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Starter Level Advice

Verbs - Personal or impersonal (active; passive; 3rd person)

In some academic subjects (e.g. some scientific and engineering areas) it is not acceptable to write 'I did ...'

This is seen as too personal, not objective enough. A more impersonal style may be needed.

There are two ways of avoiding saying I, we or you:
  • passive
  • 3rd person.

Check with your tutors to see what is acceptable in your subject area or in certain types of written work.

The following pages describe 'active', 'passive' and '3rd person'.

© Learning & Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University 2004