Second Person — All Purpose Instructions

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Second person is generally used in instructions. In many instances the subject “you” is understood rather than written.

(This is called the “understood you.”)

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For example, consider these humorous “All Purpose Instructions” which are in the Second Person form:

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All-Purpose Instructions:
“Release the handle by pulling down the strap and tightening the fasteners. Press the button and remove the safety cap, then turn the knob to unleash the spring and wind the excess slack onto the spool. Loosen the screws on the plate lid and insert the tabs into the slots. Rotate the control switch a quarter of a turn before lowering the two levers. Then drop the main crank into a neutral position. Be careful not to unscrew the housing before engaging the catch. Plug in and you’re set to go. If smoke fills the room, read the troubleshooting guide at the rear of this manual.”

——————————————————————(George Carlin)

Here is a chart showing first person, second person, and third person pronouns.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 7.39.21 AM

http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/7-12assessments/naplan/teachstrategies/yr2008/literacy/language/LL_Pers/images/pers_table_02.pdf

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Second person is not used for research papers.

“Writing in second person is discouraged for use in collegiate work for two reasons:
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1. The essayist should not “talk” directly to the reader.
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2. “You” is often unidentified.
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Basic rules for writing in first and third person:
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Write only in first person for personal narrative assignments.
(Narrative assignments center around writing about yourself or a personal experience).
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Write in third person for all other work, such as formal essays and research papers.” (Pillsbury)
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See more at:
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Fiction does not frequently use the second person format either; however, there is one novel which comes to mind:
Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.43.00 AM (Scorper by Rob Magnuson Smith)
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Scorper begins like this: (click on text to enlarge)
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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.42.34 AM
Do you see how Smith uses the second person format?
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You can buy a copy of this book here:
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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.52.09 AM
*(tfinger)
Look at this helpful slideshow:
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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.56.47 AM
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Now you understand.
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Today’s Assignment:
1. Write one sentence in first person, one sentence in second person, and one in third person.
2. Complete this worksheet.
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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.00.54 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.01.07 AM (English Linx)
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