I worked for 9 years at a uni­ver­si­ty, and for much of that time, I edit­ed a lot of con­tent writ­ten by aca­d­e­mics. One of the habits ram­pant in aca­d­e­m­ic writ­ing is the ten­den­cy to write in the pas­sive voice.

The pas­sive voice isn’t bad gram­mar per se, but it is often a sign of weak writ­ing. Here are 9 rea­sons you should avoid the pas­sive voice in your writ­ing:

  1. It sounds weak.
  2. It can be awk­ward.
  3. It’s often vague.
  4. It’s wordy.
  5. It’s easy to leave out the sub­ject.
  6. It skirts respon­si­bil­i­ty for actions.
  7. High school dropouts find the pas­sive voice more dif­fi­cult to under­stand.
  8. It makes your mes­sage bor­ing.
  9. It’s less engag­ing.

Read “Pas­sive voice: what it is and how to avoid it” to find out what the pas­sive voice is and what to do about it.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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