Personal Pronouns Essay

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Personal Pronouns in Academic Writing Many essay readers have strong opinions about which personal pronouns are acceptable in academic writing. The easiest way to avoid irking your audience is to omit "I," "we," and "you," (the first and second person pronouns) in formal papers. Writing test graders tend to be a little more flexible in accepting first person pronouns since the prompts encourage students to write from personal experience. However, the majority of the papers you will write in school are not for a state test, so don’t get in the habit of using these pronouns too often. It is important to know when the first or second person is appropriate in an essay, and when it is not. The First Person - I Use of I is most acceptable when you are relating a personal anecdote. This can be an effective way to write an introduction. For example: “I will always remember the stories my grandfather told me about his experience in World War II. His memories about the brave acts of his fellow soldiers on the beaches of Normandy influence my definition of heroism in many ways . . . “ In contrast, it is rarely advisable to introduce a thesis with I. Consider this example: “I believe that computers should be banned due to the risk they pose to all mankind in the potential for an electronic anti-human revolt.” This sentence is phrased as a personal opinion rather than an authoritative statement. Most readers, however, expect a paper to present an authoritative and factually supported thesis, not a mere opinion. In general, this use of I should be avoided. Second-Person Pronouns - You There is nothing inherently wrong with addressing the reader as you in a formal paper. However, for most readers, you carries a tremendous sense of informality, and in a sentence that gives advice or demands action, it may seem outright aggressive. You should

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