10-second review: Writing from the “I” or “we” point of view is respectable in scholarly writing and should be used. Check commercial publications to discover the frequency with which the “I” or “we” point of view is used.
Title: “I-Dropping and Androgyny: The Authorial ‘I’ in Scholarly Writing.” JC Raymond. College Composition and Communication (December 1993), 478 – 483. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: Author suggest that objectivity does not come from the opinions of the writer who uses the “I” and “we” point of view but from “…the paper as a whole [that] will hold a wide range of opinions.”
Comment: Whether one accepts the author’s contention that the “I” and “we point of view should be used in scholarly writing, from a practical point of view, using the “I” and “we” point of view is useful in starting to write, combating writer’s block, and completing the draft. Then as Zinsser (On Writing Well) suggests, the writer can rewrite, eliminating the “I” and “we” point of view if the third person point of view is required. RayS.