Back to Helpful Handouts o Writing Center Home PageCommon Mistakes that Spell Check Won’t Find:
The simple way to remember the difference is that affect is the action (verb) and effect is an outcome (noun).
The change in weather affected everyone's mood.
The effect of the new weather was a change in everyone's mood.
It’s = It is
Its = the possessive form
There is no simple way to remember the difference other than to memorize it.
“Poly-Sci” is not short hand for “Political Science.” Poli-Sci = Political Science.
An instructor’s opinion on the use of the word “I” in an essay is going to depend on what the thesis statements in the academic literature that he reads all the time look like. In some fields, such as International Relations, it is extremely common to use the word “I” in a thesis statement, but in other fields it is not common. Instructors who ask you to use “I” in your thesis statement usually do so for two reasons. One, the instructor is from a field where the use of “I” in the thesis is common. Two, the instructor is concerned that students will turn in papers without a thesis and she is hoping that making students mark the thesis with the word “I” will help them include one. The best policy is to ask your TA how he/she feels about the use of the word. In the case that the instructor indicates that he would like you to use the word “I” don’t overuse it. “I” should only occur in your thesis statement, and perhaps in your conclusion. Do not use it more than twice.
The short answer is no.
The not much longer answer is, While you can use “I” in some disciplines, you still cannot use “me,” “my,” or “you” in formal essays. However, you can use the words “I,” “one,” “they,” and “we.”