Actief schrijven in de Angelsaksische wereld

Old school claims that the passive voice is dominant in scientific and technical writing. New school promotes more active than passive voice.

We are in the 21st century. It is about time we switched to new school writing. To further bolster the case for the active voice, you will find a few excerpts from the style guides below.


  • Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., p 5.115
  • As a matter of style, passive voice (the matter will be given careful consideration) is typically, though not always, inferior to the active voice (we will consider the matter carefully).
  • American Medical Association Manual of Style
  • In general, authors should use the active voice, except in instances in which the author is unknown or the interest focuses on what is acted upon.
  • Nature Magazine
  • Nature journals like authors to write in the active voice (“we performed the experiment …” ) as experience has shown that readers find concepts and results to be conveyed more clearly if written directly.
  • Science Magazine
  • Use active voice when suitable, particularly when necessary for correct syntax (e.g., “To address this possibility, we constructed a lZap library …,” not “To address this possibility, a lZap library was constructed …”).

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