In most academic work you will be expected to use a neutral, impersonal style of writing. This usually means that you will avoid using ‘I’ (unless you are writing reﬂectively about your own experiences).
In normal (active) sentences, the subject does something.
*The previous example sounds a little strange. More likely:
The passive is constructed by using
(1) the auxiliary verb ‘be’ and
(2) the -ed form of the verb (also known as the -ed participle)
(1) The form of be will vary according to the tense needed in the sentence, for example:
(2) For most verbs, the -ed participle is formed by simply adding -ed:
However, for a small number of verbs, this will be a slightly different form:
Use a dictionary to check if unsure.
It is also possible to use an active and impersonal voice in your work. Using the active voice can be more direct and easier to understand. Look at the differences between the examples below:
While all of these sentences make grammatical sense, the third example is clear, direct and written in an impersonal style.
To download a PDF copy of the Neutral writing checklist, click the link below.