The best writers strive to achieve a style that is so clear that their messages cannot be misunderstood. One way to achieve a clear style is to minimize your use of the passive voice. Although the passive voice is sometimes necessary, often it not only makes your writing dull but also can be ambiguous or overly impersonal. Here’s an example of the same point stated in passive voice and in the active voice: PASSIVE: The net benefits of subsidiary divestiture were grossly overestimated. ACTIVE: The Global Finance Team grossly overestimated the net benefits of subsidiary divestiture.
Business writing should be clear and concise. Take care, however, that your document does not turn out as an endless series of short, choppy sentences. Keep in mind also that “concise” does not have to mean “blunt”—you still need to think about your tone and the audience for whom you are writing. Consider the following examples: After carefully reviewing this proposal, we have decided to prioritize other projects this quarter.