’s _______or ________.

- If someone _________a particular football team, they are likely to _______bias when describing a match.

- Everything their team does would be described as _________, and everything the opposing team does
would be described as ________ or _______.