The passive voice in academic writing

DNA encodes genetic information.

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In some sentences, passive voice can be perfectly acceptable. Try turning each passive sentence you find into an active one. Both Othello and Iago desire Desdemona. It is irrelevant to the reader here who did the designing.

You might use it in the following cases: I find the assumption that active sentences are per se "livelier and more persuasive" questionable to say the least. Too many passive sentences can create confusion: 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.

This passive voice sentence is more wordy than an active voice version.

The First Deadly Sin

You are writing in a scientific genre that traditionally relies on passive voice. Passive voice Active voice In this ideology the argument used to sustain the subjugation of women has largely rested on premises about biological difference - the biological differences between men and women have been used to legitimate hierarchical structures of social inequality.

Poland was invaded inthus initiating the Second World War. Handwashing, or failure to handwash, following patient contact was recorded. And since they are usually longer than active sentences, passive sentences take up precious room in your paper: The passive sentence focuses on handwashing practices rather than on the four members of staff.

To test this hypothesis, the removal of seeds with elaiosomes was compared to seeds from which the elaiosome had been removed and observations were made to confirm that the agents of seed removal were indeed ants.

When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. The tone of the text is also much more political and accusatory: This is an example of an active voice sentence because the sentence subject performs the action.

It achieves this by changing the word order in a sentence. But you can still go back through your essay hunting specifically for passive sentences.

The possibility of cold fusion has been examined for many years. The passive voice places the emphasis on your experiment rather than on you.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 wordy.

Even in scientific writing, too much use of passive voice can cloud the meaning of your sentences. To learn more about the use of passive voice in the sciences, visit our handout on writing in the sciences. When should I avoid passive voice? Passive sentences can get you into trouble in academic writing because they can be vague about who is responsible for the action.

Views on the use of active and passive voice in English academic writing vary from country to country and from discipline to discipline. Which country are you based in, and does your discipline. The passive voice is used extensively in scientific writing because information about the 'doer' is often redundant: the reader understands that the 'doer' is the researcher.

Many Australian plant species produce seeds with fleshy appendages called elaiosomes. Using Passive Voice in Scholarly Writing 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.

Passive Voice: When to Use It and When to Avoid It

Many instructors recommend or even require the passive voice in such writing. The rationale for using the passive voice in scientific writing is that it achieves “an objective tone”—for example, by .

The passive voice in academic writing
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