How to Avoid Passive Voice When Writing a Paper

Why Is Removing Passive Voice Important?

Good writing typically requires the use of the active voice in your writing. It is considered that the active voice is clearer and more concise and should be used in preference to the passive voice within your writing. So knowing how to avoid passive voice when writing is vital if you want the best results from your work. Good passive voice corrector online is one way to help you to improve your writing to the standards that are expected from you.

Automatic tools such as ours can take away the hard work of finding sentences that contain the passive voice which is easy to miss when you review your own work. Still, learning how to remove passive voice is a good skill that would help you to make sure that your text is spotless.

When to Use Active and Passive Voice in Your Writing?

If you look at any good writing tips they will say to use the active voice for all of your writing and this is what your readers will expect. Passive voice often requires more words and can at times be confusing as the subject of your writing is not always totally clear so misunderstandings can occur. Good active voice writing will always be more concise and to the point than anything that uses the passive voice.

The use of the passive voice within your writing while not completely incorrect is frowned upon and can cause academic work to be marked down. There are however times when it is acceptable to use passive voice structures for your papers. These are:

  • When you wish to draw more attention and place emphasis on the person or the thing that is being acted on rather than the subject of the sentence.
  • When the “actor” within the sentence is unknown to us or is irrelevant to what we want to say.
  • When you are looking to be vague about who may be responsible for something.
  • When writing in some scientific areas where they have traditionally used the passive voice for their papers.

The Advantages of Using the Passive Voice within Your Writing

There are of course many times that you may wish to use the passive voice for other reasons. In general in academia, the use of the passive voice is frowned upon as it does not always make it clear who is the subject of a piece of writing. In some ways, this can be a positive if you do not have the time to look up all of the facts for the piece of writing that is expected of you. It can be possible to avoid using specific dates and names by using the passive voice within your writing. This is fine unless, of course, your tutor picks up on what you have done!

Another thing that using passive voice can help with is inflating your word count. Using the passive voice requires many more words than the concise requirements for the active voice.

Despite these potential advantages, you should take every opportunity with revising passive voice paragraph within your writing to active voice so that your work becomes more concise and easier to understand.

5 Ways to Avoid Passive Voice When Writing a Paper

Knowing how to avoid passive voice in writing is key to producing papers that are strong and able to communicate well. Rather than revising passive voice later, we need to ensure that we avoid it fully during our writing. The following tips will help us to ensure that our writing is done in the active voice:

  1. Know who the subject is within your sentence: this is the person on the thing that will make the action in your sentence.
  2. Know what verb is being used: what is the action word that is being done by the subject in your sentence.
  3. Ensure that your subject is performing the action: within your sentence, the subject should always come before the verb so that it is clear that they are making the action.
  4. Know when is passive voice used: typically you will use it when the object of your sentence or the action is more important, such as “the President was investigated by the FBI”. We will want to put the emphasis on the President rather than on the FBI even though they are the subject.
  5. Use a passive voice corrector online: this can help you to identify passive voice and correct it. The more that you use the tool the more used you will become to identifying passive voice use and how to correct it.

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How Can Our Tool Help You?

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