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Lit Papers: Narrator vs. Author

Confusing the narrator with the author is a common mistake. The narrator is rarely the author, even if the text is written in the first person. An autobiography is the only instance where you should assume that they are the same person. Although it is true that the narrator, as well as other characters, may be based on the author, the author should be treated as entirely separate from the narrator and all other persons appearing in the work. When the narrator has a name, which is usually the case when a text is written in the first person, refer to him or her by name. If the narrator does not have a name, simply refer to “the narrator.”

Next: Learn the difference between your reader and your professor.


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