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When to use the passive voice: If the actor should be left out

Some rule mongers would say that the passive voice should never be used (or would say that you should never use the passive voice). True, it generally is better to use the active voice because it is more direct and more concise. But the subject of the sentence should dictate voice. At issue is whether the subject of the sentence is the subject of the paragraph.

The passive has two justifiable uses, both of which turn on whether the actor is less important than what is acted on.

I manipulated the variables to see whether I could determine the direction of causation.
The variables were manipulated to determine the direction of causation.
The Department of Commerce of the United States government increased the incentives to encourage producers to export
Incentives were increased to encourage producers to export.

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