Don’t Use “You”!

Many young or inexperienced writers use “You” as their point of view.  It is very distracting for a reader.  Mostly because what the writer may be trying to convey is not relevant to the reader.   Example, I once read a paper that stated, “If you plan on going to college you should study more.”  One, I have already gone to college so I don’t need to worry about getting into a college.  And two, I am slightly offended that the writer thought I did not study while I was in high school. I don’t think that the writer meant to irk me, the reader but that is exactly what has happened.   The other problem with using “You” is that it can make the writing too informal for the intended purpose.

Below is a list of suggestions on how to fix the “You” dilemma.

Avoid:
When you are at school, you should not eat the food in the cafeteria…

Instead:
Kids at school should not eat in the cafeteria…
When students are at school they should not eat in the cafeteria……
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Avoid:
When you go to the store for only one item then you are wasting your time.

Instead:
When people go to the store for one item they are wasting their time.
When shoppers go to the store for one item they are wasting their time.
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Avoid:
You are crazy to think that if you do not study you will get into college.

Instead:
Young adults shouldn’t count on not studying if they plan on going to college.
Students should keep an open mind about studying if they plan on going to college.

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