Writing 2121F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Headon, Preposition And Postposition

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13 Aug 2016
Department
WRITING 2121G: Writing for MIT
Week 3
Jan 21
VERBS
Active Voice: Stronger
Active voice – subject performs action
oThe city gives leases to tenants
oThe object becomes subject who is performing on action
Passive voice – subject acted upon, action being done to the subject
oLeases are given to tenants by the city
o“city” is the object of the preposition (“by”)
Eliminate Passive Construction
Cuts down on wordiness
Makes your writing more engaging
To change:
oName the agent (the do-er)
oMake the agent the subject of the sentence
oTake an active verb form (get rid of the auxiliary “to be”)
You want the real subject to go to the front of the sentence
Turn Passive to Active
Passive – Wikipedia is used for research by many, and its use has been criticized by some
because it is not vetted
Active – Many use Wikipedia for research, and some have criticized its use because it is not
vetted
First clause:
oSubject does the action – many
oThe old subject – Wikipedia
Second clause:
oTake the passive form of the verb, make it active
oTake old subject and make it the object
The clauses are independent because they could stand on their own
Passive to Active
Active: subject (the do-er) verb (doing) object (entity acted upon)
Passive – Porcupines are chased by my dog
Active – My dog chases porcupines
Difference?
oActive: subject, verb, object
oPassive: object becomes subject (the thing being “done to” privileged)
When/why is the passive voice used?
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