A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Tag: Passive Voice

Did You Know That There’s an Online Tool for Passive Voice?

Did you know that there’s a  free online “To-Be” verb analyzer?

If you copy and paste small chunks of your final paper into this online tool, it will identify any sentences written in Passive Voice so you can find those instances quickly and correct them by adjusting the subject of your sentence. It’s a great tool to find passive sentences. However, you still need to fix each individual sentence.  Check it out here!


Using Strong Verbs

The best way to engage your reader is by crafting sentences with compelling action verbs. However,  it’s much easier to use dull, passive forms of “to-be” when talking  talking about ideas or abstract concepts.  When you finish your first draft, it helps to highlight all of the instances  of “is”, “are”, “were”, and “was”,  and maybe even “have”, “has” and “had” to see how frequently you depend on these verbs. Then you can explore possible alternatives.

Here’s a a worksheet of strong action verbs organized by genre.

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