Passive and active voice in academic writing

The group was designed to last for only the lifetime of a particular project. The handwashing practices of staff were observed by 4 members of the nursing staff during rostered shifts. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Thomas Jefferson's support of the new Constitution was documented in a letter to James Madison. Use the active voice Generally, try to use the active voice whenever possible.

Scientists classify glass as a solid. In this ideology the argument used to sustain the subjugation of women has largely rested on premises about biological difference - society has used the biological differences between men and women to legitimate hierarchical structures of social inequality.

The number of seeds found in ant nests were counted. Passive voice often produces unclear, wordy sentences, whereas active voice produces generally clearer, more concise sentences. It is also a way that the use of informal personal pronouns can be avoided; for example, One type of work group, the semi-autonomous work group, is discussed in a section later in this chapter.

If using a passive construction is a hallmark of bad writing style, we need to know what is supposed to be bad about it—what justifies the allegation of stylistic badness. Other examples of passive voice: The passive sentence focuses on how glass is classified, rather than on who classifies glass.

This is an example of an active voice sentence because its subject performs the action expressed in the verb. To create an authoritative tone Visitors are not allowed after 9: Look for a "by" phrase e.

Sometimes you will need to infer the agent from the surrounding sentences which provide context. To emphasize the action rather than the actor After long debate, the proposal was endorsed by the long-range planning committee.

Here is a brief extract: This is an example of the passive voice.Using this style in your writing will make your sentences clear and direct, which are important components of academic writing.

What does active voice look like? What are some tips to locate and avoid passive voice?

Active vs. passive voice

Look for “by” phrases. This handout will help you understand what passive voice is, why many instructors frown upon it, and how you can revise to achieve greater clarity.

So when is it OK to use the passive? Sometimes the passive voice is the best choice. Here are a few instances when the passive voice is quite useful: Towards active thinking and writing. We. Active voice is used for most non-scientific writing.

Using active voice for the majority of your sentences makes your meaning clear for readers, and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or. In addition, in academic writing sometimes it is obvious, irrelevant or repetitive to state who the 'doer' of the sentence is: thus the passive voice is a useful way to construct these types of sentences.

Use the active voice

The passive voice is more formal than the active voice. It is often used in academic writing as it is seen as more impersonal and therefore more objective. However, it is not always easy to read and it may add unnecessary words. 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.

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Passive and active voice in academic writing
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