APA Fact of the Week: Passive Voice

APA Editing

APA 6 prefers active voice to passive voice in almost all cases because active voice emphasizes the actor rather than the recipient of the action.

Active voice:

Han shot Gredo.

Passive voice:

Gredo was shot by Han.

Here, active voice emphasizes the importance of the person shooting over the person being shot. When it is necessary to focus on the recipient rather than the actor, passive voice is acceptable.

Passive voice:

JFK was shot by a mysterious figure in the grassy knoll.

Active voice:

A mysterious figure in the grassy knoll shot JFK.

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