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Bookhooks Style Guide

Using our Word template, you can annotate student work, adding comments for the 30 Common Errors listed in this style guide. The template facilitates mark up by teachers, and generates comments with links to these resource pages!

   Using Passive Voice

30 Common Writing Errors and Their Solutions

Sentence Fragment
Run On/Comma Splice

Parenthetic Expression
Series
Comma Before Independent Clause
Semi-Colon
Colon
Punctuation at end of Quotation
Single Quote Marks
Dialogue
Titles
Possession
Its/It's
Dangling Modifier
Misplaced Modifier
Vague Pronoun Reference
Me/Like
Number Agreement
Parallel Structure
Verb Tenses
Fused Words
Spelling
Passive Voice

Negative Form
Cliches
Choppy Sentences
Wordiness
Qualifiers and Intensifiers
Hedging
Vague, Stilted or Flowery Language

This listing of 30 common writing errors was compiled by The Pingry School and is used with permission.

Passive voice demotes the doer from the subject to an object of a preposition — or pushes it out of the sentence entirely. Telltale signs are auxiliary verb (is, was, etc.) and by (was taken by). In the third example, passive voice correctly helps emphasize one element (table) over another (teachers). Passive voice is also used deliberately, especially in politics, to evade responsibility.

The test was taken by Jane.

The cookies were eaten.

Jane took the test.

Sam ate the cookies.