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Grant Writing: Active vs. Passive Voice – June 2, 2023

Use active voice (vs. passive) whenever possible. Active voice gets you to the point quickly and clearly without wasting words.  This is especially important if grant narratives have a word count.  Example: "A massive flood destroyed the bridge." (active) vs. “The bridge was destroyed by a massive flood.” (passive). Application readers appreciate clear, concise, direct writing. Think fact, not fiction, and leave out unnecessary drama. And don’t forget to use active voice in your grant progress reports too! Use the grammar checker tool in programs like Microsoft Word to help you quickly identify passive language.