Why Should You Write In The Third Person Tense In Your Profile and Hubs? To Show Author Credibility In Your Articles

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Why Write Your Author Profile In the 3rd Person?

I choose to write my Profile and most of my Articles in the third person (see how I didn't write in the third person there?) and this is why:

Author's Profiles should be considered as a resume of sorts. Profiles are a list of the Interests, Accomplishments, Links or any other information that the author would like to share with readers. Writing in the third person avoids the redundancy of the word "I" and allows for a neutral point of view while describing the author and his or her work. Writing in the 3rd person tells the reader who the author is, as if it where a description written by a company instead of an individual.

On HubPages I am an author first. This is a different concept from other sites like Facebook. If someone where to ask, "Who is J.S.Matthew?" I would expect that my HubPages profile can explain who I am (as an Author) and what I write about and like from a third person/neutral prospective.

If you look up a Company Profile, say Walmart, you will find the same type of description: "Walmart is a company that provides products and services for...." It is never personal. Now that you have read this you may be more aware of this writing technique and will notice writing in the third person all over the web.

Although my writing is a reflection of me and a part of me, it is not me as a person and by writing in the 3rd person, I can differentiate myself from me as a person, and the content of my articles. The only time I use "I" or "me" in an article is if it is personal such as an experience that I, as a person experienced and want to share. When I write "Professional" Articles such as Movie or Business Reviews, I always refer to the third person to be objective.

Feel free to check out some of the articles below. You will notice that in most cases the author writes in the third person and you can witness the effect that this writing technique has:


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Comments 46 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I have my profile written in the third person. But a lot of my hubs that are, shall we say, response pieces. As such, I do indeed write in first person. If were to write an article about a product, it would be in third person. But talking about my love of an actor, I am writing about me, so I write in first person.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

This is a good article J.S. Most of the writing I do is in the 2nd or 3rd person. I try to write in the AP style which dictates the use of the 2nd and 3rd person.+

Voted Up!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@FloraBreenRobison: I can relate! It's cool that we can switch personas depending on our intended readers and what we want to portray. Thanks for sharing your experience!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Curiad: Thank you for stopping by and sharing your personal use of tense. I haven't looked at the AP style guide since I was in college! Maybe it's time to look again! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Very interesting... looks like I better fix up my profile! Thanks for the advice :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Thank you for this useful hub. I was just about to change my profile to first person!


Dr.Ope profile image

Dr.Ope 4 years ago

Very informative hub. Thank you for the advice. Nice family! All the best to you.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Great advice J.S. Now you make me feel self-centered since I do use I a lot. I guess because I'm writing from my point of view, but I agree with all that you've said. Additionally you've packed lots of links into this hub, an interesting idea. Voted up and interesting.


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you J.S.Matthew this will change my writing a lot, for the better. I see how this works. Suzzycue thanks you!I get a lot from reading your helpful tips about Hubpages. Keep writing them.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This wonderful advice. I have rewritten mine so many times now I am going to have to go back and see how it is done. You have made great points on why it should be done 3rd person. If mine is not, I will add that to my list of to do's.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

I am not entirely convinced about 3rd person profiles. For a start most people know that it is written by the writer themselves and as such they can appear somewhat narcissistic and/or pretentious.

But 3rd person does mean you can write nice things about yourself ... you just have to hope no-one knows that it is you that is writing it. No?

Food for thought, JS.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I have my profile in the third person in most of the sites I write for, but not Hubpages. To me Hubpages is more casual than other places.


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

Thanks for the tips I am going to my profile and try to rewrite it.


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

Great Hub. Yes, this is important. Over at the newspaper I work for we are never allowed to write except in 3rd person unless it is an opinion assignment. Good advice. I voted up all across. Love module set up as well and photos.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Ardie: I always appreciate your comments and thanks for supporting me on the 30/30 Challenge! You are a great Hubber friend!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@vespawoolf: That's a great idea! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Dr.Ope: Thank you for your kind comment! I do have a nice family and I am very blessed! I appreciate you stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@tillsontitan: Don't feel self centered! We usually write in the first person because that is the way that we express ourselves in the real world. It really depends on what you are writing. Even if you write a movie review, you can use third person to make it more "professional" or write in the first person to reveal your personal opinion. What I have noticed is that if you read news articles or other information sources, they tend to use third person to distance themselves from a bias opinion. As writers we can choose, and I often use multiple tenses! Thanks for sharing your experience and for voting up!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@suzzycue: I am happy to know that my Hubs have been helpful to you! Thanks for being a great follower! I'll never stop writing! (I may take a break here and there though...)

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@homesteadbound: It is something to consider. Most professionals do write in the third person but from time to time, they (we) also write in different tenses. It all depends on the mood and subject of the article. Glad we are almost halfway done with the 30/30! Thank you for being a great follower and friend!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Angie Jardine: Hello Angie! I understand your point. I suppose it depends on how the author feels and who the targeted audience is. I just can't imagine what a Newspaper or Magazine would look like if it was written entirely in the first person. I think it would sound a bit narcissistic or biased in itself, to say the least, and probably wouldn't appeal to many readers. This is just my opinion!

