how to write an essay in person

How to Write an Essay

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Essay Writing Fundamentals

How to prepare to write an essay, how to edit an essay, how to share and publish your essays, how to get essay writing help, how to find essay writing inspiration, resources for teaching essay writing.

Essays, short prose compositions on a particular theme or topic, are the bread and butter of academic life. You write them in class, for homework, and on standardized tests to show what you know. Unlike other kinds of academic writing (like the research paper) and creative writing (like short stories and poems), essays allow you to develop your original thoughts on a prompt or question. Essays come in many varieties: they can be expository (fleshing out an idea or claim), descriptive, (explaining a person, place, or thing), narrative (relating a personal experience), or persuasive (attempting to win over a reader). This guide is a collection of dozens of links about academic essay writing that we have researched, categorized, and annotated in order to help you improve your essay writing. 

Essays are different from other forms of writing; in turn, there are different kinds of essays. This section contains general resources for getting to know the essay and its variants. These resources introduce and define the essay as a genre, and will teach you what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab

One of the most trusted academic writing sites, Purdue OWL provides a concise introduction to the four most common types of academic essays.

"The Essay: History and Definition" (ThoughtCo)

This snappy article from ThoughtCo talks about the origins of the essay and different kinds of essays you might be asked to write. 

"What Is An Essay?" Video Lecture (Coursera)

The University of California at Irvine's free video lecture, available on Coursera, tells  you everything you need to know about the essay.

Wikipedia Article on the "Essay"

Wikipedia's article on the essay is comprehensive, providing both English-language and global perspectives on the essay form. Learn about the essay's history, forms, and styles.

"Understanding College and Academic Writing" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This list of common academic writing assignments (including types of essay prompts) will help you know what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Before you start writing your essay, you need to figure out who you're writing for (audience), what you're writing about (topic/theme), and what you're going to say (argument and thesis). This section contains links to handouts, chapters, videos and more to help you prepare to write an essay.

How to Identify Your Audience

"Audience" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This handout provides questions you can ask yourself to determine the audience for an academic writing assignment. It also suggests strategies for fitting your paper to your intended audience.

"Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

This extensive book chapter from Writing for Success , available online through Minnesota Libraries Publishing, is followed by exercises to try out your new pre-writing skills.

"Determining Audience" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This guide from a community college's writing center shows you how to know your audience, and how to incorporate that knowledge in your thesis statement.

"Know Your Audience" ( Paper Rater Blog)

This short blog post uses examples to show how implied audiences for essays differ. It reminds you to think of your instructor as an observer, who will know only the information you pass along.

How to Choose a Theme or Topic

"Research Tutorial: Developing Your Topic" (YouTube)

Take a look at this short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to understand the basics of developing a writing topic.

"How to Choose a Paper Topic" (WikiHow)

This simple, step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through choosing a paper topic. It starts with a detailed description of brainstorming and ends with strategies to refine your broad topic.

"How to Read an Assignment: Moving From Assignment to Topic" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Did your teacher give you a prompt or other instructions? This guide helps you understand the relationship between an essay assignment and your essay's topic.

"Guidelines for Choosing a Topic" (CliffsNotes)

This study guide from CliffsNotes both discusses how to choose a topic and makes a useful distinction between "topic" and "thesis."

How to Come Up with an Argument

"Argument" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

Not sure what "argument" means in the context of academic writing? This page from the University of North Carolina is a good place to start.

"The Essay Guide: Finding an Argument" (Study Hub)

This handout explains why it's important to have an argument when beginning your essay, and provides tools to help you choose a viable argument.

"Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument" (University of Iowa)

This page from the University of Iowa's Writing Center contains exercises through which you can develop and refine your argument and thesis statement.

"Developing a Thesis" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page from Harvard's Writing Center collates some helpful dos and don'ts of argumentative writing, from steps in constructing a thesis to avoiding vague and confrontational thesis statements.

"Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

This page offers concrete suggestions for each stage of the essay writing process, from topic selection to drafting and editing. 

How to Outline your Essay

"Outlines" (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via YouTube)

This short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows how to group your ideas into paragraphs or sections to begin the outlining process.

"Essay Outline" (Univ. of Washington Tacoma)

This two-page handout by a university professor simply defines the parts of an essay and then organizes them into an example outline.

"Types of Outlines and Samples" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL gives examples of diverse outline strategies on this page, including the alphanumeric, full sentence, and decimal styles. 

"Outlining" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Once you have an argument, according to this handout, there are only three steps in the outline process: generalizing, ordering, and putting it all together. Then you're ready to write!

"Writing Essays" (Plymouth Univ.)

This packet, part of Plymouth University's Learning Development series, contains descriptions and diagrams relating to the outlining process.

"How to Write A Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure" (Criticalthinkingtutorials.com via YouTube)

This longer video tutorial gives an overview of how to structure your essay in order to support your argument or thesis. It is part of a longer course on academic writing hosted on Udemy.

Now that you've chosen and refined your topic and created an outline, use these resources to complete the writing process. Most essays contain introductions (which articulate your thesis statement), body paragraphs, and conclusions. Transitions facilitate the flow from one paragraph to the next so that support for your thesis builds throughout the essay. Sources and citations show where you got the evidence to support your thesis, which ensures that you avoid plagiarism. 

How to Write an Introduction

"Introductions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page identifies the role of the introduction in any successful paper, suggests strategies for writing introductions, and warns against less effective introductions.

"How to Write A Good Introduction" (Michigan State Writing Center)

Beginning with the most common missteps in writing introductions, this guide condenses the essentials of introduction composition into seven points.

"The Introductory Paragraph" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming focuses on ways to grab your reader's attention at the beginning of your essay.

"Introductions and Conclusions" (Univ. of Toronto)

This guide from the University of Toronto gives advice that applies to writing both introductions and conclusions, including dos and don'ts.

"How to Write Better Essays: No One Does Introductions Properly" ( The Guardian )

This news article interviews UK professors on student essay writing; they point to introductions as the area that needs the most improvement.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

"Writing an Effective Thesis Statement" (YouTube)

This short, simple video tutorial from a college composition instructor at Tulsa Community College explains what a thesis statement is and what it does. 

"Thesis Statement: Four Steps to a Great Essay" (YouTube)

This fantastic tutorial walks you through drafting a thesis, using an essay prompt on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter as an example.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through coming up with, writing, and editing a thesis statement. It invites you think of your statement as a "working thesis" that can change.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (Univ. of Indiana Bloomington)

Ask yourself the questions on this page, part of Indiana Bloomington's Writing Tutorial Services, when you're writing and refining your thesis statement.

"Writing Tips: Thesis Statements" (Univ. of Illinois Center for Writing Studies)

This page gives plentiful examples of good to great thesis statements, and offers questions to ask yourself when formulating a thesis statement.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

"Body Paragraph" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course introduces you to the components of a body paragraph. These include the topic sentence, information, evidence, and analysis.

"Strong Body Paragraphs" (Washington Univ.)

This handout from Washington's Writing and Research Center offers in-depth descriptions of the parts of a successful body paragraph.

"Guide to Paragraph Structure" (Deakin Univ.)

This handout is notable for color-coding example body paragraphs to help you identify the functions various sentences perform.

"Writing Body Paragraphs" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

The exercises in this section of Writing for Success  will help you practice writing good body paragraphs. It includes guidance on selecting primary support for your thesis.

"The Writing Process—Body Paragraphs" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

The information and exercises on this page will familiarize you with outlining and writing body paragraphs, and includes links to more information on topic sentences and transitions.

"The Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post discusses body paragraphs in the context of one of the most common academic essay types in secondary schools.

How to Use Transitions

"Transitions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains what a transition is, and how to know if you need to improve your transitions.

"Using Transitions Effectively" (Washington Univ.)

This handout defines transitions, offers tips for using them, and contains a useful list of common transitional words and phrases grouped by function.

"Transitions" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This page compares paragraphs without transitions to paragraphs with transitions, and in doing so shows how important these connective words and phrases are.

"Transitions in Academic Essays" (Scribbr)

This page lists four techniques that will help you make sure your reader follows your train of thought, including grouping similar information and using transition words.

"Transitions" (El Paso Community College)

This handout shows example transitions within paragraphs for context, and explains how transitions improve your essay's flow and voice.

"Make Your Paragraphs Flow to Improve Writing" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post, another from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, talks about transitions and other strategies to improve your essay's overall flow.

"Transition Words" (smartwords.org)

This handy word bank will help you find transition words when you're feeling stuck. It's grouped by the transition's function, whether that is to show agreement, opposition, condition, or consequence.

How to Write a Conclusion

"Parts of An Essay: Conclusions" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course explains how to conclude an academic essay. It suggests thinking about the "3Rs": return to hook, restate your thesis, and relate to the reader.

"Essay Conclusions" (Univ. of Maryland University College)

This overview of the academic essay conclusion contains helpful examples and links to further resources for writing good conclusions.

"How to End An Essay" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) by an English Ph.D. walks you through writing a conclusion, from brainstorming to ending with a flourish.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page collates useful strategies for writing an effective conclusion, and reminds you to "close the discussion without closing it off" to further conversation.

How to Include Sources and Citations

"Research and Citation Resources" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL streamlines information about the three most common referencing styles (MLA, Chicago, and APA) and provides examples of how to cite different resources in each system.

EasyBib: Free Bibliography Generator

This online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. Be sure to select your resource type before clicking the "cite it" button.

CitationMachine

Like EasyBib, this online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. 

Modern Language Association Handbook (MLA)

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of MLA referencing rules. Order through the link above, or check to see if your library has a copy.

Chicago Manual of Style

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of Chicago referencing rules. You can take a look at the table of contents, then choose to subscribe or start a free trial.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

"What is Plagiarism?" (plagiarism.org)

This nonprofit website contains numerous resources for identifying and avoiding plagiarism, and reminds you that even common activities like copying images from another website to your own site may constitute plagiarism.

"Plagiarism" (University of Oxford)

This interactive page from the University of Oxford helps you check for plagiarism in your work, making it clear how to avoid citing another person's work without full acknowledgement.

"Avoiding Plagiarism" (MIT Comparative Media Studies)

This quick guide explains what plagiarism is, what its consequences are, and how to avoid it. It starts by defining three words—quotation, paraphrase, and summary—that all constitute citation.

"Harvard Guide to Using Sources" (Harvard Extension School)

This comprehensive website from Harvard brings together articles, videos, and handouts about referencing, citation, and plagiarism. 

Grammarly contains tons of helpful grammar and writing resources, including a free tool to automatically scan your essay to check for close affinities to published work. 

Noplag is another popular online tool that automatically scans your essay to check for signs of plagiarism. Simply copy and paste your essay into the box and click "start checking."

Once you've written your essay, you'll want to edit (improve content), proofread (check for spelling and grammar mistakes), and finalize your work until you're ready to hand it in. This section brings together tips and resources for navigating the editing process. 

"Writing a First Draft" (Academic Help)

This is an introduction to the drafting process from the site Academic Help, with tips for getting your ideas on paper before editing begins.

"Editing and Proofreading" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page provides general strategies for revising your writing. They've intentionally left seven errors in the handout, to give you practice in spotting them.

"How to Proofread Effectively" (ThoughtCo)

This article from ThoughtCo, along with those linked at the bottom, help describe common mistakes to check for when proofreading.

"7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful" (SmartBlogger)

This blog post emphasizes the importance of powerful, concise language, and reminds you that even your personal writing heroes create clunky first drafts.

"Editing Tips for Effective Writing" (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

On this page from Penn's International Relations department, you'll find tips for effective prose, errors to watch out for, and reminders about formatting.

"Editing the Essay" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This article, the first of two parts, gives you applicable strategies for the editing process. It suggests reading your essay aloud, removing any jargon, and being unafraid to remove even "dazzling" sentences that don't belong.

"Guide to Editing and Proofreading" (Oxford Learning Institute)

This handout from Oxford covers the basics of editing and proofreading, and reminds you that neither task should be rushed. 

In addition to plagiarism-checkers, Grammarly has a plug-in for your web browser that checks your writing for common mistakes.

After you've prepared, written, and edited your essay, you might want to share it outside the classroom. This section alerts you to print and web opportunities to share your essays with the wider world, from online writing communities and blogs to published journals geared toward young writers.

Sharing Your Essays Online

Go Teen Writers

Go Teen Writers is an online community for writers aged 13 - 19. It was founded by Stephanie Morrill, an author of contemporary young adult novels. 

Tumblr is a blogging website where you can share your writing and interact with other writers online. It's easy to add photos, links, audio, and video components.

Writersky provides an online platform for publishing and reading other youth writers' work. Its current content is mostly devoted to fiction.

Publishing Your Essays Online

This teen literary journal publishes in print, on the web, and (more frequently), on a blog. It is committed to ensuring that "teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages."

The Matador Review

This youth writing platform celebrates "alternative," unconventional writing. The link above will take you directly to the site's "submissions" page.

Teen Ink has a website, monthly newsprint magazine, and quarterly poetry magazine promoting the work of young writers.

The largest online reading platform, Wattpad enables you to publish your work and read others' work. Its inline commenting feature allows you to share thoughts as you read along.

Publishing Your Essays in Print

Canvas Teen Literary Journal

This quarterly literary magazine is published for young writers by young writers. They accept many kinds of writing, including essays.

The Claremont Review

This biannual international magazine, first published in 1992, publishes poetry, essays, and short stories from writers aged 13 - 19.

Skipping Stones

This young writers magazine, founded in 1988, celebrates themes relating to ecological and cultural diversity. It publishes poems, photos, articles, and stories.

The Telling Room

This nonprofit writing center based in Maine publishes children's work on their website and in book form. The link above directs you to the site's submissions page.

Essay Contests

Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

This prestigious international writing contest for students in grades 7 - 12 has been committed to "supporting the future of creativity since 1923."

Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest

An annual essay contest on the theme of journalism and media, the Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest awards scholarships up to $1,000.

National YoungArts Foundation

Here, you'll find information on a government-sponsored writing competition for writers aged 15 - 18. The foundation welcomes submissions of creative nonfiction, novels, scripts, poetry, short story and spoken word.

Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

With prompts on a different literary work each year, this competition from Signet Classics awards college scholarships up to $1,000.

"The Ultimate Guide to High School Essay Contests" (CollegeVine)

See this handy guide from CollegeVine for a list of more competitions you can enter with your academic essay, from the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards to the National High School Essay Contest by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Whether you're struggling to write academic essays or you think you're a pro, there are workshops and online tools that can help you become an even better writer. Even the most seasoned writers encounter writer's block, so be proactive and look through our curated list of resources to combat this common frustration.

Online Essay-writing Classes and Workshops

"Getting Started with Essay Writing" (Coursera)

Coursera offers lots of free, high-quality online classes taught by college professors. Here's one example, taught by instructors from the University of California Irvine.

"Writing and English" (Brightstorm)

Brightstorm's free video lectures are easy to navigate by topic. This unit on the parts of an essay features content on the essay hook, thesis, supporting evidence, and more.

"How to Write an Essay" (EdX)

EdX is another open online university course website with several two- to five-week courses on the essay. This one is geared toward English language learners.

Writer's Digest University

This renowned writers' website offers online workshops and interactive tutorials. The courses offered cover everything from how to get started through how to get published.

Writing.com

Signing up for this online writer's community gives you access to helpful resources as well as an international community of writers.

How to Overcome Writer's Block

"Symptoms and Cures for Writer's Block" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue OWL offers a list of signs you might have writer's block, along with ways to overcome it. Consider trying out some "invention strategies" or ways to curb writing anxiety.

