Put the I in and take it out

The letter IIn writing non-fiction, it’s good to put the I in. An article should not be a bunch of facts. How do you feel about the subject? How has it affected you? Let’s say you write a factual letter about classroom sizes and teacher’s salary. You provide provincial comparisons and quote experts on learning environments. All well and good. But people are interested in people. Why are you writing this article? Are you a teacher, not able to make ends meet on your salary? Do you see kids not learning because of a lack of resources? Tell your readers about you and tell them about little Kevin and little Joanne.

Get the I in the article.

But sometimes you have to take the I out. Many writers say, “I’m going to tell you today about teacher’s salaries.” Don’t tell us what you’re going to write about. Just write about it. “Teacher’s salaries…etc.

  • Or “Here’s what I think.”
  • Or “In my opinion.”

No. Just state your opinion.Yes/No

Get the I out of your writing.


Can you think of other times the I should come out or the I should be put in?

Images courtesy of:

  • anglais5minutes.fr
  • easyvectors.com

4 responses to “Put the I in and take it out

  1. Hi Ed, just back from 10 days in NZ, never been out of the country before.
    I’ve found that sometimes when new writers want to write about something that actually happened to them and turn it into fiction, they find it too daunting to write in 1st person and consequently they get stuck. If they write in 3rd, they can often succeed; it can always be changed back into 1st later – sounds lke a lot of work, but then writing is, and it’s better than being stuck.

  2. Ed,
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. It always gives me things to think about, keeps me interested and thinking about my writing all the time. Thanks so much.

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