Really Using the Passive Voice

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Have students review the section of the handbook on active and passive voice. Using a key passage from the current reading and working in small groups, have students revise each sentence in the passage into passive voice. (This will require them to identify the subject, the verb, and any objects.) Then use these revised passages in a discussion about the essay. Is the argument weaker when in passive voice? Are concepts clearer? Why or why not? Discuss how they might then use this strategy to check for fragments in their own drafts.
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.