Many EFL learners find it challenging to construct their author identity in English L2 argumentative and academic writing. Learners may present brilliant content by means of inappropriate rhetorical features and fail to communicate their message. This study focuses on the construction of author identity in English L2 writing by Russian learners. The quantitative study investigates the overuse, underuse and misuse of first person pronouns in English L1 and L2 writing. Preliminary results suggest the overuse of first person pronouns and the dominance of the we perspective, since the overuse rate is the highest here. The qualitative analysis supports this finding. The pronoun we is overused in high-risk functions, whereas the pronoun I is overused in low-risk functions. To account for the overuse, the study researches the possible reasons that could cause it, including the effect of L1 transfer, influence of speech, developmental and teaching-induced factors. All the factors, except for the influence of speech, are found to have an impact on learner writing. The final chapter presents a comparative analysis of L2 writing by learners with Slavic backgrounds, which reveals a common tendency to overuse the we perspective. The study contributes to the series of investigations of various learner varieties on the material of the ICLE and VESPA corpora.