Should I use the pronoun 'my' in the title of an appendix of a thesis?

For example:

Appendix A: An Example of My Participation in the Community's Rituals


The use of "I"/"We"/"They" or "My"/"Our"/"Theirs" will be very dependent on the research philosophy that you are working on. I'll give you two opposite examples.

If you are conducting interpretivist/constructivist research, you are acknowledging your role in defining the problems (or things to look at), analyzing and drawing the conclusions. So, using I, my, mine are acceptable and even recommended if you are writing by yourself, which is the case of your thesis.

On the other hand, if you are a positivist, you will try to argue that you had no role in the experiment. You will speak on the third person and try to remove yourself the most you can from the picture.


Typically, the use of I-word is permitted in the Acknowledgements section. In the rest of the document it is better to use "we", to include yourself and your reader. To refer to yourself, you can use something like: "An example of Author's participation..."

  • 1
    What about: Appendix A: An Example of Participating in the Community's Rituals – EasternRiver Jun 30 '14 at 10:52
  • This answer is very much field specific. In my field (philosophy), use of the first-person is very much the norm. – J.P. Jun 30 '14 at 17:08

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