1. Poupeth
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    Poupeth New Member

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    what point of view are you suppose to write in for academic writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Poupeth, Jun 19, 2010.

    Please someone help me. should I be writing in first, second, or third person?


    if you guys don't mind sharing your written essays, please post them. I would love to read them and try to learn many different styles of writing. I'm insecure about my writing and I myself want to be better writer. :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are many kinds of academic writing, In most cases, you will be using third person, though.

    There are many sites that focus specifically on writing essays and other academic writing.
     
  3. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    It is definitely mostly in third-person. I believe it's "wrong" or inappropriate to use first-person pronouns like "I," "me," and "my" in academic writing. It reminds me of a little kid's paper or presentation, where they would say something like "For my paper, I wrote about turtles." People know the paper is from you, so it's all assumed.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not necessarily. For example, a report on a series of experiments performed by the stuident should describe what he, she, or they did in first person. Most schools now prefer that over descriptions in passive voice.

    They prefer:
    instead of:
    But the majority of your academic papers should be in third person.
     
  5. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    Ah yes, I didn't consider that.
     
  6. Poupeth
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    Poupeth New Member

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    Thank you, for your help guys.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    be more specific about what you mean by 'academic writing' and we can give you more specific advice...
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The other thing is that passive is much more common in academic writing than in other styles and is actively encouraged in some cases, especially in scientific writing where it is significant that the results should be independent of who performed the actions. But that also depends on exactly what it is you're writing. As Cog says, first person is becoming the norm for lab reports in schools. It's also becoming a little more acceptable in scholarly scientific papers (since Heisenberg it's been less clear that we can eliminate the observer), but the norm for scholarly scientific papers is still 3rd person passive.
     
  9. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most universities and even individual institutions got nice accessible, easy to understand documents about how they like to have things written.

    My suggestion is that you simply pick up such a document at some university/college for the field you interested in.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    True, but in my experience it varies a lot between faculties and even individual tutors. The style that got me marks in linguistics lost me marks in philosophy because it was considered too formal. And either style would have been far too informal when I was learning vector field theory. The only general advice that I think it's safe to give is "know your audience".
     

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