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When writing scientific research proposals I have been advised to try and stick to active voice because passive tends to sound indirect and to imply doubt. However, when writing in active voice, I find it difficult to not use personal pronouns. Does anyone have any tips for maintaining active voice without using personal pronouns?

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Very good question. But it might be a duplicate of this one: english.stackexchange.com/questions/9986/… – Cerberus Feb 20 '11 at 4:25
@Cerberus That person was asking which personal pronoun to use whereas I'm asking how their use can be avoided all together. – John Berryman Feb 20 '11 at 4:43
Hmm I agree that it isn't a complete duplicate; that is why I didn't vote to close it. In fact I'd like to hear some more tips on this myself. I just suspect that the answers you will get might not differ a geat deal from the ones to that other question. But we'll see! – Cerberus Feb 20 '11 at 5:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, if you're that bothered about avoiding personal pronouns, you can always say "The author", "The researcher" etc. It's really a matter of preference; not all scientists think there's anything terribly wrong with good old-fashioned words like "I" and "we"...

You may also want to see if you can actually find a scientific study attesting to the perceived indirectness or doubt of the passive.

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