Used too frequently or without care, it can make a writer seem self-centered, even self-obsessed. A paper filled with I, me, and mine can be distracting to a reader, as it creates the impression that the writer is more interested in him- writing paper for college or herself than the subject matter. Additionally, the first person is often a more casual mode, and if used carelessly, it can make a writer seem insufficiently serious for an academic project.Once important exception to this rule is if you are writing a personal reflection paper. The essays you wrote as part of your college application probably fit this category.Knowing how to write about yourself is essential when applying to graduate school or filling out job applications, especially on those pesky cover letters. Talking about yourself can be uncomfortable and difficult, but its a skill you neglect at your peril. Compare the following two sentences and tell me which is more descriptive: The corgi liked her new ball.
So whats the difference? Its is the possessive form of it, as in, The corgi loved its lobster costume.Only use its when referring to something that you could safely call. People generally do not fit this category, particularly in formal writing. Its, on the other hand, is the contracted (which is just a fancy way of saying shortened) form of. Just as youre is short for you are or theyre is short for they are, so its is short for.Only write essay comparing two books use its where you could also use it is, as in, Look at the corgiits so cute! If you remember the difference between its and its, youre certain to impress your professors. When in Doubt, Stick to Third Person (Usually). When youre writing a formal paper, its generally best to stick to the third person.Avoid phrases such as I believe, I think, or you know. Not only are these phrases inappropriately informal, but they also make your writing seem weak and wishy-washy. If you really think or believe something, show it with concrete evidence. Writing Commons has a more nuanced view on this topic, but this observation is a good one for writers who are unsure: Why do teachers often counsel against using the first person in an academic paper?
I dont know about the rest of you, but here at my school midterms are right around the corner. For lots of you Im sure that means a bunch of papers will soon be due. With that in mind, here are six tips to help your writing stand apart (note that 300 is merely an estimate of your improvement.Dont Trust Spell Check! Were quite lucky that we have software that can catch our spelling mistakes. Despite all its sophistication, though, its still no substitute for knowing proper usage. Computers are stupid; they cant distinguish such subtleties as the difference between: your and youre its and its their, theyre and there.Dont be the student who turns in a paper with these basic errors always proofread your papers! Or visit your schools i didn do my research paper writing center (see tip 5). Its Does Not Equal Its.Since spell check doesnt know the difference, this rule bears repeating. Its bad enough to make this error in an informal social media situation, but its a truly capital offense in formal writing (this mistake irks every English professor or teacher Ive had).
Thomas Frank, last Updated: October 4, 2014, follow @TomFrankly. This weeks article is a guest post. Ransom is a sophomore at the College of Wooster majoring in English and best essays in slouching towards bethlehem has been an incredibly active CIG reader leaving well thought-out comments on articles, listening to the podcast, submitting listener tips and questions for Q A episodes, and more all things that Ive.Not only that, but Ransom has also taken the time to create his own website, portfolio, and blog using the personal website guide and he did it when he was a freshman! I can safely say that Ransoms got his sh*t together.On his blog, Ransoms been writing about grammar usage and other English tips things that are definitely useful to students. Based on this work, Im happy to bring you a guest post from him enjoy his writing tips, and start crafting kick-ass papers!