USCIS Plain Language: Active Voice

Uploaded by uscis on 27.06.2011

introducing passive voice hits
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is whitney houston's classic
You Will Always Be Loved By Me
eric clapton's The Sheriff was Shot by Me But the Deputy Was not Shot by Me
and the late great Marvin Gaye's It Was Heard By Me Through the Grapevine
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wow those songs aren't so catchy in passive voice. what's passive voice you ask
passive voice is when the subject of your sentence appears after the verb
or not at all. passive voice is wordy and vague. It hides who or what is
doing action your sentence
and it makes your readers worked harder to identify the subject of your sentence
to encourage transparency
we should avoid using passive voice and instead use
active voice. active voice focuses on the subject making it clear who is doing what. it leaves
little room for interpretation let's compare two sentences the passive voice
sentence "The form must be completed electronically" is vague. Who should
complete it
You, your attorney only people named bob Hi Bob!
the active voice sentence you must complete the form electronically is clear and
you can substitute any subject and it's still clear how about the applicant, homeowners
active voice gives your reader a clear message so when you are writing
any type of document avoid using passive voice you can tell your colleagues you heard
this tip through the grape vine