What do YOU Tell Your Students about Second Person?

How many times does a teacher, or tutor, give a note or make a comment about second person in student writing?

It’s natural to use second person, it’s the way we think and speak. So, why is incorrect in academic writing? Here are some brief answers for students:

It’s too casual/conversational, or not “formal” enough (formal not meaning stuffy, or overly wordy) for academic work, and can cost the writer ethos.

It puts the focus on the reader/audience. It can even put them on the defensive. The authority in academic writing lies with the rhetor, not the sources or the audience.

Southeast Missouri State University has a great resource with some spot-on examples YOU might want to leverage: http://www.semo.edu/pdf/Writing_handout_Avoiding_Second_Person.pdf