In this part of the article, we will discuss the key characteristics of formal writing:
3) Grammar and structure
5) Conjunctions and Contractions
These are the things you should consider when writing academic articles, and we will talk about them in detail. Below, we will outline the role of each one and provide an example of formal or informal writing.
First of all, formal writing is especially for dealing with an unknown audience. You know nothing about their skills or knowledge or interests. When you work on an academic paper, you write for researchers or students that you do not know.
The tone should also be objective. do not reflect emotions in your work. This means that you should not make personal judgments or use biased language. In order to look confident and rational while trying to prove something, you need to provide sufficient supporting information and evidence instead of providing personal opinions.
Word choice is one of the most important ways to distinguish formal and informal styles. This feature not only introduces you as a qualified researcher but also gives your paper an academic look. There are many informal words in our everyday vocabulary that do not comply with the formal and scientific style. For example, which of the following words would you use: “Check out” or “examine” in the context of “This research aimed to … the research focused on the health effects of alcohol”? Here, the second option is the correct answer.
That conference worked out amazingly. à wrong
The conference was successful. à Correct
It seems iffy that such a smart kid would want to run away. à wrong
The probability of such an intelligent child running away is low. à Correct
Word choice also means awareness of the verbs, slangs, stereotypes, and other non-standard aspects of English. Phrases like “stuffed our faces at lunch” or “work like a dog” are appropriate when you’re talking, but should be avoided in writing.
Wrong: Every cloud has a silver lining, and in some ways, Nick benefits from the tragedies that shook his world.
Correct: Frequently it’s the case that good can arise from tragedy, and in some ways, Nick benefits from the events that changed his life that summer.
Also, you may use acronyms in your writing, but make sure that you provide the full form before using them. Some acronyms should not be used, such as ASAP instead of as soon as possible.
Grammar and Structure
Formal English means using all of the grammatical laws and regulations. There should be no grammatical or structural problems in your English writing. The problem of coherence and consistency is one of the most important grammatical structures in English. The following is an example:
Wrong: The writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald shows off his keen observational skills like when he describes Gatsby’s parties or Daisy’s behavior toward her daughter. These scenes are full of life and sadness.
Correct: In the F. Scott Fitzgerald work, you can analyze the author’s observational skills. For example, the descriptions of Gatsby’s parties and Daisy’s behavior toward her daughter are full of life and sadness.
You are also expected to use more complex sentence structures:
Wrong: Nick is Gatsby’s neighbor. He narrates the story. He proves himself to be a reliable narrator for the novel. His retelling of Gatsby’s story can be taken as authentic.
Correct: The story is narrated by Nick, Gatsby’s neighbor. He proves himself to be a reliable narrator through the novel, and his retelling of Gatsby’s story can be taken as authentic.
You may also find out that an active voice is less common for a formal writing style.