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Writing Tip #11: Avoid writing in passive voice

Writing Tip #11: Passive voices in the night

When you receive your papers back from grammar checker software, do they contain many passive voice admonitions? I, like many other writers, am guilty of using passive voice. The problem is that I like the way the passive voice sounds! The other problem is that it is inappropriate for most academic writing.

Don’t despair; passive voice has its place in other forms of writing. Active voice is the opposite of passive and what we need to be considered effective scholarly writers. In active voice, the subject is executing the action. In passive voice, the subject is incurring the action by the verb. The subject is said to be passive in this case.

So, by writing in passive voice, we are not giving the subject its due! Instead of writing: “The iPod was crushed by the truck’s tires.” write: “The truck crushed the iPod.” Save the drama for your creative writing class or journal!

Happy Halloween!

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Published on by bcalvano.