5 Benefits of Using the Active Voice in Your Writing

Be concise. Be clear. Use the active voice.

Are you tired of writing in the passive voice and feeling like your sentences are just dragging on and on? Well, I’ve got some good news for you. Using the active voice can really make a difference in your writing, making it more concise, dynamic, and engaging. In this listicle, I’ll be sharing with you five reasons why you should start using the active voice in your writing. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who enjoys writing for fun, you’ll find that the active voice has some pretty amazing benefits that you can’t afford to ignore. So let’s get started!

In This Article:

  1. Improves Clarity and Concision
  2. Makes Sentences More Dynamic and Engaging
  3. Emphasizes the Actor in a sentence
  4. Avoids Passive Constructions and Confusion
  5. Enhances the Flow and Cohesion of Your Writing
  6. Conclusion

1. Improves Clarity and Concision

One of the main benefits of using the active voice is that it can help improve the clarity and concision of your writing. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence is performing the action, rather than receiving it, which makes it easier for readers to understand who or what is doing what.

For example, consider the following two sentences:

  • Passive voice: The ball was thrown by John.
  • Active voice: John threw the ball.

In the passive voice version, the subject (the ball) is receiving the action (being thrown), while in the active voice version, the subject (John) is performing the action (throwing). The active voice sentence is shorter, clearer, and more straightforward, which makes it easier for readers to follow and understand. Using the active voice can help you avoid convoluted and confusing sentences, and make your writing more concise and to-the-point.

2. Makes Sentences More Dynamic and Engaging

Another great reason to use the active voice is that it can make your sentences more dynamic and engaging. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing something, which creates a sense of movement and action. This can make your writing more interesting and captivating for readers, and help keep them engaged with your content.

For example, consider the following two sentences:

  • Passive voice: The report was written by the team.
  • Active voice: The team wrote the report.

In the passive voice version, the subject (the report) is being acted upon, which can make the sentence feel static and passive. In contrast, the active voice version creates a sense of movement and action, with the subject (the team) actively doing something. This can make the sentence feel more dynamic and engaging. Using the active voice can help bring energy and liveliness to your writing, and make it more enjoyable for readers.

3. Emphasizes the Actor in a sentence

Using the active voice can also help you emphasize the actor in a sentence, or the person or thing that is performing the action. This can be particularly useful if you want to draw attention to the main subject of your sentence or the person or thing that is doing something significant.

For example, consider the following two sentences:

  • Passive voice: The project was completed by the team on time.
  • Active voice: The team completed the project on time.

In the passive voice version, the subject (the project) is being acted upon, while in the active voice version, the subject (the team) is performing the action. By using the active voice, you can make it clear who or what is doing something, and give them the spotlight in your sentence. This can help you create more effective and powerful writing that clearly communicates your message.

4. Avoids Passive Constructions and Confusion

Using the active voice can also help you avoid passive constructions and confusion in your writing. Passive constructions are sentences in which the subject is being acted upon, rather than performing the action, and they can make your writing more wordy and less clear.

For example, consider the following two sentences:

  • Passive voice: The cake was baked by Mary.
  • Active voice: Mary baked the cake.

In the passive voice, the subject (the cake) is being acted upon, which can make the sentence less clear and more confusing. Who baked the cake? Is Mary the one who baked it, or is she the one who ate it? The passive voice doesn’t give us this information clearly and directly, which can lead to confusion. By using the active voice, you can avoid passive constructions and make it clear who or what is doing what in your writing. This can help you communicate your message more effectively and avoid confusion.

In this Active Voice, the subject (Mary) is performing the action (baking), which makes it clear who did what. Using the active voice can help you create more straightforward and easy-to-follow sentences that avoid confusion and ambiguity.

5. Enhances the Flow and Cohesion of Your Writing

In addition to the other benefits of using the active voice, it can also enhance the flow and cohesion of your writing. When you use the active voice consistently in your writing, it can create a sense of coherence and unity, making it easier for readers to follow your ideas and arguments. In contrast, switching between the active and passive voice can disrupt the flow of your writing and make it feel choppy and disjointed. By using the active voice consistently, you can create a more cohesive and coherent piece of writing that flows smoothly and engages readers.

Conclusion

As you’ve seen, the active voice is a valuable tool for effective and engaging writing. It can improve the clarity and concision of your sentences, make them more dynamic and engaging, emphasize the actor in a sentence, avoid passive constructions and confusion, and enhance the flow and cohesion of your writing. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who enjoys writing for fun, the active voice has something to offer you. So next time you sit down to write, consider using the active voice and see how it can transform your writing for the better.

Further Reading:

10 Tips for Writing Effective Introductions to Your Blog: Why You Need Them and How to Craft Them

10 Tips for Writing Effective Conclusions to Your Blog: Why You Need Them and How to Craft Them

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