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How to Write in 3rd Person About Yourself
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It can be tricky to write in 3rd person about yourself, but with a bit of practice and some helpful tips, you’ll be able to do it like a pro. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some dos and don’ts for writing in 3rd person about yourself, as well as provide a few examples to help get you started. So whether you’re struggling to find the right words or just want to switch things up a bit, keep reading for some helpful advice on how to write in 3rd person about yourself.
What is 3rd person point of view, and why use it?
When you write in third person point of view, you are writing as a third-party observer. You can write about other people and events as if you were writing a story. The third-person point of view is often used in fiction writing, but it can also be used in non-fiction writing, such as biography or journalism. One advantage of the third-person point of view is that it allows you to write in a more objective and impartial voice .
This can be helpful when you are writing about controversial topics or sensitive subjects. Another advantage of the third-person point of view is that it gives you the flexibility to move between different characters’ perspectives.
This can be useful for exploring the different sides of a complex issue. However, one downside of the third-person point of view is that it can make your writing feel less personal and intimate. If you want your writing to have a more personal tone, you might consider writing in the first or second-person point of view.
How to write in 3rd person about yourself
When writing in the third person about yourself, use your name or pronouns such as “he,” “she,” “it,” or “they.” For example, you might say, “She always tries to be on time for her appointments.” You can also use a third-person point of view to describe other people in your life, such as family members or friends. Just be sure to use the correct pronoun when referring to them.
If you’re not sure which pronoun to use, try reading your sentence out loud and seeing which one sounds natural. You can also consult a grammar guide or ask a friend for help. When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and use the pronoun that is less likely to offend or be misinterpreted.
Writing in the third person about yourself can feel a bit strange at first. However, there are a few simple tips you can follow to help you get started.
First, think about how you would describe yourself if you were writing about someone else. What words would you use to describe your personality and appearance?
What kind of things do you like to do in your spare time? Once you have a good sense of how you would like to be seen by others, it will be easier to start writing in the third person.
Another helpful tip is to read your work aloud after you have written it. This will help you to catch any instances where you accidentally slip into first or second-person point of view. With a little practice, writing in the third person about yourself will become second nature.
Examples of 3rd person writing about oneself
In writing, the third person point of view is when the writer uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” or “it,” as opposed to first-person (“I”) or second person (“you”). Third-person writing can be either limited, meaning that the writer includes only information known by the character, or omniscient, meaning that the writer can include information about anyone or anything. Examples of third-person writing about oneself might include:
– She isn’t sure why she decided to go into teaching.
– He always gets nervous before a big presentation.
– It wasn’t until after she had kids that she realized how important family is.
In each of these examples, the speaker uses third-person pronouns to talk about themselves. This type of writing can help create distance between the writer and their subject matter, making it easier to be objective. It can also make writing more engaging for readers, who feel like they are observing someone else’s story unfold.
Dos and don’ts for writing in 3rd person about yourself
When writing in the third person about yourself, remember that you are still the subject of your writing. You should avoid using overly technical or jargon-filled language. Instead, opt for clear and concise writing that will be easy for readers to follow.
Stay consistent with the point of view you have chosen throughout your writing. If you switch back and forth between the first, second, and third person, it will be confusing for readers and make your writing less effective.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use pronouns like “I” or “me” occasionally. This can help to add a more personal touch to your writing and make it feel less detached.
When used correctly, writing in the third person about yourself can be an excellent way to add depth and interest to your work. Just be sure to keep these dos and don’ts in mind, and you’ll be on your way to writing like a pro.
Final tips for mastering 3rd person point of view
Now that you know the basics of writing in the third person about yourself, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Here are a few final tips to help you get started:
– Start by brainstorming a list of topics or ideas you would like to write about.
– Once you have a topic, try writing a sentence or two in the third person about it.
– If you get stuck, try reading your work aloud to see if you are slipping into first or second-person point of view.
With a little practice, you’ll be writing in the third person like a pro in no time!
How to Find Your Writing Voice
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When it comes to writing, Willow Tenny is a true pro. She has a wealth of experience in SEO copywriting and creative writing, and she knows exactly what it takes to produce quality content. On her blog, Willow Writes, Willow shares top writing strategies with both beginners and experienced writers.
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How to Write in Third Person
Last Updated: October 6, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,095,464 times.
Writing in third person can be a simple task, with a little practice. For academic purposes, third person writing means that the writer must avoid using subjective pronouns like “I” or “you.” For creative writing purposes, there are differences between third person omniscient, limited, objective, and episodically limited points of view. Choose which one fits your writing project.
Writing in Third Person Academically
- Third person helps the writing stay focused on facts and evidence instead of personal opinion.
- Third person pronouns include: he, she, it; his, her, its; him, her, it; himself, herself, itself; they; them; their; themselves.
- Names of other people are also considered appropriate for third person use.
- Example: “ Smith believes differently. According to his research, earlier claims on the subject are incorrect.”
- First person pronouns include: I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves.  X Research source
- The problem with first person is that, academically speaking, it sounds too personalized and too subjective. 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."
- Incorrect example: “Even though Smith thinks this way, I think his argument is incorrect.”
- Correct example: “Even though Smith thinks this way, others in the field disagree.”
- Second person pronouns include: you, your, yours, yourself.  X Research source
- One main problem with second person is that it can sound accusatory. It runs to risk of placing too much responsibility on the shoulders of the reader specifically and presently reading the work.
- Incorrect example: “If you still disagree nowadays, then you must be ignorant of the facts.”
- Correct example: “Someone who still disagrees nowadays must be ignorant of the facts.”
- Indefinite third person nouns common to academic writing include: the writer, the reader, individuals, students, a student, an instructor, people, a person, a woman, a man, a child, researchers, scientists, writers, experts.
- Example: “In spite of the challenges involved, researchers still persist in their claims.”
- Indefinite third person pronouns include: one, anyone, everyone, someone, no one, another, any, each, either, everybody, neither, nobody, other, anybody, somebody, everything, someone.
- Incorrect example: "You might be tempted to agree without all the facts."
- Correct example: “ One might be tempted to agree without all the facts.”
- This is usually done in an attempt to avoid the gender-specific “he” and “she” pronouns. The mistake here would be to use the “they” pronoun with singular conjugation.  X Research source
- Incorrect example: “The witness wanted to offer anonymous testimony. They was afraid of getting hurt if their name was spread.”
- Correct example: “The witness wanted to offer anonymous testimony. They were afraid of getting hurt if their name was spread.”
Writing in Third Person Omniscient
- For instance, a story may include four major characters: 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.
- Writers of omniscient narratives should be conscious of “head-hopping” — that is, shifting character perspectives within a scene. While this does not technically break the rules of Third Person Omniscience, it is widely considered a hallmark of narrative laziness.
- In a sense, the writer of a third person omniscient story is somewhat like the “god” of that story. 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.
- Do not use first person and second person points of view in the narrative or descriptive portions of the text.
- Correct example: Bob said to Erika, “I think this is creepy. What do you think?”
- Incorrect example: I thought this was creepy, and Bob and Erika thought so, too. What do you think?
