According to Whitaker, Ramsay and Smith (2012, p.91), ‘One of the most common guidelines for effective writing is to prefer active voice’. This allows for a more direct and stronger portrayal of what the writer is trying to convey to the reader.
Active voice refers to a subject performing an action whereas passive voice refers to an action being done to the subject (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012).
The Business Writing Centre provides a fantastic active vs. passive activity which encourages changing the structure of sentences from passive to active.
I completed the task required and was quite surprised that I got a few questions correct with some questions only having minor details wrong. I’m finding myself questioning every sentence that I’m constructing, and scrutinising whether it’s active or passive.
As I was working through the activity, some answers indicated the sentence was able to be shortened. In converting the sentence from passive to active, some unnecessary words were cut. For example question two – the correct version has been condensed and excess words removed.
Some of the questions that I got “wrong” had not been condensed and indicated areas where I needed to gain more insight into what passive voice is and how to re-arrange it to make it active voice.
Reflection: Overall, I’m glad that I have an understanding of active and passive voice and am becoming increasingly aware of how all these components that we are learning in this course are helping shape each sentence I construct.
Active vs Passive cookie jar 2014, digital image, Blitzmetrics, viewed on 16 September 2015, https://blitzmetrics.com/identifying-and-eliminating-passive-voice/
Business Writing Centre1997, ‘Passive and Active Voice’, viewed on 16 September 2015, http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/activepassive.htm
Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.
Yu, D 2014, ‘Identifying and eliminating passive voice‘, viewed on 16 September 2015, https://blitzmetrics.com/identifying-and-eliminating-passive-voice/