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Although there are occasions when a shift in point of view is appropriate, unnecessary and inconsistent shifts—especially within a sentence—are distracting to the reader and can cause a confusing change in perspective.

How can you correct an unnecessary shift in point of view?

  • In a passage where an unnecessary shift has been noted, go through and highlight each of the point of view words.
  • Change the point of view of the inconsistent pronouns to align them with the primary point of view that has already been established.
  • Reread the passage aloud and listen for consistency in point of view.

Let’s look at an example:

  • Inconsistent point of view:
    • Even though he believed weight loss was possible, you do not know how hard it can be until you try to lose a few pounds.
  • Consistent point of view:
    • Even though he believed weight loss was possible, he did not know how hard it would be until he tried to lose a few pounds.

 For more information on point of view: