Point of View Study Guide
Point of View
In this lesson, you'll find that it's important to know who's telling you a story because a narrator's point of view can change how you feel about things you read.
A NARRATOR IS a person who tells a story. The narrator may be one of the characters in the story, so readers learn what happened from that character's point of view. This is called the first-person point of view. The narrator uses words like I, me, my, we, and our.
- As soon as I walked into the room, I could tell something was wrong with my computer. I took off my coat and sat down.
- As soon as Maria and I walked into the room, we could tell something was wrong with our computer. I took off my coat and sat down.
Sometimes the narrator isn't a character in the story, but just someone looking in from the outside and reporting what happened. This is called the third-person point of view. The narrator uses words like he, she, they, and their.
- As soon as Maria and Mark walked into the room, they could tell something was wrong with their computer. She took off her coat, hung it up, and sat down.
There is a second-person point of view, but it's not used very often in literature. The narrator talks directly to a character in the story and uses words like you and your.
- As soon as you walk into the room, you can tell something is wrong with the computer. You take off your coat, hang it up, and sit down.
Literary works most commonly use either first- or third-person points of view. Using a second-person point of view to tell a story tends to get tiresome. So second-person is used more for giving directions, in personal letters, and sometimes in advertisements.
Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:
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