Business Writing Tip #48—Avoid Shifting the Point of View

The point of view is the perspective you are writing from. You might be writing about what you did (first person), you might be addressing someone else (second person) or you might be writing from someone else’s, or a neutral, point of view (third person).Lennon Wall (9)

First person is when you write from your own perspective:

  • I finished the report this morning.

Second person is about you

  • You finished the report this morning, didn’t you?

Third person is about someone else

  • She/they finished the report this morning.

If you start a sentence in the first person, finish it in the first person. Same goes for second and third person points of view.

Wrong: If a person wants to run faster, you should train more. (This sentence shifted from third person to second person.)
Better: If you want to run faster, you should train more. (second person)
  If people want to run faster, they should train more. (third person)
  If we want to run faster, we should train more. (first person)
Wrong: I enrolled in a course for the next semester and you have to complete three assignments. (shift from first person to second person)
Better: I enrolled in a course for the next semester and I have to complete three different assignments. (first person)

 

 

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