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How to Avoid Using Passive Voice in Your Writing

The passive voice is much frowned upon in academic writing, as it tends to make the text unclear and verbose. In order to avoid passive voice in your writing, it is important that you know what passive voice is. The passive voice is unlike our regular speech and makes the essay writing irregular, abnormal, and sometimes pompous. If you want to choose essay example always choose the best analytical essay example that guarantees quality essay work. In any case, it isn't totally the situation.

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What is the passive voice?

We know that one can make a complete sentence, using a subject, an action verb, and an object. The passive voice is when you place the object (the receiver of the action) in the place where the subject ought to be. The grammatical place of the subject is always before the action and the object; in the passive sentence, however, in passive writing the object and the subject swap place. 

  • Active voice sentence: The burglar robbed the bank.
  • Passive voice sentence: The bank was robbed by the burglar.


In order to spot a passive sentence in your writing, you should look for the following things in the sentence:


‘To-verbs’ (is, are, am, was, were, be, been, and being) followed by past-participle. 
If there is an action happening in the sentence then it follows after the object.
If the subject appears in the sentence— as it often doesn’t— it follows the word ‘by’. 

However, you should know that not every  ‘to-be form of the verb leads to a passive sentence. 

For example, the following sentence, “The steak is cold,”  uses the ‘to-be’ verb to show the state of something, and since there is no action happening in the sentence. 


At times the ‘to-be’ verbs, such as the different forms of the word ‘has’ informs the reader the necessity of performing a task. For example: “The patient has to take the medicine”.


Changing Passive into Active Voice

Once you spot the passive voice in your sentences, you should move towards changing them to active voice. To perform the task you should do the following:


Change the arrangement of the words and phrases such that the subject comes at the start.

Example sentence: ‘John was reimbursed for the stolen money by the insurance company.’


Correction: ‘The insurance company reimbursed John for the stolen money.’


Introduce to the sentence the missing subject, the one who performs the action upon the subject/s. 

Example sentence: ‘Millions of dollars were invested in producing the cure for the illness.’


Correction: ‘The government and private companies spent millions in dollars, to produce the cure for the illness.’


Active Voice for clarity

You can notice that by changing the passive voice into active voice, you induce clarity into your writing, by putting the subject forward and making clear to the reader who is responsible for the action. The active voice helps readers understand the context and background information better. If you have an assignment you should regarding persuasive essay choose the best persuasive essay examples that guarantees quality essay work.


This is also important especially when you are working on an essay related to history or pure science. For the former, the active voice allows you to become critical about the topic and the research information and prompts you to bring authority into your writing by mentioning the various authors and sources. When dealing with the subject of pure science, it is important that you mention the researchers and scientists, who have produced the information. This helps the reader accept the statement as coming from people/person with authority or expertise on the subject. 


At times people tend to use passive voice to distance themselves from something usually negative that has occurred. This is used especially in political statements when the person tried to hide the blame.

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