The Associated Press uses a lot of passive voice to start a story. An AP writer might say "Joe Schmoe was fired today as coach of Basketball University." He could have used active voice and said, "Basketball University fired Coach Joe Schmoe today," but that's not AP's style. They want to get Joe Schmoe out there first, and it makes sense.
But in general active voice beats passive voice any day of the week. "I gave her the book" is better than "She was given the book."
"Moses received the Ten Commandments" is fine, but "God handed Moses the Ten Commandments" is 10 times more powerful. It creates a picture in your head; you'd love to see God handing Moses the tablet.
We're creatures of motion, and active voice creates the better picture.
Think active, and write on.
More EDITOR@WORK blog entries
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(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
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More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie