Re: another passive voice question

Subject: Re: another passive voice question
From: mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 15:58:52 EST

Darcey Harding writes:
>I have to say,

>"I added the broth to the 125ml flask. I harvested the cells. I purified the
>urease. I applied the extract to the DEAE-cellulose...""

>sounds AWFUL, no matter HOW varied I try and make it.

I think a case could be made for using the passive voice here. The important
things are those being done, not the doer. If you were writing a series of
instructions, or needed to clarify who was doing the purifying/applying/etc.,
then active voice would be more appropriate.

Question: would it be appropriate, instead of using passive voice, to set it
up as a series of steps, and elide the "I" in each case? With accompanying
illustrations, it might go over all right:

1.Added broth to flask.
2.Harvested cells.
3.Purified the urease.
4.Applied extract...

Mind you, I'm strictly software, and I haven't touched chemistry since
highschool, so I'm lacking understanding of both subject and audience :-(

Hope it helped anyway,

Michael Priestley
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Disclaimer: speaking on my own behalf, not IBM's.

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