avoid

Avoiding 2nd Person



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hello this is mrs. McClendon and this is

a powerpoint on a voiding second person

in your academic writing many first-year

college students have a great deal of

difficulty with this concept they have

used the word you are your which are the

two second person forms of the pronoun

they've used it constantly in their

writing and to eliminate it from their

writing sometimes there's a real

struggle so if that's you know that

you're in good company however let's

talk about just what is second person

what do we mean by it and what's the big

deal with it anyway

well writing in second person means that

the writer is directly addressing his or

her readers so in academic writing we

tend to want to talk about ideas and we

want to let the strengths of our

arguments stand on their own we don't

want to address directly our readers so

usually when we're writing in second

person we are using the word you or

perhaps your or the contraction for you

are and by the way this is a sign note

if you confuse those words or any of

these contractions for this point

pronouns you need to study those you

need to conquer those those are things

that you should have already mastered

but I admit they are very hard but it's

just not a mistake that a college-level

writer should make it doesn't indicate

an educated person so whenever you use

the word you are one of its forms

be aware you're using second person so

as I said we're usually trying to let

our readers decide for themselves we

want our writing to sound more

authoritative more forceful than writing

with second person so we want to just

get rid of that

you threw out our papers so how do you

do it what are some strategies I have

five different strategies that you can

try none of them work

all the time but let's go through them

here's the first one change a word that

retains two in words seasoning to a word

that refers to a group of people instead

of using the word do you change to

another word that refers to a group of

people so look at the example you should

obey the traffic laws well there's that

word you so what kind of people are emma

is the writer saying should obey the

traffic laws drivers or how about

motorists or how about citizens should

obey traffic laws so see if you can come

up with a group of people who

specifically should obey the traffic

laws

maybe individuals isn't second strategy

use the word person or people they're

kind of generic words but you could you

could substitute person or plural people

for the word you here's the sentence you

already know that the world is round

well I could say most people know that

the world is round

here's a third strategy you could use

the word one in place of the word you

you might think this task is impossible

but it is easier than it seems so if I

replace the word you with the generic

word one it might it would read one

might think this task is impossible but

it's easier than it seems

so just replacing that word you with the

word like one great person or how about

someone or somebody you may feel

compelled to argue against this point

someone may feel compelled to argue

against this point or somebody might

feel compelled to argue against this

point here's my favorite one simply

remove and unnecessary you before you

start replacing the word you with

another word like one or somebody or

people check and see if you can just

remove it look at this sentence every

drill you practice in boot camp is

important how about this sentence every

practice drilling boot camp is important

in boot camp do you see the word you is

not necessary at all and most of the

many times that will be the case you can

simply remove it you may have to

rearrange the sentence just a bit look

at this sentence after taking ski

lessons for just one morning you will be

able to use a ski lift and ski from the

top of the mountain well that's fine if

somebody's talking to you trying to sell

you ski lessons but you are writing

about ski lessons so we need to remove

second person morning ski lessons will

teach here's my group beginner skiers to

use a ski lift and

down from the top of the mountain so I

had to do a little bit of rearranging on

this sentence and I substituted the word

you with the group beginner skiers all

right

let's review what are the strategies

we've gone over you could use a word

that refers to a group of people as we

did in that last example you could use

the word person singular or people

plural you could use the word one to

substitute for the word to you you could

use somebody or something the bet one of

the best just remove it all together see

if then make that your first strategy

and then finally rearrange the sentence

somewhat and so you might need a

combination of that one with one two or

three or even four try one more to be a

good citizen means to be involved in

your community hmm did you catch the

second person word you're expect it's

the right spelling but it's a second

person word can you reword it how about

this one to be a good citizen means

being involved in one's community people

who are involved in their community are

good citizens do you see how use the

word people there and my favorite is the

last good citizens are involved in their

community why did I say that's my

favorite well as shorter it's taken out

some of the extra words it's more

concise it's more direct into the point

and that actually is good writing thanks

for listening