Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I feel like... to be written

I'd like to take this opportunity to further consider audience and point of view. I understand that most of you are most comfortable writing in the first person. Do understand that it is best to write about your own experiences in the first person, but draw conclusions in the third person. Using phrases such as, "I feel" will hurt any authority that you develop in your voice. I know that we speak using phrases like this and we work to be as inclusive as possible. If something is your own opinion or feeling, then you can't offend anyone, right?
Instead, for your writing, please try to be more definitive. You'll find that it empowers you, encourages you to do the necessary research and brings readers on-board to your argument. If something is your own personal "feeling," why should anyone believe you? By putting the conclusions in the third person, you also have more space in your sentence to explore the reason why you came to such conclusions. 
Now, I know this sounds quite rude in everyday speech or perhaps even just reading my explanation. Let's look at two examples:
I feel like the weather is really nice and I want to go for a walk. 
The weather, with the morning sunshine and cool breeze, invites residents outside to take walks. 
Now, that's not a very controversial idea, but the simplicity should help to make my point. If something is just my "feeling," are you convinced? If I can support my conclusion, written in the third person, with outside evidence, you the reader are more likely to believe me.
Questions? Look back over what you write and notice if you use this phrase, or similar ones, regularly in your writing. It will weaken your writing. Try to substitute conclusions written definitively in the third person and see what happens. 

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