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How to Write a Research Paper in the Third Person

Updated March 07, 2017

Point of View Definitions

Third person uses nouns like people and pronouns such as he, she, they, it, his, her, their, its, him and them. Third person writing means writing about others rather than yourself or your reader, as in the sentence, Harrison (2014) explained the findings in detail.

Using Third Person

Maintaining third person point of view requires explaining ideas without direct references to yourself or your readers. For instance, to explain personal research results in third person, write I determined, rather than the research indicated. Sometimes papers may use first person language when recounting a study the writer conducted, but even then, third person creates more formality. When explaining information gathered from outside resources, always use third person language, such as Harris (2014) discovered similar consequences of active duty.

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About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.