"What is a Point of View?"

Written by:
Jody-Ann Sommerville, Parkdale High School

Each individual has their own unique viewpoint on a subject or matter. In other words, each individual has their own point of view. Every person’s point of view is not going to be the same even if they read the same book, watched the same movie or even experienced the same actions. In literature, point of view is considered an very important element. The angle at which something is seen can occur in first, second or third person point of view. These are the three different points of view and they are very useful in the analysis of texts.

Students are usually advised not to use the pronouns, I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, ours and ourselves unless they are writing a personal narrative. Reason being, using these pronouns hints that first person point of view is being used and this point of view may sometimes be biased because of limited knowledge. Whenever, a formal essay is being written, 2nd person point of view must never be used. These pronouns include yours, yourself, yourselves and you. Second person point of view is only used in a letter, email, directions and written speeches. Third person point of view is the most appropriate to use when writing a formal essay. Whether it is argumentative, research, compare & contrast, etc. 3rd person point of view is the best point of view to use because a person is able to see all the points surrounding a particular matter and not be biased about it.