Answered By: Rachel Willard
Last Updated: May 25, 2016     Views: 560

Use of the first-person: I

     Both Walden and APA do allow for the appropriate use of the first-person pronoun I in scholarly writing. However, doctoral capstone abstracts should remain in third person. Also, be sure to check with your faculty or mentor about the use of first person in your program of study.


Use of the first-person: we, our, us

     The first-person we, our, or us is allowed in APA only to describe yourself in a group of researchers (e.g., My colleagues and I created the survey. We later analyzed the results.).

The general use of we, our, or us, however, is not acceptable in scholarly writing. By using these, you may be making assumptions about the reader and allowing a conversational tone that is not scholarly in nature.

Note: The second-person you is also not accepted in scholarly writing. Similar to we, our, or us, the second-person you assumes information about the reader and could create a combative tone in writing. 


Additional Resources:


Further Questions?

Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center?  If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us! 

Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at

Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at

Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage

More Information

Need more information? Ask us!

Or browse Quick Answers by Topic.