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Can I use the first person voice in my academic writing?

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2016  |  264 Views

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Please check with your instructor to determine his/her preferences. Using the first person voice (e.g, I, me, my) is expected in personal reflective writing, but you might also use the first person voice in other types of essays when describing your personal experiences to avoid ambiguity. APA Style supports the use of the first person voice where it's appropriate (McAdoo, 2009), but please follow the direction from your instructor. For more comprehensive information, please see "First person pronouns (I, me)", which is a writing tip on the Writing Centre website.

If your instructor prefers that you not use the first person voice, try writing the sentence using the first person and then take out or change the necessary words or phrases. For example, "I think Canadians talk more about the weather than people living in areas with consistent climates because seasonal weather fluctuations influence our activities for most of the year" becomes "Canadians talk more about the weather than people living in areas with consistent climates because seasonal weather fluctuations influence Canadians' activities for most of the year". 

Reference

McAdoo, T. (2009, September 10). Use of first person in APA Style [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/09/use-of-first-person-in-apa-style.html

Answered by Theresa BellBookmark and Share

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