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Point of View Research Papers
When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. This resource provides a list of key concepts, words, and phrases that multi-lingual writers may find useful if they are new to writing in the North American educational context. It covers concepts and and key words pertaining to the stages in the writing process, style, citation and reference, and other common expressions in academic writing.
Point of View in Academic Writing
When we write, our tendency is to personalize the text by writing in the first person. This is acceptable when writing personal information, a journal, or a book. However, it is not common in academic writing. Some writers find the use of first , second , or third person point of view a bit confusing while writing research papers. Since second person is avoided while writing in academic or scientific papers,the main confusion remains within first or third person.
The point of view you write in affects how readers react to your ideas. When writing a research paper, avoid using first person words like "I" and "we," and second person point of view using "you," because they generally create less formal language. Although personal essays, lab experiments or survey results sections of papers may use some first person language, third person point of view most often gets used in formal academic writing and when referencing other people's work in order to lend integrity to the ideas. Third person uses nouns like people and pronouns such as he, she, they, it, his, her, their, its, him and them.