Writing in Third Person Limited
- The thoughts and feelings of other characters remain an unknown for the writer throughout the duration of the text. 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. The writer has the choice to describe one main character’s nasty habit — something they wouldn’t readily reveal if the narration were left entirely to them.
- In other words, do not use first person pronouns like “I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” or “our” outside of dialog. The main character's thoughts and feelings are transparent to the writer, but that character should not double as a narrator.
- Correct example: “Tiffany felt awful after the argument with her boyfriend.”
- Correct example: “Tiffany thought, “I feel awful after that argument with my boyfriend.”
- Incorrect example: “I felt awful after the argument with my boyfriend.”
- Note that the writer can offer insight or guesses regarding the thoughts of other characters, but those guesses must be presented through the perspective of the main character.
- Correct example: “Tiffany felt awful, but judging by the expression on Carl's face, she imagined that he felt just as bad if not worse.”
- Incorrect example: “Tiffany felt awful. What she didn't know was that Carl felt even worse.”
- Correct example: “Tiffany watched from the window as Carl walked up to her house and rang the doorbell.”
- Incorrect example: “As soon as Tiffany left the room, Carl let out a sigh of relief.”
Writing in Episodically Limited Third Person
- Limit the amount of pov characters you include. 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.
- One character may receive more attention than any other, but all main characters being followed should receive attention at some point in the story.
- Multiple perspectives should not appear within the same narrative space. When one character's perspective ends, another character's can begin. The two perspectives should not be intermixed within the same space.
- Incorrect example: “Kevin felt completely enamored of Felicia from the moment he met her. Felicia, on the other hand, had difficulty trusting Kevin.”
- In a novel-length work, a good time to switch perspective is at the start of a new chapter or at a chapter break.
- The writer should also identify the character whose perspective is being followed at the start of the section, preferably in the first sentence. Otherwise, the reader may waste too much energy guessing.
- Correct example: “Felicia hated to admit it, but the roses Kevin left on her doorstep were a pleasant surprise.”
- Incorrect example: “The roses left on the doorstep seemed like a nice touch.”
- For instance, if Kevin had a talk with Felicia's best friend about Felicia's feelings for him, Felicia herself would have no way of knowing what was said unless she witnessed the conversation or heard about it from either Kevin or her friend.
Writing in Third Person Objective
- There does not need to be a single main character to focus on. The writer can switch between characters, following different characters throughout the course of the narrative, as often as needed.
- Stay away from first person terms like “I” and second person terms like “you” in the narrative, though. Only use first and second person within dialog.
- Imagine that you are an invisible bystander observing the actions and dialog of the characters in your story. You are not omniscient, so you do not have access to any character's inner thoughts and feelings. You only have access to each character's actions.
- Correct example: “After class, Graham hurriedly left the room and rushed back to his dorm room.”
- Incorrect example: “After class, Graham raced from the room and rushed back to his dorm room. The lecture had made him so angry that he felt as though he might snap at the next person he met.”
- Correct example: “When no one else was watching her, Isabelle began to cry.”
- Incorrect example: “Isabelle was too prideful to cry in front of other people, but she felt completely broken-hearted and began crying once she was alone.”
- Let the reader draw his or her own conclusions. Present the actions of the character without analyzing them or explaining how those actions should be viewed.
- Correct example: “Yolanda looked over her shoulder three times before sitting down.”
- Incorrect example: “It might seem like a strange action, but Yolanda looked over her shoulder three times before sitting down. This compulsive habit is an indication of her paranoid state of mind.”
Examples of Third Person POV
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- ↑ https://stlcc.edu/student-support/academic-success-and-tutoring/writing-center/writing-resources/point-of-view-in-academic-writing.aspx
- ↑ http://studysupportresources.port.ac.uk/Writing%20in%20the%20third%20peson.pdf
- ↑ http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/third_person.htm
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/use-the-singular-they/
- ↑ Alicia Cook. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 11 December 2020.
- ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/point-of-view-first-second-third-person-difference
- ↑ https://ojs.library.dal.ca/YAHS/article/viewFile/7236/6278
About This Article
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. To learn more from our Literary Studies Ph.D., like the differences between third person omniscient and third person limited writing, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to write a powerful personal statement
25 Apr 2017
We all like talking about ourselves, at least according to studies like this one conducted by Harvard University. According to the study; we feel more motivated to talk about ourselves than any other subject, in fact, 60-80 percent of what the average person says during a two-way conversation is focused on themselves. So, why is it that when channelling this self-focus into crafting a powerful personal statement on our CV, we can sometimes struggle?
Why is your personal statement so important?
Your personal statement is basically your sales or elevator pitch on paper. It is the first thing a hiring manager will read on your CV, and will, therefore, have a huge bearing on whether they choose to read on and ultimately invite you for an interview. Most job seekers are well aware of the power of a strong personal statement, and as such, many get writer’s block.
In this blog, I want to help you overcome these barriers, by providing you with a guide on how to structure your personal statement, what to include in this structure, plus a list of important dos and don’ts. I have also used the personal statements of some of the Manchester City Women players to bring my recommendations to life.
Follow this structure
The structure of your personal statement can be broken down into three parts, as outlined below.
By being aware of this structure and what should be included in each section of your personal statement, you can be sure to include all the key information the hiring manager or recruiter is looking for, whilst telling your career story in a concise way.
I have used Manchester City Women’s Steph Houghton as an example of how you would do this.
Part 1: Introduce yourself
The first thing a recruiter or hiring manager wants to know when reading your personal statement is who you are and what level of experience you have. As you can see from the below example, Steph gets straight to these facts in her introduction, while at the same time, avoiding clichés and vague information. This makes for a clear and strong opening statement:
“ Steph Houghton is the Captain of both Manchester City Women’s team and the Women’s National Team. With over 15 years’ experience in the game, Steph has enjoyed a hugely successful footballing career to date. ”
Part 2: List your skills and achievements
Next, you must outline your key skills and evidence your key achievements which set you apart from the competition.
It is important that you keep this section relevant by identifying the desired skills and attributes outlined in the job description, and by ensuring that the skills highlighted in your personal statement mirror them. “Steph is an extremely driven, talented and versatile professional footballer, who has successfully honed her leadership skills on and off the pitch.”
Now, go on to provide evidence of your skills through specific results or accolades. This list of career highlights will have the most impact if they are related to the key requirements of the vacancy and backed up by fact.
“Her hard work and determination saw her awarded an MBE in 2016, becoming one of the most-recognised faces in women’s football and she is now widely regarded as one of the most influential female role models for the sport.
Part 3: Explain your ambitions for the future
Finish by outlining what you are looking to achieve next in your career, and make sure this links to the role in question. The hiring manager needs to know that your ambitions are relevant to the opportunity and that you would, therefore, be driven and likely to succeed. “Looking to this season, Steph is relishing in the opportunity to drive forward the success of Manchester City Women as they look forward to the FA WSL Spring Series.
Personal statement dos and don’ts to remember
Do : include plenty of relevant action verbs.
