How to avoid writing in first person 07.29.2013

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Students struggle with writing in a clear academic voice. Here is a presentation that shows them how to avoid writing in first person with some additional resources.

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How to avoid writing in first person 07.29.2013

  1. 1. HOW TO AVOID WRITING IN FIRST PERSON Dr. Andree C. Swanson Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  2. 2. POOR EXAMPLE  As I took on the leadership of the new organization, motivational theories came to mind. I thought about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how I could implement this motivational theory. Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  3. 3. BETTER EXAMPLE  Taking the leadership of the new organization, motivational theories could be considered. One theory was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how this theory could be implemented. Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  4. 4. HOW DO I AVOID WRITING IN FIRST PERSON? It's not easy, however, wh en you try to find your academic voice, you will take you out of the picture.  Helpful Websites:  Point of View and Voice  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/o wl/resource/560/15/  How to Avoid Writing in First Person  http://elearning.homestead.co m/first_person_writing.htm Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  5. 5. “It is important to note that while the avoidance of "I" has long been part of the academic tradition, these days some academics consider its use to be acceptable. So, you may encounter different views about the use of "I" over the course of your degree.” (Monash University, 2007) Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  6. 6. WHEN IN ROME, DO WHAT THE ROMANS DO Don’t fight it. Some faculty members may be sticklers on this. Ensure you comply with your instructor’s requirements. Think of this as a situation where your boss has a specific requirement. Wouldn’t you do it? Image(s) from Instaprints.Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  7. 7. ONE WAY TO AVOID “I” STATEMENTS  One way is to let the assignment "speak for itself“:  For example…  "Idemonstrated a lack of understanding on the topic of proper academic writing."  Could be written as…  “A lack of understanding on the topic created an error in the presentation.”  For example…  “I interpreted the results to mean a = b”  Could be written as…  “Swanson and Crites (2011) stated that a = b.” Note: Use the authors’ names when you are discussing a study or research that was conducted by someone else.(Monash University, 2013) Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013
  8. 8. AVOID FIRST PERSON BY USING PASSIVE VOICE Another way to avoid the first person is to use the passive voice construction: Instead of Write "We administered the questionnaire..." (active voice) "The questionnaire was administered..." (passive voice) "I surveyed the literature" (active voice) "The literature was surveyed" (passive voice) "I took a sample..." (active voice) "A sample was taken" (passive voice) Yes… you should avoid passive voice most of the time, however, sometimes, especially when avoiding writing in first person, it is acceptable. (Monash University, 2013) Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  9. 9. WHEN IN DOUBT…  … on whether to use first person…  Ask your instructor Don’t be afraid to ask! Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  10. 10. REFERENCES  Bowman, L. (2003). How to avoid writing in first person. Retrieved from http://elearning.homestead.com/first_person_writing.h tm  Monash University. (2013). Avoiding the personal pronoun “I”. Retrieved from http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/arts/soci ology/2.3.1.xml  Purdue University. (1995-2011). Point of view and voice. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/15/ Copyright © AC Swanson Group 2009 - 2013

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