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According to the APA, verb tenses and voices must be used carefully.
It is the belief of scholars that passive voice, in general, results in writing that is not only flat, but also insinuates the evasion of responsibility in all written forms.
Interestingly, many academics have proven that active voice was preferred up until the start of the twentieth century when objectivity grew in popularity.
Typically, a sentence is thought to be in passive voice whenever the subject of that sentence is the object that is being acted on.
On the other hand, a sentence is considered to be in active voice when the subject is doing the active.
Here are a few examples that show that the subject is the one doing the verb’s action. The girl (subject) is doing the eating (verb.)Sonya mailed the postcard.
Sonya (subject) is doing the mailing (verb)Wild horses live in the plains.
With sentences written in this way, we can even eliminate the agent who is performing this action: These are all perfectly correct sentences, but the reader has the sense that something is missing. If you’ve ever had a go at creative writing, you’ll probably have come across the advice to always write in the active voice.
This is a good rule of thumb for most pieces of fiction: sentences in the active voice have energy and directness, both of which will keep your reader turning the pages!
Typically, it is advisable for writers to write in active voice since it is more concise and easier to understand.
This is especially true for academic or scientific writing or when gendered language needs to be avoided.