First, Second and Third Person Point of View
First person is often used in personal narrative – when the writer is telling a story or relating an experience. This perspective is the writer’s point of view, and the writer becomes the focal point.
First person pronouns: I, we, me, us, my, mine, our, and ours. Examples of first person point of view:
- I went to the lake with my family last summer, and we swam all day.
- We went to Mumbai for a class trip when I was in grade six.
- Our car broke down, costing us a thousand rupees in repairs.
- Ours is the blue house on the corner and my room is on the top floor.
Second person is rarely used in fiction, but is often found in speeches, letters, and other forms of non-fiction. It is used to address the reader directly.
Second person pronouns: you, and your. Examples of second person point of view:
- You may be interested to hear how I won the track meet at school.
- There is no way of knowing how you will react to the information I have to give to
Third person is a flexible narrative device and is often used in fiction, non-fiction, and academic writing. It is used when someone else is being spoken about or referred to. The author is not a character in the story or paper, but rather as an unspecified, unnamed narrator conveying information.
Third person pronouns: She, he, it, they, them and their. Examples of third person point of view:
- In this article, they argued that the literacy rates in Canada were dropping.
- She identifies obesity as the leading cause of heart failure in North America.
- There is no denying the effect he has had on history.
Objectivity in Academic Writing
Academic writing is formal in tone as per experts in “write my papers for cheap” services and meant to be objective, using cited sources to support an argument or position. This assumes the focus is not the author, but rather the writing (“this essay”, “this report”, “this literature review”).
Examples of objective statements supported by fact:
“Research suggests that…” “Authors Smith and Kline (2012) argue…”
The first person point of view is considered informal, and is not encouraged in academic writing. First person can appear to weaken the credibility of the writer in research and argument, as it reads as the writer’s personal opinion.
The third person point of view is often used as an alternative to first person as the “voice” in academic writing.
Being Specific in Academic Writing
When using third person pronouns (she, he, it, and they) in your writing, it can confusethe reader if these pronouns are used near the beginning of a sentence. A good practiceis to replace the pronoun with a noun, identifying specifically what is being talkedabout.
A reflection paper is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding and analysis of the material that you are covering in class or reading, and how it may affect the way you think and practice. They are often written in response to an assigned reading, a lecture, or an experience.
Reflection papers are formal in tone and written using first person singular (I, me, my, mine) to convey your own reactions, perceptions and experiences.