Is it in bad taste to use the passive voice in a college admissions essay, even if you are assuming a ….?





scientific tone? I know a lot of people dislike the passive voice and I've been told for years only fools use it. But what I'm writing is supposed to have a sort of parodied scientific voice.. so... Would using it actually work against me? Even if it seems appropriate?



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4 Answers to “Is it in bad taste to use the passive voice in a college admissions essay, even if you are assuming a ….?”

  1. outpouching says:

    I do not know that I would say it is in bad taste, so much as it is much more interesting to read something that is written in an active voice. Would you consider redesigning your essay to make it hold the reader’s interest in an active style? Best wishes.

  2. apotheces says:

    I look at this way, if you have a purpose in using it, do it.I freaking use “You” and “We” in a majority of my essays when “you’re not supposed to”Screw that. If your writing is good and that is just another technique you use in your writing so be it!

  3. jaywalker says:

    For a parody of scientific writing, it is probably appropriate, since scientific writing sometimes does tend to overuse the passive voice! I think you’ll be fine as long as: 1. the rest of your piece makes it clear that it’s intended as parody; 2. your use of parody isn’t inappropriate or off-topic for the question being asked; and 3. the rest of your application is well written with minimal use of the passive voice. “Bad” writing can be used for great effect in good writing if you can pull it off! Best of luck!

  4. shisn says:

    Because you cannot talk to the person that will be evaluating the writing, avoid using passive, end-of-sentence prepositions, split-infinitives, etc. After you write the essay, turn on the MSWord spell check to formal style (check for everything), or you can submit to someone to check. I suggest http://www.twilocity.com