The simple trick of including the below doing-words will help bring your achievements to life on your personal statement:
- To demonstrate your creativity , use: built, crafted, devised, implemented, pioneered, initiated, established
- To demonstrate your efficiency , use: enhanced, advanced, capitalised, maximised, leveraged, improved
- To demonstrate your leadership skills , use: headed, coordinated, executed, managed, operated, organised, lead
- To demonstrate improvements made , use: refined, remodelled, strengthened, upgraded, transformed
- To demonstrate your management skills , use: guided, fostered, motivated, recruited, enabled, united
- To demonstrate bottom line contributions , use: reduced, decreased, consolidated, saved, yielded, increased
- To demonstrate overall achievements , use: awarded, exceeded, outperformed, surpassed, earned, granted
The below example shows in bold where Carli Lloyd, player for Manchester City Women’s uses action verbs on her CV. “Carli has enjoyed an impressive footballing career to date, being awarded such accolades as the FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and FIFA Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Carli trains tirelessly from season to season and has built a reputation for her control, technique, and passing accuracy. With a total of 96 international goals to date, she is relentlessly focused on improving every aspect of her game, and her unwavering enthusiasm, commitment and self-belief is infectious. A household name in America, Carli prides herself by leading by example on and off the pitch”.
Do: Know the difference between proper nouns, common nouns, and which should have a capital letter
Proper nouns will refer to something specific such as a certain organisation or job title, and will, therefore, need a capital letter. Common nouns will refer to a group of, rather than specific, organisation or job title, and so will not need capitalising. See below for an example:
“Lucy Bronze is a highly skilled international footballer (common noun, no capital letter) who plays for Manchester City Women in the FA WSL (proper noun, capital letters)”
Do: Remember to proof read what you have written.
Attention to detail is important in most jobs, and typos on your CV will always work against you. Show that you are thorough and conscientious in your approach, by doing all you can to write an error-free personal statement. Make use of free proofreading tools such as Grammarly , and get somebody else to read over what you have written with a fresh pair of eyes.
Do: Keep your personal statement to 150-200 words
This should be easier to do now you know what to include and what to omit, plus how to structure your personal statement. However, if you find yourself writing over 200 words, take a second look and check all points can be linked back to the job vacancy and showcases why you are the right person for the job.
Don’t : Be inconsistent with your narrative
In your personal statement, you can use third person or first person narrative. I have highlighted in bold the different between the two. Just be sure to choose one over the other, and to keep this consistent from the beginning of your personal statement right up until the end.
“The first female footballer ever to be shortlisted in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Lucy plays/I play primarily as a right back, however, as a hugely versatile player, she can play/I can play anywhere in the defense or midfield.
The power of your personal statement is not to be underestimated. This is your chance to sell the core aspects of yourself as a candidate, particularly your expertise, level of experience, achievements and future ambitions.
If you follow the above advice and keep this information structured, tailored, substantiated, concise and well written, you will grab the hiring manager’s attention from the beginning and increase your chances of being considered for an interview. What’s more, once you are invited for an interview, you will be feeling more than equipped to answer their first question “so tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Have a look at the personal statements of Steph, Carli and Lucy and give it a go yourself.
If you found this blog useful, you may also like the below advice when writing and updating your CV:
- Why you should always tailor your CV – and how to do it
Susie is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at UK Government Investments (UKGI). UKGI’s purpose is to be the UK government’s centre of excellence in corporate finance and corporate governance, working across government on some of its most interesting and complex commercial tasks.
In her role as COO, Susie works to ensure that the business has effective operational management, optimal organisational design, and that UKGI are able to hire, develop, manage and remunerate their people in the best way possible.
Prior to joining UKGI, Susie was Global Director for People and Culture at Hays Talent Solutions.
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How to write in third-person
Although there are three narratives you can use in any form of writing when it comes to your papers and anything academic you produce, it’s best to choose the third-person. It’s pretty simple with a bit of practice, but if you’re completely new to this writing style, here’s what you need to know about how to write in third-person.
What does writing in third-person mean?
Writing in third-person is one of the three styles you can use when describing a point of view. Even though you might not know it, chances are you’ve used first, second and third person in writing projects throughout your education.
It’s a narrative where you’re totally independent of the subject you’re analyzing and writing about. You don’t take sides. You don’t try to influence what readers feel. It’s a completely unbiased, objective way of writing that tells a story or dissects a topic right down the middle.
There’s a lot of information out there about how you can differentiate between the three in roundabout ways, making it unnecessarily complicated. Here’s a quick breakdown to understand the differences for when you write your following paper:
This is from the I/we perspective. It’s where we talk about us , ourselves, and our opinions. If we go down the first-person route, writing will include pronouns like I , me , myself, and mine .
This point of view belongs to the person you’re addressing — so its a you perspective. In your writing, you’d use second-person pronouns such as you , your, and yourselves .
The third-person point of view is aimed at the person or people being talked about, which is the type of writing you’d find in stories. In this perspective, you’d use pronouns like he , she , him , her , his , hers , himself , herself , it , them , their, and themselves . Or, you’d use a name. But that tends to happen more in stories than research papers.
Notice the difference between the three?
When to write in third-person
The third-person point of view tells the reader a story and it’s often the go-to when you’re taking an authoritative stance in your papers, which is why it’s so common in academic writing.
So, always choose the third-person stance when writing academic copy, such as essays and research papers.
The reason for this is it’ll make your papers less personal and more objective, meaning the objectivity will make you come across as more credible and less biased. Ultimately, this will help your grades as the third-person view keeps you focused on evidence and facts instead of your opinion.
You can break third-person perspectives into three other types, including omniscient, limited, and objective. Although they’re more associated with creative writing than academic work and essays, your writing is likely to fall under the third-person objective point of view.
A third-person objective point of view is about being neutral and presenting your findings and research in an observational way, rather than influencing the reader with your opinions.
How to use the third-person point of view
Rule number one: Never refer to yourself in your essay in the third-person. That’s a no-no.
For instance, here’s how you shouldn’t write a sentence in your essay if you’re writing about virtual learning as an example.
“I feel like students perform better at home because they have more freedom and are more comfortable.”
It’s a simple sentence, but there’s a lot wrong with it when you’re talking about research papers and adopting a third-person narrative. Why? Because you’re using first-person pronouns and, as it sounds like an opinion, you can’t back up your claims with a stat or any credible research. There’s no substance to it whatsoever.
Also, it isn’t very assertive. The person marking your work won’t be impressed by “I feel like,” because it shows no authority and highlights that it came from your brain and not anywhere of note.
By including terms like “I think” or “I feel” like in the example above, you’re already off to a bad start.
But when you switch that example to the third-person point of view, you can cite your sources , which is precisely what you need to do in your essays and research papers to achieve higher grades.
Let’s switch that sentence up and expand it using the third-person point of view:
“A psychological study from Karrie Goodwin shows that students thrive in virtual classrooms as it offers flexibility. They can make their own hours and take regular breaks. Another study from high school teacher, Ashlee Trip, highlighted that children enjoy freedom, the ability to work at their own pace and decide what their day will look like.”
With a third-person narrative, you can present evidence to the reader and back up the claims you make. So, it not only shows what you know, but it also shows you took the time to research and strengthen your paper with credible resources and facts — not just opinions.
6 tips for writing in third-person
1. understand your voice won’t always shine in your essays.
