300 Days of Better Writing

March 13, 2013

Maintain one voice in a sentence.


This specifically refers to the use of active and passive voice. In brief, this tip means use either the active or the passive voice in a sentence, not both. Consider this sentence.

“I wrote the weekly project status report, but it wasn’t delivered on time.”

This sentence begins in the active voice but concludes in the passive voice. By using only one voice, the sentence will be more direct and more effective for accomplishing your purpose. Two possible revisions are as follows.

“I wrote the weekly project status report, but I didn’t deliver it on time.” (active)
“The weekly project status report was written but not delivered on time.” (passive)

Determine which voice will best accomplish your purpose and use it for the entire sentence.


This is the strategy for day 140 in 300 Days of Better Writing, available at Hostile Editing in PDF, Kindle, and paperback formats.

For a sample of 300 Days of Better Writing and other books by Precise Edit, download the free ebook.

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