I Need You to Say “I”: Why First Person is Important in College Writing
In this essay, I argue against the common misconception that “I” has no place in formal writing. I discuss many theoretical and rhetorical ways (objectivity and intellectual integrity, and clarity and organization, respectively) in which first person, used prudently, can improve written argument. I then show some examples of academic prose that illustrate the rhetorical concepts I’ve described. Finally, I list some hypothetical writing tasks where “I” might work and warn against some where it won't.