How to Write a Research Paper in the Third Person


Writing in third person is the way to demonstrate an objectivity of your writing. This technique is frequently used in academic writing and is easily achieved by excluding words that indicate telling the story in the first or second person. Writing in the third person corresponds to common standards of writing academic works so read these guidelines and get yourself familiar with the style. The following techniques show how sentences containing words like “I', “You' and “We' can be tailored to the requirements of the third person writing.

·  Remember that writing in the third person should be natural and easy. If you just learning this skill, you may have difficulties composing the sentences because you are used to write in the first person. You probably want to write the first draft in the third person and see how it works for you. If you are unsatisfied with the quality, just write the draft in your usual first person style and later change it to the third person using the techniques below.

·  If you have your draft in the first person, run the build-in search in your text editor for the word “I'. The sentences with such word should not be removed for your text but changed. Remember that phrases like “In my opinion' and “I think' are the first sing of unskilled academic writer. Let’s change the sentences with “I' by the following technique. For example, if your text contain such sentence:

I think that Washington University is one of the best in the nation,

  you should change it like this:

Based on the results of annual education poll, Washington University was ranked the third in the nation.

·  Check your text with sentences containing the word “we'. Just like with the “I' sentences, it is necessary to change them. The following sentences are the examples of how it is done.

We all know that lowering of drinking age can increase youth alcohol consumption.

The sentence above can be changed as follows:

The population of the country understands possible increase of alcohol consumption if the drinking age will be lowered.

·  Writing in the second person is also unacceptable in this case. The usage of “you' should be eliminated as well. Even if you intend to speak to a specific person, this word should be excluded from your academic paper. Don’t worry, this is easily achieved with the technique that was used above. See the following examples. The sentence like

You can find all necessary information on global warming by visiting the site of Ecology magazine.

can be changed to

Ecology magazine site offers necessary information on global warming for its visitors.

So now you are ready for your first work in the third person. As the article shows, learning the technique is not difficult even for unexperienced writers. Creating academic text is essential for college and university assignments, so practice your skills and create truly academic content that will make you proud.