3 Simple Ideas to Master the Skill of Active Voice.

If you wish to keep your readers actively engaged in your article, you will need these 3 simple ideas to master the skill of active voice. I am not referring to you actively typing away at your computer,  I am referring to you using active voice while writing your article. It is essential to recognize when to remain in the active voice and when the passive voice is acceptable.

3 Simple Ideas to Master the Skill of Active Voice.

I have vivid memories of my very German teacher trying to teach the difference between active and passive voices in English lesson. It was an excruciatingly long lesson for her and for us children.

Writing in active voice may at first seem rather difficult to master, especially when writing copy for websites. This needn’t be the case, as you use active voice daily. Remember, unchecked passive voice can destroy your viewers interest and thereby ruin your rankings too.

 

3 Simple Ideas to master the skill of active writing
3 Simple Ideas to master the skill of active writing.

3 Simple Ideas to Master the Skill of Active Voice.

Identifying the Passive Voice.

Welcome to a trip down memory lane 🙂 English 101 commencing now.

Active Voice is when your sentence construction consists of a Subject, then a verb, and then followed by the object.

“Mark plays games.”

The sentence flows and sounds correct. Immediately one knows who is the subject, what the action is, and what it involves.

Passive would then look like this.

“The games are played by Mark”.

You can immediately  see that this is somewhat backwards. The sentence above shows an example of the double-verb. “Are played” identifies the passive voice in the example above. This is a rather simple example. More often our sentences are a tad longer and that opens the door wide-open to passive voice.

Passive Voice sentences often give the reader the impression that the writer has somehow dwindled off… *Yawn*

The paragliding sites in the Garden Route, South Africa, are frequented by visiting German paragliding pilots.

Other than that example being true, it almost seems active, but take another look. You can immediately identify this sentence as passive because of the double verb.

However, the readability is horrendous. It seems as if I have forgotten the point. Is the sentence about the flight sites? Or about the German pilots? The sentence is pretty much nonsensical. Passive Voice sentences give the reader the impression that the writer has somehow dwindled off… *Yawn*

An active voice sentence would in fact make a perfect newspaper headline!

Now take a look at the active counterpart of this sentence:

German paragliding pilots frequent the Garden Route paragliding sites in South Africa.

Not only does the second example seem more direct and to the point, but it feels more active too.  An active voice sentence would in fact make a perfect newspaper headline!

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When to use Passive Voice.

So active voice may be great for NEWSPAPER headlines, however  passive voice is great for Website titles because it emphasizes the action being taken.

Active voice is best for most Web content, but using passive voice can let you front-load important keywords in headings, blurbs, and lead sentences. This enhances scannability and thus SEO effectiveness. – JAKOB NIELSEN

When to use passive voice - 3 Simple Ideas to Master the Skill of Active Voice.
When to use passive voice

Bear in mind that everything, including passive voice, has it’s time and place. Think of this:

Unknown Entity

My car was stolen from the parking lot.

I don’t know who did it and therefore passive voice is useful.

Unimportant Entity

Security of the parking lot will be increased.

It is not important to know who will be increasing the security, so once again the passive voice works well.

General Entity

Trespassers will be prosecuted.

Here again you can see that it is of no importance  who exactly the subject is referring to. “The Magistrates Court will prosecute trespassers” just sounds weird.

2 Ideas to help you check for Passive Voice.

Using Word.

Microsoft StoreYou can simply change your settings in Word. I have made a useful PNG with 6 simple steps to follow that you can download for your convenience.

Download printable to help you check for passive voice while using Word - 3 Simple Ideas to Master the Skill of Active Voice.
Download printable to help you check for passive voice while using Word

Hemingway Editor

I also found Hemingway Editor, a great online app that you can put to great use. It highlights

  • sentences that are hard to read.
  • sentences that are very hard to read.
  • phrases have simpler alternatives.
  • adverbs.
  • uses of passive voice.
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I trust that these 3 Simple Ideas to master the skill of active voice will come in useful, especially when writing for sites!

Do leave any comments below or email me  if there is any subject matter regarding writing that you would like me to look into for you.

Blessed Be,

Sancheo

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