The Passive Voice and I

One of the fundamental rules of English composition is that the important words should come at the beginning of the sentence. Rarely, we will save up an important word until the very end of the sentence, and this can have quite a dramatic affect. However, this kind of device can only be used sparingly or it looses its impact. Biomedical writing follows the convention of general English, and so at the very beginning of the sentence we usually get a clear signal of what the sentence is about. Thus, many (but not all) sentences can be written in one of two ways. Consider the following two examples:
  1. 1.

    We incubated the slides overnight at room temperature in a polyclonal rabbit anti-rat erythrocyte antibody.

  2. 2.

    The slides were incubated by us overnight at room temperature in apolyclonal rabbit anti-rat erythrocyte antibody.



Biomedical Literature Active Voice Passive Voice Fundamental Rule Passive Sentence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer 2009

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