Many people may feel that writing a research project is related to bureaucracy since projects contain ideas that will still be tested and will certainly undergo several modifications until conclusive results are obtained. But the truth is that this is an initial step not only demanded in many selective processes but also useful to the researcher since the research development of ideas can guide a researcher through the project productively.

The great difficulty of doing a research project is to have the clarity of the steps necessary to carry out the research that you’re developing, demonstrating that you have the capacity to count on results which you are intended to obtain.

However, the professional activity of the researcher does require not only the scientific research process but also preparing and organizing of research into qualitative texts. Of course, it’s impossible to become a good writer overnight, but you can learn to use a right style and language and avoid possible situations when research papers are written in the first person.

Can a research paper be in first person?

If you’re working on your scientific assignment, you are probably wondering can you write a research paper in first person. Actually, no. However, it’s nothing terrible. It is one of the most common mistakes when research papers have the first-person language.

For you to develop a good qualitative research paper, let us take a look at the main principles of scientific writing. Of course, the question can a research paper be written in the first person is the most common among young scientists, but still, there is a range of other questions to be answered.

Principles essential to scientific writing can be summarized in four key points: clarity, precision, communicability, and consistency. Despite this, there are some other requirements to take into account, listed below.

  1. No qualitative research papers use first person language.
    It is good to remember that the author should not use the first person singular in academic texts. The text must always be impersonal, in the third person (search, intend, notice itself), or in the first person plural (we look for, pretend, we note). The first person singular is allowed in quotes or testimonials. Also, first-person texts are generally used for reporting and other types of communication, such as blogging.
  2. Don’t use informal language.
    Correct and revise your text several times, check grammar, verbal and nominal agreement, plus all the rules that make the text pleasant and easy to understand.
    If you prefer, hire a professional who specializes in proofreading and will make all the necessary corrections and notes for quality work.
  3. Avoid confusing sequence.
    Before you begin, organize the ideas and order them in the way in which they will be presented. You can also establish a logical plan for the text. The more clear ideas you have in mind, the more clear your text will be.
  4. Make long phrases short.
    Long phrases make it difficult to read and understand and make your text very tiring. Prefer to put a period and start a new sentence rather than using commas. A comma-filled phrase is asking for points. Also, if the information does not deserve a new sentence is not important and can be eliminated.
  5. No to ambitious words and repetition of words.
    In a scientific text, each word must translate exactly the thought that one wishes to convey. Therefore there should be no room for interpretation. Avoid using too far-fetched language or unnecessary terms.
    When to speak about a repetition of words, the two main errors should be pointed out: when the same word is used several times in a sentence or paragraph and the use of tautology. Tautology is the repetition of an idea, in an addictive way, with different words, but with the same meaning. For example, “two halves equal” or “grouped together.”
  6. No personalization of inanimate beings.
    This is also a frequent mistake. Graphs, tables, and results are not human beings, so they do not show, do not indicate or present anything.
  7. Avoid phrases in reverse order.
    Prefer phrases in direct order. When constructing the sentences, use the following structure: subject + verb + complements and/or attachments. There is no mistake.
  8. Reduce the number of useless words.
    Cut out all useless words or use only little of those in the content and add more precise, specific words. Among them, prefer the simpler, more usual and shorter ones.
  9. Trademarks.
    If your work has been sponsored by any company, show all your gratitude in a “thanks” item upon completion. Use the common or scientific name of the product throughout the text.

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Can you use first person in research papers?

Academic and scientific works should evaluate and describe the facts and phenomena by their importance to humanity, not to the people who publish them. The author should always choose the third person singular. This is the usual way to expose the work to the scientific community.

So, instead of using the verb in the first person singular “I researched,” one should write “it was researched.” The tense of verbs may vary according to the nature of the work. In the case of a monograph and a master’s thesis, one can use the present tense when there is the reference to the original work of the author. In the case of projects that are planned to be carried out, the verbs should be used the future tense (“to search”). Read more about the first person in research paper.

Can I write a research paper in the first person singular?

There is a doubt: should the researcher produce the text in the first person singular (“I believe …”) or in the first person plural (“we think …”)?

Scientific communication must have a formal and impersonal character. Because of this, one should avoid constructing assignments in the first person singular. The most appropriate way to avoid that is to write text with the “we” or to use impersonal text. Like, for example, the following expressions: “it is concluded that” “is perceived by reading the text,” “it is valid to suppose,” “one would have to say,” “to verify,” and so on.

It is not necessary, therefore, to say: “as we saw in the previous item.” It is said, “as seen in the previous item,” or instead of, “we said,” “it was said that” etc. Although the use of “we” or other impersonal expression is the most suitable, it can happen in certain parts of the work that you have to use the “I” in order to clarify the main thought. In other cases, the communication will be lost.

So, can a research paper use the first person in any case?

We hope you no longer think of can you use first person in a research paper. The style used in writing is every writer’s personal choice. It may be more analytical or more descriptive, more practical, or more theoretical. The text should be written for a general audience, should be clear and explicit the exposition and the argument, without useless facts or meaningless pieces of evidence.

When preparing your research paper, the first thing you need to decide is to pick which tense to use. There are authors who prefer to use the plural, others – the first person singular.

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