Use The Active Voice: A Few Tricks To Get Rid Of The Passive

Writing is an art, but there are essential tips for writers that can help anyone create more active stronger content.

One of the best techniques is to get rid of passive voice writing.

Passive voice is associated with weaker, unclear content, which in turn does not engage the user. If you are finding yourself using passive voice frequently in your writing, we are bringing you some tricks to avoid it and how to begin getting an active voice.

There are a few simple rules that can help you become a stronger writer overnight.

What is a Passive Voice Example?

  1. A house was purchased by Mark.

What is an Active Voice Example?

  1. Mark purchased a house.

What are Some Exceptions to this Rule?

In some instances using a passive voice is necessary.

  1. The wallet was stolen.

In this instance, there is no subject to the sentence, so it is acceptable to use passive voice.

Active voice writing can happen when we are on a roll and we are just typing away. Do not stop to overthink this, just make sure in your editing process you do a special run of your story to switch all passive to active.

Ready for the essential tips for writers that will upgrade your content overnight?

1.   Focus On the Subject in The Sentence

The first part of our essential tips for writers is to locate your subject.

Is it a person? Is it you? Is it an animal?

The subject is the person / animal / thing that is doing the action.

You might have a person and an animal in the same sentence. The subject is always the one who is doing the action.

For example:

  1. Mark told the dog to sit down

The action in the above sentence is the word “told”, therefore Mark is your subject.

   2. Know Your Object

The second part is continued by identifying the subject in the above sentence.

Simply put, the object is the one that the action is targeted toward.

Who was Mark talking to?

The dog of course. In this example we now have identified that the Object is the dog.

  3. Prioritize Your Subject

Part of our essential tips for writers is to learn to prioritize your subject. Now that we have identified both the subject and the object, just make sure the subject always comes first in the sentence.

Passive Voice Example:

  1. The dog was told by Mark to sit down.

Active Voice Example:

  1. Mark told the dog to sit down.

See the difference?

Why is Active Voice Writing so Important?

Generally in the content industry, passive voice is considered inferior because it lacks force and it is also indirect. This can possibly indicate that the writer / author is not confident and it creates a boring atmosphere for the reader.

Active voice allows your subject to take on the focal point and be the main hero in the story.

Passive voice always weakens the main character, taking away his confidence and direction.

Active voice writing is more appealing to the reader because it requires less effort on their behalf as well.

You know how someone times you read a sentence, and you have to re-read it because you are not sure you got the point?

Well, there is a good change the sentence was written using passive voice structure.

Additional advantages of active voice writing come in when something needs to be translated. All translators work better with active voice content because it is more straightforward and it requires fewer words to tell the exact same thing.

Which means that you, as the author, are also better off because of the diminishing attention span of readers worldwide.

Remember passive voice does has one advantage and that is when you want to write things without referring to the hero / subject at all.

Bonus Tip:

There are some tools out there that can help you by highlighting all passive voice sentences. This can be a huge time saver in your editing process.

However before changing your sentence structure around, here are some good questions to answer:

  1. Is my subject hidden in the sentence when it should not be?

  2. Is this sentence too wordy?

  3. Is it difficult to identify my subject from the object?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, then go ahead and switch over to active.

Do I need this sentence to stay vague on purpose?

Am I trying deliberately to hide my subject?

If you answer “yes” to the above two questions, then leave your sentence in the passive voice.

We hope that these essential tips for writers guide to upgrade your writing skills overnight.