I do respect your opinion on this matter and I appreciate you reading and commenting! Thanks for sharing this food for thought!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Uninvited Writer: It is great to see all the different profile styles! Thanks for sharing Uninvited Writer!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@flashmakeit: Hello! Thanks for stopping by once again! You really are a great follower and commenter and I appreciate all your comments!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Drtruthman: Thank you for supporting the information in this Hub article with your personal experience. I appreciate your comments. I have the best followers and friends on HubPages! Thank you!

JSMatthew~


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

I agree that writing in third person is more formal. Whether that's good or bad depends on the type of publication you are writing for, in my opinion. I write for a newspaper and would never write a story in first person. But I tend to write in first person here on HubPages, because this site supports that style. Also, I suppose I'm ready to try a different style, given that in my job, I have to remain objective and impersonal all the time. I think it also depends on whether you want to market yourself as a professional writer through HubPages and what type of writing you aim to do. I have to agree that I find third person profiles a bit awkward, as they are clearly written by the author. If you're going to toot your own horn, don't hide behind third person, is my take. But I'm just starting out here and trying to build a foundation. If I decide to market myself as a freelance writer later on, I'll probably consider changing my profile to make it more professional. Good hub and very worthy discussion you generated, J.S.Matthew.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Crystal Tatum: Hello! Everyone writes in their tense of choice based on how they want to present themselves or the information of the article itself. If HubPages is more of a personal site for a user (like a regular blog) than it makes sense writing in the first person. I have done it on some of my other Hubs that are more journalistic and less article based (poems and short essays mostly). I can also understand that you are trying to break away from the style of your work environment. I would probably get bored if everything had to be written in a singe tense! I write in several tenses depending on the subject. I have found writing in the third person to be effective mostly on informative Hubs. It's a mixed bag! You make some great points here! Thanks for adding to the discussion and for sharing your opinion and experience!

JSMatthew~


chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

Aloha, JS! I just signed up on textbroker tonight, so When I saw your hub title, I knew I had to check it out, since TB strictly follows AP guidelines.

College was a long time ago, and my writing has become fairly "bloggy". Even when I try to stick to 3rd person, I'll be half-way done with a post before realizing that I already switched back to 2nd and 1st person without even realizing it.

Anyway, you are absolutely right about the need to stick with 3rd person to maintain a professional image - especially on our profiles. Loved how you compared a profile to a resume. My new hub-buddy John (writeyourwrongs) just wrote a hub along the same lines.

I guess I should take another look at my own profile and make some adjustments. Thanks for the advice, JS. You've written another great hub here.

I did take a glance at your JSMatthewFreelance site, though. Is that...1st person on the home page/intro? Haha! Busted! =)

Just kidding, man. Well, thanks again for all the great info and effort you pack into your hubs, and thanks for making all us newer guys feel at home on this site.

Buh-bye


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Aloha chrisinhawaii! My last college days were about 8 years back and I forgot a lot too! As a freelance writer and "blogger", I often stray from the 3rd person and find myself writing in other tenses (as you have noticed on my other website!) I suppose it depends on what you are trying to say and to what audience you are trying to reach.

I find that when I read an informational article such as a how-to article, I find it much more professional when written in the third person. That all changes when I am watching a how-to video though! How can you make yourself show how to do something without being the first person? lol

Our online profiles ARE like our resumes. Nowadays when we apply for a job the employers are looking us up online to see what we have been up to and who we really are. Having similar profiles on all the sites we use (including social media) will show that we are serious and have a solid foundation. Potential employers don't like people who appear to be professional yet have a "rant" site attached to their name. Consistency is key.

Tenses are something I have struggled with as a writer and I am glad that you pointed out my tense-change on my website-I'll have to check it out and make proper edits! I have been so very busy this summer (I work 7 days a week and on the weekends I work on a golf course! =) I am also going away for a whole week in about 8 days. I am trying to keep writing, editing and being active and I can't wait for the Fall! I am really hoping to write a lot more this year!

I appreciate your comment very much! I am now following you and look forward to reading your work. I am happy this was a refresher for you! (and me as well!)

JSMatthew~


chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

Thanks JS!

That's great that you're going to be able to take a week off and get some much-deserved rest. I'm sure your family will appreciate having you (and your attention-span) all to themselves for just a few days of un-plugged, daddy/hubby time. You'll probably be so refreshed and fired up when it's over, you'll pump out 1 or 2 new hubs your first day/night back on the job.

Anyway, I really enjoy your hubs about hubbing, and I look forward to reading your next one...after that vacation =) Thanks for following me, too. I recently relocated about 20 hubs to my other account and my blogs, but let me know what you think of the few that I've still got on chrisinhawaii...and the new ones to come! Aloha.


cascoly profile image

cascoly 4 years ago from seattle

i can't see how writing 3rd person for a profile that can ONLY be written by the author projects professionalism. in addition, in modern writing, third person forms and passive tense are discouraged in favor of a more active form - "I saw him jaywalk" is more interesting than "This reporter observed that the man was jaywalking". Third person would make sense when the author is not a participant or main witness - eg, summarizing a city council meeting.

the argument doesn't hold for a resume either - no one expects resumes to be written by a 3rd party, so writing that way just comes off, at best, as stilted.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@chrisinhawaii: Back from vacation now! I had a great time and took hundreds of photos. I actually wrote 2 Hubs about my vacation:

http://hub.me/adMBi and http://hub.me/adQos. I was very pumped up when I got home. I need more vacations for Hub writing opportunities!