Every single piece of writing tends to have a voice or point of view as if you’re speaking to the reader directly. However, that can’t always happen in academic writing as it’s objective compared to a novel, for example. Don’t try to ‘fluff’ up your piece to try and cram your personality in, as your academic work doesn’t need it.
2. Don’t focus on yourself or the reader — focus on the text
An academic piece of work always has a formal tone as it’s objective. When you write your next paper, focus on the writing itself rather than the writer or the reader.
3. Coach yourself out of using first-person pronouns
This is easier said than done if all you’ve ever done is first- or second-person writing. When you write your next paper, scan through it to see if you’ve written anything in first-person and replace it with the third-person narrative.
Here are a few regular offenders that pop up in academic papers — along with how you can switch the statements to third-person:
- I argue should be this essay argues
- I found that should be it was found that
- We researched should be the group researched
- I will also analyze should be topic X will also be analyzed
The same applies to second-person, as there are plenty of cases where it tends to slip through in academic writing. Again, it’s pretty straightforward to switch the more you practice. For instance:
- Your paper will be marked higher if you use a citation tool should be the use of a citation tool will improve one’s grades
4. Be as specific as possible
This is where things can get a little bit confusing. Writing in third-person is all about including pronouns like he, she, it, and they. However, using them towards the beginning of sentences can be pretty vague and might even confuse the reader — this is the last thing you want from your essay or paper.
Instead, try using nouns towards the beginning of sentences. For example, use the actual subject, such as the interviewer or the writer, rather than he, she, or they when you begin the sentence.
The same applies to terms like it. Start the sentence with the ‘it’ is that you’re describing. If it’s a citation tool, begin the sentence by referencing what you’re discussing, so you aren’t vague. Clarity is key.
5. Write in the present tense when using third-person
In any form of academic writing, you need to write your reports, essays, and research papers in the present tense, especially when introducing different subjects or findings.
So, rather than saying “This paper analyzed” (which does seem correct as technically that part was in the past and the writing is in the present), you should write “This report analyzes” — as if you’re analyzing right here and now.
However, the difference is when you highlight how you did the research, that should be in the past tense. This means you’d use third-person phrases like “The equipment that was used” or “The results were analyzed by”, for instance.
6. Avoid adding your own thoughts
If your report is on a subject that’s close to your heart, it can be super tempting to sprinkle in your own thoughts. It’s a challenge, but you need to coach yourself out of it.
In academic writing, you aren’t a commentator. You’re a reporter. You need to let readers draw their conclusions without over-analyzing them or making the reader lean one way or another.
The easiest way to get to grips with writing your academic papers in the third-person is to be consistent and practice often. Criticize your work and analyze it until it becomes the norm. Yes, it can be a little complex in the early days, but before you know it, you’d have mastered the technique, helping you take your papers and reports up a level.
Frequently Asked Questions about writing in third-person
In third-person, you’d use pronouns like he , she , him , her , his , hers , himself , herself , it , them , their, and themselves . Or, you’d use a name.
You is used in second person and is therefore not used in third person. The second person is used for the person that is being addressed.
The third-person point of view is aimed at the person or people being talked about, which is the type of writing you’d find in stories. When writing in third-person view, make sure to write in the present tense and avoid adding your own thoughts.
When writing in third person, you should actually always write in the present tense since you are mostly presenting results in this view.
The second person point of view belongs to the person you’re addressing — so its a you perspective. In your writing, you’d use second-person pronouns such as you , your, and yourselves .
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Personal statements & application letters, personal statements and application letters.
The process of applying for jobs, internships, and graduate/professional programs often requires a personal statement or application letter. This type of writing asks writers to outline their strengths confidently and concisely, which can be challenging.
Though the requirements differ from application to application, the purpose of this type of writing is to represent your goals, experiences and qualifications in the best possible light, and to demonstrate your writing ability. Your personal statement or application letter introduces you to your potential employer or program director, so it is essential that you allow yourself enough time to craft a polished piece of writing.
1) PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS
Before you sit down to write, do some preparation in order to avoid frustration during the actual writing process. Obtain copies of documents such as transcripts, resumes and the application form itself; keeping them in front of you will make your job of writing much easier. Make a list of important information, in particular names and exact titles of former employers and supervisors, titles of jobs you have held, companies you have worked for, dates of appropriate work or volunteer experiences, the duties involved etc. In this way, you will be able to refer to these materials while writing in order to include as much specific detail as possible.
2) WRITE A FIRST DRAFT
After you have collected and reviewed these materials, it is time to start writing. The following is a list of concerns that writers should keep in mind when writing a personal statement/application letter.
Answer the Question: A major problem for all writers can be the issue of actually answering the question being asked. For example, an application might want you to discuss the reason you are applying to a particular program or company. If you spend your entire essay or letter detailing your qualifications with no mention of what attracted you to the company or department, your statement will probably not be successful. To avoid this problem, read the question or assignment carefully both as you prepare and again just prior to writing. Keep the question in front of you as you write, and refer to it often. Consider The "I" Problem: This is a personal statement; using the first person pronoun "I" is acceptable. Writers often feel rather self-conscious about using first person excessively, either because they are modest or because they have learned to avoid first and second person ("you") in any type of formal writing. Yet in this type of writing using first person is essential because it makes your prose more lively. Using third person can result in a vague and overly wordy essay. While starting every sentence with "I" is not advisable, remember that you and your experiences are the subject of the essay. Avoid Unnecessary Duplication: Sometimes a writer has a tendency to repeat information in his or her personal statement that is already included in other parts of the application packet (resume, transcript, application form, etc.). For example, it is not necessary to mention your exact GPA or specific grades and course titles in your personal statement or application letter. It is more efficient and more effective to simply mention academic progress briefly ("I was on the Dean's List"; or "I have taken numerous courses in the field of nutrition") and then move on to discuss appropriate work or volunteer experiences in more detail. Make Your Statement Distinctive: Many writers want to make their personal statements unique or distinctive in some way as a means of distinguishing their application from the many others received by the company or program. One way to do this is to include at least one detailed example or anecdote that is specific to your own experience—perhaps a description of an important family member or personal moment that influenced your decision to pursue a particular career or degree. This strategy makes your statement distinctive and memorable. Keep It Brief: Usually, personal statements are limited to 250–500 words or one typed page, so write concisely while still being detailed. Making sure that each paragraph is tightly focused on a single idea (one paragraph on the strengths of the program, one on your research experience, one on your extracurricular activities, etc.) helps keep the essay from becoming too long. Also, spending a little time working on word choice by utilizing a dictionary and a thesaurus and by including adjectives should result in less repetition and more precise writing.
Personal Statement Format
As mentioned before, the requirements for personal statements differ, but generally a personal statement includes certain information and can follow this format (see following model).
