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In Roy Peter Clark’s “Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer,” he discusses his most useful definition from a friend and college Don Fry: “Voice is the sum of all the strategies used by the author to create the illusion that the writer is speaking directly to the reader from the page.”  In academic writing, you certainly shouldn’t feel that your personality must be separated from the essay.  Your personality – plus detail and explanation – could just make your essay.  Read your paper aloud and ask yourself, “does this sound like me?”  Your voice is a collage of words, expressions, passion and skill that makes the reader understand what you are saying, how you feel about it – and that you really know your stuff.

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