Scientific writing - we vs. I

Pete Muriana MURIANAP at
Thu Mar 27 12:11:31 EST 1997

In article <333A9A37.7F6D at> S L Forsburg <forsburg at> writes:
>From: S L Forsburg <forsburg at>
>Subject: Re: Scientific writing - we vs. I
>Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 08:03:05 -0800

>Robin Panza wrote:
>> I was trained to always use the passive ("this was
>> done", not "I did") in writing.  I was told that we are reporting results, not
>> "tooting our own horns" about what ingenious people we are to have come up with
>> this experimental design.  To me, both "I did" and "We did" sound silly, even
>> childish.

> Personally I 
>can't stand the passive, which is awkward, and to me attempts to
>imply that the experiments did themselves.  

Heheh - Good analogy - I like that (too bad they couldn't though).

>In my view, they 
>didnt;  I, or we, did them, so I write in the active voice.  I don't

It's also hard to use "we" if you're the solo author on a research paper :-)

>-- susan

>S L Forsburg, PhD
>Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
>The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA hear ocean waves again <sigh>

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