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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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"Not I"
I want to find out about the extent to which school pupils and university students are discouraged by English teachers/lecturers from using the first person pronoun in essays.

Does anyone know whether recent-ish research has been carried out on that topic - or where might be a good place to look for it?

Creme and Lea quote cont:
"In social studies you may carry out an interview and yet not reveal this when you write about it. You may have been moved by a film but are rarely expected to discuss your feelings about it in a film studies assignment. Underlying these questions is your position in relation to your material. Most importantly, if you do use ‘I’ and bring your own opinions into your university writing, you are still meant to stand outside your material and to be able to be objective about it, to think about it without being emotional or one-sided in your opinions. This distance from the subject matter is a mark of academic writing, even when it is clear that the writer has a strong view about their subject. Yet it is still possible for you to have a sense of ownership of your material and authority in your writing if you are confident about using the subject matter. However, it can be difficult to get enough confidence to think that what you write will be adequate when you are dealing with a new subject. It is therefore equally difficult to claim the ‘right’ to write as ‘I’ when you don’t yet have a clear sense of your identity as a writer of that subject. What is it like to write as ‘I’? It is important to remember that whenever we use ‘I’ in writing, the ‘I’ character is in a sense a fictional construction created for the purpose of claiming the right to say something in this particular piece. Just as we talk differently to different people in different situations, in writing our sense of ‘I’ depends on whom we are addressing and why, and how we are writing. Your university ‘I’ is different in each assignment you write. In general, if you are not told otherwise, our advice is to use ‘I’ if it seems sensible for your purposes. Don’t pretend that you don’t exist in your assignment if you do, even if you have to find ways of putting yourself there such as, ‘It seems to me . . .’ or, more impersonally, ‘The evidence seems to suggest . . .’. This is a good example of the writer who is ‘there’ in her writing, since it is she who is drawing the conclusion, while claiming that the conclusion just comes from ‘the evidence’. However, she is only present in the writing invisibly, which is often the case in academic writing. She does not use ‘I’ because she seems to be suggesting that the ‘evidence’ is more important than her own views. We will explore this apparent ‘disappearance’ of the writer further in the readings below.
"9.5 From the personal to the academic
One way of thinking about the specificity of academic writing is to compare it with what we can broadly term ‘personal’ writing, where the writer is obviously at its centre and there seems to be a clear relationship between what is written and the writer. Then you can think of writing for university as a shift from a personal to an academic way of thinking and writing, involving shifts in the writer’s sense of ‘I’ in their writing in specific ways."

Thanks - that's a really useful quotation! I've asked the same question on Facebook, and it's apparent there that there's a very wide range of practices, and justifications for those practices...

Thanks too for the journal suggestions: I'll take a look and see what comes up!