Avoiding passive voice in academic writing

Authors work hard on their research and writing—give credit where credit is due. Nature journals like authors to write in the active voice "we performed the experiment I do not share this reluctance, and neither did Watson and Crick.

Genetic information is encoded by DNA.

The First Deadly Sin

But the Word alert may be useful for writers who are not aware that they have written a passive construction and may indeed wish to consider if it could be improved by rewriting.

Even more useful would be to read several texts by the experts in your academic field and note how they construct their arguments and analyses.

Use passive when necessary to maintain cohesion. Try avoiding passive voice in academic writing each passive sentence you find into an active one. After all, human agents are responsible for designing experiments The magazine was bought by me. Journals prefer active voice It may not have always been this way, but currently, the survey says: Make your writing flow, connecting one sentence to the next, and it will be understandable.

Leaving the area without handwashing was considered failure to wash. Sometimes you may find that need to do some extra research or thinking to figure out who the actor should be! The passive sentence focuses on handwashing practices rather than on the four members of staff.

It is still the only treatment available for diabetes. However, sometimes the passive voice can frustrate a reader and, in extreme cases, represent an abdication of responsibility, as in the following example: After editing thousands of pieces of academic writing, our editors have compiled five of the most common mistakes that academics make and offer suggestions on how to avoid them.

We recommend looking over your academic writing and scrutinizing every instance of is, are, was, and were. But it is tempting to take a further step and expand these statements to: 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.

It may not seem important to you, but if you can write more concisely, you should. Passive is more objective and scientific Some people claim that passive voice is inherently more scientific than active voice: I bought the magazine.

Not everyone agrees that it is appropriate to remove actors in order to stress the action: Furthermore, academic writing that seems almost deliberately unclear makes our academic editors, as well as scholarly readers, wonder whether the author even understands what he or she means to say.

Submit your next piece to one of our editing services for academics and receive an expert analysis ASAP! These three things contribute to confusion often associated with passive voice.

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

WHY use the passive voice in academic writing? Arguments for the passive 1. J Kirkman summarizes this argument fantastically: The tone of the text is also much more political and accusatory:Open education resources for academic writing. Scholarly Voice Active and Passive Voice Scholarly Voice: Active and Passive Voice How Zombies Can Help You Avoid Passive Voice: A Minute Writing Exercise (blog post) Writing Center blog post.

The Hunt for Passive Voice (blog post). Sometimes in academic writing it might be expedient to use the passive voice in order to avoid naming the 'doer' of an action so that the message of your text is less inflammatory; for example, read the following excerpt.

Passive voice produces a sentence in which the subject receives an action.

Five Habits to Avoid in Your Academic Writing

In contrast, active voice produces a sentence in which the subject performs an action. Passive voice often produces unclear, wordy sentences, whereas active voice produces generally clearer, more concise sentences.

Passive voice in academic writing; why is it not recommended? [duplicate] the case is not overstated that in academic writing passive voice is widely preferred.

Secondly, for a much more detailed analysis of the passive and the clueless advice to avoid. The rationale for using the passive voice in scientific writing is that it achieves “an objective tone”—for example, by avoiding the first person.

To consider scientific writing, let’s break it up into two main types: lab reports and writing about a. In academic writing, passive voice is used to describe a process, the results of study, or similar material which is objective in nature. But active voice is used to describe actions.

Related: Having trouble with grammar and punctuations in your research paper?

Avoiding passive voice in academic writing
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