A previous article had promoted the use of active voice for persuasive communications. To summarize, sentences in passive voice (e.g., “Your feedback is appreciated,”) though grammatically correct, seem impersonal and obscure the responsibility of actions or feelings they convey. Sentences in active voice (e.g., ” I appreciate your feedback”) are simple, direct, persuasive, and easier to understand. See full article here.
You can use the ‘Grammar Check’ feature in MS-Word to identify and eliminate passive voice. To activate the check for passive voice, follow these three steps.
Step 1: Select ‘Tools’ from the ‘Options’ menu
Step 2: In the ‘Spelling & Grammar’ tab of the Options dialog box, enable the ‘Check grammar as you type’ and ‘Check grammar with spelling’ options. Select ‘Grammar & Style’ from the ‘Writing style’ drop down and click on the ‘Settings’ button.
Step 3: In the ‘Grammar Settings’ dialog box, enable the ‘Passive sentences’ under the ‘Style’ category. ‘OK’ and close all the dialog boxes.
Once you configure the check for passive sentences, MS-Word will squiggly-underline (in green color) most instances of passive sentences as illustrated below, just like it does squiggly-underline (in red color) spelling mistakes.
Clarity and ease-of-comprehension are two of the most important requisites to effective communication. Active voice can facilitate effective communication.
- Active voice for persuasive communication
- The twelve most persuasive words in English
- What the deaf can teach us about listening