recommends the passive voice when identifying the object San José State University Writing Center. Several of the semantic roles Finegan and Besnier list are: agent, patient, experiencer, instrument, and locative (200). For example, I can handle Mary is a sentence in the active voice which demonstrates the S-V-O pattern. The actor is irrelevant: An experimental solar power plant will be built in the Australian desert. In some sentences, passive voice can be perfectly acceptable. First, let's be clear on what the passive voice isn't. For example, Mary, I can handle produces an O-V-S pattern. In these sentences you can count on your reader to know that you are the one who did the dissolving and the titrating. In a sense, the English passive is "inflexible" when compared to the passive formation of other languages.
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Check with your instructor or TA whether you can use the first person I or we in your lab reports to help avoid the passive. I just wanted to add that it's not just my current English teacher. The active voice and the passive voice differ in that a passive verb phrase has an additional auxiliary BE followed by an EN participle. Academic writing often focuses on differences between the ideas of different researchers, or between your own ideas and those of the researchers you are discussing. The passive voice places the emphasis on your experiment rather than on you. You want to be vague about who is responsible: Mistakes were made. While it is not commonly used in research paper writing, the passive voice does figure itself more prominently in mystery and crime writing and reportage especially if the doer of the action is not or cannot be known. Below, we'll list some common myths about the passive voice : What is passive voice?