Here’s a final example: Original example: In this example, there is no real need to announce that that statement about Aristotle is your thought; this is your paper, so readers will assume that the ideas in it are yours. The rules for this are changing, so it’s always best to ask your instructor if you’re not sure about using first person. Sciences: In the past, scientific writers avoided the use of “I” because scientists often view the first person as interfering with the impression of objectivity and impersonality they are seeking to create.But conventions seem to be changing in some cases—for instance, when a scientific writer is describing a project she is working on or positioning that project within the existing research on the topic.
Although there are certainly some instructors who think that these rules should be followed (so it is a good idea to ask directly), many instructors in all kinds of fields are finding reason to depart from these rules.
Avoiding “I” can lead to awkwardness and vagueness, whereas using it in your writing can improve style and clarity.
Don’t get so caught up in narrating the actual event that you forget to also go into detail on the importance of it. As you shift from the event itself, which occurred in the past, and how it has continued to impact your life, be sure to use the appropriate verb tense and keep it consistent.
Some writers will describe a past event in present tense, hoping to make the reader feel more involved.
When in doubt, stick with past tense for the actual event and present tense to discuss the change.
This handout is about determining when to use first person pronouns (“I”, “we,” “me,” “us,” “my,” and “our”) and personal experience in academic writing.However, the reader can be brought further into the essay by incorporating a variety of senses: sound, smell, touch and taste, in addition to sight. As you describe this event, person, place, etc., don’t lose focus on the main idea: how the event changed you.This is the thesis of your personal essay, and it is important that you demonstrate how the details come together to create this thesis.Here are some tips on making a personal essay more effective: Focus on detail.The writer’s job is to show, not tell, what happened.A personal essay is a broad essay that often incorporates a variety of writing styles.Most personal essay assignments ask writers to write about an important person, event or time period in their life.If you’ve decided that you do want to use one of them, this handout offers some ideas about how to do so effectively, because in many cases using one or the other might strengthen your writing.Students often arrive at college with strict lists of writing rules in mind.Here is an example in which alternatives to the first person would be more appropriate: Original example: In the original example, using the first person grounds the experience heavily in the writer’s subjective, individual perspective, but the writer’s purpose is to describe a phenomenon that is in fact objective or independent of that perspective.Avoiding the first person here creates the desired impression of an observed phenomenon that could be reproduced and also creates a stronger, clearer statement.