Use Neutral Subjects, not Personal Pronouns

see how neutral subjects are more objective than personal pronouns!

Often, I read essays that try to convince its reader with “reminders” of the writer’s personal opinions. These reminders are phrases such as, “…like us”, “I think the world should…” or “you should do this…”, and they are used to mistakenly connect personal opinions with the audience. And in that personal connection, it “should” be easier to convince the reader of the essay’s opinions, should it not?

Well, not exactly…

What these reminders actually do is make the writing style more jarring to read. These “personal connections” with the reader forces them to be directly included into the essay and this problem runs the risk of actual miscommunication. What if the actual reader themselves are not part of the connection you are forming? What if the reader does not immediately agree with the generalization put forth? There are so many potential problems that happen when including the reader themselves into an English essay or anything else similar.

This is why if one must show an opinion that concerns “all” or general amounts of people, then it is better to use neutral subjects such as….

  1. The audience

  2. The reader

  3. The author

  4. Humans/Humankind

  5. Society/People

  6. The novel/book

These subjects, when used correctly, can help explain one’s personal thoughts without sounding too biased or risky. The more you get used to talking about a text with neutral sentence subjects, the more your writing will give a clear direction!

However, this general rule is best used for developing and new writers. Once a student becomes more comfortable with their writing style and planning strategies, then this rule becomes much more flexible.


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