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Diaz, Kesley. "Seven Ways High School Prepares You for Failure". 2009. University of Central Florida. Print.

Almost all recommendations and techniques presented in high school are highly standardized. Kesley Diaz from the University of Central Florida outlines the key differences between writing in high school and writing in college. In particular, she suggests that the 5-paragraph essay may be applicable only in some standardized tests and should not be used in college writing. Diaz stresses that "writing objectively" in high school often means avoiding the use of "I", "we", and "us". As all writers are different, they should be able to express their own ideas and present their unique representation of reality.

Another problem with high school writing refers to the requirements to cite resources in all parts of a paper. In high school, students often make obvious thesis statement and then they provide some sources and quotations and finish their paper with "original" conclusion when everything is tied together. Diaz writes that "in college, you're the one trying to prove something, not your sources" (708). The writer should concentrate on the meaning of a given source and evaluate alternative points of view rather than select those quotations that will support his/ her original thesis statement. The term "analysis" is crucial for Diaz, as students should "analyze the content … not just read it" (709).

The essence of drafting in college is different, as well. The writer should pay attention on the meaning and style, as editing should not be confused with correcting grammar errors. If students concentrate on the logical relationships of one's conclusions, they will be able to determine the truth regarding the issues under investigation. Diaz suggests that books and Internet articles are not the only reliable sources of information; for example, interviewing may be highly useful in some types of research. However, students should not believe that nobody can help them in college; they are free to ask and receive additional information or some clarifications.


I suggest that this source may be helpful for me because it outlines the key differences between high school and college writing. This source is also useful, as it points out the necessity to focus on ideas and meaning, rather than formal structures. Teachers often inform students to avoid personal pronoun in their writing, as they consider that it will lead to higher objectivity although it is not necessarily correct.

Penrose, Ann and Geisler, Cheryl. "Reading and Writing without Authority". 1994. College Composition and Communication, 45(4), 505-520. Print.

Writing in college includes the work with sources and literature. Ann Penrose, an associate professor of English at North Carolina State University, and Cheryl Geisler, an associate professor of Rhetoric and composition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, provide a deep analysis in relation to the evaluation of sources and different scientific positions in writing. They compare two writing styles: that of Janet and Roger. Janet prefers to write objectively, and she cannot critically compare the points of view of different people, as she suggests that all sources of information are equally reliable and objective. Thus, she experiences significant problems when observing the opposite positions expressed by different scientists. Roger presents another writing style; he always stresses the author of a given idea and tries to critically evaluate all sources. Consequently, he does not have difficulties in contrasting different points of view.

The authors show that being "scientific" and "correct" is not equal to avoiding personal pronoun. On the contrary, in order to present original and unique ideas, one has to separate common knowledge, the ideas of others, and his/ her own scientific achievements. Penrose and Geisler conclude that "authors present knowledge in the form of claims" (509). The term "claim" is crucial in this context, as it provides the rationale for developing one's own position that is different from points of view of other researchers. Independent thinking and logical analysis are crucial for any research paper. As "knowledge claims can conflict", it is necessary to verify them and determine non-contradictory prepositions (511).

I believe that this source is useful for me because it outlines different styles of writing and demonstrates a number of disadvantages of trying to be too "objective" in writing. Teachers advise children to avoid personal pronoun, as they suggest that students should search for facts, while they should evaluate claims (510).

McKinney Maddalena, Kate. "I Need to Say "I": Why First Person Is Important in College Writing". 2010. In Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 1. Parlor Press.

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College students often avoid "I" and other personal pronouns in their writing, as they suggest it contributes to objectivity and a more clear presentation of the topic. However, McKinney Maddalena, an assistant professor of Professional Writing and Technical Communication at UNCW, demonstrates that this position is wrong, and students should use personal pronouns in order to improve the quality of their papers. If students use personal pronouns, they as well may reach objectivity in a more clear and precise way. The author point out that the "observer effect" is often present in scientific research; it refers to the situation when "the scientist watching can affect the system's behavior" (182). Therefore, if students avoid personal pronouns, they neglect this effect, and their representation of facts will be incorrect. The term "observer effect" is central for the argumentation of McKinney Maddalena, and it is even stronger in the field of social sciences in comparison with that of natural sciences.

"I" may also be used as the clear representation of intellectual property. Thus, the researcher has some additional motivation to provide reliable and innovative research. It is possible to effectively differentiate between the results obtained by other scholars and one's personal ideas. In the first case, Passive Voice may be used, while personal pronoun is necessary in the second one.

This source is helpful for me as well, because it demonstrates the importance of using "I" in text. Students should use personal pronoun for both stressing their own ideas and being more persuasive in writing. Although I do not suggest that using "I" contributes to higher objectivity, I think it allows presenting one's ideas more clearly and precisely. Teachers want students to avoid personal pronoun in order to be more focused on objective facts. However, this position neglects the "observer effect" and cannot improve the quality of writing.

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