“The Passive Engineer” By : Simony Patel
Introduction • Reasons why engineers write in passive voice • When and how to use passive voice? • What is the passive construction? • When is it all right to be passive? • When is the passive the wrong choice?
Reasons why engineers used passive voice 1. The passive sounds objective • It is a way to avoid bias • Objectivity can be applied to any human quality and lies in our thinking and in our choice of actionsso this is not a good reason
2.Using I or We sounds unprofessional • Passive construction does not make writing objective or more professional • It is a way to avoid responsibility
3. The passive emphasizes results • It also emphasizes actions
What Is the Passive Construction? • The passive construction inverts the active word order to emphasize what happened, rather than who did it. • Ex: “I made the cake” (Active) “ The cake is made by me” (Passive)
When Is It All Right to Be Passive? • Passive voice is right for you when you want to emphasize results • Ex: “The weather man delivered the warning.” “The warning was delivered by the weather man.” (emphasis falls on the warning)
When Is the Passive the Wrong Choice? • When you write instructions • Passive: Data components are stored in protective enclosures. • Active: Store data components in protective enclosures. • When “it” is the subject of the passive verb • Passive: It is recommended that this new policy be instituted at once. • Active: We recommend instituting this new policy at once.
Summary • 3 reasons why engineers use passive voice • The Passive Sounds Objective • UsingI or We Sounds Unprofessional • The Passive Emphasizes Results • Passive is the right choice: • When you want to emphasize results • When the actor does not need to be known • Passive is the wrong choice: • When you write instructions • When “it” is the subject of the passive voice