"Overcoming Writer's Block: Three Tips" ( The Guardian )

These tips, geared toward academic writing specifically, are practical and effective. The authors advocate setting realistic goals, creating dedicated writing time, and participating in social writing.

"Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer's Block" (Univ. of Illinois)

This page from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Center for Writing Studies acquaints you with strategies that do and do not work to overcome writer's block.

"Writer's Block" (Univ. of Toronto)

Ask yourself the questions on this page; if the answer is "yes," try out some of the article's strategies. Each question is accompanied by at least two possible solutions.

If you have essays to write but are short on ideas, this section's links to prompts, example student essays, and celebrated essays by professional writers might help. You'll find writing prompts from a variety of sources, student essays to inspire you, and a number of essay writing collections.

Essay Writing Prompts

"50 Argumentative Essay Topics" (ThoughtCo)

Take a look at this list and the others ThoughtCo has curated for different kinds of essays. As the author notes, "a number of these topics are controversial and that's the point."

"401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" ( New York Times )

This list (and the linked lists to persuasive and narrative writing prompts), besides being impressive in length, is put together by actual high school English teachers.

"SAT Sample Essay Prompts" (College Board)

If you're a student in the U.S., your classroom essay prompts are likely modeled on the prompts in U.S. college entrance exams. Take a look at these official examples from the SAT.

"Popular College Application Essay Topics" (Princeton Review)

This page from the Princeton Review dissects recent Common Application essay topics and discusses strategies for answering them.

Example Student Essays

"501 Writing Prompts" (DePaul Univ.)

This nearly 200-page packet, compiled by the LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team, is stuffed with writing prompts, example essays, and commentary.

"Topics in English" (Kibin)

Kibin is a for-pay essay help website, but its example essays (organized by topic) are available for free. You'll find essays on everything from  A Christmas Carol  to perseverance.

"Student Writing Models" (Thoughtful Learning)

Thoughtful Learning, a website that offers a variety of teaching materials, provides sample student essays on various topics and organizes them by grade level.

"Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

In this blog post by a former professor of English and rhetoric, ThoughtCo brings together examples of five-paragraph essays and commentary on the form.

The Best Essay Writing Collections

The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)

This collection of American essays spanning the twentieth century was compiled by award winning author and Princeton professor Joyce Carol Oates.

The Best American Essays 2017 by Leslie Jamison (Amazon)

Leslie Jamison, the celebrated author of essay collection  The Empathy Exams , collects recent, high-profile essays into a single volume.

The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate (Amazon)

Documentary writer Phillip Lopate curates this historical overview of the personal essay's development, from the classical era to the present.

The White Album by Joan Didion (Amazon)

This seminal essay collection was authored by one of the most acclaimed personal essayists of all time, American journalist Joan Didion.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace (Amazon)

Read this famous essay collection by David Foster Wallace, who is known for his experimentation with the essay form. He pushed the boundaries of personal essay, reportage, and political polemic.

"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" (Staff of the The Harvard Crimson )

If you're looking for examples of exceptional college application essays, this volume from Harvard's daily student newspaper is one of the best collections on the market.

Are you an instructor looking for the best resources for teaching essay writing? This section contains resources for developing in-class activities and student homework assignments. You'll find content from both well-known university writing centers and online writing labs.

Essay Writing Classroom Activities for Students

"In-class Writing Exercises" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page lists exercises related to brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and revising. It also contains suggestions for how to implement the suggested exercises.

"Teaching with Writing" (Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing)

Instructions and encouragement for using "freewriting," one-minute papers, logbooks, and other write-to-learn activities in the classroom can be found here.

"Writing Worksheets" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

Berkeley offers this bank of writing worksheets to use in class. They are nested under headings for "Prewriting," "Revision," "Research Papers" and more.

"Using Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism" (DePaul University)

Use these activities and worksheets from DePaul's Teaching Commons when instructing students on proper academic citation practices.

Essay Writing Homework Activities for Students

"Grammar and Punctuation Exercises" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

These five interactive online activities allow students to practice editing and proofreading. They'll hone their skills in correcting comma splices and run-ons, identifying fragments, using correct pronoun agreement, and comma usage.

"Student Interactives" (Read Write Think)

Read Write Think hosts interactive tools, games, and videos for developing writing skills. They can practice organizing and summarizing, writing poetry, and developing lines of inquiry and analysis.

This free website offers writing and grammar activities for all grade levels. The lessons are designed to be used both for large classes and smaller groups.

"Writing Activities and Lessons for Every Grade" (Education World)

Education World's page on writing activities and lessons links you to more free, online resources for learning how to "W.R.I.T.E.": write, revise, inform, think, and edit.

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How to Write a Personal Essay for Your College Application

how to write an essay in person

What does it take to land in the “accept” (instead of “reject”) pile?

How can you write an essay that helps advance you in the eyes of the admissions officers and makes a real impression? Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Start early.  Do not leave it until the last minute. Give yourself time when you don’t have other homework or extracurriculars hanging over your head to work on the essay.
  • Keep the focus narrow.  Your essay does not have to cover a massive, earth-shattering event. Some people in their teens haven’t experienced a major life event. Some people have. Either way, it’s okay.
  • Be yourself.  Whether writing about a painful experience or a more simple experience, use the narrative to be vulnerable and honest about who you are. Use words you would normally use. Trust your voice and the fact that your story is interesting enough in that no one else has lived it.
  • Be creative.  “Show, don’t tell,” and that applies here — to an extent. The best essays typically do both. You can help your reader see and feel what you are describing by using some figurative language throughout your piece.
  • Make a point. As you finish your final body paragraphs ask yourself “So what?” This will help you hone in on how to end your essay in a way that elevates it into a story about an insight or discovery you made about yourself, rather than just being about an experience you had.

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Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here .

We’ve all heard about the dreaded “college essay,” the bane of every high school senior’s existence. This daunting element of the college application is something that can create angst for even the most accomplished students.

  • AA Amy Allen is a writer, educator, and lifelong learner. Her freelance writing business,  All of the Write Words , focuses on providing high school students with one-on-one feedback to guide them through the college application process and with crafting a thoughtful personal essay. A dedicated poet, Amy’s work has also been published in several journals including  Pine Row Press ,  Months to Years,  and  Atlanta Review .

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How to Write in Third Person

Last Updated: March 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,137,981 times.

Writing in third person can be a simple task, with a little practice. For academic purposes, third person writing means that the writer must avoid using subjective pronouns like “I” or “you.” For creative writing purposes, there are differences between third person omniscient, limited, objective, and episodically limited points of view. Choose which one fits your writing project.

Writing in Third Person Academically

Step 1 Use third person for all academic writing.

  • Third person helps the writing stay focused on facts and evidence instead of personal opinion.

Step 2 Use the correct pronouns.

  • Third person pronouns include: he, she, it; his, her, its; him, her, it; himself, herself, itself; they; them; their; themselves.
  • Names of other people are also considered appropriate for third person use.
  • Example: “ Smith believes differently. According to his research, earlier claims on the subject are incorrect.”

Step 3 Avoid first person pronouns.

  • First person pronouns include: I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves. [3] X Research source
  • The problem with first person is that, academically speaking, it sounds too personalized and too subjective. In other words, it may be difficult to convince the reader that the views and ideas being expressed are unbiased and untainted by personal feelings. Many times, when using first person in academic writing, people use phrases like "I think," "I believe," or "in my opinion."
  • Incorrect example: “Even though Smith thinks this way, I think his argument is incorrect.”
  • Correct example: “Even though Smith thinks this way, others in the field disagree.”

Step 4 Avoid second person pronouns.

  • Second person pronouns include: you, your, yours, yourself. [4] X Research source
  • One main problem with second person is that it can sound accusatory. It runs to risk of placing too much responsibility on the shoulders of the reader specifically and presently reading the work.
  • Incorrect example: “If you still disagree nowadays, then you must be ignorant of the facts.”
  • Correct example: “Someone who still disagrees nowadays must be ignorant of the facts.”

Step 5 Refer to the subject in general terms.

  • Indefinite third person nouns common to academic writing include: the writer, the reader, individuals, students, a student, an instructor, people, a person, a woman, a man, a child, researchers, scientists, writers, experts.
  • Example: “In spite of the challenges involved, researchers still persist in their claims.”
  • Indefinite third person pronouns include: one, anyone, everyone, someone, no one, another, any, each, either, everybody, neither, nobody, other, anybody, somebody, everything, someone.
  • Incorrect example: "You might be tempted to agree without all the facts."
  • Correct example: “ One might be tempted to agree without all the facts.”
  • This is usually done in an attempt to avoid the gender-specific “he” and “she” pronouns. The mistake here would be to use the “they” pronoun with singular conjugation. [5] X Research source
  • Incorrect example: “The witness wanted to offer anonymous testimony. They was afraid of getting hurt if their name was spread.”
  • Correct example: “The witness wanted to offer anonymous testimony. They were afraid of getting hurt if their name was spread.”

Writing in Third Person Omniscient

Step 1 Shift your focus from character to character.

  • For instance, a story may include four major characters: William, Bob, Erika, and Samantha. At various points throughout the story, the thoughts and actions of each character should be portrayed. These thoughts can occur within the same chapter or block of narration.
  • Writers of omniscient narratives should be conscious of “head-hopping” — that is, shifting character perspectives within a scene. While this does not technically break the rules of Third Person Omniscience, it is widely considered a hallmark of narrative laziness.

Alicia Cook

  • In a sense, the writer of a third person omniscient story is somewhat like the “god” of that story. The writer can observe the external actions of any character at any time, but unlike a limited human observer, the writer can also peek into the inner workings of that character at will, as well.
  • Know when to hold back. Even though a writer can reveal any information they choose to reveal, it may be more beneficial to reveal some things gradually. For instance, if one character is supposed to have a mysterious aura, it would be wise to limit access to that character's inner feelings for a while before revealing his or her true motives.

Step 3 Avoid use of the first person and second person pronouns.

  • Do not use first person and second person points of view in the narrative or descriptive portions of the text.
  • Correct example: Bob said to Erika, “I think this is creepy. What do you think?”
  • Incorrect example: I thought this was creepy, and Bob and Erika thought so, too. What do you think?

Writing in Third Person Limited

Step 1 Pick a single character to follow.

  • The thoughts and feelings of other characters remain an unknown for the writer throughout the duration of the text. There should be no switching back and forth between characters for this specific type of narrative viewpoint.
  • Unlike first person, where the narrator and protagonist are the same, third person limited puts a critical sliver of distance between protagonist and narrator. The writer has the choice to describe one main character’s nasty habit — something they wouldn’t readily reveal if the narration were left entirely to them.

Step 2 Refer to the character's actions and thoughts from the outside.

  • In other words, do not use first person pronouns like “I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” or “our” outside of dialog. The main character's thoughts and feelings are transparent to the writer, but that character should not double as a narrator.
  • Correct example: “Tiffany felt awful after the argument with her boyfriend.”
  • Correct example: “Tiffany thought, “I feel awful after that argument with my boyfriend.”
  • Incorrect example: “I felt awful after the argument with my boyfriend.”

Step 3 Focus on other characters' actions and words, not their thoughts or feelings.

  • Note that the writer can offer insight or guesses regarding the thoughts of other characters, but those guesses must be presented through the perspective of the main character.
  • Correct example: “Tiffany felt awful, but judging by the expression on Carl's face, she imagined that he felt just as bad if not worse.”
  • Incorrect example: “Tiffany felt awful. What she didn't know was that Carl felt even worse.”

Step 4 Do not reveal any information your main character would not know.

  • Correct example: “Tiffany watched from the window as Carl walked up to her house and rang the doorbell.”
  • Incorrect example: “As soon as Tiffany left the room, Carl let out a sigh of relief.”

Writing in Episodically Limited Third Person

Step 1 Jump from character to character.

  • Limit the amount of pov characters you include. You don't want to have too many characters that confuse your reader or serve no purpose. Each pov character should have a specific purpose for having a unique point of view. Ask yourself what each pov character contributes to the story.
  • For instance, in a romance story following two main characters, Kevin and Felicia, the writer may opt to explain the inner workings of both characters at different moments in the story.
  • One character may receive more attention than any other, but all main characters being followed should receive attention at some point in the story.

Step 2 Only focus on one character's thoughts and perspective at a time.

  • Multiple perspectives should not appear within the same narrative space. When one character's perspective ends, another character's can begin. The two perspectives should not be intermixed within the same space.
  • Incorrect example: “Kevin felt completely enamored of Felicia from the moment he met her. Felicia, on the other hand, had difficulty trusting Kevin.”

Step 3 Aim for smooth transitions.

  • In a novel-length work, a good time to switch perspective is at the start of a new chapter or at a chapter break.
  • The writer should also identify the character whose perspective is being followed at the start of the section, preferably in the first sentence. Otherwise, the reader may waste too much energy guessing.
  • Correct example: “Felicia hated to admit it, but the roses Kevin left on her doorstep were a pleasant surprise.”
  • Incorrect example: “The roses left on the doorstep seemed like a nice touch.”

Step 4 Understand who knows what.

  • For instance, if Kevin had a talk with Felicia's best friend about Felicia's feelings for him, Felicia herself would have no way of knowing what was said unless she witnessed the conversation or heard about it from either Kevin or her friend.

Writing in Third Person Objective

Step 1 Follow the actions of many characters.

  • There does not need to be a single main character to focus on. The writer can switch between characters, following different characters throughout the course of the narrative, as often as needed.
  • Stay away from first person terms like “I” and second person terms like “you” in the narrative, though. Only use first and second person within dialog.

Step 2 Do not attempt to get into directly into a character's head.

  • Imagine that you are an invisible bystander observing the actions and dialog of the characters in your story. You are not omniscient, so you do not have access to any character's inner thoughts and feelings. You only have access to each character's actions.
  • Correct example: “After class, Graham hurriedly left the room and rushed back to his dorm room.”
  • Incorrect example: “After class, Graham raced from the room and rushed back to his dorm room. The lecture had made him so angry that he felt as though he might snap at the next person he met.”

Step 3 Show but don't tell.

  • Correct example: “When no one else was watching her, Isabelle began to cry.”
  • Incorrect example: “Isabelle was too prideful to cry in front of other people, but she felt completely broken-hearted and began crying once she was alone.”

Step 4 Avoid inserting your own thoughts.

  • Let the reader draw his or her own conclusions. Present the actions of the character without analyzing them or explaining how those actions should be viewed.
  • Correct example: “Yolanda looked over her shoulder three times before sitting down.”
  • Incorrect example: “It might seem like a strange action, but Yolanda looked over her shoulder three times before sitting down. This compulsive habit is an indication of her paranoid state of mind.”

Examples of Third Person POV

how to write an essay in person

Expert Q&A

Alicia Cook

You Might Also Like

Write in Third Person Omniscient

  • ↑ https://stlcc.edu/student-support/academic-success-and-tutoring/writing-center/writing-resources/point-of-view-in-academic-writing.aspx
  • ↑ http://studysupportresources.port.ac.uk/Writing%20in%20the%20third%20peson.pdf
  • ↑ http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/third_person.htm
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/use-the-singular-they/
  • ↑ Alicia Cook. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 11 December 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/point-of-view-first-second-third-person-difference
  • ↑ https://ojs.library.dal.ca/YAHS/article/viewFile/7236/6278

About This Article

Alicia Cook

To write in third person, refer to people or characters by name or use third person pronouns like he, she, it; his, her, its; him, her, it; himself, herself, itself; they; them; their; and themselves. Avoid first and second person pronouns completely. For academic writing, focus on a general viewpoint rather than a specific person's to keep things in third person. In other types of writing, you can write in third person by shifting your focus from character to character or by focusing on a single character. To learn more from our Literary Studies Ph.D., like the differences between third person omniscient and third person limited writing, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write an a+ argumentative essay.

