How to Write a Term Paper Proposal in 3rd Person

The text below is aimed to explain why a term paper proposal should be written in a third person and how it is done. The primary goal of this text is to point out the logic of college papers and to give a few useful tips for the beginners. There are only several primary principles that determine academic style. There are particular exceptions that should be mentioned, though.

How to Write a Paper Proposal in Third Person

But firstly we should clearly define what term paper proposal is.

Such proposal is an official academic document that determines a primary plan for a future academic research and features the following basic sections:

  • tentative title
  • clear “problem statement”
  • description of intended contributions
  • description of a methodology
  • tentative schedule
  • references

Why is a Term Paper Proposal is Generally Written in a Third Person?

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The thing is that academic language must be as easily understood and non-complex as it is possible. Being an author listed on a first page means that you account for every statement you’re making in it. Therefore, there is no practical need in “I believe” or “I think” at the beginning of any evaluative or affirmative statement. For example:

“Little penguins suffer from climate change.”


“I think that little penguins suffer from climate change.”

To grasp clearly how to write a term paper proposal or how to write a 1000 word essay, you should remember what other points of view are about. In general, there are three different perspectives to keep in mind: 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. First person view stands for an author’s direct narrative with pronouns like “I”, “me”, “us” and “we”. Second person view is the way to address the reader with pronouns “you” and “your”. In a third person view there is no personalized narrator. We use “he”, “they”, “it” pronouns in order to gain a certain methaposition in narrative and objectify reality as much as it is possible.

How to Write a Term Paper Proposal in 3rd Person

Eventually, today exist only few basic rules: you should use passive voice and future tense. So far as you’re only planning to carry out the research every potential action is only to be done. As far as you are using a passive voice your statements don’t have a certain performer. As we mentioned above, for an experienced academic text reader it is will be immediately evident that everything is done by the paper’s author. For example:

Instead of “I will confirm…” you should use “It will be confirmed…”

Instead of “I assume that…” you should use “It is assumed that…”

In any case, if you encounter considerable difficulties when formulating your thoughts from a third point of view you can always make a draft from the first person view firstly.

What are the Exceptions?

There are still a few cases when you have to use a first person view in text:

  1. When discussing some concrete procedural measures you had to take in order to accomplish the task for your research.
  2. When you are mentioning an author but it’s not very clear from the context whether it is you or another author whom you have mentioned before.
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We hope that now you see that to write a term paper proposal in the third isn’t such a big deal if you just follow the simple rules listed above!