Point of View for Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Test Study Guide
One strategy that writers use to convey their meaning to readers is through point of view. Point of view is the person or perspective through which the writer channels her information and ideas. It determines who is speaking to the reader. Depending on the writer's intentions, she may present a subjective point of view (a perspective based on her own thoughts, feelings, and experiences), or an objective one (one that discounts the writer's personal feelings and attempts to offer an unbiased view). Understanding the point of view of a passage will help you answer questions that ask you to identify an author's assumptions or attitude. Here are three approaches to point of view:
First-person point of view expresses the writer's personal feelings and experiences directly to the reader using these pronouns: I, me, mine; we, our, us. The first person creates a sense of intimacy between the reader and writer because it expresses a subjective point of view.
This excerpt from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass provides an example of first-person perspective:
As I ponder'd in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know'st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?
Second-person point of view is another personal perspective in which the writer speaks directly to the reader, addressing the reader as you. Writers use the second person to give directions or to make the reader feel directly involved with the argument or action of their message. The following excerpt from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn uses the second person:
The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them—that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself.
Third-person point of view expresses an impersonal point of view by presenting the perspective of an outsider (a "third person") who is not directly involved with the action. Writers use the third person to establish distance from the reader and present a seemingly objective point of view. The third person uses these pronouns: he, him, his; she, her, hers; it, its; and they, them, theirs. Most PPST passages are written in the third person. The following is an example of the third-person perspective:
The Sami are an indigenous people living in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia's Kola peninsula. Originally, the Sami religion was animistic; that is, for them, nature and natural objects had a conscious life, a spirit.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing