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Writing Tip #15: When to use "I" and "one"

Writing Tip #15: First and third person: When to use “I” and “one”

Most people find writing in first person easy. We get a chance to write about ourselves, something we know quite a bit about! Difficulty often comes when the assignment calls for third person writing.

Using the word “I” is obviously writing in first person. To replace it, use the word “one” or use a person’s name or title, even if that person is you. Simply write your name and continue writing as an observer.

It’s an odd feeling the first time you write about yourself in third person, but the more you do it the more normal it will feel.

An example of using the word “one” in the third person is: “One can easily remove the hard drive from a computer.”

Using “one” instead of “you” or “I” immediately relegates the sentence to third person status instead of first. “One” also makes the sentence more academic or professional.


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Published on by bcalvano.