Should A Research Paper Be Written In The Third Person

Personal belief or opinion is generally not sufficient in itself; you will need evidence of some kind to convince your reader.

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Often these are rather strict lists of absolutes, including rules both stated and unstated: We get these ideas primarily from teachers and other students.

Often these ideas are derived from good advice but have been turned into unnecessarily strict rules in our minds.

First person is the point of view where the speaker refers to him or herself.

Personal Writing, such as for a reflective essay, or a "personal response" discussion posting, can be written in the first person (using "I" and "me"), and may use personal opinions and anecdotes as evidence for the point you are trying to make.

But in most academic writing situations, “you” sounds overly conversational, as for instance in a claim like “when you read the poem ‘The Wasteland,’ you feel a sense of emptiness.” In this case, the “you” sounds overly conversational.

The statement would read better as “The poem ‘The Wasteland’ creates a sense of emptiness.” Academic writers almost always use alternatives to the second person pronoun, such as “one,” “the reader,” or “people.” The question of whether personal experience has a place in academic writing depends on context and purpose.

They are the perspectives from which a piece of writing is told.

Different writing assignments and types use different points of view.

Humanities: Ask your instructor whether you should use “I.” The purpose of writing in the humanities is generally to offer your own analysis of language, ideas, or a work of art.

Writers in these fields tend to value assertiveness and to emphasize agency (who’s doing what), so the first person is often—but not always—appropriate.


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