Understanding I:the Rhetorical Variety of Self-References in College Literature Papers
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This article explores the relationship between first-person pronoun use and "personal" writing. First, a quantitative examination of 160 papers written for a college literature class reveals how frequently students actually self-reference. Then, three categories of first-person references are developed: General Claims, Process Claims, and Personal Claims. These categories illuminate important differences in first-person pronoun use, including the degree to which each type is genuinely personal and their wide-ranging rhetorical possibilities.