This question already has an answer here:

It is generally courtesy to use the plural 'we' or 'our' in papers, even when the primary author was the only contributor. While using personal pronouns in academic papers is typically a very bad idea, I have seen them being used in theses. What gives? Technically a PhD thesis is only meant to be the candidate's work, but if this work features previously published work surely you'd expect to same rules to apply to the thesis as applied to the academic papers?

So in terms of professional appearance and etiquette what is the (typically) correct approach? Should personal pronouns be used in a thesis?

marked as duplicate by henning, Community Jun 16 at 16:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


I used “we” (except for the acknowledgements). It’s what I’m used to when reading academic writing. Anything else wold seem weird to me.

Although the primary reason was that It was a stapler thesis and that is what the papers I was copying from used. It would have been too much effort to change it.

Customs may vary by field and country. The best thing to do is look at a few theses coming from your department and copy their style.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.