Write in Active Voice
Most good writing uses active voice rather than
passive voice. In active voice the subject does an action to something
else. In passive voice the subject receives the action and sometimes the
reader canít tell who did it. Here are three rules to help you use
Put the noun
before the verb. Put
the actor or doer before the action or the thing being done. Write The
dog bit the man, not The man
was bitten by the dog. Instead of writing The accounting rules were broken by the auditors, write The
auditors broke the accounting rules. Instead of writing Appropriate
business attire should be worn by all attendees, write All attendees should wear appropriate business attire.
Drop part of
the verb. Passive voice
often results from including unneeded verbs or overusing be
verbs such as am, is, was, were,
be, being and been.
Consider the following examples. Instead
of writing The list is given on page two, write The list is on page two, or The
list appears on page two. Instead of writing She made a deposit of one hundred dollars, write, She
deposited one hundred dollars.
Use a different verb. Donít
write The vase has not been
received. Write instead, The
vase has not arrived. Donít write The
correct format is shown in Speaking Effectively.
Say The correct format appears in Speaking Effectively or Speaking
Effectively provides the
these three rules and be on your way to writing in active voice.