As I start preparing my students for the Literary Analysis paper they will be writing next week and the following papers for the semester, it is important to keep this topic in mind. It is a common question that I get from students, and I feel this post from a fellow educator and blogger clarifies the issue…especially for teachers.
A recent writing assignment in my college composition class involved telling about a change experienced or witnessed by each writer. One student told about an interesting situation (too personal to be detailed here), but her language was convoluted and highly formal. I almost felt like reading it required wearing a tux.
I told her, “I can’t find you in here.” She said, “Well, maybe it’s because I took out all the Is.”
“Didn’t you have to flip a lot of these sentences to get the Is and mes out of here?” I asked.
“Yeah, but I didn’t know we could use I in this.”
“Can we use I in this?” is a question I’ve heard many times as students begin to frame a new piece of writing, even writing that is obviously personal in nature, such as a reflection on a book or passage, or a college…
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