Using Passive Voice or Active Voice for Freelance Writing

As a writer improving your skills is a necessary requirement to a successful career. One course of enhancement is getting as much knowledge as possible about writing. A lot of the knowledge writers obtain over the course of their career is not very exciting. Learning how to use homonyms correctly or when to use a colon versus a semi colon are all great lessons for any writer to learn. One of the important knowledge lessons is using passive voice or active voice for freelance writing.

Primary difference between passive voice writing and active voice writing

A number of writers have the illusion that using passive voice when writing is bad grammar. This is certainly not the case. Passive voice for a number of writers feels comfortable and good. Therefore, they write sentence structure in passive voice. The manner and arrangement of a sentence using passive voice is certainly a variation from using active voice. The issue with which voice to use comes when both voices are used to assemble one piece of content.

Active subjects will do an action in sentences.  While passive voices make a who or what receive an action. This is one definition of active and passive writing. Other examples are also listed here for better understanding.

A writer that uses a passive tone will produce a sentence where the subject of a sentence is on the receiving end of the action.

While in the hospital, the patient was the recipient of flowers from her mother.

A writer that choose to write the same sentence using active tone of voice will produce a sentence where the subject will act or carry out the action in a sentence. This means the same sentence will produce a different look and feel for readers.

Her mother sent her flowers while she was in the hospital.

The difference in these sentences is giving the action to the subject (active) or the action is received from the subject (passive).

Writers that use a passive voice when writing sentences will use find the phrase “by the” used and a variation of the verb is formed with words such as; been, was, am, are and is. This is the usual way passive voice sentences are structured, but there are also exceptions to the norm and all passive sentences are not organized this way.

Passive voice sentence can also be identified in several other ways

1.       A passive voice is characteristically less direct than an active voice counterpart. Writers will generally write articles and speak in the same manner. This means that passive voice and active voice are sometimes found in the same article.

Passive voice sentence: A large package was mailed by a young lady.

Active voice sentence: The young lady mailed a large package.

2.       Passive voice doesn’t have concision where active voice is to the point. A number of writers don’t enjoy writing brief and concise sentences. The tone of the article isn’t what they hope to see.

Passive voice: Circus clowns are loved by kids

Active voice: kids love circus clowns

3.       Passive voiced sentences are misleading and often confusing. While an active voiced sentence is clear and concise.

Passive voice: a number of different animals lived at the zoo way before construction began

Active voice: even with the zoo under construction a number of different animals live there

4.       A clear indication that passive voice is being used can be seen in sentences where the who or what doing the action is left out of sentence. Active voice demonstrates clearly who or what is doing the action in a sentence.

Passive voice: The briefcase was bought on Tuesday.

Active voice: Brad bought a briefcase on Tuesday.

How a writer decides which voice to use when writing subject matter or material

General audiences can become confused when passive voice is used. Sentence structure is complicated and a writer’s meaning can be lost with passive voice sentence construction. There is a chance that a writers meaning can be lost when passive sentences are used. On the other hand, active voice sentences make the tone of an article seem abrupt and may not work for a lot of article topics.

Active voice sentences will work better overall for article writing. This type of voice makes ideas easier to convey and understand. For writers that feel an article needs a softer side or feel add a little passive voice here and there.
Blogging is slightly different for writing styles, tones and voices. Since most blogging is generally constructed in a conversational tone, mixing active and passive is not much of a concern. Blog posts are characteristically no specific type of tone or style because they hold more true to form of writing how an author speaks.



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