Bartholomae’s “Inventing the University”
I found it very interesting that one reason one does not speak in the second person in an academic paper is that it is too didactic, obviously the professors and everyone the writer is citing are beyond the writer him/herself. At the same time, one must speak/write with authority, proving that actually one is on par with their audience or even beyond it. Once again the deliciously subversive qualities of education are revealed. Even as the student humbles him/herself in order to learn, one of the primary ways in which s/he does is by challenging the system and declaring "I am qualified to speak on this."
I always secretly thought one of the things that made me a "good" writer is my ability to make stuff up-not facts, of course, but a mood, to not blink when I wasn't quite sure if I really knew what I was talking about. After reading Bartholomae's essay, I feel justified in this attitude.