Pros & Cons of Pronouns

I want to talk about pronouns. Because, well, who wouldn’t want to talk about such a compelling topic? #nojoke

Montclair State University already has begun important conversations on pronouns through their LGBTQ center, in which they provide a suggested language for a course syllabus, giving students a comfortable space to discuss the pronouns they wish to be referred by in a classroom. I too want to talk about pronouns on a syllabus, but in a different manner. Last fall when I was editing a syllabus of mine, I noticed I switched from “students” to “you” quite a bit. I paused, wondering which word was better. “Students” seemed rather general as if I wasn’t in the room with them, but “you” didn’t feel quite right either. I was unsure why but the tone just didn’t fit. I wound up choosing “students” in general course descriptions but used “you” elsewhere to directly address students in my course. I didn’t think of it again until I went to the MLA conference this winter break.

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