The Influence of Revision on First Person Pronoun Use in Thesis Writing


  • Suganthi Priscilla John University of Birmingham



identity, first person pronoun, academic writing, revision, writing process


First person pronoun use in academic writing has received much attention from researchers over the past decade (Baynham (1999), Tang and John (1999), Kuo (1999), Ivani? and Camps (2001), Hyland (2001; 2002; 2004), Harwood (2005) and Koutsantoni (2003, 2007), to name a few). It is acknowledged as the most visible representation of the writer’s identity in the text. This paper investigates the influence of revision on the use of first person pronouns in dissertation writing. The aim of the paper is to reach a better understanding of how writers’ identities develop in academic texts during the process of writing. Master’s level dissertations written by international students mainly from the Far East and enrolled at a UK university form the data for this study. The results reveal that the revision process can be used as an effective means to raise students’ awareness of how their identities develop during the writing process and how they might transform from being novices of the academic discourse community to becoming initiates (Thompson, 2001).

Author Biography

Suganthi Priscilla John, University of Birmingham

Suganthi John is a lecturer at the School of English, Drama, American and Canadian Studies, College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests are in written discourse analysis, academic discourse, theories of identity and second language teaching and learning. She is also interested in research on materials development for the teaching of academic writing (dissertations and theses) at postgraduate level.


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How to Cite

John, S. P. (2010). The Influence of Revision on First Person Pronoun Use in Thesis Writing. Writing and Pedagogy, 1(2), 227–247.



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