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When you need your writing to sound unprejudiced (such as for writing in science and engineering), then writing objectively should be your main goal, assuming you’ve got writing syntax and structure handled sufficiently by your primary grammar software. The more impartial you can style your communication, the more the reader can trust whatever ideas you’re pushing forward.

The Passive Voice

In an attempt to make their writing sound objective, some people resort to using the passive voice. Since this style of construction takes the actor out of the action, it does aid objectivity to a certain degree.

However, it’s not entirely the best solution either. As you’ve probably noticed, composing whole paragraphs with nothing but passive sentences can turn your writing awkward and confusing.

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The Active Voice

These days, even the scientific community encourages the use of the active voice in writing. Yes, even when doing so occasionally makes the use of self-referential pronouns (such as “I” and “we”) a necessity. The risk of losing objectivity by inserting the actor is worth the additional clarity and precision that the resulting sentences exhibit. As a rule, though, it remains advisable to steer clear of too many first-person references, especially during the beginning of sentences, when you’re making conjecture and especially not in a way that includes the reader in your reference if you’re concerned about the remaining objective.

Sweeping Generalizations

More important to fostering an objective tone, though, is avoiding false generalizations. Never rest your arguments on assumptions that are neither proven nor substantiated. Also, make a point of acknowledging your work’s limitations – it sets an objective parameter from which the reader can view your results and conclusions.

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