Raise Your Writing Bar – Master How To Eliminate That Passive Voice

Passive Voice, Active Voice, Eliminate Passive Voice, Readers Attention, Raise Writing Bar, Professional Writing

An important factor that holds your readers’ attention from the get-go is the voice your article/book/post is written in. Readers prefer active voice sentences and writing in the active voice communicates our message effectively. The active voice makes your writing stronger, less wordy and tiresome. It clearly identifies an action and who is performing that action.

On the other hand, writing in the passive voice which is a common mistake that could easily slip into your writing fails to hold your readers’ interest and simply makes your writing boring and hard to read.

Mastering the skill of writing in the active voice is easier than you anticipated and less tedious than finding those little grammatical errors and typos. One way to know if you are writing in the active or passive voice is to find the subject of the sentence and decide if the subject is doing the action or being acted upon.





How to Recognize and Eliminate Passive Voice

In the active voice, your subject is doing the action.

  1. Jake ran past the man.
  2. Susan cooked the food.

In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon.

  1. The man was run past by Jake.
  2. The food was cooked by Susan.

Reading these two sentences you know that it doesn’t sound natural or seem right.

Another easy giveaway of the passive voice is to look for verbs stuck together. A passive voice adds other helping verbs such as ‘to be, being, has been, will be, are, is, was, were’ to a verb that could stand alone.

You can instantly fix your passive voice by rewriting your sentence so that the subject of your sentence comes before the verb.

Your active voice resembles spoken language. When we speak, we automatically speak in the active voice and our writing should mirror this.

For instance, you would never say:

My bicycle (subject) was ridden (action) to the park by me.

Instead, you would say:

I (subject) rode (action) my bicycle (object) to the park.



As always there’s an exception to the rule where the passive voice is preferable:

When the subject acted upon is more important than the doer and when we do not know who performed the action.

For example:

The city centre was bombed today.

Since the doer is either unknown and unimportant, in the sentence your focus is on the city centre. In this case, the passive voice adds an impact to the sentence.

Also, writers oftentimes fill in the gaps with redundant and unnecessary words thereby making their documents hard-to-read. Use simple terms to help quicker understanding.

For example:

Instead of this            Say this

True facts                                    True

Feasible                                       Likely

Ramification                               Result

Encounter                                   Meet

Correspondence                        Letter

Purchase                                     Buy

Prior                                             Before

Concur                                         Agree

Demonstrate                              Show

Make a decision                        Decide

Your aim is to make your writing as clear and as concise as possible, as well as an enjoyable experience for your reader.

 

 

Essential Writers Tips 4

Essential Writers Tips, Think Like Writer, Professional Writer, Best Practice, Bestseller, Huffington Post, Positive Attitude, Mind Strength, Self-Help, Growth, Success

I write, therefore I am

Identify with the craft and think like a writer. A lot of beginner writers and even some who have crafted words for  some time are always reluctant to introduce themselves as a writer. 

This could be due to lack of confidence in their craft as well as the misconception that one is only permitted to claim the title of a writer when they have a Bestseller that has made New York Times list or when their article gets published on Huffington Post and the likes.

Part of growing as a professional writer is to take ownership and pride in your craft even if it’s not yet paying. Except you do, no one else will.

You are your biggest cheerleader and short of using the saying ‘fake it until you make it,’ accepting and putting yourself in that frame of thinking while you work towards your success boosts your confidence and broadens your scope of thinking in that aspect. It’s a mental attitude thing.

For more writers tips, you can check this link.

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