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.
Research writers frequently wonder whether the first person can be used in academic and scientific writing.
In truth, for generations, we’ve been discouraged from using “I” and “we” in academic writing simply due to old habits.
Recently, however, we’ve shifted back to producing active and engaging prose that incorporates the first person.
However, the use of “I” and “we” still has some generally accepted rules we ought to follow.The APA encourages using personal pronouns for this context.This handout is about determining when to use first person pronouns (“I”, “we,” “me,” “us,” “my,” and “our”) and personal experience in academic writing.In fact, recent papers published in , for example, use "we" to establish an active voice.Be careful when using "this study" or "this paper" with verbs that clearly couldn't have performed the action.[Note: When a long phrase acts as the subject of a passive-voice construction, the sentence becomes difficult to digest.Additionally, since the author(s) conducted the research, it would be clearer to specifically mention them when discussing the focus of a project.][Note: When describing the focus of a research project, many authors often replace "we" with phrases such as "this study" or "this paper." "We," however, is acceptable in this context, including for scientific disciplines.Here’s another example in which an alternative to first person works better: Original example: Although you may run across instructors who find the casual style of the original example refreshing, they are probably rare.The revised version sounds more academic and renders the statement more assertive and direct.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.