The third person is frequently used in formal writing, such as research and argumentative papers. When you write in the third person, things become more impersonal and impartial. This impartiality makes the writer appear less prejudiced and, thus, more believable in academic and professional writing. The usage of the third person aids in keeping the text objective and away from subjective opinion.
Why should you write in Third-Person?
In third-person narration, the narrator lives outside of the story’s events and describes the activities of the characters by using their names or the third-person pronouns “he,” “she,” or “them.” The story is not recounted from the author’s point of view. A third-person narrative differs from a first-person story, a personal account told using the pronoun “I.”
Flexibility: Third-person narration can be more flexible since you can flip between the stories of different people while still being everywhere and allowing your audience to see everything. You can switch between total omniscience and a distant or constrained third point of view. The latter method will enable you to experience a character’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences firsthand, which can help the audience have a more in-depth understanding of the narrative.
Trust: When writing in the third person, the narrator is placed above the action. This gives the reader a bird’s-eye view of the narrative. Since the narrator has no stake in the outcome, this perspective, together with the knowledge of at least one character’s thoughts gives the speech a more authoritative, trustworthy voice.
Types of Third Person Point of View
Third-person objective: The facts of a narrative are presented by an observer or recorder who seems dispassionate and impartial. The narrative is told in a detached and observant manner by the narrator.
Third-person omniscient: The narrator is fully aware of both the plot and the characters. This narrator may easily travel across time, enter anyone’s head, and provide the reader with both their own thoughts and views as well as those of the characters.
Third-person limited: The story is told from the viewpoint of a single character who recounts the facts and evaluates the occurrences. It is frequently known as a closed third.
Learning to Write in Third-Person
Using the correct Pronouns
Apply the appropriate pronouns. People “on the outside” are referred to in the third person. Either use third-person pronouns when referring to someone or use their name. He, his, himself, she, her, herself, they, and them are examples of third-person pronouns. The third person is also employed by using other people’s names.
Avoiding First and Second Person Perspectives
First-person indicates the point of view when the author expresses ideas from a purely individual viewpoint. This viewpoint is excessively subjective and judgmental. In a formal essay, stay away from the first person. Pronouns in the first person are I, me, we, and us.
The term “second person” describes a point of view that addresses the reader directly. Speaking directly to the reader as though the author personally knows them, this point of view displays an excessive level of reader familiarity. In academic writing, never use the second person. Words like you or yours are examples of this point of view.
Indefinite terminology is often used to refer to people in writing. In other words, they could have to refer to or talk generically about a person. The desire to use the second-person pronoun “you” generally arises at this point. It is permissible to use a noun or third person pronoun in this sentence. One, someone, another, any, neither, nobody, other, somebody, and everything are examples of indefinite third-person pronouns.
Incorrect example: “You need to read this thesis to understand the study better.”
Correct example: “Reading this thesis will help one understand the research better.”
Understand how to use Plural pronouns in Third Person
It is important to know when and where to use plural pronouns. When we write in the third person, the usage of they/them/theirs, is not just for when referring to a group, but also for singular individuals when we are unaware of their gender. People may use alternative pronouns. Employing “they” helps prevent misunderstanding that could arise from using “he,” “she,” or the “he/she” terminology.
When writing in the third person, one error that writers frequently make is conjugating a plural pronoun as a single. Saying “They was the driver,” for instance, would be incorrect. The proper phrase would be “They were the driver.”
When you write in the third person, use the objective perspective if you are simply presenting facts to your listeners without any mention of feelings. When speaking from an objective point of view, the tone is frequently matter-of-fact and uninfluenced by any commentary or opinions or by any prior knowledge of events occurring elsewhere. You are just listing the facts and making inferences based on them without attempting to manipulate anyone’s emotions. Describe situations that could be moving while being factual.
