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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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Types of plagiarism

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Writing Skills

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Mixing it up: Using a variety of sentence structures

Monotony is not favored in any kind of writing, except in directions or lists. Don’t bore your readers to tears. Don’t write the way Ben Stein speaks! Fortunately, the Fathers of the English Language provided us with a plethora of sentence structure possibilities.

A simple sentence can be: “School reform is a complicated topic.”

A compound sentence can look like this: “School reform is a complicated subject, so it can be an effective conversation starter.” Like this: “Because school reform is such a complicated subject, it can be an effective conversation starter.” Or it can add dimension to a paper like this: “Because school reform is such a complicated subject, it can be an effective conversation starter, and it can cause arguments among parents and school officials.”

Another way to mix it up is to use different terms for the same object or subject, or repeat the same term (for emphasis) in different kinds of sentences. Create a wonderfully long sentence, and add a short one directly after it. Turn a sentence into a question. Keep the paper alive and moving! Go forth all you writers, and free us from boring writing.

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Types of plagiarism

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Writing Skills

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Turnitin's “Plagiarism Spectrum” identifies 10 types of plagiarism based on findings from a worldwide survey of nearly 900 secondary and higher education instructors.  Each type of plagiarism has been given a “Web 2.0”-related name to help draw attention to the significant role that the internet and social media play in student writing.  The names are also intended to help make the types easier to identify and remember.

The Spectrum ranks the plagiarism types by severity of intent and also provides data on the frequency and problematic nature of each type.

The “Clone,” which is submitting another’s work as one’s own, came up with the highest frequency in our survey. And, the “Hybrid,” which is the mixing of copied information from multiple sources, came up as the least frequent.  In terms of what concerned instructors the most, the Clone came out as the most problematic, with “Re-Tweet” and “Remix” coming up as the least.

For a complete listing of the types with their definitions, please refer to the Tagging 10 Types of Unoriginal Work infographic.

Written by Turnitin Marketing Manager, Jason Chu

Published on by bcalvano.

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