Skip Nav

How to Write Papers About Yourself in Third Person in English Writing

How to Cite

❶For academic writing, focus on a general viewpoint rather than a specific person's to keep things in third person. With third person omniscient view, the narration is not limited the inner thoughts and feelings of any character.

Third Person Writing in Literature

Language & Lit
How Do You Write a Paper in Third Person Voice?
Third Person Writing in Advertising

Writing about the process and results rather than your preparation or reaction creates more natural third-person language. For instance, instead of writing, "I selected 50 surveys at random and determined most students agreed with the policy," write, "Fifty randomly pulled surveys revealed that most students agreed with the policy. Revise so that you eliminate the need for pronouns entirely in your sentences, creating the succinct language more appropriate for formal writing. For example, as explained by The Lincoln University , the sentence, "The researcher's method required that students explain their survey answers if they choose 'unsatisfied'," could be more effectively written in the third person as, "Respondents needed to explain survey answers if selecting 'unsatisfied.

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since , most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. How to Write in Third Person. What Is Proactive Language? Accessed 14 September Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. References Aims Community College: Point of View in Writing Walden University: Should I Use "I"? To write in third person, refer to people or characters by name or use third person pronouns like he, she, it; his, her, its; him, her, it; himself, herself, itself; they; them; their; and themselves.

Avoid first and second person pronouns completely. For academic writing, focus on a general viewpoint rather than a specific person's to keep things in third person. In other types of writing, you can write in third person by shifting your focus from character to character or by focusing on a single character.

Featured Articles Editing and Style. Use third person for all academic writing. For formal writing, such as research and argumentative papers, use the third person. Third person makes your writing more objective and less personal.

For academic and professional writing, this sense of objectivity allows the writer to seem less biased and, therefore, more credible. Use the correct pronouns. Third person pronouns include: Names of other people are also considered appropriate for third person use.

According to his research, earlier claims on the subject are incorrect. Avoid first person pronouns. First person refers to a point of view in which the writer says things from his or her personal perspective. This point of view makes things too personal and opinionated. You should avoid first person in an academic essay. I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves. In other words, it may be difficult to convince the reader that the views and ideas being expressed are unbiased and untainted by personal feelings.

Many times, when using first person in academic writing, people use phrases like "I think," "I believe," or "in my opinion. Avoid second person pronouns. Second person refers to point of view that directly addresses the reader. This point of view shows too much familiarity with the reader since you speak to them directly like you know them. Second person should never be used in academic writing.

It runs to risk of placing too much responsibility on the shoulders of the reader specifically and presently reading the work.

Refer to the subject in general terms. Sometimes, a writer will need to refer to someone in indefinite terms. In other words, they may need to generally address or speak about a person. An indefinite third person pronoun or noun is appropriate here.

Indefinite third person nouns common to academic writing include: Watch out for singular and plural pronoun use. One mistake that writers often make when writing in third person is accidentally switching into a plural pronoun when the subject should be singular. They' were afraid of getting hurt if their name was spread.

He or she was afraid of getting hurt if his or her name was spread. Shift your focus from character to character. When using third person omniscient perspective, the narrative jumps around from person to person instead of following the thoughts, actions, and words of a single character.

The narrator knows everything about each character and the world. The narrator can reveal or withhold any thoughts, feelings, or actions. William, Bob, Erika, and Samantha. At various points throughout the story, the thoughts and actions of each character should be portrayed.

These thoughts can occur within the same chapter or block of narration. On the other hand, Samantha believed that Erika was lying and felt jealous about the fact that Tony wanted to think well of the other girl at all. While this does not technically break the rules of Third Person Omniscience, it is widely considered a hallmark of narrative laziness. Reveal any information you want.

With third person omniscient view, the narration is not limited the inner thoughts and feelings of any character. Along with inner thoughts and feelings, third person omniscient point of view also permits the writer to reveal parts of the future or past within the story. The narrator can also hold an opinion, give a moral perspective, or discuss animals or nature scenes where the characters are not present.

The writer can observe the external actions of any character at any time, but unlike a limited human observer, the writer can also peek into the inner workings of that character at will, as well. Know when to hold back. Even though a writer can reveal any information he or she chooses to reveal, it may be more beneficial to reveal some things gradually. For instance, if one character is supposed to have a mysterious aura, it would be wise to limit access to that character's inner feelings for a while before revealing his or her true motives.

Avoid use of the first person and second person pronouns. What do you think? I thought this was creepy, and Bob and Erika thought so, too. Pick a single character to follow. When writing in third person limited perspective, a writer has complete access to the actions, thoughts, feelings, and belief of a single character. The writer can write as if the character is thinking and reacting, or the writer can step back and be more objective.

There should be no switching back and forth between characters for this specific type of narrative viewpoint. Unlike first person, where the narrator and protagonist are the same, third person limited puts a critical sliver of distance between protagonist and narrator.

Refer to the character's actions and thoughts from the outside. Even though the focus remains on one character, the writer still needs to treat that character as a separate entity.

If the narrator follows the character's thoughts, feelings, and internal dialogue, this still needs to be in third person. The main character's thoughts and feelings are transparent to the writer, but that character should not double as a narrator. Focus on other characters' actions and words, not their thoughts or feelings. The writer is as limited to just the protagonist's thoughts and feelings with this point of view.

However, with this point of view, other characters can be described without the protagonist noticing it. The narrator can anything the protagonist can; she just can't get into the other character's head. What she didn't know was that Carl felt even worse. Do not reveal any information your main character would not know. Although the narrator can step back and describe the setting or other characters, it has to be anything the viewpoint character can see. Do not bounce around from one character to one character within one scene.

The external actions of other characters can only be known when the main character is present to view those actions. Jump from character to character. With episodically limited third person, also referred to as third person multiple vision, the writer may have a handful of main characters whose thoughts and perspectives take turns in the limelight. Use each perspective to reveal important information and move the story forward. You don't want to have too many characters that confuse your reader or serve no purpose.

Each pov character should have a specific purpose for having a unique point of view. Ask yourself what each pov character contributes to the story. For instance, in a romance story following two main characters, Kevin and Felicia, the writer may opt to explain the inner workings of both characters at different moments in the story.

How Does One Write in the Third Person Past Tense?

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The third-person point of view, meanwhile, is another flexible narrative device used in essays and other forms of non-fiction wherein the author is not a character within the story, serving only as an unspecified, uninvolved, and unnamed narrator conveying information throughout the essay.

Privacy FAQs

Third-Person Writing. Third-person writing uses the pronouns they, him, her, and it, as well as proper nouns. This is the type of writing you would see in a novel with an outside narrator. Example: Teachers and students agree .

About Our Ads

Writing in third person is writing from the third-person point of view, or outsider looking in, and uses pronouns like he, she, it, or they. It differs from the first person, which uses pronouns such as I and me, and from the second person, which uses pronouns such as . Differences Between First and Third Person. Personal Writing, such as for a reflective essay, or a "personal response" discussion posting, can be written in the first person (using "I" and "me"), and may use personal opinions and anecdotes as evidence for the point you are trying to make.

Cookie Info

When is third-person point of view used? Third person is used when a degree of objectivity is intended, and it is often used in academic documents, such as research and argument papers. This perspective directs the reader’s attention to the subject being presented and discussed. Narration is a narrative essay revising peer review rubric student example 1 the most academic writing from latin ille meaning he, see more. For academic purposes, usually in the grammar girl explains the thesis statement, second; being the other. Introductory paragraph. Third person include simple task once you were wondering, or they.