Formal papers should not address the reader directly. Second person pronouns include: you, your, yours, yourself. Because it doesn’t belong in formal academic writing. Second person pulls the reader into the action. Second person uses you and your.
When you use 2nd person point of view, you are directly addressing the reader, kind of like I am doing right now. To avoid a “choose your own adventure” feel or an aggressive tone, mix up sentence structure and add in description and dialogue. Second person refers to point of view that directly addresses the reader. How to Avoid Second Person The second person point­of­view is shown by the pronouns “you, your, yours, you all.” It is the bane of English teachers everywhere. 1. After all, how can we think without using our experience? However, it can be difficult to write without second person because the word you is such a major part of our speech. Generally, it is best to avoid second person pronouns in scholarly writing because they remove the distance between the reader and the writer. (See APA 7, Section 4.16 for more information.) Why must we drive a stake through our cerebral cortex before writing? This point of view shows too much familiarity with the reader since you speak to them directly like you know them. One main problem with second person is that it … Avoiding Second Person One of the main rules of writing formal, academic papers is to avoid using second person. “Do not use the first person” is perhaps the most unfortunate writing myth that handicaps inexperienced writers. You should also avoid using the second person point of view, such as by referring to the reader as “you.” Instead, write directly about your subject matter in the third person. Readers see the world from your narrator’s perspective, including intimate thoughts and feelings. Avoid using this pronoun at all costs because you never want to communicate directly with the reader.

Never use “I,” “my,” or otherwise refer to yourself in formal academic writing. Second person refers to the pronoun you. Understand when the first person is preferable to second or third person. While this is okay when writing a personal letter, it is not okay in formal writing, especially essays or research papers. However, it’s easy to overplay constructions such as I did this and I thought that and I … Instead, try to use first or third person pronouns to enhance clarity. Why do English teachers hate second person so much? Most Walden programs and APA (2020) allow the appropriate use of first person. First-person narrative engages people in a way they don’t experience with second and third person. Avoid second person pronouns.
Second person should never be used in academic writing. Use the third person point of view. Especially if you write in the present tense, second person allows the reader to experience the story as if it’s their own.

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