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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #1

    Proper syntax for a sceintific thesis

    Hello

    I am currently writing my thesis for my master's in archaeological studies and I have a quick question about my syntax, specifically relating to the word "we". I have found myself consistently using the word "we" to discuss the goals of my thesis. Here are two example sentence

    " To understand the origins of sedentary communities we must look at the mobile (hunter-gather) associations these sedentary communities originated from and the conditions that influenced these people to adopt new production strategies."

    "
    We, therefore, contend that the natural environment will be one of the single most important factors influencing the decision to make the subsistence transition and the overall success of sedentary practices."

    My question being, it it okay to use the word "we" instead of "I".

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Proper syntax for a sceintific thesis

    It's a matter of taste. Some people dislike "we" strongly. Some people dislike "I" intensely (in some contexts - especially scientific writing). They prefer the passive. But on the other hand editors from the Microsoft school hate the passive, and suggest 'we'. There's a battle, with hypercorrection and prescription prevailing.

    Personally, I don't like 'we' when not referring to a joint effort; but many writers do it.

    b


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    #3

    Re: Proper syntax for a sceintific thesis

    Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I kind of thought that "we" was a matter of personal preference but I wanted to make sure.

    Does anyone know if any particular scientific journals have a set standard that they rely on for this matter. It would be nice to have a point of reference. Thank you.

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