How Do You Write a Paper in Third Person Voice?

Write a paper in third person voice by using pronouns such as "it," "they" and "she" and using specific nouns whenever possible. This style is different from first-person papers that rely on words such as "I", "we" and "us" and second-person papers that speak directly to the reader through words such as "you."

One way to write a paper in third-person is to edit an existing draft, replacing uses of first- and second-person with specific third-person alternatives. For example, if an original sentence expressed that "we need to determine" something, a third-person rewrite would specify a group by saying that "researchers" or "students" need to determine this thing. This makes writing sound more formal and objective because it creates distance between the writer and the subject rather than emphasizing closeness through less formal first-person claims or imperative second-person instructions.

Depending on the writing style or the instructor, it may sometimes still be necessary to use first-person. For example, a statement such as "the author developed this program" may make the reader confused about whether "the author" refers to you as the writer of this paper or to another author mentioned in the paper. In this case, first-person may be required to clear up any confusion.

When writing in third-person, always be sure that pronouns agree with nouns they replace in terms of number and gender. Formal third-person writing sometimes requires gender-neutral pronouns.