Introduction Many personal statements begin with a catchy opening, often the distinctive personal example mentioned earlier, as a way of gaining the reader’s attention. From there you can connect the example to the actual program/position for which you are applying. Mention the specific name of the program or company, as well as the title of the position or degree you are seeking, in the first paragraph. Detailed Supporting Paragraphs Subsequent paragraphs should address any specific questions from the application, which might deal with the strengths of the program/position, your own qualifications, your compatibility with the program/position, your long-term goals or some combination thereof. Each paragraph should be focused and should have a topic sentence that informs the reader of the paragraph’s emphasis. You need to remember, however, that the examples from your experience must be relevant and should support your argument about your qualifications. Conclusion Tie together the various issues that you have raised in the essay, and reiterate your interest in this specific program or position. You might also mention how this job or degree is a step towards a long-term goal in a closing paragraph. An application letter contains many of the same elements as a personal statement, but it is presented in a business letter format and can sometimes be even shorter and more specific than a personal statement. An application letter may not contain the catchy opening of the personal statement but instead includes detailed information about the program or position and how you found out about it. Your application letter usually refers to your resume at some point. Another difference between a personal statement and an application letter is in the conclusion, which in an application letter asks for an interview.
3) REVISING THE PERSONAL STATEMENT/APPLICATION LETTER
Because this piece of writing is designed to either get you an interview or a place in a graduate school program, it is vital that you allow yourself enough time to revise your piece of writing thoroughly. This revision needs to occur on both the content level (did you address the question? is there enough detail?) and the sentence level (is the writing clear? are the mechanics and punctuation correct?). While tools such as spell-checks and grammar-checks are helpful during revision, they should not be used exclusively; you should read over your draft yourself and/or have others do so.
As a child I often accompanied my father to his small coin shop and spent hours watching him work. When I was older, I sometimes set up displays, waited on customers, and even balanced the books. This experience instilled in me the desire to own and manage my own business someday, yet I understand that the business world today is more complex. This complexity requires more education, and with that in mind, I am applying to the Master's of Business Administration program at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). In addition to my helping out in my father’s business, I have had numerous other work experiences that further enhance my qualifications for this program. My resume enumerates the various positions I have held at Kerasotes Theaters, Chili's restaurants, and Indiana University's new Student Recreational Sports Center (SRSC), and what all of these positions have in common is an emphasis on serving the public effectively. Further, as an assistant manager at the Showplace 11 and a staff coordinator at the SRSC, I have gained valuable expertise in managing employees and creating work schedules. Both of these positions have allowed me to develop my sales and people skills, which are extremely important in an increasingly service-driven marketplace. Not all of my work experience has been as a paid employee. Part of my volunteering experience at Middleway House, the local battered women's shelter, involved extensive work on computers, including word processing, organizing databases and creating spreadsheets. Also, I recently participated in an internship program for academic credit with the Eli Lilly corporation in the personnel division. As a management intern, I was able to watch the workings of a major corporation up close and would like the opportunity to combine my experiences with the theoretical background available in the MBA program at IUB, with its emphasis on computers, marketing and human resources. My successful internship is one element of my overall academic success as an undergraduate here at IUB, yet I have also made time for a variety of extracurricular activities, including working for my sorority and competing in intramural basketball. My positive experiences here have resulted in my desire to stay in Bloomington to continue my academic endeavors; furthermore, continuing my education here would allow me to make important business contacts, with the career goal of opening my own computer consulting firm in the Midwest.
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Frequently asked questions
Can i write about myself in the third person.
In most contexts, you should use first-person pronouns (e.g., “I,” “me”) to refer to yourself. In some academic writing, the use of the first person is discouraged, and writers are advised to instead refer to themselves in the third person (e.g., as “the researcher”).
This convention is mainly restricted to the sciences, where it’s used to maintain an objective, impersonal tone. But many style guides (such as APA Style ) now advise you to simply use the first person, arguing that this style of writing is misleading and unnatural.
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How to Write in the Third Person
You may have heard someone talking about third person POV in an English class or on a writers’ panel. What does it mean? POV stands for point of view, and any piece of prose writing has one. The point of view helps anchor the reader, and it makes the text easier to understand. Even in a story that doesn’t appear to come from a particular character’s voice, we can still assign the narration a point of view. When the point of view isn’t yours (second person) or mine (first person), then we call it third person narration. In this article, we’ll give you some tips to help you learn to write this way.
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Avoid First Person
First person emphasizes the subjective point of view, and you can easily identify this writing style through the use of the pronouns “I” and “me”. Imagine an autobiography. The narrator explains his or her life by using phrases like this one: “I was born in a small town.” In a biography, written by another person, the text might read: “She was born in a small town.” That’s the difference between first person and third person. In first person, the narrator is the main character or, if not the main character, a character in the action. On the other hand, when a book is written in the third person, the story does not come from the point of view of a character. Instead, the writing describes things that happen to other people, characters besides the writer or the reader.
First person writing can be identified by the use of the following pronouns:
Avoid Second Person
Second person narration comes from the point of view of the reader. A second person point of view can often be found in the self-help or how-to genres, as well as in choice-based adventure books. “Choose Your Own Adventure® gamebooks began life in 1979 as the first publishing effort of a new division at Bantam Books focused on younger readers,” according to Chooseco LLC . Today, 265 million books have been published in this style. Let’s look at the summary of one of these books for a memorable example of second person narration:
“ You are a mountain climber, headed to the Himalayas to find proof that the mysterious yeti really exists. When your best friend Carlos goes missing from base camp, the fate of the expedition is in your hands.” — The Abominable Snowman
We added the bold font above to draw attention to some important pronouns. It’s easy to identify second person narration because it features second person pronouns:
What Is Third Person?
When a piece of writing does not assume the perspective of either the reader or the writer, it’s written in the third person point of view. Third person narratives have three distinct styles, known as third person objective, third person omniscient, and third person limited omniscient. You can recognize all three of these points of view through the use of third person pronouns, which include:
Third Person Objective
Imagine a history essay or a science article, written by a distant and neutral third party. The writer does not attempt to explain the perspective of any character; instead, he or she reports on the events with dispassion. If any opinions made their way into the text, they are properly attributed to the source.
Congressman Smith said, “X, Y, Z.” His constituent disagreed, arguing A.
The author of a third person objective article would never presume to speak for another person’s inner thoughts. Instead, the writer aims to present the facts and events in an orderly way, attributing the actions and dialogue to the proper characters.
This writing style is frequently used in academic writing and professional writing, but it can be used by fiction writers as well. As long as the author does not place thoughts inside the heads of characters, third person objective can work for any style of prose writing. If a writer wanted the reader to understand a character’s emotional state, he or she would have to make reference to body language, facial expression, and dialogue; otherwise, the character’s thoughts would remain opaque. The internal monologue of any character remains off limits from the objective point of view.
Third Person Omniscient
The third person omniscient point of view frequently appears in fiction writing. With this style, an all-knowing narrator has the ability to get inside any character’s head. That’s why an omniscient point of view can be thought of as “head-hopping.” The narrator has knowledge of everything. The characters have nowhere to hide—even their most intimate thoughts may be plumbed. Personal opinions and internal dialogue are all fair game, for any of the characters. In this style of writing, you can expect to see different points of view. As a reader, you can expect to know more about the different characters than the characters know about each other.
Third Person Limited Omniscient
Sometimes a writer engages a third person perspective, but they elevate one character above the rest. The writer may expound on that character’s thoughts, inner dialogue, and perspective. The focal character for the third person limited point of view is often called the viewpoint character. Typically, the viewpoint character is a main character in the story. The writer provides the reader with comprehensive access to this character’s thoughts, but all the other characters must be understood through actions, gestures, and dialogue. The reader must get by with limited information, since they rely on what the viewpoint character knows.
