Is the use of ‘I’ acceptable practice in doctoral writing? This is a question we are frequently asked and we say that, although it was once forbidden, the use of ‘I’ has now become more accepted within academic circles. We hasten to add that doctoral researchers must check the regulations at their university and discuss the question with their supervisor. Sometimes we find they have done precisely that and are asking the question to seek a contrary opinion. However, while questions of style or acceptability may be foremost in doctoral researchers’ minds, using ‘I’ is not just a matter of personal choice. There are epistemological, methodological and rhetorical reasons for choosing to use the first person pronoun.