Avoid using the second person pronoun ‘you’

In everyday conversation and in informal writing, we use the personal pronoun ‘you’ both to address our listener or reader and to make statements impersonal. For example, the statement ‘You said I could borrow your car’ is clearly addressed at a particular individual; on the other hand, ‘You never know how things will turn out’ illustrates the impersonal use of ‘you’, the meaning being ‘No-one knows how things will turn out’.

In academic writing, however, we avoid both uses of ‘you’. So, in the sentence below, the more informal 'give you' has been replaced with ‘provide’:

Neither qualitative interviews nor focus groups are likely to give you easily quantifiable, factual or objective data. 

Neither qualitative interviews nor focus groups are likely to provide easily quantifiable, factual or objective data.

In the following sentence, the informal ‘as you can see’ has been replaced by the more formal passive voice form: ‘as can be seen’.

As you can see from the data, two-thirds of respondents are satisfied with the current provision.

As can be seen from the data, two-thirds of respondents are satisfied with the current provision.

A more concise reformulation is:

The data show that two-thirds of respondents are satisfied with the current provision.