Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

4

Go with your gut. Quit worrying about voice. Get it down on paper, walk away, come back and revise it, find a beta or pay an editor. Let your reader worry about the passive voice for the first draft. Tell the person to keep an eye out for it, and if your reader comes back with "yeah, this part sounded egregious," you can cut it. You're letting the perfect ...


4

Active voice is the appropriate choice for all types and sections of technical documentation, and for training and service manuals. The Microsoft Manual of Style is used by professional technical writers. The 4th edition (2012) says: In general, use active voice. Active voice emphasizes the person or thing performing the action. It's more direct than ...


3

Whatever results in the less convoluted and easier to understand syntax. Usually people find it easier to understand active voice. Even research articles are today usually written in active voice and avoid confusing self-reference-avoidance (do: "We conducted a study...", don't: "A study was conducted ..." [by whom?]). Machines are operated by persons, they ...


3

Passive voice is not exactly incorrect. There is no rule against. But your readers will usually put down a book filled with passive voice. A passive voice sentence is usually extremely boring. Is that what you want? The problem isn't so much passive voice. The problem is really "weak sentences." It just so happens that 90+% of the time that you find a ...


2

Forget any rules you've heard about passive voice! Instead, learn exactly what is happening when you use a passive voice, and use it well. How do you learn? Through close reading! A good writer is able to predict the range of inferences stirred up in a reader by her sentences. Here's an example: The officer hit Jeff. --VS-- Jeff was hit by the officer. ...


1

My preference is for passive voice for reference material, some active for tutorials/howtos and whatever is easiest to understand for instructional or theoretical overviews. For example a mechanic changing a tire will check the manual for inflation pressure and lug torques (reference), a teenager will want a youtube video (howto), but an engineer will want ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible