How to Write in Third-Person

How to Write in Third-Person

When it comes to writing, there are different perspectives that one can choose from. The most common ones are first-person and third-person. Writing in the third-person perspective, as the name suggests, means that you present the story or information from an outside point of view. This is often preferred in academic, professional, and journalistic writing, as it allows the writer to present information objectively without including personal biases or experiences.

If you want to write in the third-person perspective, you need to be aware of the rules and conventions that govern this style of writing. One of the most important aspects is the use of pronouns. Instead of using “I,” “me,” or “my,” you should use pronouns like “he,” “she,” “it,” or “they.” This helps create a distance between the writer and the subject, giving the text a more objective and impersonal tone.

Of course, there are situations where using the first-person perspective is more appropriate or even necessary. If you are writing a personal narrative or sharing your own experiences, using “I” and “me” is perfectly acceptable. However, when writing an academic paper or presenting researched information, using the third-person perspective can lend more credibility to your claims.

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Understanding Third-Person Perspective

In the third-person perspective, the writer does not refer to themselves directly but uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” “it,” or “they” to replace the first-person pronouns such as “I” or “we.” This perspective allows the writer to present information in a more objective and neutral manner.

By writing in the third-person, it removes the writer’s personal biases or experiences from the writing, allowing the reader to form their own opinions without any influence. It also gives the writer the freedom to explore different ideas and viewpoints, presenting a more diverse range of perspectives.

When writing in the third-person perspective, it’s essential to avoid using second-person pronouns like “you” or “your.” This makes the writing more impersonal and distant from the reader, maintaining a sense of objectivity. Instead, the writer should use third-person singular or plural pronouns to refer to the subject.

One of the critical aspects of writing in the third-person perspective is to ensure clarity and accuracy in the writing. The writer should be clear about who they are referring to in each sentence, replacing any vague pronouns with proper nouns or specific nouns. This helps the reader easily understand the subject or object being discussed.

To give you a better idea of how to write in the third-person perspective, here are some tips:

  1. Use third-person pronouns (he, she, it, they) instead of first-person pronouns (I, we).
  2. Avoid using second-person pronouns (you, your) to maintain objectivity.
  3. Be clear about the subject or object being discussed, replacing vague pronouns with specific nouns.
  4. Present different viewpoints and ideas without personal biases or experiences.
  5. Ensure clarity and accuracy in your writing, especially when referring to different characters or objects.

By following these guidelines, writers can effectively write in the third-person perspective, presenting their ideas and information in a more objective and neutral manner. Whether you’re a first-year student in a humanities course or a professional writer, understanding and using the third-person perspective is a valuable skill that belongs to every writer’s toolkit.

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Benefits of Writing in Third-Person

One of the primary benefits of writing in third-person is that it is usually more socially acceptable. Writing in the first-person can come across as self-centered or egotistical, and it may not resonate well with readers. Third-person writing, on the other hand, creates distance between the author and the reader, making it seem more objective and allowing the reader to form their own opinions without feeling influenced.

Another benefit of writing in third-person is that it avoids the use of personal pronouns. Using “I” or “we” can sometimes sound informal or unprofessional, depending on the context. By replacing these pronouns with third-person subjects, the writing sounds more direct and proper.

Furthermore, third-person writing is useful in fields such as academia and the humanities. In these areas, it is important to present information in a neutral and unbiased manner. Writing in third-person helps to achieve this by removing personal experiences and opinions, allowing the reader to focus solely on the information being conveyed.

Finally, writing in third-person makes it easier for readers to immerse themselves in the story. It creates a more objective tone and allows the reader to view the events and characters from a distance. This can be particularly effective in creating a sense of suspense or mystery.

Techniques for Writing in Third-Person

When it comes to writing in the third-person perspective, there are several techniques that can help you effectively convey your thoughts and ideas. By using these techniques, you can maintain objectivity and provide a convincing and engaging narrative that will captivate your readers.

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1. Avoid first-person pronouns

One of the most important techniques for writing in the third-person perspective is to avoid using first-person pronouns such as “I” or “we”. Instead, focus on referring to characters or individuals as “he,” “she,” “they,” or by their names.

2. Use third-person pronouns

When referring to a person or object, use the appropriate third-person pronouns. These pronouns include “he,” “she,” “it,” “they,” and “them.” This will help maintain a consistent narrative style and avoid any confusion about who or what you are referring to.

3. Maintain proper sentence structure

When writing in the third-person perspective, it is essential to use proper sentence structure to ensure clarity and coherence. This includes using complete sentences, avoiding sentence fragments or run-on sentences, and using appropriate punctuation.

4. Be mindful of perspective shifts

In the third-person perspective, it is crucial to remain consistent in your narrative and avoid unnecessary perspective shifts. This means that you should not switch between different characters’ perspectives within a single paragraph or sentence.

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5. Provide objective descriptions

When describing a person, object, or situation in the third-person perspective, try to maintain objectivity. Instead of expressing personal opinions or biases, focus on providing factual and objective descriptions that allow the reader to form their own opinions.

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6. Use reliable sources and references

To add credibility to your writing, it can be helpful to incorporate references or sources that support your claims or provide additional information. This will lend authority to your narrative and demonstrate that you have done thorough research.

Use third-person pronouns consistentlyUse first-person pronouns
Maintain proper sentence structureUse sentence fragments or run-on sentences
Be objective in your descriptionsExpress personal opinions or biases
Incorporate reliable sources and referencesMake unsupported claims

By following these techniques, you can effectively write in the third-person perspective, whether it is for academic writings, creative works, or any other form of written text. It will help you engage your readers and ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and impactful.

Difference between First-Person and Third-Person Writing

First-Person Writing

First-person writing is when you write from your own personal perspective, using pronouns like “I,” “me,” and “myself.” This style of writing is often used in personal narratives, such as autobiographies or personal essays. It allows you to share your own experiences, thoughts, and feelings in a direct and personal way.

For example, if you were writing a letter to a friend, you would likely use first-person language to describe your experiences and emotions:

  • “I went to the concert last night and had a great time.”
  • “I can’t believe how much I enjoyed the music.”

First-person writing can be effective in creating a personal connection with your readers, as it allows them to see things from your point of view. However, it can also be limiting in terms of objectivity and presenting a balanced view of different perspectives.

Third-Person Writing

Third-person writing is when you write from the perspective of someone or something outside of yourself. This style of writing uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” “it,” or “they,” and is often used in academic, research, or journalistic writing.

For instance, if you were writing a research paper, you would use third-person language to present your findings:

  • “The study examined the effects of sugar on different kinds of cancer.”
  • “The researchers found a correlation between high sugar intake and increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.”

Third-person writing allows for a more objective and formal style of writing, which can be useful when presenting researched facts or arguments. It removes the author’s personal bias and focuses on the subject matter instead.

When to Use First-Person or Third-Person Writing

When determining whether to use first-person or third-person writing, it is important to consider the purpose and audience of your work. If you are writing a personal narrative or expressing your own opinions, first-person writing may be more appropriate. On the other hand, if you are presenting researched facts or analyzing a topic objectively, third-person writing is likely a better choice.

Here’s a specific example illustrating the difference:

  • First-person: “I believe that eating a healthy diet is essential for overall well-being.”
  • Third-person: “Research has shown that maintaining a healthy diet is important for overall well-being.”
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As you can see, the first-person version is more subjective and centered on the writer’s belief, while the third-person version is more objective and focuses on the research and general consensus.


Why is it important to know how to write in third-person?

Knowing how to write in third-person is important because it allows the writer to create more objective and unbiased narratives. It also helps to establish a consistent point of view and can prevent confusion for the reader. Additionally, many academic and professional writing styles require the use of third-person.

Can you give an example of writing in third-person?

Sure! Here’s an example: “John walked down the street, looking around for any sign of his friend. He spotted her across the road and waved, but she didn’t seem to notice. He quickened his pace, hoping to catch up with her.”

When should you write in third-person?

You should write in third-person when you want to create a sense of objectivity or when writing in a formal or academic style. It is also commonly used in fiction writing, as it allows the writer to explore multiple characters’ perspectives.

Is it possible to switch between third-person and first-person in a piece of writing?

Yes, it is possible to switch between third-person and first-person in a piece of writing. This can be done to provide different perspectives or to indicate a change in the narrative voice. However, it is important to do so in a way that is clear and doesn’t confuse the reader.

Are there any disadvantages to writing in third-person?

While writing in third-person has many advantages, there can also be some disadvantages. For example, it can be more difficult for the reader to connect emotionally with the characters, as they may feel more distant. Additionally, it can be challenging to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters in third-person without relying too heavily on narration.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.