Still, the reader does not go “inside the head” of the viewpoint character completely. Rather than writing from the main character’s perspective in the first person point of view, the writer maintains a third person writing style. Without using first person pronouns, the author explores the thoughts of a single character. The narrator describes she and her, not I and me.
She worried that she would be late, but didn’t bother to tell her sister.
In the example above, the reader understands what the viewpoint character is thinking. On the other hand, the sister cannot read the viewpoint character’s thoughts. Likewise, the reader is not privy to the sister’s thoughts.
The omniscient limited and omniscient POV appear most commonly in creative writing. In general terms, third person objective or first person would be a more common choice for essays, articles, and nonfiction books.
Now that you know the conventions for writing in first person, second person, third person objective, third person limited, and third person limited omniscient, you may want to revisit some of your favorite works of literature. Try to figure out their points of view, and think about why the author picked that perspective.
In your research, you may come across some books that defy categorization. Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Ulysses by James Joyce come to mind. Both books shift between third person and first person narration. Many fiction writers, especially modernist writers, flout convention by using a number of different narrative styles within the same work.
In creative writing, you should feel free to break the rules. Just be sure to understand the rules as you break them!
Kari Lisa Johnson
I’m an award-winning playwright with a penchant for wordplay. After earning a perfect score on the Writing SAT, I worked my way through Brown University by moonlighting as a Kaplan Test Prep tutor. I received a BA with honors in Literary Arts (Playwriting)—which gave me the opportunity to study under Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. In my previous roles as new media producer with Rosetta Stone, director of marketing for global ventures with The Juilliard School, and vice president of digital strategy with Up & Coming Media, I helped develop the voice for international brands. From my home office in Maui, Hawaii, I currently work on freelance and ghostwriting projects.
Perennial Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It
Totalitarian Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It
Revolution Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It
Ephemeral Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It
Written by Emily Harstone July 28th, 2016
How to Write a Good Third Person Biographical Statement
When you read submission guidelines, which vary from literary journal to literary journal, almost all of them will require that you include a brief biographical statement (or bio). Usually they require that the bio is in the third person and to be 50 words or less.
These bios are tricky to write.It is hard to describe ones life using 50 words or less. And frankly, you are better off not doing it. The editor of the journal does not care if you have been twice divorced, and neither does the reading public.
I am all for including one or two personal details, but I prefer that they relate indirectly to your writing. For example when I was submitting a lot of geographically themed poems I included the line “Emily Harstone just moved for the 18th time”.
Another fact worth considering including is what you actually do for a living. Most writers don’t write for a living. They do something else to pay the bills. Mentioning what that is can easily add complexity to your bio. Although it might affect the way your submission is considered. For example mentioning that you are a lawyer in your bio would have a different effect than mentioning that you are a stripper.
Most writers focus the bulk of their (very short) bio on writing. This is often a good thing. Although that can be tricky too. The biggest pitfalls is just mentioning the same things as every other writer. For example I once scanned through a literary journal and every single contributor’s bio included the fact that they had an MFA (a Masters of Fine Arts degree). The schools they attended varied, but that single fact repeated over and over again got to me. Right after reading all of those bios, I removed the fact that I have an MFA from my bio.
The other issue is mentioning too many literary journals that you have been published in. When you are first starting out this seems like a good problem to have. And once your work has been published, you should include some of the most recent or prestigious journals in your biographical statement.
However, you should not include all of them, that would just be overwhelming and also boring. As a general rule of thumb I never include the names of more than 5 literary journals. Usually I limit it to three.
Some authors don’t bother mentioning the names of all the literary journals they have been published in. Their bios instead they say something like this “Their work has been published in over a hundred literary journals.” If you are just starting out, that sounds impressive, but quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to literary journals. It would be much better to name the three best literary journals you have been published in than to refer to all one hundred (or more).
Below are two examples of biographical statements of less than 50 words, one contains journal names, one does not.
Sample Bio 1:
Maria Smith resides in the rural Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous places, including: Tin House , The Liner, and Echolocation , and the anthology Tidelines. Her second chapbook Pancakes for Dinner is forthcoming in 2014 from Hawthorne Press.
Sample Bio 2:
Joshua Thomas is a poet, editor, and recovering New Yorker who now lives in Idaho. Joshua once wrote a sonnet every hour for twenty-four hours straight. He loves to hike, cook, and read.
My personal ideal for a good bio is to mention one interesting personal fact. And then focus the rest of the bio on the area where writing and life intersect. I always include a link to my website as part of my bio. That way readers who like my writing can learn more about me (and possibly purchase a book or two).
Once I write a bio I am happy with, I use it for about a year. I submit the same bio with most of my submissions. After a year has passed, I write a new one.
Remember, it is important to keep in mind who is seeing the bio. First the editor sees it (if they do blind submissions the editor might not see your bio till right before the issue published), and then the readers of the literary journals.
You want your bio to be short, professional, and to appeal to both the editors and the readers. I know that might seem like a tough task, but it gets a lot easier with time and practice.
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What is third person.
- I am speaking to you about her .
- The policeman is speaking to the teacher about Anne .
Table of Contents
"Third Person" Explained
Third person in grammar, examples of third person pronouns in different cases, first, second, and third person pronouns.
Why the Third Person Is Important
- Third Person Narrative . A third-person narrative is a story told using the pronouns "he," "she," "it," or "they" or using nouns. In other words, the story is not told from a personal perspective. A third-person narrative contrasts with a first-person narrative, which is a story told from a personal perspective using the pronoun "I" (and sometimes "we").
- To Write in the Third Person . "To write in the third person" means to use nouns or the pronouns "he," "she," "it," or "they." It is common in business writing.
- Third Party Insurance . Third-party insurance protects against the claims of others. Look at the following sentence: I (the first party) am ensured by you, the insurer (the second party), to protect me against them (the third party).
- First person : "I" and "we"
- Second person : "you"
- Third person: "He/She/It" and "They"
- Masculine gender : He, him, his
- Feminine gender : She, her, hers
- Neuter gender : It, its
(Reason 1) Understanding the person categories is useful for learning a foreign language.
(reason 2) using the third person presents a formal air..
- Avro Corps will handle your complaint within 48 hours.
- We will handle your complaint within 48 hours.
(Reason 3) Using the third person for storytelling can make you seem all-knowing.
- In business, write in the first person for a personal touch.
- When writing fiction, write in the first person to engage your audience quickly.
- Don't say or write "between you and I"...ever.
(Reason 4) The third-person possessive determiner "its" not "it's."
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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > Understanding simple present tense
Understanding simple present tense
Writing in the simple present tense is often the best tense to articulate actions in real time, share facts, and give directions. Explore the simple present tense through definitions and examples so you can grow as a writer.
What is the simple present tense?
The simple present tense is a verb tense used to describe an action happening now or an action that happens routinely. It conveys routine, emotions, wishes, and general facts. As its name implies, the simple present generally uses verbs in their simple root form or with an added “s” or “es” at the end.
These simple present sentences express actions and emotions occurring right now.
- I feel sick.
- You like comedies.
- The farmer hopes for rain
And these simple present sentences express habitual actions.
