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Story Point of View: Reading Comprehension Review Study Guide

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Updated on Aug 24, 2011

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Story Point of View: Reading Comprehension Review Practice Exercises

Imagine you're standing on the sidewalk of a busy street, holding onto a balloon. Someone bumps into you, causing you to accidentally let go of the balloon. You look up to see it rising against the sky.

Now imagine you're the balloon and someone's holding onto you while standing on the sidewalk of a busy street. Suddenly someone bumps into the person holding you and you feel yourself rising into the sky. You look down at the street as it gets smaller and smaller and you rise higher and higher.

PACE YOURSELF

WRITE A SHORT story from the point of view of your pen or pencil.

This is an example of one scene told from two different points of view. In the first paragraph, the events are told from the perspective of the person holding the balloon. The second paragraph tells the same story, but from the perspective of the balloon itself. That's what point of view means. It's the perspective through which all the information is funneled.

Whenever someone writes something that someone else reads, there's a kind of relationship formed between the writer and the reader. Point of view is one of the very first features of a piece of writing that helps to define that relationship. We'll discuss how that happens in a little bit, but first, let's learn about the three different kinds of point of view.

INSIDE TRACK

WHEN YOU THINK about point of view, think about who is talking and who he or she (or even it!) is talking to.

FIRST PERSON

The first-person point of view is personal. It's when the writer uses his or her own thoughts and feelings to express the main idea. Literature written in the first person has a narrator who is a character in the story. For example, most people would write a letter using the first-person point of view.

Dear Aunt Jane,

I am writing to thank you for taking Mark and me to the amusement park this past weekend. We had such a good time riding the roller coasters, the Ferris wheel, and all the other rides. It was so nice of you to drive us there and spend the day with us. We hope you had as much fun as we did.

Love,

Heather

In this example, Heather has written a thank-you letter to her Aunt Jane. It's personal and makes sense written only in the first person. Note that Heather uses certain words to refer to herself and Mark. Look at the letter, with these words underlined:

Dear Aunt Jane,

I am writing to thank you for taking Mark and me to the amusement park this past weekend. We had such a good time riding the roller coasters, the Ferris wheel, and all the other rides. It was so nice of you to drive us there and spend the day with us. We hope you had as much fun as we did.

Love,

Heather

As you can see, Heather uses words such as I, me, we, and us. These are some words to look for when determining if text is written in the first person. Here's a list of first-person words:

  • I
  • me
  • mine
  • we
  • our
  • us

 

PACE YOURSELF

WRITE A SHORT poem from the first-person point of view.

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