Using I In A Research Paper

Using I In A Research Paper-83
The which I edit allows authors to use whichever approach they prefer.A related issue for research students writing a thesis is whether to use “I” or “we”, especially when the material has previously appeared in a co-authored paper.

For example, use it when stating a nonstandard assumption (“Unlike Day and Gastel, I assumed that…”).

Or use it when explaining a personal action or observation (“We decided not to include…”).

(I edited all chapters to consistently use “we” before it went to print.) There are still some journals and research supervisors who insist that research writing must be in the passive voice.

However, the situation is slowly changing and now many journals accept, or even encourage, the use of personal pronouns.

, set about finding out whether it is ok to use the first person in scientific writing.

He looked up a number of books on writing research papers.

Shultz concludes that “first-person pronouns in scientific writing are acceptable if used in a limited fashion and to enhance clarity.” In other words, don’t pepper your paper with I’s and We’s.

But you don’t have to rigidly avoid the first person either.

In general, I prefer students to use “I” when they mean the author, as it is thesis.

(The royal “we” should only be used by monarchs.) However, it is very important to include a statement at the front of the thesis clarifying the role of co-authors involved with any parts of the thesis.


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