I am so happy to hear that you like reading my "how-to" Hubs. I hope you can read and learn from all of them! I have learned so much from other Hubbers and also the Learning Center is a great resource as well. I will have to check out your Hubs and what is your other profile? Or did you mean your Textbroker and Blog profiles? Thanks again for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@cascoly: Hello! I appreciate your opinion. Tenses can be tricky and may need to change based on what you are writing and also depending on your audience. You offer some interesting views. In my opinion, resumes are personal reflections of one's accomplishments but they are intended to be brief. Often times the content of a resume is bulleted for a quick review.

For example, what would employers prefer to view on a resume:

"I worked as a sales manager at ...for 3 years."

or abbreviated as:

*Sales Manager at Walmart 2008-2011

In my experience they prefer the latter. Thanks for coming by and commenting. I appreciate it.

JSMatthew~


chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

Hi JSMatthew. Looks like you guys had a great time in New Hampshire. That hub (the first link, above) was so packed with useful info and links!

I don't know if other hubbers experienced this, though, but when I clicked on the 2nd link, it took my to my feed instead of to your other hub. So, I clicked back and tried it again...same thing. Is it just my computer acting weird? I dunno...

Anyway, welcome back!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Aloha Chris!

Thanks for the heads up. I tried to figure out which link you mentioned but couldn't find it. Could you please copy it and put it here in a comment? It would help if you tell me what section/words appear as well. Thanks! It's great to be back!

JSMatthew~


chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

In your comment above...the 2nd link about your trip...

http://hub.me/adQos


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Chris. It's weird. I clicked on the link you just shared but it took me to my Hub: http://hubpages.com/travel/Ride-the-North-Conway-S...

The weird part is if I click the link you just posted it takes me to the Hub. If I click my link from my comment above, it goes to my Feed too. I think it must be an HP glitch. Thanks for pointing that out. I will have to watch it from now on when I share the shortened link!

JSMatthew~


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

It really does make a difference whether we write in the first person or third person. Your example makes it easy to undersand the difference. Great and helpful hub.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks MarleneB! I am happy that this helps to explain when to use proper tenses when writing for different audiences. I appreciate your comment validating my work. Thanks for stopping by again! I always appreciate your comments!

JSMatthew~


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear JS ~ Looks like I should take it from a Hubpages "camp" pro with much experience on Hubpages. Thank you for the advice. Blessings, Debby


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Debby Bruck! You're welcome for the advice. I learn something new here on HubPages every day and I am happy to share what I learn! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


Missy Mac profile image

Missy Mac 4 years ago from Illinois

Great information about the reason for writing in the third person. As a newbie, I will keep this fact before me. As I was scrolling, you have great Hub articles. I will be taking a look.

Thanks again!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello again Missy Mac! I have found that writing in the 3rd person tense presents as a neutral position as an author. Sometimes I do write in other tenses. It depends on the content I am writing about and the perceived audience. I have learned a lot on HubPages in the last 3 years and I was lucky to attend a HubCamp last year in Boston where I met Robin Edmondson and Simone Smith-two awesome HubPages staff members. I learned a lot from them and I try to share what I have learned with other Hubbers. Feel free to go to my profile and check out more of my "How-to" Hubs. Thanks for another great comment! Best of success.

JSMatthew~


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 4 years ago from California

Great topic JS and one that many of us have grappled with - whether writing our bios, profiles, blogging, hubbing, each presents a different challenge, leaving the writer to 2nd guess the "correct" tense/person to write in. Thank you for sharing such great information, I do agree that third person does reflect a more neutral and versatile point of view.

When I write in first person, the story is more personal to me, which can sometimes limit how far I will go with a character. Third person isn't so personal, and I can be much freer with the plot.

Rated Up and Useful!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Chatkath! Nice to see you! It can be difficult sometimes to choose the correct tense. It really depends on what your message is and who the audience will be. I write in several tenses but I usually stick to the 3rd person on my Hubs. Thanks for leaving a comment and for rating up!

JSMatthew~


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Interesting point about writing in the third person. I will try modifying my profile later. I sometimes switch from third to first person to make plain where I am expressing my own views or speculations.

Also I prefer to avoid the passive voice as much as possible. It is normally shorter and more intelligible.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello AlexK2009! Statistically speaking, readers will tend to read through your entire article and profile if written in the third person. There are exceptions and sometimes we have to change tenses depending on our targeted audience. What ever message you are trying to convey should dictate which tense you should use. Sometimes people want facts without opinion, yet other topics are supported by opinions (think research paper vs. recipe). Thanks for sharing your insight. I appreciate your comment.

JSMatthew~

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