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When is second person point of view used?

Second person point of view is often used for giving directions, offering advice, or providing an explanation. This perspective allows the writer to make a connection with his or her audience by focusing on the reader. Second person personal pronouns include you, your, and yours.

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

  • You should put your cell phone in the trunk if you want to resist the temptation to use it while you are driving.
  • When you write an academic paper, keep in mind that the appearance of your paper can make a positive or negative impression on your reader.
  • If you need a new laptop computer, you will need to do some research before you make your purchase.

When should second person point of view be avoided?

Writing from the second person point of view can weaken the effectiveness of the writing in research and argument papers. Using second person can make the work sound as if the writer is giving directions or offering advice to his or her readers, rather than informing or persuading them.

Weak: You should read the statistics about the number of suicides that happen to your average victim of bullying! (2nd person)

Stronger: The statistics from a variety of research reports indicate that the suicide rate is high among victims of bullying; they are under so much psychological pressure that they may resort to taking their own lives. (3rd person)

Second Person Personal Pronouns

  Subjective  Objective Possessive
2nd person  you you  your, yours