Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good handout explaining passive voice and how to avoid it.

This one comes to us from the U. of North Carolina Writing Center.  It's published pursuant to an open source license agreement meaning you are free to use it in your classroom provided you comply with these conditions.

Here's the link.

I am the scholarship dude.


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The passive voice is sometimes appropriate in contracts. For example, suppose you were buying a used car and the seller offer a choice between two representations and warranties:

The Seller has driven the Car 25,000 miles.
The Car has been driven 25,000 miles.

From the buyer's perspective, the second version is better because it is broader. It encompasses the driving not only of the seller, but also anyone else who has driven the car. Not surprisingly, the seller would prefer the first version because she would not be responsible for how many miles any other person drove the car. Where the issue is the action, not the actor, the passive may be the correct choice.

Posted by: Tina Stark | Oct 27, 2009 1:40:23 PM

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