We can use key details to improve characterisation and clarity. Mention it in more detail if the audience needs to know how difficult your labour was or how delicious the cuisine was. This is because while you speak or write in the third person, it is simple for the listener to become confused about what is being discussed. Therefore, it is helpful to reaffirm the situational circumstances.
For example: “The team received thunderous cheers.”
Updated Example: “The entire stadium thunderously cheered the squad.”
Use character evaluations
The perspective becomes clearer when you provide evaluations and insights from your character. Remember that adverbs have a strong role to play when you write in the third person. Words like surprisingly, definitely, oddly, and disastrously can convey the wants, concerns, presumptions, and confidence of the POV character. They also reveal who is performing the observations and evaluations.
For instance, we can say “the experimenter was presumably tired” rather than “The experimenter was tired.”
This demonstrates how we maintained the third person while avoiding adopting the experimenter’s viewpoint.
Using Third Person for Business
Writing in the third person offers the author more power while narrating a narrative since it enables them to be outside of the story and omnipresent. When creating a business proposal or report, the same rule applies. Now, the majority of corporate and professional writing rules advise the applicant to write in the third person. Compared to the first or second person, it is more formal.
Avoid switching between the third and the first person. It is quite simple to unintentionally use the first-person narrative while drafting a business report. Check your work frequently to make sure you are not drifting into your own first-person perspective to avoid that. Pronouns like my, our, us, and I should be avoided. This is fixed during revising the work.
The first-person voice is typically employed in professional communications like business emails, letters, memoranda, and most other types of correspondence. This is why using the third person in your company papers is a risky move. One significant benefit, especially when it’s a delicate subject, is that you don’t come out as accusing. Instead of saying “You did not reach the yearly target goal,” use “The staff did not meet the annual target goal.”
The third-person account, which may be found in newsletters, adopts an authoritative and impartial tone. When one writes in the third person, they come out as being more detached, especially when writing about poor attendance at the office. It doesn’t sound like they are blaming the reader.
Understanding the importance of the first and third person is essential in effective workplace communication. Here is an article to learn more about how to use effective communication.
Should you use the Third-Person for your CV or Resume?
Never write in the third person on your CV. The key to producing a superb CV is to avoid pronouns completely; since their use is assumed, applicants don’t need to mention “I,” “he,” or “she.” If you’re an executive assistant, for instance, you should simply state “Organized accommodation for staff” rather than “I coordinated accommodations for the staff.”
Use an action verb at the start of each bullet point in your list of duties to organise them into bullet points. Say “Generated reports” in place of, for instance, “I ran reports.”
First-person pronouns are frequently preferred by job applicants when writing their profiles. This is okay, but to preserve consistency and professionalism, the rest of the CV must utilise first-person pronouns as well.
We suggest using the absent first-person perspective and eliminating all first- and third-person pronouns from every section of your CV to make it stand out. It will help keep your resume professional (and not too personal) and could provide you with a little more room to discuss the talents that matter most.
Be mindful of whether you are using the present or past tense while writing your resume. To describe your current situation, use the present tense; to describe earlier ones, use the past tense.
Using the Third-Person in Academic Writing and Essays
You must use the third person pronoun when writing anything official, such as research articles or argumentative essays. That’s because it paints an objective rather than a subjective view of your work. By being objective in this way, your work will appear more credible and unprejudiced.
First-person pronouns are never appropriate in academic writing. This is because it will force you to look at your work subjectively. First-person pronouns make it challenging to persuade readers that your work is fact-based because it will appear to be your personal ideas. Avoid using your own words and instead cite sources. Words like “I feel” need to be dropped. Additionally, using “I feel” or “I believe” while writing an essay is useless because these words are not very assertive.
When you write in the third person, you concentrate on the facts at hand rather than your own ideas. You may provide your reader with proof by writing in the third person. Show whatever you know and provide support for your claims while writing in the third person. As opposed to stating “I think” or “I feel,” it won’t be as repetitive. If you have a piece by the Washington Post, for instance, you may remark “According to the Washington Post…”
As for the second-person point of view, this is a point of view that speaks directly to the readers. The issue with this point of view is that it gives the impression that you know the readers well. It is advisable to avoid this since it may quickly become direct or accusing.
