Why You Should Avoid Passive Voice When Writing For Academic Purposes

Good writing takes work. To be successful in your academic writing, it’s important to understand the difference between passive and active voice and when to use them. In this article, we’ll explore why you should avoid using passive voice when writing for academic purposes and how to spot it so that you can make your writing as engaging as possible.

What is Passive Voice?

When you ask for write my essay requests, writers complete them in an active voice. Passive voice is a common grammatical construction in which the subject of a sentence is acted upon by the verb, rather than acting itself. For example, “The ball was thrown by John” is in passive voice, whereas “John threw the ball” is in active voice.

Passive voice can be used for a variety of purposes, but it is generally considered to be less direct and more formal than active voice. In academic writing, passive voice is often used in order to make complex concepts more accessible to the reader by de-emphasizing the role of the subject. However, overuse of passive voice can make your writing unclear and difficult to follow.

If you are unsure whether or not your sentence is in passive voice, look for a form of the verb “to be” (am, are, was, were) followed by a past participle (e.g. thrown, written, said). If you find this construction, chances are good that your sentence is in passive voice. To change a passive sentence into active voice, simply identify the subject and move it to before the verb: “John threw the ball.”

While there are occasions where passive voice can be used effectively, as a general rule you should avoid it when writing for academic purposes. Active voice will make your writing clearer and more engaging for your reader.

Benefits of Using Active Voice

When you use active voice, your writing is clear, concise, and easy to read. Passive voice, on the other hand, can make your writing sound convoluted and unclear.

Here are some specific benefits of using active voice in your writing:

1. Active voice is more concise than passive voice.

When you use active voice, you don’t have to include as many words to get your point across. This makes your writing more concise and easier to read.

2. Active voice is easier to read than passive voice.

Active voice is simpler and less wordy than passive voice. As a result, it’s generally easier to read and understand.

3. Active voice sounds more confident than passive voice.

When you use an active voice, your writing sounds more confident and authoritative. Passive voice can make your writing sound weak or uncertain.

How to Recognize Passive Voice in Writing

In order to recognize the passive voice in your own writing, look for verbs that are conjugated in the past tense or perfect tense and have a clear subject. If you identify a sentence with these characteristics, then it is likely written in passive voice. To be sure, check whether the sentence could be rewritten using an active voice construction. For instance, compare “Two hours were spent on the project” (passive) with “I spent two hours on the project” (active). If you can substitute the latter for the former, then you have correctly identified a sentence written in passive voice.

Assuming your goal is to avoid using passive voice in academic writing, there are a few strategies you can employ. First, aim to use active voice constructions whenever possible. This will make your writing more direct and less convoluted. Second, if you must use passive voice, be sure to do so sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Overusing passive voice can make your writing sound weak and uncertain. Finally, when editing your work, take care to revise any instances of passive voice into active voice wherever possible. By following these tips, you can ensure that your academic writing is clearer, more concise, and more authoritative.

Examples of Passive and Active Voice Sentences

When writing for academic purposes, it is important to avoid using passive voice. Passive voice sentences tend to be longer and more complicated than active voice sentences, which can make them difficult to understand. Additionally, passive voice can make your writing sound dull and unfocused.

Here are some examples of passive and active voice sentences:

Passive Voice: The paper was written by John.

Active Voice: John wrote the paper.

Passive Voice: The experiment was conducted by the students.

Active Voice: The students conducted the experiment.

As you can see, active voice sentences are shorter, simpler, and easier to understand than passive voice sentences. When writing for academic purposes, it is best to use an active voice as much as possible.

Tips on Practicing Active Voice

  1. Use the active voice when possible.
  2. Make sure the subject of the sentence is performing the action. 
  3. Use clear and concise language.
  4. Be aware of your audience and purpose.
  5. Edit your work for passive voice constructions.

Alternatives to Replacing Passive Voice

There are a few alternatives to replacing passive voice when writing for academic purposes. One is to use an active voice instead. This means that the subject of the sentence is doing the verb, rather than the verb happening to the subject. For example, “The professor graded the papers” is in the active voice, while “The papers were graded by the professor” is in the passive voice.

Another alternative is to use a different verb altogether. This can often be done by using a gerund (-ing form of the verb) instead of the infinitive (to + verb). For example, “He suggested meeting tomorrow” can become “He suggested we meet tomorrow.”

Finally, you can also try rephrasing the sentence entirely. This may take some creativity, but it can be a good way to avoid using passive voice altogether. For example, “The experiment was conducted by John” could become “John conducted the experiment.”


In conclusion, passive voice should be avoided when writing for academic purposes as it makes your writing more complex and less engaging. Active voice allows you to communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner, making them easier for readers to understand. It’s important to remember that the audience of academic works consists of experts in the field who have an expectation of clarity, so using active voice is essential if you want to meet those expectations.

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