Miscellaneous

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You'll no doubt have to write a number of argumentative essays in both high school and college, but what, exactly, is an argumentative essay and how do you write the best one possible? Let's take a look.

A great argumentative essay always combines the same basic elements: approaching an argument from a rational perspective, researching sources, supporting your claims using facts rather than opinion, and articulating your reasoning into the most cogent and reasoned points. Argumentative essays are great building blocks for all sorts of research and rhetoric, so your teachers will expect you to master the technique before long.

But if this sounds daunting, never fear! We'll show how an argumentative essay differs from other kinds of papers, how to research and write them, how to pick an argumentative essay topic, and where to find example essays. So let's get started.

What Is an Argumentative Essay? How Is it Different from Other Kinds of Essays?

There are two basic requirements for any and all essays: to state a claim (a thesis statement) and to support that claim with evidence.

Though every essay is founded on these two ideas, there are several different types of essays, differentiated by the style of the writing, how the writer presents the thesis, and the types of evidence used to support the thesis statement.

Essays can be roughly divided into four different types:

#1: Argumentative #2: Persuasive #3: Expository #4: Analytical

So let's look at each type and what the differences are between them before we focus the rest of our time to argumentative essays.

Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays are what this article is all about, so let's talk about them first.

An argumentative essay attempts to convince a reader to agree with a particular argument (the writer's thesis statement). The writer takes a firm stand one way or another on a topic and then uses hard evidence to support that stance.

An argumentative essay seeks to prove to the reader that one argument —the writer's argument— is the factually and logically correct one. This means that an argumentative essay must use only evidence-based support to back up a claim , rather than emotional or philosophical reasoning (which is often allowed in other types of essays). Thus, an argumentative essay has a burden of substantiated proof and sources , whereas some other types of essays (namely persuasive essays) do not.

You can write an argumentative essay on any topic, so long as there's room for argument. Generally, you can use the same topics for both a persuasive essay or an argumentative one, so long as you support the argumentative essay with hard evidence.

Example topics of an argumentative essay:

  • "Should farmers be allowed to shoot wolves if those wolves injure or kill farm animals?"
  • "Should the drinking age be lowered in the United States?"
  • "Are alternatives to democracy effective and/or feasible to implement?"

The next three types of essays are not argumentative essays, but you may have written them in school. We're going to cover them so you know what not to do for your argumentative essay.

Persuasive Essay

Persuasive essays are similar to argumentative essays, so it can be easy to get them confused. But knowing what makes an argumentative essay different than a persuasive essay can often mean the difference between an excellent grade and an average one.

Persuasive essays seek to persuade a reader to agree with the point of view of the writer, whether that point of view is based on factual evidence or not. The writer has much more flexibility in the evidence they can use, with the ability to use moral, cultural, or opinion-based reasoning as well as factual reasoning to persuade the reader to agree the writer's side of a given issue.

Instead of being forced to use "pure" reason as one would in an argumentative essay, the writer of a persuasive essay can manipulate or appeal to the reader's emotions. So long as the writer attempts to steer the readers into agreeing with the thesis statement, the writer doesn't necessarily need hard evidence in favor of the argument.

Often, you can use the same topics for both a persuasive essay or an argumentative one—the difference is all in the approach and the evidence you present.

Example topics of a persuasive essay:

  • "Should children be responsible for their parents' debts?"
  • "Should cheating on a test be automatic grounds for expulsion?"
  • "How much should sports leagues be held accountable for player injuries and the long-term consequences of those injuries?"

Expository Essay

An expository essay is typically a short essay in which the writer explains an idea, issue, or theme , or discusses the history of a person, place, or idea.

This is typically a fact-forward essay with little argument or opinion one way or the other.

Example topics of an expository essay:

  • "The History of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell"
  • "The Reasons I Always Wanted to be a Doctor"
  • "The Meaning Behind the Colloquialism ‘People in Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones'"

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay seeks to delve into the deeper meaning of a text or work of art, or unpack a complicated idea . These kinds of essays closely interpret a source and look into its meaning by analyzing it at both a macro and micro level.

This type of analysis can be augmented by historical context or other expert or widely-regarded opinions on the subject, but is mainly supported directly through the original source (the piece or art or text being analyzed) .

Example topics of an analytical essay:

  • "Victory Gin in Place of Water: The Symbolism Behind Gin as the Only Potable Substance in George Orwell's 1984"
  • "Amarna Period Art: The Meaning Behind the Shift from Rigid to Fluid Poses"
  • "Adultery During WWII, as Told Through a Series of Letters to and from Soldiers"

body_juggle

There are many different types of essay and, over time, you'll be able to master them all.

A Typical Argumentative Essay Assignment

The average argumentative essay is between three to five pages, and will require at least three or four separate sources with which to back your claims . As for the essay topic , you'll most often be asked to write an argumentative essay in an English class on a "general" topic of your choice, ranging the gamut from science, to history, to literature.

But while the topics of an argumentative essay can span several different fields, the structure of an argumentative essay is always the same: you must support a claim—a claim that can reasonably have multiple sides—using multiple sources and using a standard essay format (which we'll talk about later on).

This is why many argumentative essay topics begin with the word "should," as in:

  • "Should all students be required to learn chemistry in high school?"
  • "Should children be required to learn a second language?"
  • "Should schools or governments be allowed to ban books?"

These topics all have at least two sides of the argument: Yes or no. And you must support the side you choose with evidence as to why your side is the correct one.

But there are also plenty of other ways to frame an argumentative essay as well:

  • "Does using social media do more to benefit or harm people?"
  • "Does the legal status of artwork or its creators—graffiti and vandalism, pirated media, a creator who's in jail—have an impact on the art itself?"
  • "Is or should anyone ever be ‘above the law?'"

Though these are worded differently than the first three, you're still essentially forced to pick between two sides of an issue: yes or no, for or against, benefit or detriment. Though your argument might not fall entirely into one side of the divide or another—for instance, you could claim that social media has positively impacted some aspects of modern life while being a detriment to others—your essay should still support one side of the argument above all. Your final stance would be that overall , social media is beneficial or overall , social media is harmful.

If your argument is one that is mostly text-based or backed by a single source (e.g., "How does Salinger show that Holden Caulfield is an unreliable narrator?" or "Does Gatsby personify the American Dream?"), then it's an analytical essay, rather than an argumentative essay. An argumentative essay will always be focused on more general topics so that you can use multiple sources to back up your claims.

Good Argumentative Essay Topics

So you know the basic idea behind an argumentative essay, but what topic should you write about?

Again, almost always, you'll be asked to write an argumentative essay on a free topic of your choice, or you'll be asked to select between a few given topics . If you're given complete free reign of topics, then it'll be up to you to find an essay topic that no only appeals to you, but that you can turn into an A+ argumentative essay.

What makes a "good" argumentative essay topic depends on both the subject matter and your personal interest —it can be hard to give your best effort on something that bores you to tears! But it can also be near impossible to write an argumentative essay on a topic that has no room for debate.

As we said earlier, a good argumentative essay topic will be one that has the potential to reasonably go in at least two directions—for or against, yes or no, and why . For example, it's pretty hard to write an argumentative essay on whether or not people should be allowed to murder one another—not a whole lot of debate there for most people!—but writing an essay for or against the death penalty has a lot more wiggle room for evidence and argument.

A good topic is also one that can be substantiated through hard evidence and relevant sources . So be sure to pick a topic that other people have studied (or at least studied elements of) so that you can use their data in your argument. For example, if you're arguing that it should be mandatory for all middle school children to play a sport, you might have to apply smaller scientific data points to the larger picture you're trying to justify. There are probably several studies you could cite on the benefits of physical activity and the positive effect structure and teamwork has on young minds, but there's probably no study you could use where a group of scientists put all middle-schoolers in one jurisdiction into a mandatory sports program (since that's probably never happened). So long as your evidence is relevant to your point and you can extrapolate from it to form a larger whole, you can use it as a part of your resource material.

And if you need ideas on where to get started, or just want to see sample argumentative essay topics, then check out these links for hundreds of potential argumentative essay topics.

101 Persuasive (or Argumentative) Essay and Speech Topics

301 Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Top 50 Ideas for Argumentative/Persuasive Essay Writing

[Note: some of these say "persuasive essay topics," but just remember that the same topic can often be used for both a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay; the difference is in your writing style and the evidence you use to support your claims.]

body_fight

KO! Find that one argumentative essay topic you can absolutely conquer.

Argumentative Essay Format

Argumentative Essays are composed of four main elements:

  • A position (your argument)
  • Your reasons
  • Supporting evidence for those reasons (from reliable sources)
  • Counterargument(s) (possible opposing arguments and reasons why those arguments are incorrect)

If you're familiar with essay writing in general, then you're also probably familiar with the five paragraph essay structure . This structure is a simple tool to show how one outlines an essay and breaks it down into its component parts, although it can be expanded into as many paragraphs as you want beyond the core five.

The standard argumentative essay is often 3-5 pages, which will usually mean a lot more than five paragraphs, but your overall structure will look the same as a much shorter essay.

An argumentative essay at its simplest structure will look like:

Paragraph 1: Intro

  • Set up the story/problem/issue
  • Thesis/claim

Paragraph 2: Support

  • Reason #1 claim is correct
  • Supporting evidence with sources

Paragraph 3: Support

  • Reason #2 claim is correct

Paragraph 4: Counterargument

  • Explanation of argument for the other side
  • Refutation of opposing argument with supporting evidence

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

  • Re-state claim
  • Sum up reasons and support of claim from the essay to prove claim is correct

Now let's unpack each of these paragraph types to see how they work (with examples!), what goes into them, and why.

Paragraph 1—Set Up and Claim

Your first task is to introduce the reader to the topic at hand so they'll be prepared for your claim. Give a little background information, set the scene, and give the reader some stakes so that they care about the issue you're going to discuss.

Next, you absolutely must have a position on an argument and make that position clear to the readers. It's not an argumentative essay unless you're arguing for a specific claim, and this claim will be your thesis statement.

Your thesis CANNOT be a mere statement of fact (e.g., "Washington DC is the capital of the United States"). Your thesis must instead be an opinion which can be backed up with evidence and has the potential to be argued against (e.g., "New York should be the capital of the United States").

Paragraphs 2 and 3—Your Evidence

These are your body paragraphs in which you give the reasons why your argument is the best one and back up this reasoning with concrete evidence .

The argument supporting the thesis of an argumentative essay should be one that can be supported by facts and evidence, rather than personal opinion or cultural or religious mores.

For example, if you're arguing that New York should be the new capital of the US, you would have to back up that fact by discussing the factual contrasts between New York and DC in terms of location, population, revenue, and laws. You would then have to talk about the precedents for what makes for a good capital city and why New York fits the bill more than DC does.

Your argument can't simply be that a lot of people think New York is the best city ever and that you agree.

In addition to using concrete evidence, you always want to keep the tone of your essay passionate, but impersonal . Even though you're writing your argument from a single opinion, don't use first person language—"I think," "I feel," "I believe,"—to present your claims. Doing so is repetitive, since by writing the essay you're already telling the audience what you feel, and using first person language weakens your writing voice.

For example,

"I think that Washington DC is no longer suited to be the capital city of the United States."

"Washington DC is no longer suited to be the capital city of the United States."

The second statement sounds far stronger and more analytical.

Paragraph 4—Argument for the Other Side and Refutation

Even without a counter argument, you can make a pretty persuasive claim, but a counterargument will round out your essay into one that is much more persuasive and substantial.

By anticipating an argument against your claim and taking the initiative to counter it, you're allowing yourself to get ahead of the game. This way, you show that you've given great thought to all sides of the issue before choosing your position, and you demonstrate in multiple ways how yours is the more reasoned and supported side.

Paragraph 5—Conclusion

This paragraph is where you re-state your argument and summarize why it's the best claim.

Briefly touch on your supporting evidence and voila! A finished argumentative essay.

body_plesiosaur

Your essay should have just as awesome a skeleton as this plesiosaur does. (In other words: a ridiculously awesome skeleton)

Argumentative Essay Example: 5-Paragraph Style

It always helps to have an example to learn from. I've written a full 5-paragraph argumentative essay here. Look at how I state my thesis in paragraph 1, give supporting evidence in paragraphs 2 and 3, address a counterargument in paragraph 4, and conclude in paragraph 5.

Topic: Is it possible to maintain conflicting loyalties?

Paragraph 1

It is almost impossible to go through life without encountering a situation where your loyalties to different people or causes come into conflict with each other. Maybe you have a loving relationship with your sister, but she disagrees with your decision to join the army, or you find yourself torn between your cultural beliefs and your scientific ones. These conflicting loyalties can often be maintained for a time, but as examples from both history and psychological theory illustrate, sooner or later, people have to make a choice between competing loyalties, as no one can maintain a conflicting loyalty or belief system forever.

The first two sentences set the scene and give some hypothetical examples and stakes for the reader to care about.

The third sentence finishes off the intro with the thesis statement, making very clear how the author stands on the issue ("people have to make a choice between competing loyalties, as no one can maintain a conflicting loyalty or belief system forever." )

Paragraphs 2 and 3

Psychological theory states that human beings are not equipped to maintain conflicting loyalties indefinitely and that attempting to do so leads to a state called "cognitive dissonance." Cognitive dissonance theory is the psychological idea that people undergo tremendous mental stress or anxiety when holding contradictory beliefs, values, or loyalties (Festinger, 1957). Even if human beings initially hold a conflicting loyalty, they will do their best to find a mental equilibrium by making a choice between those loyalties—stay stalwart to a belief system or change their beliefs. One of the earliest formal examples of cognitive dissonance theory comes from Leon Festinger's When Prophesy Fails . Members of an apocalyptic cult are told that the end of the world will occur on a specific date and that they alone will be spared the Earth's destruction. When that day comes and goes with no apocalypse, the cult members face a cognitive dissonance between what they see and what they've been led to believe (Festinger, 1956). Some choose to believe that the cult's beliefs are still correct, but that the Earth was simply spared from destruction by mercy, while others choose to believe that they were lied to and that the cult was fraudulent all along. Both beliefs cannot be correct at the same time, and so the cult members are forced to make their choice.

But even when conflicting loyalties can lead to potentially physical, rather than just mental, consequences, people will always make a choice to fall on one side or other of a dividing line. Take, for instance, Nicolaus Copernicus, a man born and raised in Catholic Poland (and educated in Catholic Italy). Though the Catholic church dictated specific scientific teachings, Copernicus' loyalty to his own observations and scientific evidence won out over his loyalty to his country's government and belief system. When he published his heliocentric model of the solar system--in opposition to the geocentric model that had been widely accepted for hundreds of years (Hannam, 2011)-- Copernicus was making a choice between his loyalties. In an attempt t o maintain his fealty both to the established system and to what he believed, h e sat on his findings for a number of years (Fantoli, 1994). But, ultimately, Copernicus made the choice to side with his beliefs and observations above all and published his work for the world to see (even though, in doing so, he risked both his reputation and personal freedoms).

These two paragraphs provide the reasons why the author supports the main argument and uses substantiated sources to back those reasons.

The paragraph on cognitive dissonance theory gives both broad supporting evidence and more narrow, detailed supporting evidence to show why the thesis statement is correct not just anecdotally but also scientifically and psychologically. First, we see why people in general have a difficult time accepting conflicting loyalties and desires and then how this applies to individuals through the example of the cult members from the Dr. Festinger's research.

