Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
What types of words are made plural by adding "es"
Rules of the Games
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Christine, who is trying to get a degree at the age of 46, asks...
When writting a college essay about how to become a school teacher, is if ok to start a sentence with the word you? Ex: You need to earn a bachelor's degree. My professor says no. I thought if you are writing in the second person it is ok.
Anne answers...
I think I would start by asking your professor why a second person opening is wrong in his/her eyes. It is possible that your professor prefers the more academic approach to writing, which means you need to put everything in the third person to get the grade you want. Using the second person is less formal, and it is the only reason I can think of for not using it as you described. At the same time, it's all about a grade and not really about using English to its best advantage. So while I say you can do it, don't if your professor prefers the more literary approach.
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