Third Person Point of View

Many academic disciplines ask their writers to use third person point of view (POV). If so, then writing in the third person is important because your writing will appear professional and credible.

You may occasionally use first person POV to create a more personal tone, or second person POV to command a reader to do something. This depends on the assignment requirements, or on what your instructor recommends. If you are receiving this comment, then you should consider revising your use of other points-of-view to write your project in third person POV.

Third Person Personal Pronouns

 Subjective ObjectivePossessive
3rd personhe, she, it, theyhim, her, it, themhis, her, hers, its, their, theirs

Note: While the above pronouns represent the third person, instead of using it, that, these, those or this, specific words or phrases will better help readers follow the writer’s logic.

How do you change first or second person to third person?

Here is a table that shows several common instances of first or second person in essays and some examples of how to revise to the third person.

When is third-person point of view used?

Third person is used when a degree of objectivity is intended, and it is often used in academic documents, such as research and argument papers. This perspective directs the reader’s attention to the subject being presented and discussed. Third person personal pronouns include he, she, it, they, him, her, them, his, her, hers, its, their, and theirs.

Examples of sentences written from the third person point of view:

  • She went to the library to consult with the reference librarian about her paper’s topic.
  • When he got to his car, he was glad to see that his friend was waiting for him.
  • The students entered the classroom nervously on the first day of class; they had not had the opportunity to become acquainted with their professor or with each other.
  • Jenny and her friend used backpacks to simplify the task of carrying books, notebooks, writing tools and a laptop around campus.
  • Human sex trafficking is a social problem that requires decisive action; its victims should be given the opportunity to escape the cycle of exploitation to which they have become slaves.