“In This Paper I Will …”

For the most part I have never been a fan of papers having the statement “In this paper I will…”   If the paper starts off with that statement, I especially don’t like it.  The idea of a paper is to communicate what you’re trying to say well enough that people understand the ideas that you are putting forth.  Starting off a paper by saying exactly what you are arguing about and saying exactly what you’re about to argue for many pages , just doesn’t make sense to me.  It’s kind of like showing all your cards at once before the game has even begun.  Yes, a paper can still be effective with the inclusion of the statement but for me, it’s like giving away the big surprise and not having to search for the ideas.  I also don’t like the use of “I”, “me”, “my”, “myself”, or words that refer to your ideas.  The paper contains all of your ideas, you are the one who is writing it.  By writing, “In my opinion …”, this is redundant.  Of course, it’s your opinion.  Who else’s would it be?  If you are referring to someone else’s idea then that must clearly be indicated obviously.  “In this blog, I will complain about different features in papers that annoy me.”, I probably should have started with that.

1 thought on ““In This Paper I Will …”

  1. Prof. Gold

    In all honesty, I don’t like “In this paper, I will argue that. . .,” either. But I’m requiring it because it gets students to think about what they are arguing. My hope is that students will need to think critically about what it is that they are arguing, and that this will help them write a more persuasive paper.

    Once students have an good thesis together, it’s easy enough to lop off the “In this paper, I will argue that” preface. Do that, and you’ll hopefully be left with a good thesis statement!

    Reply

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