RE: active voice v. passive voice

Subject: RE: active voice v. passive voice
From: Barb Einarsen <barb -dot- einarsen -at- nettest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:53:58 -0500

Here are a few reasons I prefer active voice over passive voice:

+ fewer words (look at your own example)
Passive: Two topologies are available in defining Cats: pedigree or moggy.
Active: You can define two types of Cats: pedigree or moggy.

+ action oriented, making it easier to follow in procedures
Passive: Make sure the Feature is selected.
Active: Select the Feature.

+ easier to read and comprehend (sentences in logical order)
Passive: When the Little item is selected, the Big dialog is displayed.
Active: Select the Little item to display the Big dialog.

+ less confusion when dealing with mixed tenses
Passive: When the reports are created, the message will be displayed.
Active: A message appears when you create a report.

+ identifies the actor
Passive: Email can be created and sent to the list.
Active: You can create and send email to the list.

Barb Einarsen
Manager of Product Information Development
barb -dot- einarsen -at- gnnettest -dot- com
v: 905 948 7527

GN Nettest
f: 905 475 6524

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