In formal literature, the passive voice is frequently utilized. Using the active voice will make your work more clear and easy to read. The passive voice is often used in fiction and non-fiction to create a more dramatic effect.
The passive voice is also called the "third person" because it describes actions that are not done by persons but by something or someone else. For example, "The book was read by many people." Or, "The window was broken by a ball thrown by a player." In this case, someone or something else is doing the acting out rather than a human being. This can be good writing style for fiction and non-fiction.
When using the passive voice, keep in mind that words such as "is," "are," "was," and "will be" should generally be avoided. These words are called modals and they cannot be omitted from the sentence. Instead, use the present simple form of the verb ("the book is read by many people"), or use a form of "to be" instead ("the window is broken by balls").
In academic writing, passive voice is used to explain a process, the findings of a study, or other objective content. However, the active voice is employed to describe activities. Use of the active voice creates a more dynamic and interesting essay or article.
Examples of essays that use the passive voice include: "The movie was shown on television." "Coffee is served in cups." "An answer is given on behalf of the student."
Passive voice is commonly used in scientific papers and other types of academic writing. Its purpose is to avoid taking credit for or responsibility for actions or results that are not your own. For example, in science articles, researchers will often use the passive voice to report their experiments' findings rather than describing them as if they were their own discoveries. This style of writing is common in laboratory reports too.
Active voice is useful when you want to express yourself clearly or when you want to make a point through command. For example, instead of saying "I like coffee," say "Drinking coffee makes me feel awake." Instead of saying "It rained yesterday," say "It poured." Active voice is also used to describe actions taken by individuals rather than events that occur at a specific time or place.
Always evaluate whether to use the passive or active voice while writing. It depends on what you want to portray as the writer: if you want to attract attention to the doer, use the passive voice; if you want to focus on the action, use the active voice. Many writers prefer one over the other depending on which perspective they want to take in their story.
Generally speaking, when writing in the passive voice, you are describing something that is done to someone or something else. You can think of this as telling rather than showing. The most common example is when you describe someone as "being fired." This means that they were removed from their job. If you wanted to show who actually fired them, you would say that they were let go or dismissed.
When writing in the active voice, you are describing something that you or someone else does. You can think of this as showing rather than telling. The most common example is when you describe yourself as "getting fired." This means that you did it yourself. If you wanted to tell readers about someone else who fired you, you could say that you were dismissed by your employer.
There are times when using the passive voice is appropriate, such as when you are describing a situation without assigning responsibility.
Why Passive Voice Doesn't Work Passive voice is most effective in scientific or professional documents. It may, however, be a valuable strategy when attempting to bring attention to a specific action rather than the issue. You may use active voice to get to the subject of your essay swiftly while talking less.
In academic writing, using passive voice can be useful when you want to make your paper clearer by removing any ambiguity about who or what is doing the acting. This can help readers understand the text more easily. Using passive voice does not necessarily mean that the writer is trying to hide the identity of someone or something.
However, overuse of this style can be problematic. If you adopt a passive tone throughout your essay, then even if you are discussing important issues that require an authoritative tone, such as government policies or major companies' practices, your reader will think that you are just another voice in the crowd. They will not hear your own opinion or judgment, which makes your essay less persuasive.
So, yes, using passive voice in your college essays can be harmful because it doesn't let your audience know how you feel about certain topics. Instead, they will assume that you are just another person with an opinion like them. Which means they won't listen to you.
The best way to write an effective essay is to be aware of whether or not you are using passive voice and to fix any problems that you find.