Medium, Mass Media, Social Media

Medium, Mass Media, Social Media refer to the materials and tools rhetors use to compose, archive, and convey messages. have unique constraints and affordances.are a vital element of the rhetor's rhetorical situation. Medium is the singular form of Media, a collective noun. Media or Mass Media refers to television, newspapers, magazines, and radio. Thus, CNN is a medium, but CNN and Fox are Media. Social Media refers to online tools and communication ecosystems that facilitate social sharing and dialog (e.g., Instagram, Wikipedia, Twitter, & You Tube, Facebook.] Media is a...

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Point of View

In writing, point of view refers to whether the writing takes on a singular or plural perspective in either 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person. First person is the perspective of the writer, 2nd-person is the perspective of the reader being directly addressed by the writer, and 3rd-person is the perspective of a different party who is neither writer nor reader. Point of view can typically be identified by which pronouns are used. See the chart below for a quick summary. For more information on First Person, Second Person,...

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Understanding Second Person Point-of-View: Wizard Activity

The Beginning of Your Journey You are writing for a class.  You realize that you have no idea what point-of-view is appropriate for this piece of writing.  You quickly text a friend but discover that she does not know.  Your teacher is currently teaching subject/verb agreement to a nest of talking dragons and is not available.  Desperate for help, you head into the forest to the fabled Point-of-View Castle. Dodging past giant spiders, enormous werewolves, and cute little pixies (who are surely up to no good), you arrive at the...

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Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is It Okay?

Many times, high school students are told not to use first person (“I,” “we,” “my,” “us,” and so forth) in their essays. As a college student, you should realize that this is a rule that can and should be broken—at the right time, of course. By now, you’ve probably written a personal essay, memoir, or narrative that used first person. After all, how could you write a personal essay about yourself, for instance, without using the dreaded “I” word? However, academic essays differ from personal essays; they are typically researched...

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The First Person

The first person—“I,” “me,” “my,” etc.—can be a useful and stylish choice in academic writing, but inexperienced writers need to take care when using it. There are some genres and assignments for which the first person is natural. For example, personal narratives require frequent use of the first person (see, for example, "Employing Narrative in an Essay). Profiles, or brief and entertaining looks at prominent people and events, frequently employ the first person. Reviews, such as for movies or restaurants, often utilize the first person as well. Any writing genre...

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Exercise: “We” and “You” in Academic Writing

Look at the following lines and determine how you might revise them so that they remove the pronoun “you” or define the pronoun “we”: You can understand what it’s like to have a stack of papers to grade and only two days to do it. We now know that cigarettes can cause various types of cancer. I would like you to understand that not all students are lazy. We believe that gay marriage is not immoral or harmful to the American family; as such, we argue that it should be...

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Avoid Unnecessary Shifts in Point of View

Although there are occasions when a shift in point of view is appropriate, unnecessary and inconsistent shifts—especially within a sentence—are distracting to the reader and can cause a confusing change in perspective. How can you correct an unnecessary shift in point of view? In a passage where an unnecessary shift has been noted, go through and highlight each of the point of view words. Change the point of view of the inconsistent pronouns to align them with the primary point of view that has already been established. Reread the passage...

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First-Person Point of View

When is first person point of view used? First person point of view is often used in personal narrative—when the writer is telling a story or relating an experience. This perspective is writer’s point of view, and the writer becomes the focal point. First person personal pronouns include I, we, me, us, my, mine, our, and ours. Examples of sentences written from the first person point of view: I was only seven years old when my family moved to the United States. We took a vacation that allowed us to explore our nation...

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General Guidelines for Using the First Person

Understand when the first person is preferable to second or third person. "Do not use the first person" is perhaps the most unfortunate writing myth that handicaps inexperienced writers. After all, how can we think without using our experience? Why must we drive a stake through our cerebral cortex before writing? Can we logically assume that we are more objective thinkers when we avoid the first person? Why Avoid the First Person? In the bulk of writing that you do as a student, readers care more about the information and...

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