Passive voice in academic writing

For example, when writing this, Grammarly pointed out that the first phrase was, in fact, written in passive voice.

On the contrary, you can very easily use the passive voice in the first person.

Passive voice examples

An active construction is preferable for clarity and concision. Passive voice is often preferred in lab reports and scientific research papers, most notably in the Materials and Methods section: The sodium hydroxide was dissolved in water. I invited them to participate in the survey by emailing them an invitation. Who established marketing links? Pages The last two sentences illustrate a relationship that the first one lacks. It is cleaner, clearer, and more concise. And since the historians are less important here, the author makes the choice to stress the key idea of the sentence through the passive voice. It is irrelevant to the reader here who did the designing.

The order of words in a sentence with active voice is subject, verb, object. There is nothing we can do about it.

When to use passive voice in business writing

For a more general discussion of writing in the sciences , see our handout. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers. Passive construction The bone is bitten by the dog. Passive voice is often preferred in lab reports and scientific research papers, most notably in the Materials and Methods section: The sodium hydroxide was dissolved in water. However, overusing it can make your writing unclear or convoluted. It is still the only treatment available for diabetes. Related Resources. You decide: Which of these two examples is clearer? Data was gathered through an online survey. In fact, there are times when it can come in handy. The Elements of Style. My colleagues A, B, [names changed] and I, designed an experiment to test the impact on worker perceptions of well-being when domesticated cats were allowed to freely roam various work environments in which the subjects were normally employed. Scientific writing All this advice works for papers in the humanities, you might noteā€”but what about technical or scientific papers, including lab reports?

Consider these sentences from papers on American history: The working class was marginalized. These verbs are not needed in active sentence constructions, which is one main reason why many people say that active sentences are stronger and more concise.

passive voice in academic writing pdf

My colleagues A, B, [names changed] and I, designed an experiment to test the impact on worker perceptions of well-being when domesticated cats were allowed to freely roam various work environments in which the subjects were normally employed.

This is at odds with the goal of the methods discussion, which is to be clear and succinct regarding the process of data collection and analysis.

How to Effectively Use Active and Passive Voice in Academic Writing Last updated Jun 14, 1 A sentence is considered to be in passive voice when the subject of a sentence is the object being acted on.

In general, the active voice makes your writing stronger, more direct, and, you guessed it, more active.

active voice in academic writing
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Passive Voice: When to Use It and When to Avoid It