The next paragraph continues to use more detailed examples from history to provide further evidence of why the thesis that people cannot indefinitely maintain conflicting loyalties is true.

Paragraph 4

Some will claim that it is possible to maintain conflicting beliefs or loyalties permanently, but this is often more a matter of people deluding themselves and still making a choice for one side or the other, rather than truly maintaining loyalty to both sides equally. For example, Lancelot du Lac typifies a person who claims to maintain a balanced loyalty between to two parties, but his attempt to do so fails (as all attempts to permanently maintain conflicting loyalties must). Lancelot tells himself and others that he is equally devoted to both King Arthur and his court and to being Queen Guinevere's knight (Malory, 2008). But he can neither be in two places at once to protect both the king and queen, nor can he help but let his romantic feelings for the queen to interfere with his duties to the king and the kingdom. Ultimately, he and Queen Guinevere give into their feelings for one another and Lancelot—though he denies it—chooses his loyalty to her over his loyalty to Arthur. This decision plunges the kingdom into a civil war, ages Lancelot prematurely, and ultimately leads to Camelot's ruin (Raabe, 1987). Though Lancelot claimed to have been loyal to both the king and the queen, this loyalty was ultimately in conflict, and he could not maintain it.

Here we have the acknowledgement of a potential counter-argument and the evidence as to why it isn't true.

The argument is that some people (or literary characters) have asserted that they give equal weight to their conflicting loyalties. The refutation is that, though some may claim to be able to maintain conflicting loyalties, they're either lying to others or deceiving themselves. The paragraph shows why this is true by providing an example of this in action.

Paragraph 5

Whether it be through literature or history, time and time again, people demonstrate the challenges of trying to manage conflicting loyalties and the inevitable consequences of doing so. Though belief systems are malleable and will often change over time, it is not possible to maintain two mutually exclusive loyalties or beliefs at once. In the end, people always make a choice, and loyalty for one party or one side of an issue will always trump loyalty to the other.

The concluding paragraph summarizes the essay, touches on the evidence presented, and re-states the thesis statement.

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 8 Steps

Writing the best argumentative essay is all about the preparation, so let's talk steps:

#1: Preliminary Research

If you have the option to pick your own argumentative essay topic (which you most likely will), then choose one or two topics you find the most intriguing or that you have a vested interest in and do some preliminary research on both sides of the debate.

Do an open internet search just to see what the general chatter is on the topic and what the research trends are.

Did your preliminary reading influence you to pick a side or change your side? Without diving into all the scholarly articles at length, do you believe there's enough evidence to support your claim? Have there been scientific studies? Experiments? Does a noted scholar in the field agree with you? If not, you may need to pick another topic or side of the argument to support.

#2: Pick Your Side and Form Your Thesis

Now's the time to pick the side of the argument you feel you can support the best and summarize your main point into your thesis statement.

Your thesis will be the basis of your entire essay, so make sure you know which side you're on, that you've stated it clearly, and that you stick by your argument throughout the entire essay .

#3: Heavy-Duty Research Time

You've taken a gander at what the internet at large has to say on your argument, but now's the time to actually read those sources and take notes.

Check scholarly journals online at Google Scholar , the Directory of Open Access Journals , or JStor . You can also search individual university or school libraries and websites to see what kinds of academic articles you can access for free. Keep track of your important quotes and page numbers and put them somewhere that's easy to find later.

And don't forget to check your school or local libraries as well!

#4: Outline

Follow the five-paragraph outline structure from the previous section.

Fill in your topic, your reasons, and your supporting evidence into each of the categories.

Before you begin to flesh out the essay, take a look at what you've got. Is your thesis statement in the first paragraph? Is it clear? Is your argument logical? Does your supporting evidence support your reasoning?

By outlining your essay, you streamline your process and take care of any logic gaps before you dive headfirst into the writing. This will save you a lot of grief later on if you need to change your sources or your structure, so don't get too trigger-happy and skip this step.

Now that you've laid out exactly what you'll need for your essay and where, it's time to fill in all the gaps by writing it out.

Take it one step at a time and expand your ideas into complete sentences and substantiated claims. It may feel daunting to turn an outline into a complete draft, but just remember that you've already laid out all the groundwork; now you're just filling in the gaps.

If you have the time before deadline, give yourself a day or two (or even just an hour!) away from your essay . Looking it over with fresh eyes will allow you to see errors, both minor and major, that you likely would have missed had you tried to edit when it was still raw.

Take a first pass over the entire essay and try your best to ignore any minor spelling or grammar mistakes—you're just looking at the big picture right now. Does it make sense as a whole? Did the essay succeed in making an argument and backing that argument up logically? (Do you feel persuaded?)

If not, go back and make notes so that you can fix it for your final draft.

Once you've made your revisions to the overall structure, mark all your small errors and grammar problems so you can fix them in the next draft.

#7: Final Draft

Use the notes you made on the rough draft and go in and hack and smooth away until you're satisfied with the final result.

A checklist for your final draft:

  • Formatting is correct according to your teacher's standards
  • No errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Essay is the right length and size for the assignment
  • The argument is present, consistent, and concise
  • Each reason is supported by relevant evidence
  • The essay makes sense overall

#8: Celebrate!

Once you've brought that final draft to a perfect polish and turned in your assignment, you're done! Go you!

body_prepared_rsz

Be prepared and ♪ you'll never go hungry again ♪, *cough*, or struggle with your argumentative essay-writing again. (Walt Disney Studios)

Good Examples of Argumentative Essays Online

Theory is all well and good, but examples are key. Just to get you started on what a fully-fleshed out argumentative essay looks like, let's see some examples in action.

Check out these two argumentative essay examples on the use of landmines and freons (and note the excellent use of concrete sources to back up their arguments!).

The Use of Landmines

A Shattered Sky

The Take-Aways: Keys to Writing an Argumentative Essay

At first, writing an argumentative essay may seem like a monstrous hurdle to overcome, but with the proper preparation and understanding, you'll be able to knock yours out of the park.

Remember the differences between a persuasive essay and an argumentative one, make sure your thesis is clear, and double-check that your supporting evidence is both relevant to your point and well-sourced . Pick your topic, do your research, make your outline, and fill in the gaps. Before you know it, you'll have yourself an A+ argumentative essay there, my friend.

What's Next?

Now you know the ins and outs of an argumentative essay, but how comfortable are you writing in other styles? Learn more about the four writing styles and when it makes sense to use each .

Understand how to make an argument, but still having trouble organizing your thoughts? Check out our guide to three popular essay formats and choose which one is right for you.

Ready to make your case, but not sure what to write about? We've created a list of 50 potential argumentative essay topics to spark your imagination.

Courtney scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT in high school and went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life, as she believes open education is one of the great societal equalizers. She has years of tutoring experience and writes creative works in her free time.

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How to write in third-person

How to write in third person

Although there are three narratives you can use in any form of writing when it comes to your papers and anything academic you produce, it’s best to choose the third-person. It’s pretty simple with a bit of practice, but if you’re completely new to this writing style, here’s what you need to know about how to write in third-person.

What does writing in third-person mean?

Writing in third-person is one of the three styles you can use when describing a point of view. Even though you might not know it, chances are you’ve used first, second and third person in writing projects throughout your education.

It’s a narrative where you’re totally independent of the subject you’re analyzing and writing about. You don’t take sides. You don’t try to influence what readers feel. It’s a completely unbiased, objective way of writing that tells a story or dissects a topic right down the middle.

There’s a lot of information out there about how you can differentiate between the three in roundabout ways, making it unnecessarily complicated. Here’s a quick breakdown to understand the differences for when you write your following paper:

First-person

This is from the I/we perspective. It’s where we talk about us , ourselves, and our opinions. If we go down the first-person route, writing will include pronouns like I , me , myself, and mine .

Second-person

This point of view belongs to the person you’re addressing — so its a you perspective. In your writing, you’d use second-person pronouns such as you , your, and yourselves .

Third-person

The third-person point of view is aimed at the person or people being talked about, which is the type of writing you’d find in stories. In this perspective, you’d use pronouns like he , she , him , her , his , hers , himself , herself , it , them , their, and themselves . Or, you’d use a name. But that tends to happen more in stories than research papers.

Notice the difference between the three?

When to write in third-person

The third-person point of view tells the reader a story and it’s often the go-to when you’re taking an authoritative stance in your papers, which is why it’s so common in academic writing.

So, always choose the third-person stance when writing academic copy, such as essays and research papers.

The reason for this is it’ll make your papers less personal and more objective, meaning the objectivity will make you come across as more credible and less biased. Ultimately, this will help your grades as the third-person view keeps you focused on evidence and facts instead of your opinion.

You can break third-person perspectives into three other types, including omniscient, limited, and objective. Although they’re more associated with creative writing than academic work and essays, your writing is likely to fall under the third-person objective point of view.

A third-person objective point of view is about being neutral and presenting your findings and research in an observational way, rather than influencing the reader with your opinions.

How to use the third-person point of view

Rule number one: Never refer to yourself in your essay in the third-person. That’s a no-no.

For instance, here’s how you shouldn’t write a sentence in your essay if you’re writing about virtual learning as an example.

“I feel like students perform better at home because they have more freedom and are more comfortable.”

It’s a simple sentence, but there’s a lot wrong with it when you’re talking about research papers and adopting a third-person narrative. Why? Because you’re using first-person pronouns and, as it sounds like an opinion, you can’t back up your claims with a stat or any credible research. There’s no substance to it whatsoever.

Also, it isn’t very assertive. The person marking your work won’t be impressed by “I feel like,” because it shows no authority and highlights that it came from your brain and not anywhere of note.

By including terms like “I think” or “I feel” like in the example above, you’re already off to a bad start.

But when you switch that example to the third-person point of view, you can cite your sources , which is precisely what you need to do in your essays and research papers to achieve higher grades.

Let’s switch that sentence up and expand it using the third-person point of view:

“A psychological study from Karrie Goodwin shows that students thrive in virtual classrooms as it offers flexibility. They can make their own hours and take regular breaks. Another study from high school teacher, Ashlee Trip, highlighted that children enjoy freedom, the ability to work at their own pace and decide what their day will look like.”

With a third-person narrative, you can present evidence to the reader and back up the claims you make. So, it not only shows what you know, but it also shows you took the time to research and strengthen your paper with credible resources and facts — not just opinions.

6 tips for writing in third-person

1. understand your voice won’t always shine in your essays.

Every single piece of writing tends to have a voice or point of view as if you’re speaking to the reader directly. However, that can’t always happen in academic writing as it’s objective compared to a novel, for example. Don’t try to ‘fluff’ up your piece to try and cram your personality in, as your academic work doesn’t need it.

2. Don’t focus on yourself or the reader — focus on the text

An academic piece of work always has a formal tone as it’s objective. When you write your next paper, focus on the writing itself rather than the writer or the reader.

3. Coach yourself out of using first-person pronouns

This is easier said than done if all you’ve ever done is first- or second-person writing. When you write your next paper, scan through it to see if you’ve written anything in first-person and replace it with the third-person narrative.

Here are a few regular offenders that pop up in academic papers — along with how you can switch the statements to third-person:

  • I argue should be this essay argues
  • I found that should be it was found that
  • We researched should be the group researched
  • I will also analyze should be topic X will also be analyzed

The same applies to second-person, as there are plenty of cases where it tends to slip through in academic writing. Again, it’s pretty straightforward to switch the more you practice. For instance:

  • Your paper will be marked higher if you use a citation tool should be the use of a citation tool will improve one’s grades

4. Be as specific as possible

This is where things can get a little bit confusing. Writing in third-person is all about including pronouns like he, she, it, and they. However, using them towards the beginning of sentences can be pretty vague and might even confuse the reader — this is the last thing you want from your essay or paper.

Instead, try using nouns towards the beginning of sentences. For example, use the actual subject, such as the interviewer or the writer, rather than he, she, or they when you begin the sentence.

The same applies to terms like it. Start the sentence with the ‘it’ is that you’re describing. If it’s a citation tool, begin the sentence by referencing what you’re discussing, so you aren’t vague. Clarity is key.

5. Write in the present tense when using third-person

In any form of academic writing, you need to write your reports, essays, and research papers in the present tense, especially when introducing different subjects or findings.

So, rather than saying “This paper analyzed” (which does seem correct as technically that part was in the past and the writing is in the present), you should write “This report analyzes” — as if you’re analyzing right here and now.

However, the difference is when you highlight how you did the research, that should be in the past tense. This means you’d use third-person phrases like “The equipment that was used” or “The results were analyzed by”, for instance.

6. Avoid adding your own thoughts

If your report is on a subject that’s close to your heart, it can be super tempting to sprinkle in your own thoughts. It’s a challenge, but you need to coach yourself out of it.

In academic writing, you aren’t a commentator. You’re a reporter. You need to let readers draw their conclusions without over-analyzing them or making the reader lean one way or another.

The easiest way to get to grips with writing your academic papers in the third-person is to be consistent and practice often. Criticize your work and analyze it until it becomes the norm. Yes, it can be a little complex in the early days, but before you know it, you’d have mastered the technique, helping you take your papers and reports up a level.

Frequently Asked Questions about writing in third-person

In third-person, you’d use pronouns like he , she , him , her , his , hers , himself , herself , it , them , their, and themselves . Or, you’d use a name.

You is used in second person and is therefore not used in third person. The second person is used for the person that is being addressed.

The third-person point of view is aimed at the person or people being talked about, which is the type of writing you’d find in stories. When writing in third-person view, make sure to write in the present tense and avoid adding your own thoughts.

When writing in third person, you should actually always write in the present tense since you are mostly presenting results in this view.

The second person point of view belongs to the person you’re addressing — so its a you perspective. In your writing, you’d use second-person pronouns such as you , your, and yourselves .

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How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph About a Person (With Examples)

How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph About a Person (With Examples)

4-minute read

  • 7th January 2023

Describing a person or character is difficult for even the most successful authors. It requires a balance of words to make sure they shine through without the language being too heavy. In this article, we’ll look at how to write a descriptive paragraph about a person, share some examples, and talk about different strategies.

1.   Brainstorm Your Ideas

Brainstorming is crucial to any writing process. It’s the process in which you think of ideas for what you’d like to write about. In this case, you’re writing a descriptive paragraph about a person. It’s important to use adjectives to describe the features or characteristics you want to focus on.

One way to come up with ideas for a descriptive paragraph about a person is to go through the five senses. Use the questions below to get some ideas for what you want to highlight about your person.

Appeal to your reader’s senses – smell, taste, sound, sight, and touch

Smell: How does the person smell? Do they wear perfume? Are they doing an activity that would make them have a certain smell?

Taste: Do you associate a certain food with this person? Does it make you think of a specific taste? Can you taste something due to a certain smell they have?

Sound: Do they have a unique voice or laugh? Are they doing an activity that has distinctive sounds?

Sight: What prominent features do they have? For example, think about their dressing style, their smile, or their surroundings. What do you see them doing in your mind when you see a photo of them? What memories do you have of this person? Does this person remind you of something or someone?

Touch: What textures do you see? For example, imagine their skin or clothing. How does it feel if you hug them?

2.   Begin With a Short and Snappy Sentence

Like with any type of writing, you want to hook your reader so that they want to continue reading. In this case, you can use a topic sentence, if appropriate, to introduce your reader to the person. For example:

Or, if you want to be more creative, you can reel them in with a short and snappy sentence about this person. This is called a writing hook . This sentence should focus on a stand-out detail or characteristic about the person you’re describing. For example:

3.   Describe the Person

Now, this is the hard part. But, if you’ve brainstormed plenty of ideas and know which ones you want to focus on, it will be easier. Let’s look at some examples to get a better idea of how to write a descriptive paragraph about a person using the prompt “describe a person you admire.”

