First Person vs. Third Person

 

Not being able to write in third person is a common pain point among authors. In academic writing, generally third person is preferred over first person. Sentences written in first person are considered somewhat self-serving and arrogant. Therefore, we must avoid them preferably in academic writing. However, some journals allow the use of first person in select sections of the manuscript such as the abstract or introduction. While drafting the results and conclusion sections, the journals prefer the use of third person. Let us go through a few examples to understand the use of first, second, and third person in academic writing.

Incorrect: I centrifuged the solution at 3,000 rpm for 10 min.

Correct: The solution was centrifuged at 3,000 rpm for 10 min.


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