Academic Writing: Point of View

If you’re sitting down to write an analytical or research essay (common in the humanities), use the third-person point of view: Achebe argues… or Carter describes her experiences as…

Scientists (including social scientists) tend to use third-person point of view as well, because they depend largely on quantitative research to present their findings or support their opinions: The results indicated…

Occasionally, social scientists and writers in the humanities will use first person to discuss their own experiences while doing research or if writing part of a personal narrative as evidence: After spending a year living with the Upendi, I came to the conclusion that… or Every Christmas we went to the same place, as if our memories could be rekindled…

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Academic Writing: Point of View by Robin Jeffrey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.