Converting First and Second Person to Third Person
Using the first and the second person in writing is something that comes more naturally to us since these are the voices used in daily life. Follow these procedures to remove the first and second person and write in the third person:
1. As you read the article, keep an eye out for first- or second-person pronouns. Keep an eye out for any personal anecdotes that could demand the usage of first-person. Use a highlighter or a pen to highlight these words.
2. Go back to any words you marked. Drop expressions like “I think” or “I believe”.
Example: I believe counselling to be quite beneficial.
Updated Example: Counseling is really beneficial.
3. Could any of the remaining words be changed to third-person terms?
Example: You need to ensure that all of your students have stationery.
Updated Example: A teacher is responsible for ensuring that all of their students have stationery.
4. Can personal stories be altered into hypothetical ones if they are still present and cannot be amended or removed?
Example: As a person who goes to the gym, I know some people who could buy this product.
Updated example: Many gym-goers could be interested in purchasing this item.
By revising phrases or even altering words, it is simple to get rid of most instances of first- and second-person use. It is well worth the work to change and write in a third person paper since it produces a better, more objective argument.
Should you speak in third person?
Illeism is when we speak, think or write in the third person perspective about ourself. A common internal monologue that appears when we’re trying to decide what to do, thinking back on the past, or directing ourselves through ordinary situations is shared by many people. So is it weird to talk about yourself in the third person? Yes, in a way; it’s not typical for most individuals. However, it seems that using the third person while talking about oneself has helped certain people, according to psychologists.
Third-person speaking has previously been extensively researched and has been demonstrated to momentarily enhance decision-making. Currently, a PsyArxiv article reveals that it can also improve cognitive and emotional management over the long run. This, according to the researchers, is “the first indication of how wisdom-related cognitive and emotional processes may be taught in daily life.”
The fact that using detached self-talk to regulate emotions seems to require minimal effort is one of its most fascinating features. Along with reducing emotional overwhelm, third-person inner monologue also prevented cognitive control brain regions from going into overdrive(Moser et. al., 2017).
Consider the scenario when you and your partner are bickering. Taking on a third-person viewpoint may assist you in understanding their perspective or in accepting the limitations of your own comprehension of the issue at hand. Or assume that you are thinking about changing careers. You might be able to analyse the advantages and hazards of the shift with more objectivity if you adopt a detached approach.
First and Second Person
I had to leave my home for the first time ever and relocate to the campus of the university. I had to choose between living in an apartment and a dorm. Although both have advantages, I believe the dormitories are superior. While we are transitioning to college, we have more opportunities for social engagement in the dorms. Food is also readily available to us. Also, throughout your first year of college, a resident assistant serves as your mentor and adviser. Dorms are a better match for me because of the social possibilities, endless food, and mentorship, even if apartments would provide me with more independence.
Many students have to leave their homes for the first time ever and relocate to the campus of the university. They have to choose between living in an apartment and a dorm. Although both have advantages, it is usually believed that the dormitories are superior. While the students are transitioning to college, they have more opportunities for social engagement in the dorms. Food is also readily available to them. Also, throughout their first year of college, a resident assistant serves as their mentor and adviser. Dorms are a better match for the students because of the social possibilities, endless food, and mentorship, even if apartments would provide them with more independence.
One of the three writing styles you may employ when presenting a point of view is third-person writing. Although you may not be aware of it, chances are you have utilised all three when writing or speaking throughout your life.
Consistency and frequent practice are the keys to mastering the art of writing speeches and papers in the third person. Analyze and critique your work until it becomes the standard. In the beginning, it could seem a little complicated, but before you know it, you’ll have mastered the method. This will undoubtedly enable you to elevate your papers and presentations to a new level.