Neutral Tone in Writing

When engaging in formal writing, it is important to try to avoid the pronoun I. I can be seen as biased and can cause readers to dismiss your writing as subjective and not worth reading. In order to have your work taken seriously, it is best to present facts. If you are presenting facts and avoiding placing your own opinion, readers will be more willing to read your text.


Neutrality is important in your writing to help you avoid sounding biased. One thing you want to avoid in your writing is using the pronoun “I” a lot. You don’t want to say, “I believe,” or “I feel,” or “I think.” Why don’t you want to use these things is because you’re using the pronoun “I”.

Everything is focused on what you see in a situation, whereas your reader is more interested in facts, generally. Sometimes, in certain essays or certain papers, you are asked to persuade someone or to give your opinion about something. In that case, yes, you should use “I”.

Even then, when you’re talking about facts, you want to avoid using “I”, because that means you’re being biased. You’re presenting your own opinion, rather than the facts. Even in facts, sometimes we’re still going to be a little bit biased.

We’re only going to present the facts that we feel are important, or the way that we present the facts is going to be biased. The important thing is that you’re still not using the pronoun “I”. When you use the pronoun “I”, you immediately alert the reader that you’re being biased.

The reader can get caught up in that. When you use the pronoun “I”, you as a writer are going to tend to write about your own feelings rather than facts, so stray away from that. There are times, like in letters and emails, when it’s perfectly appropriate to use the pronoun “I”, because you’re talking about yourself, generally, in letters and emails.

It would be kind of strange if you didn’t use the pronoun “I”. You just have to know when it is appropriate to use the pronoun “I”. Just make sure you’re avoiding being biased in your papers when it’s important to be neutral.



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 14, 2019