69 Point of View

Christina Frasier

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between different points of view
  • Review personal pronouns


Scholarly writing limits the use of personal pronouns. While you should first follow your professor’s instructions about allowed pronouns, here are some general guidelines:

• Limit using first person singular unless you are writing a personal narrative or reflection paper.
• Never use second person point of view—doing so can alienate your reader*

Overall, using third-person point-of-view is best. Feeling lost? Here is a reminder of pronouns:

Singular Pronouns Plural Pronouns
1st person: I, me, my 1st person: we, us, our ours
2nd person: you, your, y’all 2nd person: you, your, y’all
3rd person: she, her, he, his, it, its, one 3rd person: they, them, their,

The singular use of “they” is becoming more common. Refer to the standards your professor and/or the format uses.

* Yes, we use second-person point-of-view throughout this book. However, the text is not a formal work prepared for submitting to a professor or a journal. It is a teaching tool, so it is written in a more relaxed style.


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From College to Career: A Handbook for Student Writers Copyright © by Christina Frasier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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