Use of the First Person

Subject: Use of the First Person
From: Milinda Elizabeth Sciaraffa <mes0008 -at- UNT -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 22:47:58 -0500

Hello,

I am a M.A. student in technical writing, and I am doing primary
research for a white paper in my technical editing class.

The thread a few months ago about the use of the first person in
technical documents really interested me. I would like to try to
compile some results on that topic that I can use in my paper.

So if you have time to respond privately to the four questions below, I
would greatly appreciate it.

Milinda Sciaraffa
mes0008 -at- unt -dot- edu

Below are four questions about the use of the first person in
technical documents:

1. What types of technical documents are *appropriate* for the use of
the first person?



2. What types of technical documents are *inappropriate* for the use of
the first person?


3. How do you decide when you should use the first person in a
technical document?


4. If you were writing a research report for a research journal in our
field (such as Technical Communication) would you write the report
in the first person or the third person?


Please feel free to elaborate on any thoughts you have about the use of
the first person in technical documents.




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