Writing an academic essay in the third person

In this workshop, we will cover:. Lists of pronouns for each point of view:. First-person pronouns.

Should I Use First or Third Person? | The Proofreading Pulse

Second-person pronouns. Third-person pronouns. When to use each point of view:. First-person point of view.

All About Writing in Third Person

First-person is typically used in narrative writing. If your professor asks you to write a narrative essay, this means the content of the essay will be based on your personal experience. Some professors may also ask you to write descriptive essays from your own first-person point of view. Application and scholarship essays are typically written in first-person point of view as well.

Second-person point of view. The use of the first-person narration in an essay means that the author is writing exclusively from his or her point of view - no one else's. The story or the information will thus be told from the perspective of "I," and "We," with words like "me," "us," "my," "mine," "our," and "ours" often found throughout the essay. Example: "I first heard about this coastal island two years ago, when the newspapers reported the worst oil spill in recent history.

To me, the story had the impact of a footnote - evidence of my urban snobbishness.

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Luckily, the mess of that has since been cleaned up; its last ugly ripple has ebbed. You will see from the above example that the writer, while not exactly talking about himself or herself, uses the first-person point of view to share information about a certain coastal island, and a certain oil spill. The decision to do so enables the essay to have a more personal, subjective, and even intimate tone of voice; it also allows the author to refer to events, experiences, and people while giving or withholding information as he or she pleases.

Should I Use First, Second, or Third Person?

The first-person view also provides an opportunity to convey the viewpoint character or author's personal thoughts, emotions, opinion, feelings, judgments, understandings, and other internal information or information that only the author possesses - as in "the story had the impact of a footnote". This then allows readers to be part of the narrator's world and identify with the viewpoint character. This is why the first-person point of view is a natural choice for memoirs, autobiographical pieces, personal experience essays, and other forms of non-fiction in which the author serves also as a character in the story.

The first-person POV does have certain limitations. First and most obvious is the fact that the author is limited to a single point of view, which can be narrow, restrictive, and awkward. The evidence I presented above indicates that paying benefits to high school students encourages them to stay at school when they would be better off in paid employment.

How to use the first person

In my opinion, paying benefits to high-school students encourages them to stay at school when they would be better off in paid employment. I believe that paying benefits to high-school students encourages them to stay at school when they would be better off in paid employment. I have presented reasons why educationalists need training in observing pupil behaviour to pick up on unexpressed needs.


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As a teacher, I believe teachers need training in observing pupil behaviour to pick up on unexpressed needs. Reflective writing relies on personal experience, so it is necessary to use the first person. The following examples illustrate some ways to use the first person in Reflective writing.

I found this experience positive I could have reacted differently in this situation How gender and ethnicity factors affect buying behaviours will be examined. Careful examination of gender and ethnicity factors shows how these affect buying behaviour. In this essay, I will examine how gender and ethnicity factors affect buying behaviours.

Choosing Third Person Essay

Assisting developing countries to grow crops such as tobacco and opium poppies is not in their best long-term interests. I think that assisting developing countries to grow crops such as tobacco and opium poppies is not in their best long-term interests.


  1. Use Third-Person Point of View.
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  3. Use Third-Person Point of View!
  4. Paying benefits to high school students encourages them to stay at school when they would be better off in paid employment. Educationalists need training in observing pupil behaviour to pick up on unexpressed needs.


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