In the past, you might have had problems getting that polished, professional feel to your essays, but you couldn’t fairly figure out why

Sometimes the problem with your essay is simply the point of view you choose to write in. Using third-person writing can make a world of difference in providing your essay the right tone.

Three Different Points of View

If you’re not sure what the different points of view are, I’ll give you a run-down and some examples to help you see more clearly. And for an added bonus, I’ll give you a duo clips from the king of narration himself, Morgan Freeman.

When you write in very first person. you use I and me. Think of yourself as the “first person”-any pronoun that indicates something you do or think is going to be very first person. You see this a lot when you’re reading books from the main character’s perspective.

Typically, however, first-person writing is not very effective in writing essays. (We’ll get to why that is in a 2nd.)

Example:Ibelieve that third-person writing is the best point of view when writing an essay.

First-person writing or narration also uses us and we. as you’ll see in this example:

Second-person point of view uses the pronoun you. Second-person writing is the equivalent to a choose-your-own-adventure novel or a self-help book. It speaks directly to the audience.

However, the conversational tone of writing in second-person is not usually ideal for academic writing.

Example:Youwould do better onyouressays ifyouwrote in third person .

It is significant to note that when you aren’t writing rigorously in third person, the point of view can shift from sentence to sentence.

In the next example, you’ll notice that both first-person and second-person points of view are present. The lyrics Freeman reads shift inbetween using «you/your» and first-person singular pronouns across the clip.

Third-person writing uses the pronouns they, him, her, and it. as well as decent nouns. This is the type of writing you would see in a novel with an outside narrator.

Example:Teachersandstudentsagree that third-person writing makes essays sound better.

Here’s one last movie example, this one using third-person perspective, from the man with the golden voice:

Why Third-Person Writing is Significant

Third-Person Writing Makes Your Essay Sound More Pushy.

If you write your essay in very first person, you risk the chance of statements like “I think” or “I believe.” These kinds of statements sound more passive than just stating your facts. Notice the difference inbetween the following sentences:

This is why I believe jazz is the very first form of truly American music.

This is why jazz is the very first form of truly American music.

The 2nd sentence-the one that uses third-person-sets a more definite tone. You are presenting the sentence as a statement of fact instead of a private belief.

Third-Person Writing Makes Your Support Sound More Credible.

On a related note, first-person writing makes your support sound like it’s coming from a non-credible source. Presenting facts or opinions with “I think” or “I believe” in front doesn’t give any validity to the statement.

Third-person writing encourages you to use other sources to validate your claims. The following two sentences will illustrate this further:

I believe that children should consume less sugar because it leads to higher risk of obesity.

According to the Obesity Act Coalition, children who consume a lot of sugar have an enhanced risk of obesity.

The 2nd sentence pulls an authoritative source to support the claim instead of you, the writer. This makes the claim more credible to the reader.

Third-Person Writing Sounds Less Conversational and More Professional.

As I mentioned before, writing in the very first or 2nd person leads to a more conversational tone. While this may be good for some forms of writing (this blog post, for example), you want your academic writing to take on a more formal tone. Consider the following examples:

When writing a novel, you should think about what kind of tone you want to portray before choosing which point of view you want to use.

When writing a novel, authors should think about the kind of tone they want to portray before choosing which point of view they want to use.

The very first sentence creates a more intimate and conversational tone with the reader, but the 2nd sentence tells the reader what kind of person (authors) would benefit from reading the sentence.

It is more specific and, therefore, creates a more formal tone.

Exceptions to the Third-Person Writing Rule

I won’t ever tell you that it’s always a good idea to write one specific way. Third-person writing is usually a good idea in academic writing, but there are cases where first-person writing is a better call.

When You’re Writing A Private Narrative.

Individual narrative essays are designed to tell the reader something that has happened in your life, so first-person writing would be the preferred choice here. Whether it be something that embarrassed you, angered you, or made you proud or blessed, narrative essays are all about real-world life practices.

When You’re Talking About Your Own Opinions.

Like narrative essays, using your own opinions in essays may sometimes require the use of the very first person, especially if you are drawing on private practices. Usually, this will happen in persuasive essays.

It is significant to note that you should still attempt to use third-person writing for your persuasive essays because, as I mentioned earlier, it will give a more formal tone and more credibility to your argument. However, if some individual practice is especially relevant, it would be okay to use the very first person (unless your teacher says otherwise, of course).

When You’re Doing Other Informal Types of Writing.

Essays are not the only types of writing assignments you’re likely to receive. Brief stories and poetry pop up in classes from time to time, and these can be written any number of ways. Brief stories can take the first- or third-person perspective-they uncommonly use 2nd person. Poetry can use any of the three points of view.

When you are concentrating stringently on academic essays, third-person writing is (usually) crucial. And it’s not hard to do. Just look at any references to yourself or the reader and switch around the sentence to eliminate the I, me, you, we, and us pronouns. Doing so will make your writing stronger, clearer, and more professional.

If you still can’t fairly get the string up of third-person writing, there’s no need to stress out over it. Just send your essay to one of the Kibin editors to help you out.

Now… go attempt your arm at third-person writing!

The essay I recently turned in was returned because it was not written in third person. I am not sure how to write in third person. Any guidance will be appreciated

Hi there,
You’ll want to rewrite any sentences containing the word «I», me, or my.
For example, «I think dogs are nice.» becomes «Dogs are adorable.»
or «In my opinion, the Warriors should have won.» becomes «The Warriors should have won.»

If you need more help, you could submit your essay to the Kibin editors who could help switch your paper to third person so that you can see exactly how that works for next time. You can learn more about our editing service here: (If you do determine to attempt it, make sure to state that you need help switching to 3rd person in your instructions.)

Hi Taylor,
You can still use your individual learnings about independence and responsibility and convert it into third person.

For example in first-person I might write: «I have learned a good deal about private independence and responsibility since embarking university. Very first, I found out how significant it is for me to manage my budget so that I don’t run out of money for food and laundry before the end of the month. I now know that it costs about $400 to eat and $30 to do laundry for the month and I set this aside on the very first.»

Now, I will convert those same thoughts to a third person formal essay: «Students learn a lot about individual independence and responsibility when commencing university. One critical step is understanding how to manage a individual budget in order to ensure that essentials such as food and laundry are covered across the month. Jane Doe, a fake financial accomplished at Fidelity Advisors, says that students should plan to set aside about $400 for food every month and should track their expenses using a budgeting app or spreadsheet in order to not go over budget.»

Do you see the difference?

Glad writing!

Hi, I’m writing a narrative essay about a dystopian society that I created. It involves a plot and a planned story, but I’m not sure on how to treatment it. Suggestions would be appreciated.

That sounds like a joy project! Since you have it planned out, here are a few suggestions.

Will you be writing this essay in third person or very first? Third person is better if you want to have more plasticity of perspective, which could be especially helpful if you have a lot of different characters. Very first person is better if you’re indeed attempting to dig into the emotions and motives of a single protagonist.

You might also want to sketch out the rules of your society. Even going through the exercise of writing out the rules before you dig into the narrative can help you stay true to a consistent setting.
Also if you are doing something fairly character strenuous, a similar sketch for each character might help you in a similar way.

Related video: Ice Hockey Narrated Photo Essay

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