Comments: This paragraph is pretty typical of most students. It gives lots of visual details of the person and uses a simile or two (“ Her eyes are like the color of honey” and “Her smile shines like the sun” ). While this strategy gets the job done, it’s not very exciting to read. In fact, it can be quite boring!

Let’s look at how we can rewrite this to make it more exciting.

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Comments: In this example, we focused on one defining characteristic of the person we are describing — her laugh. This strategy places more focus on the person you’re describing, rather than the adjectives you use to describe them.

4.   Edit and Revise

After you write your descriptive paragraph, be sure to read it over. Read it out loud. Read it in a funny voice. Doing this will help you to hear the words and identify which parts do not work or sound awkward.

5.   General Tips for Descriptive Writing

●  Avoid using too many descriptive words.

●  Remember to show the reader, not tell.

●  Appeal to the reader’s five senses – smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound.

●  Focus on a striking or defining characteristic.

●  Use contrasting details from other people or surroundings for emphasis.

●  Use literary devices (metaphors, similes etc.) sparingly and with intention.

●  Use a hook to reel your reader in.

●  Use a variety of short and long sentences.

●  Practice creative writing exercises to improve your descriptive writing skills.

●  Always edit and revise your writing.

If you need more help with writing a descriptive paragraph or essay , send your work to us! Our experts will proofread your first 500 words for free !

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Table of Contents

Ai, ethics & human agency, collaboration, information literacy, writing process, using first person in an academic essay: when is it okay.

  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 by Jenna Pack Sheffield

how to write an essay in person

Related Concepts: Academic Writing – How to Write for the Academic Community ; First-Person Point of View ; Rhetorical Analysis; Rhetorical Stance ; The First Person ; Voice

In order to determine whether or not you can speak or write from the first-person point of view, you need to engage in rhetorical analysis. You need to question whether your audience values and accepts the first person as a legitimate rhetorical stance. Source:Many times, high school students are told not to use first person (“I,” “we,” “my,” “us,” and so forth) in their essays. As a college student, you should realize that this is a rule that can and should be broken—at the right time, of course.

By now, you’ve probably written a personal essay, memoir, or narrative that used first person. After all, how could you write a personal essay about yourself, for instance, without using the dreaded “I” word?

However, academic essays differ from personal essays; they are typically researched and use a formal tone . Because of these differences, when students write an academic essay, they quickly shy away from first person because of what they have been told in high school or because they believe that first person feels too informal for an intellectual, researched text. While first person can definitely be overused in academic essays (which is likely why your teachers tell you not to use it), there are moments in a paper when it is not only appropriate, but also more effective and/or persuasive to use first person. The following are a few instances in which it is appropriate to use first person in an academic essay:

  • Including a personal anecdote: You have more than likely been told that you need a strong “hook” to draw your readers in during an introduction. Sometimes, the best hook is a personal anecdote, or a short amusing story about yourself. In this situation, it would seem unnatural not to use first-person pronouns such as “I” and “myself.” Your readers will appreciate the personal touch and will want to keep reading! (For more information about incorporating personal anecdotes into your writing, see “ Employing Narrative in an Essay .”)
  • Establishing your credibility ( ethos ): Ethos is a term stemming back to Ancient Greece that essentially means “character” in the sense of trustworthiness or credibility. A writer can establish her ethos by convincing the reader that she is trustworthy source. Oftentimes, the best way to do that is to get personal—tell the reader a little bit about yourself. (For more information about ethos, see “ Ethos .”)For instance, let’s say you are writing an essay arguing that dance is a sport. Using the occasional personal pronoun to let your audience know that you, in fact, are a classically trained dancer—and have the muscles and scars to prove it—goes a long way in establishing your credibility and proving your argument. And this use of first person will not distract or annoy your readers because it is purposeful.
  • Clarifying passive constructions : Often, when writers try to avoid using first person in essays, they end up creating confusing, passive sentences . For instance, let’s say I am writing an essay about different word processing technologies, and I want to make the point that I am using Microsoft Word to write this essay. If I tried to avoid first-person pronouns, my sentence might read: “Right now, this essay is being written in Microsoft Word.” While this sentence is not wrong, it is what we call passive—the subject of the sentence is being acted upon because there is no one performing the action. To most people, this sentence sounds better: “Right now, I am writing this essay in Microsoft Word.” Do you see the difference? In this case, using first person makes your writing clearer.
  • Stating your position in relation to others: Sometimes, especially in an argumentative essay, it is necessary to state your opinion on the topic . Readers want to know where you stand, and it is sometimes helpful to assert yourself by putting your own opinions into the essay. You can imagine the passive sentences (see above) that might occur if you try to state your argument without using the word “I.” The key here is to use first person sparingly. Use personal pronouns enough to get your point across clearly without inundating your readers with this language.

Now, the above list is certainly not exhaustive. The best thing to do is to use your good judgment, and you can always check with your instructor if you are unsure of his or her perspective on the issue. Ultimately, if you feel that using first person has a purpose or will have a strategic effect on your audience, then it is probably fine to use first-person pronouns. Just be sure not to overuse this language, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, self-centered, or unaware of others’ opinions on a topic.

Recommended Readings:

  • A Synthesis of Professor Perspectives on Using First and Third Person in Academic Writing
  • Finding the Bunny: How to Make a Personal Connection to Your Writing
  • First-Person Point of View

Brevity – Say More with Less

Brevity – Say More with Less

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Coherence – How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Coherence – How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Diction

Flow – How to Create Flow in Writing

Inclusivity – Inclusive Language

Inclusivity – Inclusive Language

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The Elements of Style – The DNA of Powerful Writing

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how to write an essay in person

How to Write an Essay about a Person

In this tutorial you will learn how to write a biographical essay – an essay about a person.  

This method will work for writing about anyone:

  • Your friend or a loved one
  • A public or historical figure
  • Anyone else you respect and admire.

How to Structure a Biographical Essay 

The biggest challenge in writing a biography essay is coming up with material. And the easiest way to keep your ideas flowing is to break your topic into subtopics.

Do you recall the saying, “Divide and conquer?” This military concept states that in order to conquer a nation, you must divide it first. 

We’ll use this idea in our approach to writing about a person. Remember, a person, a human being is our main subject in a biographical essay. 

And to discuss a person effectively, we must “divide” him or her. 

How would we go about dividing our subject into subtopics?

The Power of Three

The easiest way to break up any subject or any topic is to use the Power of Three. 

how to write an essay in person

When you have just one subject, undivided, that’s a recipe for being stuck. Dividing into two is progress. 

But three main supporting ideas, which correspond to three main sections of your essay, are the perfect number that always works. 

Note that the three supporting points should also be reflected in your thesis statement . 

Let’s see how it would work when talking about a person.

What does any person have? What are the aspects of any human being?

Any person has emotions. 

In fact, humans are very emotional creatures. This part deals with how the person feels. 

This section or part of the essay will answer some of the following questions: 

“How emotional is this person in her decision making?”

“What emotions predominate in this person? Is this person predominantly positive or negative? Calm or passionate?”

You can discuss more than one emotion with regards to this person.

Any person has an intellect.

The intellect is the ability to think rather than feel. This is an important difference. 

Something that is very important to remember when dividing your topic into subtopics is to make sure that each subtopic is different from the others. 

Thinking is definitely different from feeling , although they are related because they are both parts of human psychology. 

This part of the essay will answer the questions:

“How smart is this person?”

“How is this person’s decision making affected by her intellect or logic?”

“What intellectual endeavors does this person pursue?”

Any person has a body, a physicality.

This sounds obvious, but this is an important aspect of any human being about whom you choose to write. 

This part of your essay answers these questions:

“What are this person’s physical attributes or qualities?”

“How do this person’s physical qualities affect her and others?”

“How do they affect her life?”

“Is this person primarily healthy or not?”

And there are many more questions you can ask about this person’s physicality or physical body. 

As a result of dividing our subject into three distinct parts, we now have a clear picture of the main structure of this essay.

how to write an essay in person

Another Way to Divide a Subject – Change

Another great way to talk about a person is to discuss a change, any kind of a change. 

Change as an idea lends itself very well to the Power of Three because it involves three parts. 

Think of a person who has lost weight, for example. What are the three parts of that change?

First, it’s how much the person weighed in the past, before the change. Second, it is the agent of change, such as an exercise program. And third, it is the result; it’s how much the person weighs after the change has happened. 

This structure is applicable to any kind of a change. 

In this part of the essay, you can discuss anything that is relevant to the way things were before the change took place. It’s the “before” picture.

Some of the questions to ask are:  

“How did this person use to be in the past?”

“How did the old state of things affect her life?”

The Agent of Change

This can be anything that brought about the change. In the case of weight loss, this could be a diet or an exercise program. In the case of education, this could be college. 

Some of the question to ask are the following:

“What happened? What are the events or factors that made this person change?”

“What actually brought about the change in this person?”

Maybe the person went to college, and college life changed this person.

Maybe this person went to prison. That can change a person’s life for the better or worse. 

Maybe she underwent some interesting sort of a transformation, such as childbirth or a passing of a loved one. It could even be a car accident or some other serious health hazard. 

The Present

This is the “after” picture. In this section, you would describe the state of this person after the change has taken place. 

This part of the essay would answer the questions: 

“How is this person now?”

“What has changed?”

Note that the resulting change doesn’t have to be set in the present day. This change could have happened to a historical figure, and both the “before” and “after” would be in the past. 

And there you have it. You have three parts or three sections, based on some kind of a change. 

how to write an essay in person

This is a wonderful way to discuss any person, especially if you’re writing a biography of a public or historical figure.

A Third Way to Divide a Subject – Personal Qualities

A great way to discuss a person, especially someone you know personally, is to talk about their qualities of character. 

A person can have many character qualities. And in this case, the Power of Three helps you narrow them down to three of the most prominent ones. 

Let’s pick three personal qualities of someone you might know personally.

In this section, you could simply provide examples of this person showing courage in times of trouble. 

Here, you would talk about the goals and dreams this person has and how she plans to achieve them. 

Here, just provide examples of acts of kindness performed by this person. 

Three major qualities like these are enough to paint a pretty thorough picture of a person. 

how to write an essay in person

Discussing personal qualities is a great way to add content to your biographical essay. And it works in a discussion of any human being, from a friend to a distant historical figure. 

How to Write a Longer Biography Essay

At this point, you have all the building blocks to write an excellent essay about a person. 

By the way, if you struggle with essay writing in general, I wrote a detailed guide to essay writing for beginners . 

In this section, I want to show you how to use what you’ve learned to construct one of those big papers, if that’s what you need to do. 

If you have to write a basic essay of about 600-1000 words, then just use one of the simple structures above. 

However, if you need to write 2,000 – 5,000 words, or even more, then you need a deeper structure. 

To create a deeper, more complex structure of a biography essay while still keeping the process easy to follow, we’ll simply combine structures we have already learned.   

Combining Change and Human Attributes

Let’s say that you decided that your main point will be about this person’s change as a result of some event. 

Then, you will have three main sections, just like I showed you in writing about any change. 

In effect, you will be discussing:

  • How this person was in the past (before the change)
  • The actual change
  • What happened as the result

You now have divided your essay into three parts. And now, you can use the Power of Three again to divide each main section into subsections.  

Section 1. You can talk about how this person was in the past, in terms of:

  • Physicality

how to write an essay in person

Section 2. When you talk about change, you can still use the Power of Three.

You can ask the question, “What were the drivers of change?”

You can be even more specific here and ask, “What were the three drivers of change?”

And then you answer that question.

For example, if this person went to college, some of the factors of change could have been:

  • The pressure of having to submit work on time.

And those factors changed this person.

how to write an essay in person

Section 3 . As a result of the change, how is this person now, in terms of:

Other Ways to “Divide and Conquer”

Note that there are many more aspects of any person that you can discuss.

Some of them include:

  • Outer vs Inner life.
  • Personal vs Professional life. 
  • Abilities or Skills. 

You can pick any other aspects you can think of. And you can use the Power of Three in any of your sections or subsections to write as much or as little as you need. 

Tips on Writing a Biographical Essay

You can apply any of these techniques to writing about yourself..

When you’re writing about yourself, that’s an autobiographical essay. It is simply a piece of writing in which you reveal something about your life. 

You can take any of the ways we just used to divide a human being or her life into parts and apply them to yourself. 

This can work in a personal statement or a college admissions essay very well. 

Here’s a list of things to narrow your autobiographical essay topic:

  • One significant event in your life
  • A change that you decided to make
  • A person you met who changed your life (or more than one person)
  • The biggest lesson you’ve ever received in life
  • Your goals and aspirations (talking about the future)

Structure your essay as if it is an argumentative essay.

Most of the research papers and essays you’ve written up to date have probably been expository. This means that you stated an argument and supported it using evidence.

A biographical essay is not necessarily expository. You don’t always have something to argue or prove. You could simply tell the reader a story about yourself or describe a period in your life. 

But you can and probably should still use the structures presented in this tutorial because this will make it much easier for you to organize your thoughts. 

Stay focused on your subject.  

Once you know your structure, just stick to it. For example, if you’ve chosen to talk about a person’s courage, ambition, and kindness, these three qualities will carry your essay as far as you want.

But don’t sneak in another quality here and there, because that will dilute your argument. Be especially careful not to write anything that contradicts your view of this person.

If you use contradictory information, make sure it is a counterargument, which is a great technique to add content. You can learn how to use counterarguments in this video:

Hope this helps. Now go write that biography essay!

How to Write a 300 Word Essay – Simple Tutorial

How to expand an essay – 4 tips to increase the word count, 10 solid essay writing tips to help you improve quickly, essay writing for beginners: 6-step guide with examples, 6 simple ways to improve sentence structure in your essays.

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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7 Essential Tips for Writing in the Third Person

7 Essential Tips for Writing in the Third Person

Table of contents

how to write an essay in person

Alana Chase

Whether you’re a student, business professional, or writer, knowing how to write well in the third person is an essential skill.

But you may not be sure of all the rules or how to make your third-person writing shine.

As an editor and writing coach of 11 years, I’ve taught students and writers at all levels how to master the third-person point of view (POV). All you need to get started is a good understanding of third-person pronouns and a bit of practice for consistency. 

By the end of this article, you’ll know when and how to use third-person perspective. You'll also find helpful tips for taking your third-person writing to the next level.

Key takeaways 

  • In the third-person perspective, the narrator is separate from the story. 
  • Third-person perspective uses he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/their pronouns. 
  • Consistency is key: Don’t switch between perspectives in a single document.
  • Practicing third-person writing and editing your work is vital to improving your skills.

What is third-person point of view (POV)?

In writing, there are three ways to tell a story: first-person, second-person, or third-person POV. 

First-person POV is from the narrator’s perspective: 

“ I saw the bird steal my sandwich, and I ran after it.”

Second-person POV is from the reader’s perspective: 

“ You saw the bird steal your sandwich, and you ran after it.”

Third-person POV, however, separates the narrator from the story and uses third-person pronouns (like he/him, she/her, and they/them) to describe events, actions, thoughts, and emotions. Characters are referred to by name or one of these pronouns: 

“ Alex saw the bird steal his/her/their sandwich, and he/she/they ran after it.”

Third-person POV is used in all kinds of writing — from novels to research papers, journalistic articles, copywriting materials, and more. Check out some examples below.

