The writer’s voice: first person pronouns in
earth science research article introductions

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Tracey Thorp
Saturday 28, 10:20-11:30, Room 2

Authors seeking guidance on the appropriate use of personal pronouns in scientific writing may, quite rightly, feel confused by the conflicting advice provided in journal guidelines, style manuals and scientific/academic writing guides. In addition, the advice given generally fails to refer to the rhetorical function of personal pronouns in the reporting of research. The analysis of published texts has provided evidence to contradict the popular belief that research articles are merely impersonal and objective accounts of investigation. This study analyses the discourse function and distribution of first person pronouns in Earth Science research article introductions and seeks to identify both subdisciplinary and native speaker/non-native speaker variations.

Tracey Thorp, Universidad de Granada, Spain.