The amount of formality with which you write should be defined by the expectations of your audience and the purpose of your writing. A cover letter for a job application or a college academic essay, for example, would be written in a formal manner. An email to friends may use a more informal tone.
Formal writing tends to use long sentences and complex words that require analysis and interpretation. In general, formal writing is difficult reading and often seems like gibberish to many people. On the other hand, informal writing is simple and clear. It uses short sentences and common words that can be understood immediately by most readers.
In addition to the level of formality, the context in which you write can affect the choice of words that you use. For example, if you are writing to someone you do not know well, you will want to use simpler language. At the other end of the spectrum, if you are writing something very formal and stately, using refined English won't be necessary; instead, read about formatting paragraphs and pages here.
Finally, your own personality may also influence the choice of vocabulary. If you are writing in a formal manner, but using words and phrases that don't seem appropriate, your reader will notice this and may feel uncomfortable reading what you have to say.
What Is Academic Writing Formality? Formality in writing refers to how well you adhere to normal English rules, how much slang or idioms you use, how unbiased you are about your subject, and how comfortable or personal you feel you are with your readers. The more formal the writing, the more likely it is to be accurate and clear.
Academic writing is usually written at a very formal level. You should use proper grammar and punctuation, avoid using colloquial language, and make sure that what you write is evidence-based. Your academic writing should also be free of any errors in spelling and syntax. Although an informal tone can be used on occasion, for the most part academic writing is supposed to be formal.
Academic writing is different from other forms of writing. For example, while general interest articles often require you to be opinionated and present multiple sides of an issue, academic essays need to be fact-based and not contain speculation. Similarly, while non-academic writings may need to include some personal anecdotes, these must never interfere with the overall flow of the essay or distract from the main point being made.
Academic essays are usually assigned as part of a larger project, such as a research paper or a dissertation. As such, they should be written in a way that allows them to contribute to this larger work.
Formality is required in academic writing because: Establishing Certitude Through Tone: A reader knows the context of the essay through tone. As a result, academic writings demand formality to persuade the reader of the veracity of their information.
The use of formal language also increases the likelihood that others will understand your argument. If you write in a casual tone, others may misunderstand your point. They might believe that what you have to say isn't important or that you aren't taking them seriously. In order for your audience to learn from your essay and act on what they've learned, you need to use language that is clear and concise.
Language choice affects how others perceive you. When you write in a formal manner, others view you as an expert because of the confidence with which you deliver your message. You make yourself look more credible by using proper grammar and diction.
Formal writing is needed in academia because it shows that you are capable of dealing with ideas beyond simple emotion. You are able to think critically and analyze situations before coming up with a solution. This type of thinking is necessary if you want others to listen to what you have to say.
Academic writing is also formal because it displays respect for others. You should never write informally about people or groups unless you want to offend them.
Your academic paper must be professional because your audience will be either coworkers, professors, or a higher authority. This type of audience is well-read and already knowledgeable about the topic you're presenting to them. They can tell the difference between an article they might read in a magazine or newspaper and an actual academic work.
They need to be able to trust what you have to say. Your readers should feel confident that what they are reading is accurate and not fabricated by someone who makes things up as they go along. To do this, you must use formal language in your essay. This shows that you are capable of being serious about your work and you aren't just making things up as you go along.
Formal language helps you write more accurately and concisely. When writing using formal language, you think more carefully about each word and how it fits into the sentence. This allows you to express yourself more clearly and simply than if you were writing informally.
It also ensures that your reader understands you. If you write informally, you may find it difficult to explain any complex ideas. This is because you can't use proper nouns or pronouns to refer to these ideas. Using formal language means that you can define and discuss these concepts easily since they are known quantities.