It is recommended that the compressor be replaced for production to be increased and maintenance reduced.That kind of sentence is a good example of bad writing: 4 passive verbs (is recommended, be replaced, to be increased, and reduced) in 16 words where an active voice sentence of 10 words will do:
We recommend compressor replacement to increase production and reduce maintenance.This blog has reflected plenty on voice: in a ten-part series, in a general discussion of style, and in a post about plain language, so I won't repeat those points here, other than to say active is usually more clear, concise, and fluent than passive.
Technical writers often object to this point, arguing that they need to use passive voice to avoid using personal pronouns like I, we, you, he, and she, and they.
I will counter this lame excuse by recommending they rewrite the sentence in one of these two ways:
The 11-word first draft credits the group making the recommendation without drawing attention to one individual; the 9-word second draft completely depersonalizes the message while still making the point. Both sentences use active voice.
- Quality Assurance recommends compressor replacement to increase production and reduce maintenance.
- Replacing the compressor will increase production and reduce maintenance.
So, yes, consider whether you're overusing personal pronouns, but don't necessarily revert to passive voice.