CompFAQ/Point of View
|📝 English Composition Writing FAQ
|1101 • 1102 • 📖
POV Gives Perspective to Writing
Point of view is a critical aspect of effective writing, as it influences how the story or argument is presented to the reader. Whether writing a narrative or an argumentative essay, choosing the right point of view can make all the difference in engaging your audience and communicating your ideas clearly. From first-person narration to objective reporting, mastering point of view is an essential skill for any successful writer.
In literature and writing, point of view (or pov) refers to the perspective or angle from which a story or essay is told. It is the position or stance that the author takes in relation to the narrative. The point of view can be determined by the pronouns used in the text, such as “I” for first-person point of view, “you” for second-person point of view, or “he/she/they” for third-person point of view. It also includes the author’s choice of narrative voice, tone, and language, which can affect the reader’s understanding and interpretation of the text.
- Consider the purpose of the essay: The point of view you choose should be appropriate for the purpose of your essay. If you are writing a personal essay or a reader-response, you might use first-person point of view to create a sense of intimacy with the reader. If you are writing a research paper, you might use third-person point of view to maintain an objective, scholarly tone.
- Consider the audience: The point of view you choose should also be appropriate for your audience. If you are writing for a general audience, you might use second-person point of view to address the reader directly and engage them in the essay. If you are writing for a specialized academic audience, you might use third-person point of view to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism.
- Be consistent: Once you choose a point of view, be consistent throughout your essay. Shifting between first-person and third-person point of view can be confusing for the reader and weaken the overall impact of your essay.
- Use point of view strategically: Point of view can be used strategically to enhance the effectiveness of your essay. For example, you might use first-person point of view to describe a personal experience that supports your argument, or you might use third-person point of view to provide an objective analysis of a topic.
Overall, the choice of point of view in essay writing depends on the purpose, audience, and tone of the essay. A well-chosen point of view can help you connect with your readers, establish credibility, and effectively convey your ideas.
Avoid the Second-Person POV
The use of second-person pronouns and addressing the reader directly is generally discouraged in academic writing, especially in college essays, since such writing is expected to be formal, objective, and impersonal. The focus should be on the ideas rather than the reader. Using second-person pronouns such as “you” can come across as too informal and may also make assumptions about the reader’s experiences or beliefs, which may not be accurate. Always maintain a sense of professionalism and avoid making the reader feel uncomfortable or excluded.
Instead, it is typically recommended to use first-person point of view (“I”) or third-person point of view (“he,” “she,” “they”) depending on the type and tone of the essay. However, there may be some rare cases where second-person point of view is appropriate, such as in a creative writing assignment or a persuasive essay where the writer wants to directly address the reader. In those cases, it’s important to use second-person point of view judiciously and with a clear purpose.
Additionally, addressing the reader directly may shift the focus away from the main point of the essay and distract from the argument being made. It is important to remember that the purpose of a college essay is to present a well-reasoned argument or analysis and support it with evidence. The use of second-person pronouns can sometimes make the writing sound like a personal opinion rather than an academic argument.
Therefore, it is recommended to use third-person pronouns or simply refer to the subjects of the essay by name or title. This helps maintain a level of formality and objectivity that is expected in academic writing.
|Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 04-24-2023; Version: Beta 0.7