- I run to the store every morning.
- You drive to work with Carlos.
- She plays tennis after school.
You use this tense all the time in common speech—now you just need to learn how to use it correctly when writing.
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How to write in the simple present tense
Writing in the simple present tense has a lot of benefits. It’s an active, powerful tense to write persuasive pieces . In story writing, it can engage your reader more effectively than the past tense and make your reader feel like they’re right in the middle of the action. In academic papers, the simple present tense may simply be the most accurate way to communicate your point.
Here’s how to form the simple present tense in various persons.
- First person singular: I scream .
- Second person singular: You scream .
- Third person singular: She screams .
- First person plural: We all scream for ice cream.
- Second person plural: You all scream for ice cream.
- Third person plural: They all scream for ice cream.
Note how the third person singular ends with an “s” tacked onto the end of the verb “scream.” Let’s explore that rule a bit further.
Using simple present tense in the third person singular
When you use the third person in the simple present tense, you add an “s” to the end of the root word. Be aware of this rule when you write and edit your work. Sometimes you may even add an “es,” for example, to go (goes) or unleash (unleashes). Memorize these rules for third person singular.
- When using regular verbs, just add an “s” at the end.
- When using verbs ending in -s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -cx, and -o, add “es” to the end.
- When using verbs that end in -y, change the “y” to an “i” and add “es.”
Now that you understand the basics, break down the simple present tense further.
Breaking down the simple present tense
It’s important to accurately apply the simple present tense to different writing scenarios. Let’s play around with syntax and sentence structure to better understand this tense.
How do you write a statement in the simple present? Quite simply.
- Structure: [subject] + [root form of verb]
- Example: [She] [wears] her heart on her sleeve.
What about simple present sentences in the negative? Use the present verb of “do” or “does” along with the word “not” and follow it with the root form of the word. It will make more sense to see it in action.
- Structure: [subject]+[do/does] + [not] + [root form of verb]
- Example: Unlike my twin, I do not wear my heart on my sleeve.
When asking a question in simple present tense, you write “do” or “does,” then the subject, then follow that with the root form of the verb. Look at this example.
- Structure: [do/does] + [subject] + [root form of verb]
- Example: [Does] your twin [sister] really [wear] her heart on her sleeve?
When to write in simple present tense
You use simple present tense for a variety of reasons:
- To express habits
- To share facts
- To explain routine actions
- To communicate unchanging situations
- To give instructions
- To convey fixed arrangements
Fortunately, using simple present tense is straightforward. Just make sure to follow the special “s” rule when using the third person singular, and you’ll use this tense with prowess.
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Style Changes in the seventh edition of the APA Manual:
Bias-free language, first, second and third person definitions, use third person for formal writing, be comfortable with exceptions, watch your grammar, writing in third person in apa style.
As the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" attests, style and tone are important elements of APA papers and publications since they affect how a reader understands information. Point of view is one of the elements that can determine how information is received by a reader.
- Use “they” for a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.
- Use non-human relative pronouns like “that,” and “which” for inanimate objects and animals -- rather than use “who.”
- Use "they" for a person who uses “they” as their personal pronoun. Plural verbs even when "they" is referring to a single person or entity:
They are a great artist is preferred rather than They is a great artist.
Use “person-first” language whenever possible.
A man with leprosy rather than A leper
Avoid using adjectives as nouns to describe groups of people: use the people who are ill rather than the sick.
Three different points of view exist: first person, second person and third person. First person reflects the writer's voice with pronouns such as:
Second person speaks directly to a reader, using pronouns such as "you" and "your."
Third person uses a more general voice that reflects neither the writer nor reader specifically, using words like "students" and "participants" and pronouns such as "he," "they" and "it."
Good writing typically begins in one point of view and retains that perspective throughout in order to avoid confusion for the reader.
Most formal writing, including APA papers, uses the third person point of view. Third person makes ideas sound less subjective since it removes direct reference to the writer. It also creates a more generalized statement.
"Researchers first need to determine participants" (written in the third person) conveys a more formal, objective tone than "You first need to determine participants" (second person) and "I first needed to determine participants" (first person).
Instructors, institutions and publishers generally require writing in the third person to maintain a more formal tone.
The APA manual explains that third person may not always be appropriate in APA papers. When describing activities you performed in your research or when third person language may confuse the reader, use first person instead.
For instance, after a reference to an outside source, if you then write, "The author developed the program," your reader cannot be certain if "the author" refers to the referenced source or yourself. Using the first person in such cases clarifies your intention.
Pronoun use is a significant grammatical issue involving the third person point of view. Pronouns must agree in number with the nouns they refer to. For instance, for the plural noun "participants" and the pronoun "they" agree in number while "he" does not.
In the third person point of view, writers should use gender-neutral pronouns when appropriate, such as "they." Some writers consider the use of "he or she" awkward, but the use of "they" can lead to agreement issues. When using "they," make certain the antecedent noun is also plural.
- Purdue University OWL: APA Style Basics
- University of Arizona Writing Center: First vs. Third Person
- Purdue University OWL - APA 7th Edition style Changes
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.
- CV and Cover Letter
- Should I write my CV in the...
Should I write my CV in the first person or third person?
3 min read · Updated on January 17, 2023
Unsure about current trends in CV writing? The answer is simpler than you think!
Each week, TopCV responds to user questions like the one below. We'll publish those answers here. Have a question for us? Have a look at our career advice or ask a question on our Quora page .
“Do you always write your CV in the third person?” — Martin B.
In short, you don't always have to write your CV in the third person – both the first and the third are acceptable.
However, the secret to great CV writing is removing the use of pronouns entirely; candidates don't need to use "I," "he," or "she," because its use is implied. After all, you're writing a CV about your skills and experience.
Let's take a look at this line from a CV: "I managed a stock room of 10,000+ items." It's a nice line that's written in the first person and displays management skills on a large scale.
You could also write the line in the third person: "He managed a stock room of 10,000+ items." This does the job, but it sounds a little odd.
However, if you remove the use of pronouns, you get a line that reads: "Managed a stock room of 10,000+ items." This phrasing is more effective, as it is not only more concise, but it also helps you avoid repeating yourself with "I did this" and "I did that."
Job seekers often gravitate towards the use of first-person pronouns in their personal profile. For example: "I am a Stockroom Manager with seven years' experience…" This is acceptable, but the rest of the CV must follow suit and also use first-person pronouns to maintain consistency and professionalism.
For a stand-out CV, we advise adopting the absent first-person approach and removing all pronouns, both first and third, from every part of your CV. It will keep your CV business-focused (and not too personal) and may free up a bit of space to write about the skills that really matter. This article on the right way to brag on your CV touches on this idea of eliminating pronouns. Read on to learn about how doing so can strengthen your CV.
We'll review your CV for correct pronoun usage. Submit for a free CV review today!
9 Things You Should Always Include in a CV
How to Write a CV With No Work Experience
The Best Skills to Include in a CV, With Examples
What File Format Is Best for Your CV? Pros + Cons
How to write a CV
How to write a functional CV in 2023 (plus template and example)
See how your CV stacks up.
