Do you tend to use the active voice when you write? Or, do you prefer the passive voice? There are good reasons for both, and the following example provides a compelling reason to use the active voice.
Suppose that while editing an instruction set for a company that uses toxic chemicals, you come across this sentence: “All toxic chemicals are deposited in the appropriate receptacles.” You may well ask, “WHAT are the appropriate receptacles?” “WHERE are they?” And last but definitely not least, “WHO is responsible?”
Conscientious writer that you are, you will get the answers and write them down, in the active voice: “The Assistant Lab Technician deposits used toxic substances in the labeled receptacles in room 429 by 3:00 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” Of course, you will also provide details about safe handling procedures and protective clothing.
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