I have to type up a report about prey and predator populations but that isn't the problem. The problem is I cant write the report in first person view. In one of the directions it asks me what...

I have to type up a report about prey and predator populations but that isn't the problem. The problem is I cant write the report in first person view. In one of the directions it asks me what did I do during the investigation?  I am very confused on how to write this section of the report.

Expert Answers
astrocourt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scientific reports are often confined to the third person perspective. Sometimes the style of writing is even further restricted to just the 'past tense' and the 'passive voice'. Writing in the third-person past tense gets easier with practise, but here are a few tips.

Just write!

Having something on the page is better than nothing, and you can always fix the tense later. For example, just write dot points of the method.

This might be:

I went to the library and looked up the populations of big cats over the last 200 years. 
The electronic records only went back 50 years, so I had to look in some historical records as well.
I recorded all the information for lions and jaguars.

The above paragraph is neither third person, but it is in past tense. Now we just have to change the tense:

Population statistics for lions and jaguars were recorded from electronic and historical records.

Other transformations include:


"I found that" becomes "It was found"
"I poured 200mL of water into the beaker" becomes "200mL of water was poured into the 500mL beaker"

 

Check for third person (no I, we, etc.), check for past tense (no 'will investigate' or 'investigating').

The purpose of writing in the third person is to demonstrate the factual nature of the information. A single person, for example, shouldn't change the nature of the data.

 

bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When a person writes in first person narrative, the words "I, my, mine" are used.  You are telling the story from your own personal perspective.  The second person narrative employs the use of word such as "You, your, yours."  This is like you are speaking to another person about something they have or have done, such as "You sang that song beautifully."  The third person narrative uses words such as "he, she, or it."  Now you are talking about a person outside the normal parameter of a two person conversation.  When writing your answers, use the second person narrative; it is probably the next easiest thing to first person narrative.  "You observe the predator stalking the prey.  You then notice the predator chasing the prey.  Finally, you see the predator catch his prey, or the prey eludes the predator."  Don't use first person narrative in your answers; avoid the use of "I, me, my, or mine."

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