Examples of third-person perspective

  • In a novel: “Robb and Jon sat tall and still on their horses, with Bran between them on his pony, trying to seem older than seven, trying to pretend that he’d seen all this before.” (From A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin)
  • In a news article : “This weekend, Iceland experienced nearly 2,000 earthquakes within 48 hours. And they’ve kept coming since then – in swarms.” (From “Thousands of earthquakes have scientists watching for a volcanic eruption in Iceland” on NPR’s website )
  • In copywriting : “Balm Dotcom’s formula has antioxidants and natural emollients to nourish dry lips.” (Website copy describing Glossier’s Balm Dotcom lip product )

7 tips for writing in the third person

Just like the first and second person, you’ve probably already written in the third person before. But to do it well , you’ll need some key tips and tricks in your writing toolkit. 

Let’s dive into the seven essentials for third-person writing.

Tip 1: Use third-person determiners and pronouns 

In grammar, determiners introduce and modify nouns. They’re used to specify what a noun refers to (like “ my laptop”) or the quantity of it (like “ many sandwiches”). 

Meanwhile, pronouns are substitutes for nouns, referring to people, places, or things. For example, “Caroline [noun] is a skilled musician, and she [pronoun] especially loves playing the piano.”

When you write in the third person, use only third-person determiners and pronouns. Let’s take a look at the different types of pronouns. 

how to write an essay in person

Tip 2: Use names for clarity

In third-person writing, using names is crucial for clarity, especially when multiple people/characters share similar pronouns. Strategically incorporate names into your writing to help readers keep track of who’s who. 

For example:

‍ “She submitted the script draft to her, and she made suggestions for changes.”
‍ “Mira submitted the script draft to Lynn, and Lynn made suggestions for changes.”

Tip: Use a character or person’s name when introducing them in your writing. Then, alternate between using pronouns and their name to prevent confusion.

Tip 3: Keep the narration neutral

When you write in the third person, your narrator is an uninvolved observer. They have no opinions on the people, places, things, or events they describe. Their words and tone should be neutral (but not boring).

To achieve this in your writing:

  • Think of your narrator as a reporter. Their job is to detail what’s happening, when and why it’s occurring, who’s involved, and any background information that can give context. They don’t offer a personal interpretation of events. Instead, they provide facts and supporting details.
  • Save the judgment for characters. Rather than having your narrator share their critique of events or individuals, have a character offer their opinion — either through dialogue, actions, or reactions. For instance, instead of writing, “Dr. Shaw was a courageous woman,” let a character convey admiration by telling Dr. Shaw, “I’ve always admired your fearlessness.”
  • Be objective with your descriptions. Avoid subjective adjectives and focus on observable features. For example, instead of describing a landscape as “breathtaking,” write that it’s “marked with snow-capped mountains and patches of tall pine trees.” 

Tip 4: Use descriptive language

Showing — and not just telling — is essential when writing in the third person. Instead of stating emotions and experiences outright, immerse your reader in your character’s reality. Create vivid descriptions of their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Use language that engages the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. 

For example: 

“Aisha was nervous.”
‍ “Aisha’s hands trembled, and her tongue felt dry against the roof of her mouth. The spotlight above the stage shone white-hot, causing beads of sweat to form along Aisha’s hairline.”

Tip 5: Be consistent

Once you establish a third-person POV, stick to it . Avoid switching from the third person to the first or second person. Otherwise, you’ll confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of your writing.

“Hannah felt a surge of excitement when her telephone rang, anticipating good news about her mortgage application. I felt my heart rate quicken as I answered.” (Switches from the third person to the first person)
“Hannah felt a surge of excitement when her telephone rang, anticipating good news about her mortgage application. She felt her heart rate quicken as she answered.” (Remains in the third person)

Tip 6: Practice

Writing in the third person might feel strange at first, especially if you’re used to using the first or second person. However, it’ll come more naturally to you with practice.

Here are two writing exercises you can try right now:

Writing Exercise #1

Take an excerpt from an article or book written in the first or second person and rewrite it in the third person. Below is an example using The Catcher in the Rye , whose main character is named Holden.

Before: “The other reason I wasn’t down at the game was because I was on my way to say good-by to old Spencer, my history teacher.”

After: “The other reason Holden wasn’t down at the game was because he was on his way to say good-by to old Spencer, his history teacher.”

Writing Exercise #2

Turn on a movie or television show, mute the sound, and closely observe two characters. Give them each a name. Using third-person pronouns and their names, describe the characters’ actions and what you believe they’re thinking and feeling. 

Above all, write in the third person as often as possible , following the tips in this guide. Remember, your writing skills are like muscles: The more you exercise them, the stronger they become. 

Tip 7: Carefully revise 

After you’ve written something in the third person, carefully review and revise your work. 

Check that your writing :

  • Uses third-person determiners and pronouns accurately and consistently
  • Incorporates names where pronouns may cause confusion
  • Maintains a neutral tone, where your narrator doesn’t offer personal opinions or interpretations
  • Doesn’t shift to the first or second person

Make changes where necessary, then read through your work a final time.

AI tip: Wordtune can help you self-edit and help improve your writing overall.

Paste your work into Wordtune’s Editor, or write in it directly, and use the features to shorten or expand your sentences, make your tone more casual or formal, and more. Wordtune will also automatically flag spelling and grammar errors and suggest ways to improve concision, clarity, and flow.

The Casual button in Wordtune takes highlighted text and suggests more casual-sounding replacements.

Get Wordtune for free > Get Wordtune for free >

Bonus tip (advanced): Learn the different types of third-person POV

Did you know there are three types of third-person POV? Getting familiar with them can help you make your writing even more impactful.

  • Third-person objective , where the narrator is “a fly on the wall”: They provide an objective account of events without exploring people/characters’ emotions or thoughts.
  • Third-person omniscient , where the narrator has unlimited knowledge of all events and characters’ thoughts and feelings. 
  • Third-person limited , also called “close third,” where the narrator has access to just one character’s emotions, thoughts, and experiences. 

With this knowledge, you can choose the right perspective for your writing depending on its purpose, tone, and goals. 

For instance, use third-person omniscient to show readers what’s happening with everyone in your novel. Or, you could go for third-person objective in an academic paper where you must present facts without sharing your interpretation of them.

Writing well in the third person takes thought and effort. You must use third-person determiners and pronouns, weave in descriptive language, and keep your narration neutral. You also need to be consistent with your POV, ensuring you don’t accidentally switch to the first or second person. Finally, review and revise your work to make sure it’s clear and error-free. 

Using this guide — and Wordtune’s tools to polish your writing — you’ll get the hang of the third-person perspective in no time.

To continue sharpening your writing skills, read our articles on mastering tone of voice and writing concisely (with help from AI). Then, check out our proofreading guide to keep your work flawless . 

What is a third-person word example?

Third-person words are pronouns like “he,” “her,” “they,” “it,” “hers,” and “theirs.”

Should I write in the first or third person?

It depends on the closeness you want to create with your audience. The first person allows for a personal connection between the narrator and the reader, while the third person creates distance between the narrator and the audience.

What are the disadvantages of writing in the third person?

Third-person writing can lead to a lack of intimacy with the reader. This can be a disadvantage for some writers but an advantage for others, like those in academic and professional settings.

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how to write an essay in person

How to Write an Essay – Best Method Explained

B efore we dive into this article, we highly recommend you check out bestessaywriter.net if you are looking to get your essay written by highly qualified writers with over 30 years of experience. 

Are you passionate about a topic and eager to share it? Write an essay! Do you disagree with a common viewpoint and want to persuade others to see it your way? Write an essay! Are you required to submit a piece of writing to get into your dream college? Write an essay! 

Writing essays is a powerful way to express your thoughts, challenge prevailing opinions, and fulfill academic requirements. Whether you're driven by passion or necessity, crafting a well-thought-out essay can make a significant impact. 

The term "essay" broadly describes any written piece where the author presents their viewpoint on a topic. This can be academic, editorial, or even humorous in nature. Despite the vast number of approaches and topics available, successful essay writing generally adheres to a consistent framework. 

Good essays are structured effectively to guide the reader through the author's arguments and insights. Whether you're exploring complex theories or sharing personal experiences, a clear, logical structure is key to making your essay compelling and coherent. 

In the following sections, we'll dive into that framework and explain how you can apply it to your essays, regardless of their type. But first, let's begin with a basic overview of essay writing. 

How to Write an Essay 

If you are having trouble writing an essay, you can hire an essay writer from BestEssayWriter.net but if you want to learn how to write an essay on your own, we will lay down the exact steps in this guide.  

Steps to write an essay: 

  • Generate Ideas and Choose a Type of Essay : Start by brainstorming potential topics and deciding on the type of essay you want to write, whether it's persuasive, descriptive, expository, or another style. 
  • Outline Your Essay : Plan your essay by outlining each paragraph. This helps organize your thoughts and ensures a logical flow of information. 
  • Write a Rough Draft : Begin with a rough draft, focusing on getting your ideas down on paper. Don't worry about perfect word choice or grammar at this stage. 
  • Edit and Revise : After completing your rough draft, go back and refine it. Pay attention to details like word choice, sentence structure, and overall coherence. 
  • Proofread : Finally, review your essay for any typos, errors, or other issues that might detract from your message. 

We'll explore each of these steps in more detail below, but first, let's focus on a crucial element of any effective essay: choosing the right topic. 

Crafting Your Essay's Thesis Statement 

Before you start writing your essay, there are three critical aspects to consider: 

  • Thesis  
  • Type  
  • Audience  

Among these, the thesis is the most crucial. It represents the core argument or main point of your essay. For instance, Bertrand Russell's thesis in "In Praise of Idleness" argues that society overly prioritizes work, neglecting the value of leisure. 

Your thesis statement should encapsulate this central idea. It's what you want your readers to remember most when they finish reading. If you're struggling to define your thesis, ask yourself: "What's the one thing I want my readers to remember?" 

It's best to state your thesis early, ideally in the first few sentences, and to reiterate it throughout your essay, particularly in the conclusion. This repetition ensures that your central idea is clear and resonant. 

The rest of your essay should support this thesis. You can use various forms of evidence to bolster your argument, including empirical data, testimonials, logical reasoning, or persuasive language. The key is to consistently build upon your initial thesis without veering off into unrelated topics. 

The Essay-Writing Process 

Writing encompasses a range of formats, from essays and research papers to novels, poems, screenplays, and blog articles. No matter the format, following an efficient writing process is essential. Even if you begin with a stream-of-consciousness style for your rough draft, a structured system is crucial for revision and refinement. 

Here’s a five-step writing process recommended for essay writing:  

  • Brainstorming : Start by gathering your thoughts. Based on your prompt or thesis, generate as many ideas as you can. This is your chance to think freely and note down everything that comes to mind, knowing you can later discard what doesn’t fit. 
  • Preparing : In this stage, you filter and organize your ideas. Select those that best support your thesis and arrange them logically. This phase also involves outlining your essay’s structure and gathering resources for evidence. If your essay requires citations, now is the time to collect these, following the appropriate style guide (MLA, APA, or Chicago) depending on your academic or publication requirements. 
  • Drafting : Now, you write your first draft. Don’t aim for perfection. The goal is to get your ideas down on paper. Focusing too much on perfecting each word can detract from the overall flow of your essay. 
  • Revising : This involves multiple drafts. Here, refine your essay by enhancing word choice, clarity, and overall flow. Avoid common pitfalls like passive voice and run-on sentences. Tools like Grammarly can be particularly helpful in this stage, offering suggestions for sentence structure and clarity to ensure your writing is concise and readable. 
  • Proofreading : After revising, the final step is proofreading. This is your chance to catch any misspellings, grammatical errors, or formatting issues. Using a tool like Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant can be beneficial for catching these common mistakes, providing instant feedback to refine your essay further. 

This structured approach helps maintain focus throughout the writing process, ensuring that each part of your essay contributes effectively to the whole. 

Essay Structure: An Overview 

The structure of an essay typically adheres to a simple format of introduction, body, and conclusion. However, the content within these sections is what truly makes an essay effective. 

Introduction : The introduction sets the stage for your essay. It follows general writing guidelines but places extra emphasis on presenting the thesis statement prominently, ideally within the first few sentences. By the end of your introductory paragraph, the reader should clearly understand the topic of your essay. Following conventional best practices for writing an introduction will ensure a strong start. 

Body Paragraphs : The body forms the bulk of your essay. Here, each paragraph supports your thesis with evidence. How you organize these paragraphs is crucial. In cases where arguments build on each other, a logical progression ensures clarity and enhances the reader's understanding. It's important to remember that the reader may not be as familiar with the subject as you are, so the structure should aid their comprehension. 

When writing an argumentative essay, the organization of points can vary. You might start with your own argument, presenting evidence before introducing opposing views, or you might begin by addressing the opposition's views and then refute them. The arrangement depends on the strategy you choose: 

  • Aristotelian (Classical) : Focuses on establishing the validity of your position. 
  • Rogerian : Acknowledges the opposing perspectives before presenting a middle ground. 
  • Toulmin : Breaks down arguments into their fundamental parts, including counter-arguments and supporting evidence. 

For simpler essays, a straightforward approach can be effective: 

  • Your Point : Clearly state your argument. 
  • Counterpoint : Introduce opposing viewpoints. 
  • Evidence : Provide evidence that supports your point and/or refutes the counterpoint. 

This basic framework ensures that your essay is not only structured and coherent but also persuasive and comprehensive. 

Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Essay 

The conclusion of an essay serves to effectively summarize and reinforce your thesis, making it digestible and memorable for the reader. It's the final opportunity to solidify your arguments and leave a lasting impression. 

A good conclusion will: 

  • Restate the Thesis : Reiterate your main argument to remind the reader of its importance and relevance. 
  • Summarize Key Points : Briefly recap the major arguments or evidence presented in the body paragraphs to reinforce the thesis. 
  • Offer Closure : Provide a final statement that signals the essay is coming to an end, often linking back to the broader implications of your argument. 

While it's tempting to introduce new ideas or fresh perspectives in the conclusion, it's important to avoid presenting new evidence or arguments that weren't previously discussed. Instead, you can: 

  • Provide Context : Expand on the implications of your thesis in a broader context, suggesting areas for further exploration or the potential impact of your findings. 
  • Reflect on the Journey : Acknowledge any changes in perspective or insights gained through the process of writing the essay. 

The conclusion should leave the reader with a clear understanding of your central thesis and the confidence that the essay has fully explored and supported that thesis. By effectively wrapping up your essay, you ensure that your ideas resonate with the reader long after they finish reading. 

The Five-Paragraph Essay: A Simple Structure 

The five-paragraph essay is a straightforward and efficient structure ideal for short, time-constrained writing tasks. This format is especially useful during exams or when a quick response is required. Here’s how it breaks down: 

  • Introduction Paragraph : This is where you introduce the topic and present your thesis statement. The introduction sets the stage for the discussion and aims to grab the reader's interest. 
  • Three Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea that supports your thesis, elaborated with examples, facts, or arguments. This is the core section where you develop your thesis and make your case to the reader. 
  • Conclusion Paragraph : The conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis in light of the evidence presented. It should bring a sense of closure and completeness to the essay, reinforcing your initial argument and perhaps suggesting broader implications or future considerations. 

While the five-paragraph essay structure may not accommodate more complex or nuanced topics, its simplicity and clarity make it highly effective for straightforward subjects and settings where clarity and brevity are essential. This structure ensures that your essay is organized and coherent, making it easier for the reader to follow and understand your points quickly. 

Understanding Your Essay's Audience 

Knowing who will read your essay is crucial—it influences everything from the tone to the complexity of your language. Your audience can range from a teacher or admissions counselor to your peers or a broader internet audience. Each group has different expectations and preferences that should guide how you write. 

