Passive voice in academic writing

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Passive voice in academic writing

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? 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 scientific topic or literature. in addition, in academic writing sometimes it is obvious, irrelevant or repetitive to state who the ' doer' of the sentence is: thus the passive voice is a useful way to construct these types of sentences. it is also a way that the use of informal personal pronouns can be avoided; for example,. recognizing passive voice. you can recognize passive- voice expressions because the verb phrase will always include a form of be, such as am, is, was, were, are, or been.

the presence of a be- verb, however, does not necessarily mean that the sentence is in passive voice. another way to recognize passive- voice sentences is that they may include a. there is a body of research that suggests that an unusual amount of passive voice grammar is used in academic writing. while the first three rules are important, this last rule ( i. ,, using the passive when the doer of a given action is of less interest than the action you are talking about) is clearly the most important for us with regard to. the passive voice is often maligned by teachers and professors as a bad writing habit. or, to put it in the active voice, teachers and professors across the english- speaking world malign the passive voice as a bad writing habit. conclusion: active or passive voice. in summary, it is easy to naturally default to the more traditional passive voice in academic writing. however, check with your university or faculty first.

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  • you are writing in a scientific genre that traditionally relies on passive voice. 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. this solution was then titrated with hydrochloric acid.
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    Eva Pinlo

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  • this handout will explain the difference between active and passive voice in writing. it gives examples of both, and shows how to turn a passive sentence into an active one.
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    Elea Rightihg

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    also, it explains how to decide when to choose passive voice instead of active. as noted before, passive voice is allowed in apa style and can be quite appropriate, especially when writing about methods and data collection.


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  • however, students often overuse the passive voice in their writing, which means their emphasis in the sentence is not on the action taker.
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    their writing is also at risk of being repetitive.


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