I have two blogs — Elna Cain to help with freelance writers and Twins Mommy to help moms make money blogging. I get emails all the time asking for help on starting a blog for their freelance business or as a way to earn an income and grow their brand.
English verbs have two voices: In active voice, the person acting is clear: The sentence is still in passive voice if the actor is specified later in the sentence: Passive voice makes the writing unclear by keeping the identity of the actor secret. At times the identity is obvious, but often it isn't.
Even if the reader has an idea of who the actor is, passive voice creates weak sentences that don't communicate immediately and emphatically.
This report is made up entirely of passive voice sentences: The pipeline was inspected and was found to have cracks at three joints.
The decision was made to replace the three joints and a contractor was engaged. After the work was completed, the leaks stopped. Change the passive voice sentences to active voice unless you have a good reason to use passive voice: The foreman inspected the pipeline and discovered cracks at three joints.
The plant maintenance manager decided to replace the three joints and had the contracting department engage a contractor. After the contractor completed the work, the leaks stopped.
Now the reader knows who discovered the cracks, who decided to replace them, who engaged the contractor, and who did the work. When issues come up about the pipeline and what happened, the reader won't have to be Sherlock Holmes to discover who was involved. Two special cases for active voice Two ways of writing sentences are active, even though they may look like the text contains no actor: Sentences with "you understood.
This is an example: Call the client about meeting on Thursday. The "you" isn't in that sentence, but we know it means "You call the client about the meeting on Thursday. Sentences with one subject and two verbs joned by "and. Brian met with the managers and told them about the merger.
The first part of the sentence is obviously active: It is as though the sentence were, "Brian met with the managers and Brian told them about the merger. This sentence is also in active voice because "you understood" applies to both the first action and second action: Call the client about the meeting on Thursday and ask whether the time will work for her.
The actor is "you understood. The managers were told about the merger by Brian. That sentence is in passive voice.
It is weak and not as clear as an active-voice sentence. This is the same sentence in active voice: Brian told the managers about the merger. Use passive voice sparingly Business writers should use the passive voice very sparingly.Syllabus: BWC95 Business Writing Essentials.
The Business Writing Essentials course teaches the essential best practices business people are using today to write clear, effective, professional business documents, including e-mail, memos, letters, reports, and other documents.
Understanding, managing and applying for EPA grants. Find grant application forms, grant information, helpful hints, and guidance for EPA funding opportunities. Block style is the most common for business letters. It's always wise to get an example of a letter from the specific company you're writing for to make sure you learn any specifics in the organization's style.
Modified block style is another, less often used, style. He has written two books training business writers: Explicit Business Writing: Best Practices for the Twenty-first Century, and Business Writing Skills for Forensic Laboratory Managers.
Dr. Hogan is the director of the Business Writing Center. Dr. Hogan’s PhD is in training and supervision, with a focus on training in writing. Research & writing for assignments. University assignments are a big challenge, but we can guide you. Get help with all aspects of your assignment, from research to writing.
Free lesson from the Business Writing Center teaching you what active voice and passive voice are and how to use active voice. The lesson includes a pre-writing test and post-writing test for you to use to test your knowledge.