Formality : The level of formality required often depends on your readers. Academic and professional settings typically demand a formal tone, precise word choice, and a structured approach. In contrast, a blog post or a piece for your peers might allow for a more relaxed style. 

Language and Style : Consider the familiarity of your audience with the subject matter. This understanding will determine how much background information you need to provide and how complex your vocabulary should be. For example, technical jargon might be appropriate for a specialist audience but confusing for general readers. 

Use of Language Devices : Devices like emojis can enhance a casual piece by adding personality and aiding emotional expression. However, they are generally inappropriate in formal essays where they can seem unprofessional and out of place. 

Tailoring your essay to your audience not only makes your writing more effective but also ensures that it is received and understood as intended. Whether you’re drafting a formal research paper or a casual blog post, considering your audience’s expectations will lead to clearer, more effective communication. 

Exploring the Six Common Types of Essays 

Essays can vary significantly in style and purpose, often dictated by the assignment or the writer's intent. Understanding the different types of essays can enhance your ability to choose the most effective approach for your writing. Here are six common types of essays that you might encounter: 

Argumentative Essay 

Argumentative essays are foundational in academic settings, primarily aiming to assert and defend a position. These essays require you to present a strong case for your viewpoint, making them a staple in many school assignments, especially in college. 

Admissions Essay 

Used in college applications, admissions essays ask you to explain why you are interested in a particular school. This type of essay is your opportunity to communicate your passion, goals, and suitability for a college program. 

Persuasive Essay 

Similar to argumentative essays, persuasive essays aim to convince the reader of a specific viewpoint. However, the key difference lies in the intent; persuasive essays not only present an argument but also seek to persuade the reader to adopt this perspective, often through emotional appeal and logical reasoning. 

Compare-and-Contrast Essay 

This format is ideal for discussing two opposing viewpoints or different aspects of a topic, giving equal attention to each. Compare-and-contrast essays are excellent for exploring the similarities and differences between two subjects, providing a balanced view without bias toward one side. 

Personal Essay 

Personal essays are narrative in nature, often relaying anecdotes or personal experiences. Writers like David Sedaris excel in this form, offering stories that resonate on a personal level. While these essays may have a thesis, it is often more interpretive, reflecting personal growth or insights. 

Expository Essay 

Expository essays are informative, explaining a topic in detail to enhance the reader's understanding. Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, they maintain an objective tone, presenting facts without personal bias. 

Each type of essay serves a different purpose and requires a specific approach. Whether you're arguing a point, sharing a personal story, or providing an objective explanation, understanding these distinctions can help you craft more effective, tailored content. 

Enhancing Your Essay Writing Skills 

Mastering the fundamentals .

To excel in essay writing, especially in academic settings, mastering the fundamentals is crucial. Understanding essay structure and the writing process is essential, but your ability to apply these concepts is what will truly make your essays stand out. Focus on developing your thesis logically and coherently, using an appropriate language style, and ensuring that your references and citations are reliable. For advanced tips that build on these basics, consider exploring more detailed guides on improving your essay skills. 

Getting Feedback 

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to seek feedback. Having someone else review your work can provide new insights and catch errors that you might have missed. This is because working on the same piece can lead to tunnel vision. If possible, exchange essays with a friend for mutual editing, utilize writing centers, or join online writing communities. If these options aren't available, taking a break and revisiting your work with fresh eyes can also be very beneficial. 

The Importance of Grammar and Form 

How you present your ideas can be as important as the ideas themselves. Even a strong, clear thesis can be undermined by poor grammar, confusing structure, or unclear writing. For essays that need to make a strong impact, consider tools like Grammarly Premium, which offers sentence restructuring for clarity, grammar corrections, and readability enhancements. These tools are also invaluable for non-native English speakers looking to refine their language skills. 

Focusing on these elements will not only improve the clarity and persuasiveness of your essays but also enhance your overall writing skills, making your arguments more compelling and your points clearer to your reader. 

How to Write an Essay – Best Method Explained

How can one effectively begin an essay about personal life experiences and their impact on one's current self?

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To effectively begin an essay about personal life experiences and their impact on one's current self, you can use various strategies to engage the reader and set the tone for your writing. Here are some effective ways to start your essay:

  • Start with a captivating anecdote: Begin your essay with a short and compelling personal story that highlights a significant experience or moment in your life. This will immediately grab the reader's attention and create a connection between your personal experiences and the topic of your essay.

Example: "As I stood on the edge of the cliff, the wind whipping through my hair, I couldn't help but reflect on the series of events that led me to this exhilarating moment. It all started with a single decision that changed the course of my life [2] ."

  • Pose a thought-provoking question: Begin your essay by asking a question that encourages the reader to reflect on their own experiences or beliefs. This can create a sense of curiosity and make the reader eager to explore your personal journey.

Example: "Have you ever wondered how a single event can shape the person you are today? I have spent countless hours pondering the impact of my own life experiences and how they have molded my current self. Join me on this introspective journey as I delve into the transformative power of personal growth [1] ."

  • Use a powerful quote: Start your essay with a relevant and impactful quote that relates to your personal experiences. This can provide a unique perspective and set the tone for your writing.

Example: "Maya Angelou once said, 'You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.' These words have resonated with me throughout my life, as I have faced numerous challenges and triumphed over adversity. In this essay, I will explore the profound impact of my personal life experiences on shaping the resilient individual I am today [3] ."

  • Begin with a vivid description: Paint a vivid picture of a specific moment or experience from your life. Use descriptive language to engage the reader's senses and create a strong visual image.

Example: "The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm golden glow over the tranquil lake. As I sat on the dock, my feet dangling in the cool water, I couldn't help but reflect on the profound impact that this serene setting has had on my current self. In this essay, I will delve into the transformative power of nature and how it has shaped my personal growth [2] ."

Learn more:

  • 9 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself - Going Merry
  • My Personal Identity Essay - 948 Words | Bartleby
  • How to Write a Personal Challenge Essay (with Examples)

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How To Write A Resume In 7 Steps (With Examples)

  • How To Write A Resume
  • Resume Skills Section
  • Resume Objective Section
  • Career Objective Section
  • Resume Reference Section
  • Resume Summary Section
  • Resume Summary Example
  • Resume Interests Section
  • Address On Resume
  • Relevant Work Experience
  • Anticipated Graduation Date On Resume
  • Education Section On Resume
  • Contact Information On Resume
  • Statement Of Qualifications
  • How To List Publications On Resume
  • Accomplishments On Resumes
  • Awards On Resume
  • Dean's List On Resume
  • Study Abroad On Resume

Resumes are still the most important document in your job search . Generating a professional and interesting resume isn’t easy, but there is a standard set of guidelines that you can follow. As hiring managers usually only spend a short time looking over each resume, you want to make sure that yours has a reason for them to keep reading.

If you’re looking to write a resume, rewrite a resume you already have, or are just curious about resume format, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will go through the steps to writing an excellent resume, as well as offering examples for what sections of the resume should look like.

Key Takeaways:

A resume is a short document that details your professional history in a way that tailors your experience and skill set for the particular job you’re applying for.

Resumes follow a few standard formatting practices, which hiring managers and recruiters expect to see.

Highlighting your work experience, skills, and educational background with relevant keywords can help you get past applicant tracking systems and into more interviews.

How To Write A Resume

How to write a resume

Writing a resume involves using the proper formatting, writing an introduction, and adding your work experience and education. Stuffing your entire professional life into a single page resume can feel overwhelming, but remember that you’re distilling the relevant parts of your professional experience in order to catch the eye of the recruiter .

Formatting your resume. To start, use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Google docs. Standard resume formatting calls for:

1 inch margins

10-12 point font

A professional, commonly-used font

Additionally, there are three resume formats that are commonly used. Most people should stick with a chronological resume format , but the combination resume format and functional resume format can be effective for more advanced workers or those who have significant gaps in their resume.

Write a resume header . It doesn’t matter if you have the best resume in the world if the hiring manager can’t contact you. Every single resume should include the following contact information:

Your full name. First and last.

Your phone number. Use a personal phone number, and make sure your voicemail is set up properly.

Your email address. Nothing inappropriate — [email protected] is a safe choice.

Location. City, State, Zip Code is fine, but you can include your full mailing address if you think it’s appropriate.

Your social media (optional). LinkedIn is the obvious one you’d want to include, but make sure your profile looks good. If you have an online portfolio , either on a personal blog/website or on a site like Journo Portfolio , feel free to include that here as well.

Your job title. Also optional, but can be useful for applicant tracking systems.

Resume introduction. You have four options for your resume introduction: a resume objective, summary statement, resume profile, or qualifications summary. For most job-seekers, a resume summary statement is the best choice. Regardless of which resume introduction you choose, avoid first-person pronouns (I/me/my).

Resume objective. A resume objective is the goal of your resume. Since the objective of every resume is to land a job, this is not the most original or impressive opener you can have.

On the other hand, it’s a good choice for an entry-level applicant or someone who is changing career paths . This should be a 1-3 sentence summary of why you’re motivated to get the position you’re applying for.

Who should use a resume objective: Entry-level applicants, career-changers, and recent college graduates.

Resume summary. This is the best opener for most job-seekers. As the name suggests, a resume summary highlights the most salient aspects of your resume.

It should include your current position, how many years of experience you have, some of your biggest achievements, and possibly your career goals. This should be a 1-3 sentence spiel and should include some quantifiable experiences.

Who should use a resume summary: Most job seekers; anyone with quantifiable accomplishments to emphasize and a broad range of skills.

Qualifications summary. A bullet point list (4-6 points is the sweet spot) of your qualifications for the position. It’s best used by applicants going for jobs that require a fixed skill set. It’s not a great choice for entry-level applicants who lack quantifiable achievements.

You’ll notice that a qualifications summary takes up more space than a resume objective or summary, but it can actually save the hiring manager time if you provide a bunch of valuable information right off the top.

Who should use a qualifications summary: Those applying to a job with requirements for certain skills and job-seekers who have a lot of experience in their industry and/or field.

Resume profile. A resume profile is similar to a resume summary, but goes into more detail about your accomplishments at your current or former job, while also telling the reader about your career goals. Think of a resume profile as a section that pulls all the best parts of your work experience section into one place.

Who should use a resume profile: Anyone with significant accomplishments under their belt, expertise in a niche field, or applying to a job in the same industry that they have lots of experience in.

Resume headline. Resume headlines aren’t necessary, but you can include one alongside any of the four types of resume introduction listed above. A resume headline comes between your contact information and the resume introduction of your choice.

Headlines can be used by entry-level applicants and experienced job-seekers alike. The important point is that your headline should be short and to the point. Additionally, you should use title case when writing your resume headline (capitalize words as you would for a book title).

Who should use a resume headline: Any job-seeker who wants to showcase their experience or unique value right off the bat.

Work experience. Your work experience section is the place to let hiring managers know that you have relevant experience that would allow you to handle the job you’re applying for.

If you’re using the chronological resume format, your work experience section would come after your resume summary/objective. In a funcitonal reumse, it would follow your skills section. Either way, work experience should be listed in reverse-chronological order (most recent experience at the top).

When listing your work experience, you should include all of the following information:

Job title. Start by stating the position you held at the company. These are easy cue for the hiring manager to look at and determine whether your past positions would help you succeed at their company.

Company Info. Include the name of the employer, the location where you worked, and perhaps a brief description of the company, if it isn’t a well-known name.

Dates Employed: Use the mm/yyyy format if you want to be sure that most applicant tracking systems (ATS) will pick it up. Whatever format you use for dates, be consistent, or your resume will look sloppy.

Job Description. Don’t just list your job’s responsibilities; hiring managers and recruiters already have an idea of your duties based on the job title. Instead, list your most important and impressive responsibilities/achievements at the job with bullet points. Determine which of these are most relevant for your new role based on the job description.

Ideally, each bullet should be no longer than a single line. However, two lines is acceptable, if used sparingly.

Always start with a strong action verb, followed by a quantifiable achievement and a specific duty. For example: “Developed ad campaigns for clients, increasing sales by an average of 27%.” Each job title should include 3-5 bullet points.

The order that you include this information can be changed around, as long as you are consistent throughout your resume. However, the bullet points detailing your job’s achievements should always be the last item for each entry.

It’s important that you tailor your resume’s work experience section to the job you’re applying for. We recommend reading the job description carefully and highlighting the action verbs in one color and the skills, adjectives, and job-specific nouns in a different color.

Educational background. In almost all cases, your education section should come after your professional history. If you’re a recent college graduate with limited work experience, you may choose to put your educational achievements first.

Like the section on your professional history, educational experiences should come in reverse-chronological order, with your highest level of education at the top. If you have a college degree, you don’t need to add any information about your high school experience. If you didn’t finish college, it’s okay to give a list of what credits you did complete.

Each educational experience can be listed in the following format:

Degree/Program Name College/University Name Dates attended

You don’t need to add anything else, especially if your resume is already impressive enough. But if you’re struggling to fill up the page, or you feel that aspects of your educational experience will help make you a standout, you may consider also including:

Minor. If you think it rounds out your not-exactly-relevant-to-the-job major nicely.

GPA. Only if it was 3.5 or higher. Otherwise, it’s not going to do you any favors to include this.

Honors. Dean’s List, Cum Laude, etc.

Achievements. If you wrote a killer thesis/dissertation that showcases intimate knowledge relevant to the job to which you’re applying, you can include its title and a very brief description.

Extracurricular activities. Only include if they’re relevant. For example, if you’re applying for a management position and you were president of your student government.

Certifications/Licenses. If the job you’re applying for requires/likes to see certain certifications or licenses that you have, you may include them in this section as well.

Skills section. Your impressive skills should be scattered logistically throughout your professional history section, but you should also include a section solely dedicated to highlighting your skill set . Skills can be broken down into two categories:

Hard skills are skills you learn through training and indicate expertise with a technical ability or job-specific responsibility.

Soft skills are your personality traits, interpersonal abilities, and intangible qualities that make you more effective at your job.

Your resume should have a healthy mix of hard and soft skills, as both are essential to job performance. However, since soft skills are harder to prove in the context of a resume, we recommend leaning more toward hard skills. Additionally, whenever you list a soft skill, make sure that it has a correlating item in your work experience section.

For example, if you say you are skilled in collaboration, you should mention a time when a team project was a major success somewhere in your work experience section.

Optional sections. If you still have space left or there’s more you want to show off that doesn’t quite fit in any of the above sections, you may consider adding an additional section covering one or more of the below categories:

Language . Being bilingual is always impressive, and can be included on a resume for any company. Highlight this more if your position involves liaising with international distributors and/or clients. Don’t lie about your proficiency level.

It may be best to not mention it if you’re not particularly proficient speaker . Such as if you took courses in school, or haven’t really managed to gain fluency. It can end up looking like an attempt to inflate your credentials, which you want to avoid.

Volunteer experience . Always a good thing to include. It shows you’re a team player who behaves in a way that promotes the greater good, without thought of personal gain. Especially good for entry-level candidates and those applying for jobs at a non-profit. If you have gaps in your work history, you can also consider including volunteer experiences in your work history section instead.

Personal projects. A personal blog, published works, or a portfolio of your past projects are all good things to include. They show you take initiative, enjoy and take pride in your work, and that you can handle the responsibilities of the job, if relevant.

Certifications/licenses. If you didn’t include these in your education section, this is another good place to list relevant certifications or licenses that you have.

Interests . This is largely just a space filler if your resume is light in other areas. However, if your hobbies are directly related to the job that you’re applying for, it’s not a bad idea to include them. And it might draw a recruiter’s attention if you end up sharing some of the same interests as they do.

If you have several seemingly random items that are valuable, but don’t warrant creating a whole separate section for, you can also make a section called “Additional Experience.” Here you can include all of the above categories in one place. Just make sure that each item is clear and easy for readers to understand.

