I briefly review the use of the passive and active voices in scientific writing and formulate an argument in favor of the active voice’s use. I provide fictitious examples of each narrative type and make a side-by-side comparison. Each style has advantages and disadvantages. Papers written in the active voice are concise and clear, although they are also considered colloquial and unsophisticated. Those written in the passive voice, in turn, are centered on the actions – rather than on the individuals – and are perceived as more objective but can also be ambiguous and pompous. I conclude this essay by noting that the active voice – with its greater economy, simplicity, and precision – is now pervasive in scientific writing, and I urge educators to greatly reduce teaching and enforcing the use of the passive voice.

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