Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is It Okay?

Should I Use "I"?

The rest of this handout is devoted to strategies for figuring out when to use I and personal experience.You might choose to use I but not make any reference to your individual experiences in a particular paper.

Essay cartoon - First person in research paper

about Aristotle is your thought; this is your paper, so readers will assume that the ideas in it are yours. Clarity: Because trying to avoid the first person can

lead to awkward constructions and vagueness, using the first person can improve your writing style. You may not realize how many good reasons there are to try and find out more about the people around you. Positioning yourself in the essay: In some projects, you need to explain how your research or ideas build on or depart from the work of others, in which case youll need to say I, we, my, or our; if you wish to claim some kind. Better example: A study of the communication styles of first-year Carolina women revealed frequent use of non-verbal cues. Here are some suggestions about including personal experience in writing for specific fields: Philosophy: In philosophical writing, your purpose is generally to reconstruct or evaluate an existing argument, and/or to generate your own. But most religion courses take a cultural, historical, or textual approach, and these generally require objectivity and impersonality. Avoiding I can lead to awkwardness and vagueness, whereas using it in your writing can improve style and clarity. A "complementary" account is given of the relation of consciousness to its neural correlates.3 (Economos, Koch Crick, Van Gulick, and Navon) and, finally, of the role of consciousness in evolution.4 (Mangan, Corteen, Klein, editorial, andSchaeken d'Ywalle). But sometimes you might need to explicitly situate your position as researcher in relation to your subject of study. Harris essay (2014) discovered similar consequences of active duty. Academic writers almost always use alternatives to the second person pronoun, such as one, the reader, or people. Some specific writing situations, such as application essays, explicitly call for discussion of personal experience. Personal experience in academic writing The question of whether personal experience has a place in academic writing depends on context and purpose. What this handout is about, this handout is about determining when to use first person pronouns (I, we, me, us, my, and our) and personal experience in academic writing. Although you may run across instructors who find the casual style of the original example refreshing, they are probably rare. Some film and literature scholars are interested in how a film or literary text is received by different audiences, so a discussion of how a particular viewer or reader experiences or identifies with the piece would probably be appropriate. After all, whether you're talking about new friends, employees, doctors, caretakers for elderly family members, or even significant others, you, as a citizen, have a right to know whether the people you surround yourself with are who they say they are. Of course, if youre working in the social sciences, case studiesaccounts of the personal experiences of other peopleare a crucial part of your scholarship. This field is also one in which you might be asked to keep a journal, a kind of writing that requires you to apply theoretical concepts to your experiences. Sherryl 2 years ago 0, thumbs up 0, thumbs down, comment.

Religion, which not only includes teachers and babysitters. It, you should perform a background check. As I observed the what does critique mean in an essay communication styles of firstyear Carolina women.

While first person can definitely be overused in academic essays (which is likely why your teachers tell you not to use it there are moments in a paper when it is not only appropriate, but also more effective and/or persuasive to use first person.First person and personal experience might sound like two ways of saying the same thing, but first person and personal experience can work in very different ways in your writing.

Spiegel, in many cases, no, no, using personal experience copyright effectively usually means keeping it in the service of your argument. Subscribe, if youve decided that you do want to use one of them. Sections, this handout offers some ideas about how to do so effectively. Maintaining third person point of view requires explaining ideas without direct references to yourself or your readers. I think that Aristotles ethical arguments are logical and readily applicable to contemporary cases. Lloyd, using Third Person, using the first person pronoun can improve your writing.


Writers in these fields tend to value assertiveness and to emphasize agency (whos doing what so the first person is oftenbut not alwaysappropriate.(See our handout on writing in history for more information.) Sciences: Because the primary purpose is to study data and fixed principles in an objective way, personal experience is less likely to have a place in this kind of writing.Personal experience can play a very useful role in your philosophy papers, as long as you always explain to the reader how the experience is related to your argument.

How to Write a Research Paper in the Third Person Pen

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