Resume samples

Now that we have a good idea of how to write a resume, let’s take a look at some example resumes:

resume example zippia resume builder

Jack Pilgrim Washington , DC 14015 – (555) 444-3333 – [email protected] – www.linkedin.com/jpilgrim Resume Summary Graphic designer with 3+ years of experience creating and implementing promotional materials and social media graphics. Worked with sales and marketing teams to increase inbound calls by 23% YoY through compelling digital media. Adept at planning, managing, and prioritizing multiple deadlines at once, and thrives in fast-paced work environment. Work Experience Creative Designs | Washington, DC Lead Graphic Designer | June 2018-Present Worked with sales and marketing teams to create landing pages, sales proposals, and supporting media elements to drive sales by over $250,000 per quarter Trained, managed, and mentored team of 4 junior designers to fulfill 40+ project orders on a weekly basis Conducted UX research through surveys, usability testing, and data analysis to plan content marketing strategy, driving organic search traffic by 12% Presented proposals, results, and status updates to set of 4-7 clients, ensuring customer satisfaction at or above 95% for 3 years straight Happy Place | Alexandria, VA Junior Graphic Designer | July 2016-May 2018 Translated client needs and branding strategies into design and content strategy, increasing client retention by 22% Reduced project turnaround time by 8% by Utilizing web-based ticket system for completing and archiving finalized pieces Posted digital artwork to network IPTV using web interface to produce high-end info-graphics and other materials Happy Place | Alexandria, VA Marketing Intern | September 2015-July 2016 Assisted marketing team with data collection, analysis, and presentation using Google Analytics Drew up storyboards for new marketing campaigns alongside sales team, increasing brand awareness through social media Wrote 500-1000 word articles to pair with graphical elements on page, leading to a 40% boost in engagement on company website Education Savannah College of Art and Design | Savannah, Georgia May 2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design Skills Adobe Creative Suite Typography HTML/CSS WordPress Collaboration Organization
Allison Neederly Chicago, Illinois , 60007 | (333) 222-1111 | [email protected] | www.linkedin.com/allison.neederly Resume Summary Dedicated customer service representative with 4+ years experience resolving customers’ needs in-person, online, and over the phone. Top achiever at XYZ Inc. with a 100% customer satisfaction rate for Q1 of 2020. Friendly personable, and knowledgable about company’s products and services. Relevant Skills Customer Service Responded to upwards of 200 customer queries daily with XYZ Inc., reducing the average wait time by 56% and increasing customer satisfaction rates by 13% Ability to resolve conflict and create a positive atmosphere for shopping for both new and existing customers through technical proficiency Expert product knowledge and communication skills, and experience training and mentoring new customer service staff Web Chat and Phone Skilled in 3 web chat platforms for helping online customers resolve their queries quickly and accurately Achieved fastest call resolution rate at XYZ Inc., with an average resolution time of under 5 minutes per customer Performed outbound calls for customer satisfaction surveys, as well as writing web-based surveys for 10,000+ customers Troubleshooting Detailed product knowledge allowed for customer technical issues to be resolved at rate within top 5% of all customer service associates at XYZ Inc. Created manual for step-by-step directions for troubleshooting that was implemented for team of 100+ customer service reps Positive attitude took average tech-related negative response from 1/5 stars to 4/5 stars, increasing trust in brands and services Work Experience XYZ Inc. | Philadelphia, PA Customer Service Associate New Look Global | Burlington, VT Junior Customer Service Representative L.L. Bean | Burlington, VT Sales Associate Education University of Vermont | Burlington, VT May 2012 Bachelor of Arts in Humanities
Priya Laghari New York, NY | (222) 111-0000 | [email protected] | www.priyabizdev.com Resume Profile Strategy Development: Grew John Deere’s international sales by 13% by tapping into undeserved countries in Southeast Asia Management: Oversaw a team of managers representing marketing, sales, and product teams. Streamlined collaborative, cross-functional communications through agile and scrum management system CRM: Developed, customized, and implemented new customer relationship management database for accounts totaling over $10M in value Work Experience Business Development Manager 01/2015-Present Microsoft | Redmond, WA Developed product strategies and roadmap for Google AdWords, increasing inbound traffic by 26% YoY Reduced time training on new software by 50% for new and existing employees by implement e-learning programs Spearheaded digital marketing campaign worth $1M that saw a return of 200% in first year by qualifying leads earlier in the sales funnel Regional Sales Manager 11/2012-01/2015 Big Things Inc. | St. Louis, MO Managed territory encompassing 29 regional locations with an annual revenue of approx. $55M Worked with C-level executives to plan business strategies, resulting in 20% reduction in overhead costs Increased client retention by 12% in first year by implementing a CRM approach based on account profiling and elevating levels of relationship selling Account Manager 02/2009-11/2012 Solutions Corp. | Chicago, IL Implemented and developed CRM strategic plans, increasing retention of long-term clients by 22% Maintained 50+ accounts totaling over $35M in value Generated leads through one-on-one consultation via phone inquiries, online check-ins, and meeting office walk-ins Relevant Skills CRM: Proficient with Salesforce, Zoho, and HubSpot; some experience with Keap. Used various CRM software over a decade to successfully manage customer relations and quick to adapt to new software and tools that aid in quality of customer experience. Salesmanship: Negotiated and closed over several deals worth $1M+ and skilled in upselling and cross-selling. Adept at working closely with marketing and product teams to maximize the efficiency of the sales funnel for both inbound and outbound traffic. Presentation: Represented Microsoft Northwest Region at quarterly board meetings, ensuring all stakeholders were kept abreast of new developments and opportunities. Also deliver monthly presentations to big clients and vendors to maintain positive relationship. Data analytics. Expert at integrating data from various analytics platforms, including Google, Microsoft Power BI, and SAP BusinessObjects Education Colgate University | May 2008 MBA Fordham University | May 2006 Bachelor’s Degree in Business

For more resume examples and templates:

Resume examples by job

Google docs resume template

Resume templates

Resume builder

Resume Headers Samples:

header-1

Tip : Never put your contact info in the header of your document; some applicant tracking systems might miss it.

For more on how to write a resume header:

Resume Header

Resume Titles

Resume introduction examples

Entry-Level Resume Objective.

Recent graduate with a bachelor’s in Marketing from the University of Virginia seeking an entry-level role in content marketing. Excellent copywriter with 2+ years experience editing content as a member of the UVa Writing Center.

Career Change Resume Objective.

Eager to apply 7+ years of experience with customer success management to make successful outbound B2B calls, deliver customized business solutions to new and existing customers, and provide expert product knowledge in the role of Account Manager for XYZ Inc.

Example Resume Summary Statement.

Accountant with over 8 years of experience in the medical industry. Adept at advising on management of cash deficits, reconciling departmental accounts, and creating new accounts and codes. Coordinated invoice preparation system for ABC that reduced contractor overhead by 19% YoY.
English teacher with a love of language and 6 years of experience teaching high school students. Developed new curriculum that boosted freshman reading comprehension scores by 12% and created after school book club for AP Lit class, resulting in 100% of participating students achieving a 5 on the AP Lit test.

Example Qualifications Summary.

Executive assistant with 5+ years experience helping maintain efficiency in an office of 25 employees Communicated directly with internal and external stakeholders, helping Senior Vice President manage projects worth $5M+ Proactively managed office schedules, identifying and prioritizing changes to ensure client satisfaction Recognized in a company of 500 for “Outstanding Achiever” in May 2019

Example Resume Profile.

Detail-oriented IT Specialist with 4 years of experience overseeing and improving the infrastructure of IT systems. Adept at building and running troubleshooting systems and testing services. Decreased security risk by 47% through continual optimization, while also improving the speed of client portal by 22%. Excellent communicator both internally and for client-facing discussions. Achieved 98%+ customer satisfaction ratings through weekly and monthly check-ins with accounts valued cumulatively at $500,000.

Entry-Level Resume Headline.

Bilingual College Graduate with 80 WPM Typing Speed and Tutoring Experience

Experienced Resume Headline.

Business Development Specialist with 6+ Years Experience Scaling Start-Up Tech Teams

For more on resume introductions:

Resume objective statement

Resume summary statement

Resume summary statement examples

Qualifications summary

Sample resume work experience sections

sample resume work experience section

Work Experience XYZ Industries | Seattle, WA Marketing Associate | May 2019-Present Delivered weekly presentations to client-base to communicate brand messaging, increasing client retention by 11% Served as liaison between marketing and product teams, resulting in projects finishing 2 weeks early, on average Leveraged Excel skills to create and maintain spreadsheet to track consumer insights, emergent trends, and inform decisions of marketing team through competitive analysis Managed team of 5 contractors to juggle multiple priority projects simultaneously, never missing a deadline Initiated an affiliate referral program that PR team went on to turn into a revenue-generating stream valued at $30,000 annually ABC Corp | Seattle, WA Marketing Intern | September 2018-May 2019 Developed, maintained, and processed 20+ digital consent forms and distributor forms Worked collaboratively with a team of 10 marketing professionals, closely aligning our goals with the PR team Provided data analysis using Google Analytics and performed keyword research to increase blog traffic by 56% over six months Answered up to 50 customer queries by phone and email each week

For more on building the perfect resume work experience section:

Resume work experience section

First resume (no experience)

Examples Of Education Resume Sections

Graduated recently from a 4-year program.

Western Illinois University | Macomb, Illinois May 2020 Bachelor of Arts in Sociology | Minor in Psychology 3.95 GPA magna cum laude Dean’s List all semesters

Two degrees.

Fordham University | Bronx, New York April 2016 Master of Chemical Engineering Stony Brook University | Stony Brook, New York April 2014 Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Anticipated graduation date (not yet graduated).

DePaul Univeristy | Chicago, Illinois Bachelor of Arts in History – Degree anticipated May 2021 Current GPA: 3.8

Older job seeker (graduated 10+ years ago).

University of Chicago | Chicago, Illinois Bachelor of Business Administration

High school graduate (no college degree).

Johnston High School 2016-2020 Head of Computer Club

More on crafting the perfect resume education section:

Education resume section

GPA on resume

Dean’s list

Magna cum laude

Examples Of Skills For Resume

Examples of hard skills include:

Examples of soft skills include:

Here’s more information on how to incorporate skills into your resume:

Resume skills section

Hard skills

Soft skills

Top skills for professionals

Skills-based resume

Resume writing FAQ

What is a resume?

A resume is a one to two-page document that focuses on professional experience, past achievements, education and certifications, and specific skills tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Almost every job application requires a resume, and hiring managers use them as a first impression in determining which applicants get a shot at an interview.

Whether you’re fresh out of college or have 30 years of professional experience, this guide should help craft a resume that stands out from the crowd and get you one step closer to landing your dream job.

What is the format for writing a good resume?

Most people will want to use a chronological or reverse-chronological resume format. This format is compatible with most applicant tracking systems (ATS) and is easy for employers to read. Additionally it helps highlight your experience, which helps prove your qualifications.

How far back should a resume go?

A resume should go back no further than 10 to 15 years. However, it is important that all your information is relevant. Therefore, do not include job experience that is irrelevant to your application, even if it’s fewer than 10 years old. Save that information for later discussions.

Should you personalize your resume for each job?

Yes, you should personalize your resume for each job you apply to. Many recruiters use ATS now, which will search for keywords in a resume and reject those that don’t have them. That means that the skills you choose to highlight as well as your opening, such as your resume summary, should be altered to suit each job you apply to.

You don’t need to rewrite the entire resume for each job, but it does show attention to detail and initiative to make sure that your resume is customized. It also makes it more likely that you’ll get past the first step of the process.

State of New York Department of Labor – Resumes, Cover Letters and Job Applications

Harvard University – Create a Resume/CV or Cover Letter

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Matthew Zane is the lead editor of Zippia's How To Get A Job Guides. He is a teacher, writer, and world-traveler that wants to help people at every stage of the career life cycle. He completed his masters in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin and BA in English from the University of Connecticut.

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    Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Sep 9, 2021 • 3 min read. People write personal essays for a number of reasons. High school students write them for college admissions and writers use them to share personal stories with others. A personal narrative essay can enlighten and inspire an audience with information gained from real life ...

  13. How To Write a Personal Essay in 8 Simple Steps (With Tips)

    Write the introduction. Write the body. Write the conclusion. 1. Make preparations. When preparing to write your personal essay, first consider who your audience is and what you want them to know. Ask yourself questions to determine how your story relates to your goals for writing it.

  14. Writing in Third Person

    In a story, narrators use the third person if they are not part of the story themselves. Third-person narratives show us a person's actions, feelings, and thoughts. Example of how to write in third person: Nadia dreamt about being a gymnast her entire life. Ever since she can remember, she's worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and hoped someone ...

  15. How to Structure an Essay

    The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body. This article provides useful templates and tips to help you outline your essay, make decisions about your structure, and ...

  16. How to write in third-person

    6 tips for writing in third-person. 1. Understand your voice won't always shine in your essays. Every single piece of writing tends to have a voice or point of view as if you're speaking to the reader directly. However, that can't always happen in academic writing as it's objective compared to a novel, for example.

  17. How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph About a Person (With ...

    1. Brainstorm Your Ideas. Brainstorming is crucial to any writing process. It's the process in which you think of ideas for what you'd like to write about. In this case, you're writing a descriptive paragraph about a person. It's important to use adjectives to describe the features or characteristics you want to focus on.

  18. 8 Tips for Writing in Third-Person Point of View

    Writing in the third-person point of view is like hearing an announcer call a sporting event—a narrator gives a play-by-play of the plot from an outside perspective. As the author of a novel, you get to decide who tells your story. Writing in the third-person point of view is like hearing an announcer call a sporting event—a narrator gives ...

  19. Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is It Okay?

    The following are a few instances in which it is appropriate to use first person in an academic essay: Including a personal anecdote: You have more than likely been told that you need a strong "hook" to draw your readers in during an introduction. Sometimes, the best hook is a personal anecdote, or a short amusing story about yourself.

  20. How to Write an Essay about a Person

    Stay focused on your subject. Once you know your structure, just stick to it. For example, if you've chosen to talk about a person's courage, ambition, and kindness, these three qualities will carry your essay as far as you want. But don't sneak in another quality here and there, because that will dilute your argument.

  21. How To Write in the Third Person: 7 Essential Tips (+ Bonus Tip)

    Tip 1: Use third-person determiners and pronouns. In grammar, determiners introduce and modify nouns. They're used to specify what a noun refers to (like " my laptop") or the quantity of it (like " many sandwiches"). Meanwhile, pronouns are substitutes for nouns, referring to people, places, or things. For example, "Caroline [noun ...

  22. How to Write an Essay

    Here's a five-step writing process recommended for essay writing: Brainstorming : Start by gathering your thoughts. Based on your prompt or thesis, generate as many ideas as you can.

  23. How can one effectively begin an essay about personal life experiences

    Here are some effective ways to start your essay: Start with a captivating anecdote: Begin your essay with a short and compelling personal story that highlights a significant experience or moment in your life. This will immediately grab the reader's attention and create a connection between your personal experiences and the topic of your essay.

  24. How To Write A Resume In 7 Steps (With Examples)

    To write a resume you want to start with a format, create a header, choose an introduction, and then list your work experience, your education, your skills, and any additional relevant qualifications. ... Dedicated customer service representative with 4+ years experience resolving customers' needs in-person, online, and over the phone. Top ...

  25. How to Write Your Personal Statement

    Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene. An effective way to catch the reader's attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you're stuck, try thinking about: A personal experience that changed your perspective. A story from your family's history.