This week's plain language writing tip comes from zombie defy-er hilary parkinson in honor of halloween, this week's plain language tip is about the passive voice. Jerz writing grammar and syntax active verbs form efficient, powerful sentences this document will teach you why and how to prefer active verbs over passive verbs. How do you write in the active and passive voice, and how do you know when to distinguish between the two the printable worksheet will allow you. Against one of the commonest types of prose, report writing, where the passive voice is not only common “active vs passive voice in scientific writing.
Ultimately, both active voice and passive voice are grammatically correct determining which to use comes down to your own style choices as you edit, consider what you want your readers to focus on and how you want them to engage with your writing. According to scholars, the general opinion is that the passive voice makes writing flat and insinuates evasion of responsibility in writing of any form, not just scientific writing in fact, some scholars have actually shown that active voice was the preferred form till the beginning of the 20 th century when the trend of objectivity became favored. Using the passive voice is something we all do in writing, usually without even knowing taking time to cut it out is a great way to strengthen your words. Dr murray and anna c rockowitz writing center, hunter college, city university of new york grammar and mechanics active and passive voice voice refers to the form of a verb that indicates when a grammatical subject performs the action. The choice between using the active or passive voice in writing is a matter of style, not correctness however, most handbooks recommend using active voice, which they describe as more natural, direct, lively, and succinct the passive voice is considered wordy and weak (except when used in cases above. When a sentence is written with passive voice, it contains words like “were” “are” “is” “had” or “will be” a sentence written in passive voice isn’t bad, but it doesn’t live up to its potential by including these words, the writer takes the easy way out.
Passive voice in scientific writing few topics engender such heated debates as that of active vs passive voice this argument is relevant to writing in general, but i think it's particularly so to scientific writing. Recognizing, avoiding, and using passive voice “action is eloquence” (shakespeare, coriolanus) “one of the greatest curses of run-of-the-mill american writing. If you are passive, something is done to you in a sentence written in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is having the action of the verb done to it by something else the piano was played by the lady the race car was driven by the driver.
As noted before, passive voice is allowed in apa style and can be quite appropriate, especially when writing about methods and data collection however, students often overuse the passive voice in their writing, which means their emphasis in the sentence is not on the action taker. In a passive sentence, the person or thing acted on comes first, and the actor is added at the end, introduced with the preposition “by” the passive form of the verb is signaled. Using passive voice in your fiction writing is usually a big mistake there are times when it's good, but be sure you know those times and are using it deliberately.
A shortcut to try and identify passive construction in your writing is to look for an extra be verb (is, are, was, were) and the word by a active voice: the police officer arrested the man b passive voice: the man was. Active/passive voice you've likely read about active and passive voice in richard wydick, plain english for lawyers (chapter 4) here is some more information on what these different constructions are and when you should use each of them.
Despite these disadvantages, the passive voice has a legitimate place in writing in addition to allowing an author to vary the sentence structure, the passive voice has. Passive: the town was decimated by the earthquake in active voice, the sentence emphasizes the earthquake as the actor rephrasing also removes superfluous words. Passive voice produces a sentence in which the subject receives an action in contrast, active voice produces a sentence in which the subject performs an action passive voice often produces unclear, wordy sentences, whereas active voice produces generally clearer, more concise sentences. Because active-voice sentences are clearer, livelier, and often more concise than passive-voice sentences, most style guides advise scientific authors to prefer the.
1 san josé state university writing center written by misty moon how to recognize and eliminate passive voice. Functions of the passive voice the passive voice is used to show interest in the person or object that experiences an action rather than the. Writing with style active vs passive voice utah valley university writing center all sentences that contain action verbs have voice, either active or passivethe voice. Use passive voice and weak verbs strategically once you get the hang of them if you’re still struggling to figure out what they are, you need to aim for “active voice” and “strong verbs” to improve your writing problem: passive voice.