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The Power of First Person Point of View in Academic Writing

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student writing in her desk.

The Power of First Person Point of View in Academic Writing

Academic writing can often be dry and impersonal, making it difficult for readers to connect with the content. The first-person point of view can help to address this issue by adding a personal touch to the writing.

When used correctly, this writing style can help establish credibility, convey expertise, and connect with the reader. It can also be used to express personal experiences and insights, which can add depth and nuance to the content.

First-person point of view is a writing style where the writer uses “I,” “we,” “me,” or “us” to refer to themselves. In other words, the writer becomes a character in the story or text, sharing their experiences, opinions, and perspectives. This writing style is often used in creative writing but can also be used in academic writing to convey a more personal and engaging tone.

This article aims to explore the use of the first-person point of view in academic writing. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of using this writing style, provide tips for using it effectively, and offer examples of how it can be used in different types of academic writing.

By the end of this article, readers will better understand when and how to use this writing style in their academic writing and will be equipped with the tools they need to do so effectively.

What are the advantages of the first-person point of view in writing?

What are the advantages of the first-person point of view in writing? A first-person point of view can help to increase engagement with readers by creating a more personal and relatable tone. Using “I” or “we,” the writer becomes a character in the story or text, which can help create a stronger connection with the reader. This connection can help to hold the reader’s attention and make the content more memorable.

It can also help to personalize the paper, making it feel more authentic and genuine. The writer can create a unique and memorable voice by sharing personal experiences, opinions, and perspectives. This personalization can help establish the writer’s credibility and authority on the topic and create a more engaging reading experience.

Young woman looking out the window while taking an exam.

Using this type of writing style can also help establish the writer’s authority and credibility. By sharing personal experiences and insights, the writer can demonstrate their expertise and knowledge on the subject matter. This can help establish the writer as a trusted source of information and lend credibility to their arguments and conclusions.

It can also be used to share personal anecdotes and experiences that help to illustrate key points or arguments. By using personal examples, the writer can add depth and nuance to their writing and create a more engaging reading experience. These personal anecdotes and experiences can help to bring the content to life and make it more memorable for the reader.

Overall, using a first-person point of view in academic writing can have numerous advantages. By creating a more personal and engaging tone, establishing authority and credibility, and sharing personal anecdotes and experiences, writers can create a more memorable and impactful reading experience for their audience.

What are the disadvantages of the first-person point of view?

What are the disadvantages of the first-person point of view? While the first person’s point of view can be an effective tool for establishing credibility, overuse can have the opposite effect.

Writers who rely too heavily on personal anecdotes and experiences can make their writing feel unbalanced and unprofessional. This can undermine their credibility and cause readers to question the validity of their arguments or conclusions.

Another potential disadvantage of this writing style is that it can limit the perspective of the writer. When writers use “I” or “we” to refer to themselves, they are inherently limited by their own experiences and perspectives. This can make presenting a balanced or objective view of the topic difficult and limit the writer’s ability to explore alternative viewpoints or perspectives.

Finally, the overuse of this writing style can distract readers. When writers use “I” or “we” too frequently, it can draw attention away from the content and towards the writer. This can make the writing feel self-indulgent or self-promoting, which can be off-putting for readers.

Overall, while there are many advantages to using the first-person point of view in academic writing, there are also potential disadvantages that writers should be aware of. By using the first person point of view sparingly, balancing personal anecdotes with objective analysis, and remaining mindful of their perspective, writers can avoid these pitfalls and use the first person point of view effectively in their writing.

Dos and don’ts of using first person point of view in academic writing

Dos

Use first person sparingly: As we have discussed, overuse of the first person point of view can undermine the credibility of the writing. To avoid this, writers should use “I” or “we” sparingly and only when it adds value to the content.

Male student using a laptop for college application in a libaray.

Use the first person to personalize the paper: When used effectively, it can help to personalize the paper, making it feel more authentic and engaging. Writers should use personal anecdotes and experiences to add depth and nuance to the content.

Use first person to establish authority and credibility: By sharing personal experiences and insights, writers can establish their expertise and credibility on the subject matter. This can help build the reader’s trust and lend credibility to their arguments and conclusions.

Use first person to connect with the reader: Finally, a first-person point of view can create a stronger connection. By using “I” or “we,” writers can create a more personal and relatable tone, which can help to engage the reader and hold their attention.

Don’ts

Overuse first person: As we have discussed, overuse of the first person point of view can be distracting and undermine the credibility of the writing. Writers should use “I” or “we” sparingly and only when it adds value to the content.

Use first person inappropriately: Writers should avoid using first person point of view inappropriately or in a way that detracts from the content. For example, using “I” or “we” to avoid critical thinking or taking responsibility for an argument can be problematic.

Use the first person to avoid critical thinking: Finally, writers should avoid using it to avoid critical thinking or making unsupported claims. Using personal anecdotes or experiences to support an argument can be effective, but writers must also be able to provide objective analysis and evidence to support their claims.

By following these dos and don’ts, writers can effectively use the first-person point of view in their academic writing, creating a more engaging and impactful reading experience for their audience.

Techniques for using first person point of view in academic writing

Academic writing is typically associated with a formal and objective tone, sometimes making it seem dry and uninteresting.

However, using the first-person point of view can help to create a more personal and engaging tone in academic writing. Below, we will explore techniques for using this writing style in academic writing, including active voice, pronouns, vivid language, and descriptive details. By incorporating these techniques, writers can create a more impactful and memorable reading experience for their audience.

Use of active voice

Using active voice can help to create a more engaging and impactful tone in first-person point-of-view writing. Active voice emphasizes the subject of the sentence and can help to develop a sense of agency and action. This can help to hold the reader’s attention and make the writing more memorable.

Use of pronouns

Using pronouns can help to create a more personal and relatable tone in first-person point-of-view writing. Using “I” or “we,” writers can create a stronger connection with the reader and help establish their authority and expertise on the subject matter.

Use of vivid language

Using vivid language can help to create a more engaging and impactful reading experience for the audience. By using descriptive adjectives, strong verbs, and colorful metaphors, writers can bring the content to life and create a more memorable reading experience for their audience.

Use of descriptive details

Using descriptive details can help to create a more immersive reading experience for the audience. By describing scenes, characters, and settings in detail, writers can help the reader to visualize the content and create a more engaging reading experience.

Male student writing an essay in front of the laptop.

Overall, by using these techniques in conjunction with the first-person point of view, writers can create a more personal, engaging, and impactful reading experience for their audience.

Conclusion

A first-person point of view can be a powerful tool for engaging readers and establishing credibility and authority in academic writing. By using “I” or “we” to refer to themselves, writers can create a personal and relatable tone, share personal experiences and insights, and establish a connection with the reader. However, overuse of this writing style can be distracting and undermine the credibility of the writing.

To use the first person point of view effectively in academic writing, writers should use “I” or “we” sparingly, use personal anecdotes and experiences when they add value to the content, establish their authority and credibility on the subject matter, and connect with the reader. They should also avoid overusing the first-person point of view, misusing it, or using it to avoid critical thinking.

While it can be a powerful tool for engaging readers and creating a personal and relatable tone, it should be used judiciously and in conjunction with other techniques and strategies. Writers should always consider the needs and expectations of their audience and be mindful of the potential advantages and disadvantages of using a first-person point of view in their writing.

By using the first person’s point of view effectively and appropriately, writers can create a more engaging and impactful reading experience for their audience.

Having all the necessary information is essential before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.

 

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