Write in Active Voice

Your company should be positioned as an expert in your proposal area. The best way to do this (aside from actually being THE expert) is to write in Active Voice rather than Passive Voice.

Proposals written in strong, clear language are more effective. Active Voice makes documents stronger by showing responsibility or giving credit for an action. It is clear, concise, persuasive, and confident. Passive Voice can be vague, not giving enough information to explain the problem or how to fix it.

When writing in Passive Voice, some form of the helping verb “to be” (am, is, are, was, were, being, or been) is added to an otherwise strong verb that really did not need help.

Tip: Do a Universal Search for the words: to be; am; is; are; was; were; being; or been; and rewrite those sentences in Active Voice. It may be time consuming until you get the hang of it, but you will quickly learn how to write in Active Voice and can help your team write a strong, persuasive document.


Passive: Additional information (subject) can be obtained (action) by employees from our website.

Active: Employees (subject) can obtain (action) additional information (object) from our website.


Passive: New requirements (subject) were introduced (action) to strengthen the banking system.

Active: The Banks Act of 1985 (subject) introduced (action) new requirements (object) to strengthen the banking system.


Passive: Mr. Doe (subject) was told (action) by the bank official that he would need to provide additional information. (16 words)

Active: The bank official (subject) told (action) Mr. Doe (object) he would need to provide additional information. (13 words)


Active voice more closely resembles spoken language. When speaking, Active Voice is generally used without thinking. A Proposal written in Active Voice is more engaging and persuasive than one written in Passive Voice.

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Active Voice makes your proposal stand out from the crowd.