I have been having interesting discussions with some students through email and OU Live about academic writing. These relate to issues of avoiding being too informal and personal while also being evaluative and developing a point of view.
Part of the issue is that academic writing tends to value concision and personal markers tend to use words that would be better used for other things.
However, it is important for students to show stance. They can do this by using a variety of evaluative words such as "major/partial"). Epistemic modality ie modal verbs for likelihood (eg "might/will") or deontic modality ie modal verbs used to express desirability ("should/must") are ways that students can show their stance without being too personal in style.