Disceting the Myth: Passive Voice for Process Diagram

When it comes to tackling the IELTS Academic Task 1, specially, which involves describing a process diagram, it’s essential to use language effectively to convey your message clearly and coherently.

An interesting aspect of this task is deciding whether to use passive voice or active voice. In this blog, we’ll explore the effectiveness of both approaches through real IELTS Task 1 process diagram questions.

Understanding Passive Voice and Active Voice:

Before diving into the comparison, let’s briefly define passive and active voice:

  • Active Voice: In an active voice sentence, the subject performs the action. For example, “The chef mixes the ingredients.”
  • Passive Voice: In a passive voice sentence, the subject receives the action. For example, “The ingredients are mixed by the chef.”

The Pros of Using Active Voice:

  1. Clarity and Directness: Active voice is often more direct and straightforward. It clearly identifies the doer of the action, making it easier for the reader to follow the process.
  2. Engagement: Using active voice can create a sense of engagement, as it highlights the role of the agent (the doer of the action), making the process feel more dynamic and alive.

The Pros of Using Passive Voice:

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  1. Object Focus: Passive voice can put the focus on the object or result of the action. This can be useful when you want to emphasize what’s happening to something, not who is doing it.
  2. Anonymity: If the doer of the action is not essential information, or you want to maintain anonymity, passive voice allows you to do so.

Comparing Effectiveness with Process DIagram:

Let’s look at a real IELTS Task 1 process diagram and describe it using both passive and active voice.

IELTS Task 1 Process Diagram: The Water Cycle

Active Voice Description:

“In the water cycle diagram, the sun heats the surface water in the ocean. As the water evaporates, it forms water vapor. This rising vapor then condenses into clouds, and precipitation occurs when the clouds release rain. The rainwater collects in rivers and eventually returns to the ocean.”

Passive Voice Description:

“In the water cycle diagram, the surface water in the ocean is heated by the sun. Water vapor is formed as the water evaporates. Clouds are formed as this vapor rises and condenses, leading to the release of rain through precipitation. The rainwater is collected in rivers and eventually returns to the ocean.”

Conclusion:

In the context of describing a process diagram in IELTS Task 1, both active and passive voice have their merits. The choice between them depends on the specific diagram and what you want to emphasize.

Active voice is typically more direct and engaging, making it an excellent choice when you want to highlight the agent or doer of the actions. On the other hand, passive voice can be useful when you want to focus on the process itself, especially the object or result of the actions.

[is_logged_in]In conclusion, it’s essential to be versatile with your language and choose the voice that best suits the given IELTS Task 1 process diagram and your communicative goals. Understanding the nuances of both active and passive voice can help you craft an effective and coherent description, showcasing your language skills in the IELTS exam.[/is_logged_in]

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