Why do people write in the passive? The Passive Sounds Objective Using I or We Sounds Unprofessional The Passive Emphasizes Results
The Passive Sounds Objective Engineer and Scientist think that writing in the passive will make there writing seem more distant and authoritative rather than their opinionated. Why the Reason Is Unsound: Your work will speak for it’s self, if you tried to change the result or did a bad job it will show.
Using I or We Sounds Unprofessional Many Scientist and Engineers have been told by their boss that first hand accounts are unprofessional. Why the Reason Is Unsound: The reasoning behind not using personal pronouns was not to promote the use of the Passive but to prevent liability. In some cases there is not much difference form using the passive VS a personal pronoun. Example: "It is recommended that this new policy be implemented at once” VS "We recommend implementing the new policy now."
ThePassive Emphasizes Results A Good uses of the passive is to represent results. Using the passive in results helps the writer not emphasize the wrong information.
What Is the Passive Construction? To use the passive you re-arrange the sentence to emphasize what happened rather than who did it. Example: Active: I repaired the computer. Passive: The computer was repaired by me.
When Is It All Right to Be Passive? When You Want to Emphasize Results Active: Our clients followed our advice. Passive: Our advice was followed by our clients. Or Our advice was followed.
When Is It All Right to Be Passive? When the Sentence Does Not Need an Actor When the actor is not important ("The solution was heated to 100o"). When the actor is unknown ("The jewelry has been stolen"). When you do not wish to name the actor ("One thousand dollars has been contributed")
When Is the Passive the Wrong Choice? When you write instructions. Passive: Static-sensitive components are stored in protective enclosures. Active/ Imperative: Store static-sensitive components in protective enclosures.
When Is the Passive the Wrong Choice? When "it" is the subject of the passive verb Passive: It should be noted that any modification may seriously impact our present transmission rate and/or our system production. Active: Any modification may seriously impact our present transmission rate and/or our system production