Avoiding Passive Voice in Academic Content Writing

Avoiding Passive Voice
Content writing is the most difficult task in written English. Who doesn’t want to score high and get good grades in his written content? Yes, you are right; everyone does. There are some rules and regulations to get high marks. There exist some things which you also need to avoid in content writing. The thing you need to avoid using is passive voice. Today, in this article, I will discuss how to avoid the use of passive voice in academic content writing.

First, let’s define a passive voice. A passive voice is a set of verbs in which the subject undergoes the verb’s action. The passive voice is formed by combining a conjugated form with the verb’s past participle. A preposition is frequently generated as a result of this. The passive voice sentences are far more complex. Let’s take an example to elaborate how passive voices are difficult than active voices.
Monkey love bananas.
Bananas are loved by monkeys.

Now let’s take a closer look at the active and passive voices of the first example.
Monkeys (Subject) + Love (Verb) + Bananas (Object)
Bananas (Object) + are loved (form of to be plus past participate) + by (preposition) + Monkeys (Subject).

The analysis above should have given you a good sense of the passive voice structure. The use of passive voice creates prepositions and adds to the sentence’s complexity.

Avoiding Passive Voice:

I hope you know a lot about passive voice from the discussion above. But our main topic is how to avoid using it in content writing. Let’s discuss the ways of avoiding passive voice in writing. A brief description of the way is as follows;

Identify the verb in the sentence

The first technique to avoid using passive voice in content writing is identifying the verb. It is the verb that makes a sentence passive or active voice. This will make it a lot easier for you to avoid using passive voice. Most of the verbs are active in nature, like kicked and grabbed. But when the verb phrase “to be” and conjugations “is and was” makes the sentences passive. Let’s elaborate on it with the help of an example.
Mark Kicked the ball.
The ball was kicked by Mark.

From the examples above, you can notice that the action verb is “kicked.” Kick is the action, and it’s active. The next sentence is in passive voice. I am trying to make you understand here is the use of the verb.

Do you see that the first sentence is in past tense and it’s active? In the meantime, when you add conjugation “was” before the verb, it becomes a passive voice. So, to avoid using passive voice in content writing, you need to take good care of the verb. You have to look for the verb, and it should be active, not passive.

Identify the subject in the sentence

The next technique to avoid using passive voice is identifying the subject. Now, how can you locate the subject? It will help if you start by figuring out the verb and action. The rest will be easy once you figure out the verb and action. The subject is who or what did the action. So, it would help if you found the subject. The subject can’t be a person all the time. It can be anything that did the action. Let’s explain it with the help of an example.
The plane stopped the traffic.
The traffic was stopped by the plane.

The action and verb here is the act of stopping the traffic. Now, you need to identify who did this action. The answer is plane. Therefore, plane is the subject. This is how you can avoid passive voice in content writing by identifying the subject.

Identify the direct object in the sentence

The last step is the identification of the direct object. Not every sentence has a direct object. The direct object is the object of the verb. It’s neither an action nor doing the action. It’s being acted upon. Let’s take an example of this scenario.
Ali kicked the ball.

The ball is the direct object. It’s being acted upon. Therefore, identifying the direct object will help you avoid passive voice in content writing.


In conclusion, passive voice is not the way to go while content writing. It makes your writing difiuclt to read and complex to understand. You should always use simple and meaningful active voice sentences.

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