Students face tough competition to secure top grades in their schools or colleges. Assignments, homework, research-based projects are assigned to the students to evaluate their calibre, skills, knowledge and abilities.

Academic writing, as well as formal writing, avoids the usage of the second person. There could be various reasons that affect the quality of paper when you use a second-person point of view in your draft.

What Does the Second Person Refer To?

The first, second, and third person are the methods to describe various points of view.

  1. First-person- I/We/Us/Ourselves
  2. Second person- You/Your/Yours/Yourself
  3. Third-person- He/She/It/They/Them/Their/Himself/Herself

Second-person point of view 

When we talk to the readers directly by using the pronouns you, yours or yourself, we call it a second-person viewpoint. We can quickly check the sentence is written in the second person through the use of pronouns. When the writer tries to address the readers directly, they use the second person’s perspective. Formal writing prohibits the use of the second person. The writer finds it difficult to avoid using the second person because you cover a significant part of the draft or article.

Why Should We Avoid Second-Person Usage in Academic Writing?

Reasons to avoid the use of “you” in formal and academic writing are:

  • Causes confusion
  • Addresses the reader
  • Inaccurate
  • Imprecise
  • Too informal
  • Shifts person
  • Harms effectiveness

When students write from the second-person point of view, it weakens the effectiveness of the writing, especially in research and argument papers. Using the second person can make the writer lose an informative tone. It appears like they are advising the audiences or directing them to do something. Formal or academic writing must be informative and persuasive.

Why Using a Second-Person Perspective Can Get You An F-Grade?

Academic papers, especially research papers, are the most common forms of formal writing. The use of “you” in the research paper indicates that the audiences are more sympathetic to the writer. The people who read the document are inclined to agree to the writer’s information or suggestions. It prevents the author from presenting unbiased reviews or opinions on an issue. It is not acceptable when people intend to write academic papers.

Do you know that “you” can sound disrespectful?

Using “you” will indicate that you are directly referring to the readers. Speaking informally to the audience can be disrespectful. Although the writer has no such intentions, the readers might feel that.

Academic writing is critical, and students have to use professional language and a formal tone. The use of the second person can affect the clarity and readability of the text. Students should avoid using the second person’s perspective in order to attain better grades.

How To Break The “You” Habit?

  • Use nouns in place of pronouns (you/your/they/them)
  • Use indefinite pronouns (everyone, someone, anything, something) in place of definite pronouns
  • Avoid giving directions, suggestions or commands (when using “you” as the subject)

How To Avoid the Second Person in Academic Writing?

Several questions might strike your mind:

  • Why should I avoid the second-person perspective in my academic writing draft?
  • Why do the professors hate second-person pronouns so much?
  • How can I escape from the use of the second person in my assignments?

Here are few tips that can help you avoid the second person point of view in your formal writing:

  1. Replace “you” with people, person, anyone, someone, those, they, she, he, etc.:


  • It works well when done correctly.
  • It is an effective way of getting rid of the word “you”.


  • It might grow stale quickly.
  • Readers refuse to read such articles or papers that use such terms.

2. Use “one” in place of “you”:


  • Anyone can easily do it. It proves to be quite effective.
  • Replacing “you” with “one” does not change the meaning.


  • It weakens the academic papers.
  • Using “One” appears to be awkward.
  • It eliminates the connection between writers and audiences.

3. Use passive voice:


  • Passive voice justifies the use of “you” in the statement.
  • Passive voice can be used with stubborn pronouns effectively.
  • The use of modal and linking verbs in the statements will be helpful.


  • It is commonly avoided in academic writing.
  • One cannot overuse it.
  • It tends to weaken the impact.

4. Label the subject:


  • It effectively removes “you” from your academic paper.
  • The writers can label the audience as per their community.
  • It enhances readability.


  • It cannot be overused.
  • It weakens the impact.
  • It cannot alter all sentences without changing the meaning.

5. Use infinitive verbs:


  • Replacing the verbs with their infinitive forms. Adding “to” before the verb will make it infinitive.
  • It is a solid way to eliminate “you”.
  • The writer can transform almost all kinds of verbs into the infinitive.


  • Infinitive verbs are the weakest form of verbs.
  • It must not be overused.
  • It can reduce the impact.

6. Alter the form of the verb used:


  • It is the most effective method to remove “you”.
  • It has a substantial impact on the audience.
  • Most of the statements consisting of “you” can be altered using this method.


  • The sentences might appear to be grammatically incorrect.
  • If the writer uses the wrong form of a verb, it will weaken the impact.
  • A writer cannot change all sentences using this method.

7. Change the verb, if possible:


  • Replacing weak words with strong verbs is highly effective.
  • Strong verbs spice up the writing style.
  • Strong verbs do not readily lend themselves to the second person.


  • Strong verbs are somehow not able to hook the audience.
  • Strong verbs also create tension.
  • It alters the meaning of the statement.


Do not let anything harm your grades. It is crucial to draft your assignments and projects as per the academic guidelines. Avoid using the second-person point of view in your academic paper. Consult a professional Assignment Help Australia expert if you are facing issues while crafting the perfect assignment paper solution.

Meeting the deadlines are significant; hence, you need to choose the best Online Assignment Writing Services. Connect with MyAssignmentHelpAu and get A+ grade solutions before the deadlines. The students can also seek one-day assignment help order delivery from the experts of My AssignmentHelpAu.

About Author:

Jake Thomson is a contributing writer to MyAssignmentHelpAu. He is a podcaster, style coach and has been a blogger and a professional blogger writing about educational skills, personal development and motivation since 2010. He has her own blogging website and well-established blog.