The Use of First Person in Writing a Research Proposal

There are several guidelines to be followed when writing a research proposal. For instance, the bibliography may have to be arranged alphabetically, or the content should be divided into sections. The rules differ from one department to another and may even depend on the preference of the instructor. The trick is to follow a format that is standard in your course.

When it comes to writing a research proposal, most students wonder whether to use first, second, or third person. The confusion often occurs when the instructions given are vague and do not specify the narrative point of view. In most cases, a writer can eradicate any uncertainty in writing your research proposal by reading this informative post. In this post, students will understand the where to apply the first, second, and third viewpoints.

First Person Viewpoint

The first person applies when discussing your personal views. In this case, paragraph text is written by utilizing first person pronouns. It in this context, you either use I, our, myself, or we. For example, I found a book that I wanted to read. We rode the bike past the old house in the corner.

In a research proposal, the first person is often avoided because the results are from an experiment and not from an author. For instance, it is incorrect to say “my results how that the duck hatched before the chicken.” Instead, it is ideal to rephrase it and say “According to the result of the proposal, the duck hatched before the chicken.

The use of first-person is also discouraged in academic writing because it is redundant. Furthermore, academic writing must take a formal and impersonal tone unless requested by a teacher. However, personal compositions including a reflective essay apply the first person because it allows an author to express their opinions.

APA referencing style advocates for the use of first person when explaining your own project. We is only accepted if the research has co-authors.

Second Person Viewpoint

It applies the “you” aspect. Common pronouns that denote the second person include:

  • Yourselves
  • Yours
  • You

The purpose of using the second person is to engage the reader. Hence it’s popular in instructional text such as manuals and recipes. It is often not suitable for academic or even scientific paper.

Third Person Viewpoint

It showcases the he, she, it outlook. Apply the third person viewpoint in research proposals and other academic papers. When using a third person viewpoint, the student writing the proposal is able to refer to text from other authors, which is applied as in-text citation. Instead of merely giving personal opinions, the third person creates logic when including credible academic sources to support an argument.

The first, second, and third viewpoints ensure the message intended is communicated clearly. It also results in a diverse outcome in literature content. However, a third point of view is often used in writing the methods and results section of an academic and scientific paper. A first person viewpoint is popular when writing abstracts, conclusion, discussions, and introduction.

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