Dissertation Guide

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Should I use active or passive voice?

“I think most writers would now advocate using the active voice (‘I conducted an experiment’) rather than the passive voice (‘an experiment was conducted’) if only to reduce the ambiguity. “An experiment was conducted”’ doesn’t actually make clear who did the experiment. Expressions like ‘’the author’’ are also confusing. Sometimes they kid the reader that the writer means the author of the last-mentioned reference rather than the writer of what is being read. I remember an article I once read by Geoff Watts, the medical writer. He thought the passive voice was the equivalent of two lovers gazing romantically into each other’s eyes and one saying, ‘”You are loved by me”.’ There are times when the passive voice might work well, but that’s not one of them.”