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How To Write A Personal Statement
A personal statement is usually situated at the top of a cv under your personal information and is one of the first sections of a cv that the reader will come across. You have a limited amount of time to make an impact on the reader (no more than 30 seconds to be precise) therefore the effect has to be immediate. There are various formats and types of cv that are useful dependant on the job role or your skillset, however, almost all include a personal profile. In addition generally, most application forms will also include a personal statement section.
“This is your banner heading summarising your main selling points”
So what should this heading or opening paragraph include.
- A brief overview of who you are and what personal qualities you have to offer.
- Reference to your skills ensuring they are specifically tailored to that of the position
- Outline your areas of expertise and experience
In addition, it should entice the reader to want to know more and go on to read the rest of your cv or application form.
How long should a personal statement be?
There is no definitive answer providing the information is relevant and interesting, however generally a profile will consist of between 30 – 60 words. No more than a few short sentences around 5 lines long.
How do we go about writing a personal profile?
- Firstly you should think about compiling a list of descriptive words or phrases that you may wish to use when explaining the above-mentioned bullet points.
Some sample words; Approachable, Analysed, Caring, Challenging, Creative, Diplomatic, Experienced, Flexible, Helpful, Influential, Inspiring, Motivated, Organised, Professional.
Some sample skills; Effective listener, Good at motivating others, Training, Writing, Public Speaking, Completing Forms, Cooking, Innovative thinker.
- Your personal profile should be written in third person narrative, as written in the first person will appear as only your opinion of yourself.
- Compile a few short sentences combining your pre-selected words and key skills. It is recommended you have two versions of your profile, one which targets a specific job or industry sector and a general multi-purpose version which you can adapt dependant on your requirements. This will also help if you are applying for a range of different jobs.
- You must feel comfortable in explaining and justifying the points included and be mindful of not sounding “too good to be true”.
It is not uncommon to be asked questions in relation to points included within your profile for example;
Q: You state that you are a good problem solver can you provide an example of a problem you have solved and how?
Q: You mention you are an innovative thinker, can you explain an idea that you have suggested that was successful?
- Where possible have someone proofread or help suggest points for you to include as it can sometimes be difficult to write in a positive and descriptive manner about yourself.
To conclude here are some example profiles and important Do’s and Don’ts:
- Set the tone appropriately and word in a positive manner that will help precondition the reader.
- Contain only appropriate and relevant information.
- Keep it within the recommended length or you run the risk of waffling.
- Pigeon hole yourself to one type of person or profession (unless your intention is to achieve one very specific objective).
- Include and information in relation to your life eg, married, single, age, how long you have been unemployed.
- Go over the top, try where possible to keep it simple and do not include anything negative in this opening paragraph.
A responsible, intelligent and experienced retail professional with an extensive background in fashion and children’s wear both in large departments and small boutiques. Highly creative, adaptable and bright individual with an excellent eye for visual detail and design.
A skilled and adaptable Project Manager, with experience in implementing and overseeing change. Has a proven track record of exceeding performance expectations, remaining customer focused and adhering to budgets and timescales. Ability to bring about the fundamental changes needed in response to changing commercial, legislative and financial factors. Strong strategic vision; along with the ability to successfully deliver complex multi-track projects.
An energetic, ambitious individual who has developed a mature and responsible approach to any tasks undertaken. As a Finance graduate who also possesses three years’ managerial experience, now seeks a senior financial management role. Has the ability to organise people and systems in order to achieve objectives and is used to working under pressure and meet strict deadlines.
For more advice see:
- What You Should Include in a Personal Statement
- Writing a Personal Profile for your CV
- How to create a CV: Personal Statement
- Preparing to Change Jobs? Make sure your CV is ready too!
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5th July 2020 at 1:27 am
Outstanding post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!
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How to write a personal statement for your CV
A personal statement on your CV is a great way to give your job application extra impact. Here are some examples to help you get started.
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A critical aspect of creating an effective CV is writing a personal statement, sometimes called a profile or career summary, that enables the recruiter to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their organisation. Your CV should be a self-marketing document aimed at persuading the recruiter to interview you – and your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen.
Many candidates struggle with writing the statement but it doesn’t have to be a difficult as you may think. A well written statement can be between 50 and 200 words, although it is important not to ramble. Remember you always have your cover letter for interesting and engaging information.
It’s important to read the job specification carefully and ensure not only that your skills and experience match but you reflect this in your statement. I am often asked whether a statement should be written in the first or third person and, while there are no definitive rules about this, my preference is always to write in the first person because the CV is all about you and your skillset. This doesn’t mean that you have to add “I” at the beginning of each sentence, however. The reader knows it’s about you so avoid this type of repetition and keep them engaged in your value and transferable skills.
For example an opening statement without the opening “I” could read:
As a highly-motivated and results orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals.
This example reads naturally and flows for the reader, whereas if an “I” was inserted at the start, while not hugely different, it would read more like a list. As you move forward with additional information it then becomes difficult to break out of the format you have started.
As a general rule, it’s best to break the statement into three sections:
Who you are
As recent graduate from Durham University, with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications, I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations such as Bertelsmann and Times Warner. These placements have enabled me to develop not only specific media industry experience, but also a valuable and transferable skill set in this fast-paced sector.
The above opening allowes the recruiter to quickly identify where you are coming from, that you have had industry experience (something that may be in the selection criteria) and core transferable skills. This in itself could be enough for your opening statement, but it can be expanded upon by adding some additional information.
What you can bring to the table
During placement with Bertelsmann, I worked in the media division contributing to projects – such as the award-winning China Max Documentary – and managed my own research, liaised with various divisions, formulated media reports and participated in group project meetings. Utilising excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with both internal and external staff.
Your career aim
Looking to secure a position in a media organisation, where I can bring immediate and strategic value and develop current skillset further.
An example of a poorly written personal statement
Tim is a recent graduate from Durham University with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications. I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations. Tim is now looking to secure a position in a media organisation where I can develop my current skill set.
The mismatch of first and third person is not only confusing to the reader, but it almost sounds like a profile about different people. It also lacks specific detail and proof of what value the candidate could bring to the company.
Key points on writing a dynamic and interesting personal statement:
- Get straight to the point: avoid lengthy descriptions and make your testimonies punchy and informative.
- Keep it between 50 to 200 words maximum.
- If you have enough space, use 1.5 line spacing to make you statement easier to read.
- Match person and job specifications with well written copy.
- Read your profile out loud to ensure it reads naturally.
- Don’t mix first and third person sentences.
Other essential resources
Three excellent cover letter examples
CV templates: graduates, career changers and ladder climbers
What questions to ask at the end of your interview
How to write a CV when you lack direct work experience
Elizabeth Bacchus is a consultant and founder of The Successful CV Company .
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How do you write an essay in third person?
By putting it in third person, you are able to list sources, and you are encouraged to do so. That's why you're asked to write essays in third person.
This is the way your sentence should be:
School lunches are very bad because according to The New York Times , the 2012 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act causes children to not like how the food tastes, and so they do not eat it.
By writing in third-person, you are able to present evidence to your reader. So when you write in third person, show what you know, with evidence backing up your points.
It won't be as redundant as saying "I think/believe" or "I feel" when we know/hope you wrote the paper and you hopefully have sources to back up your claims.
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