The following guidelines should allow you to maintain a formal writing voice in your essays.

Have you ever attended an event by which “formal” attire is expected? You probably did not wear old jeans with holes into the knees, a stained tee shirt promoting your chosen beverage, and a couple of sandals. You almost certainly chose more formal attire.

If perhaps you were giving an important speech to a group of people you do not know, would you make use of the same type of language you employ when talking with friends? Most likely not. Recognizing your not enough knowledge of the viewers, the necessity of the occasion, your need to demonstrate your understanding associated with the subject, as well as the impression you may like to make, you may possibly use a far more voice that is formal your speech than what you will use when talking with close friends.

For several associated with the essays you write with this course, you should use a formal writing voice. You need to use the kind of language you would use when giving an important speech, not the kind of language you may use when talking with good friends. A tone that is formal establish the writer’s respect when it comes to audience and implies that the writer is seriously interested in his / her topic. It is the type or form of tone that educated people use when communicating with other educated people. Most academic writing uses a tone that is formal.

1. Do not use first-person pronouns (“I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” “us,” etc.).

Making use of these expressions in analytical and persuasive essays can make the writing wordy, could make the writer seem less confident of his / her ideas, and can provide the essay an informal tone. Use of first-person pronouns is unnecessary when you look at the forms of essays you will be writing when it comes to course. Readers will know that they are reading your thoughts, beliefs, or opinions, which means you do not need to state, “I think that,” “I think that,” or “in my opinion.” Simply delete these expressions from sentences, and you also will be left with stronger sentences.

I think that this character is confused.
This character is confused.
(The second sentence is less wordy, sounds more formal, and conveys an even more confident tone.)

“One,” “the reader,” “readers,” “the viewer,” or something like that similar sometimes can be used effectively in the place of first-person pronouns in formal papers, but take care not to overuse these expressions. You intend to sound formal, not stiff and awkward.

i could sense the smoothness’s confusion.

2. Avoid readers that are addressing “you.”

Addressing readers using second-person pronouns (“you, your”) will make an essay sound informal and will bring assumptions into an essay which are not true. A student once wrote inside her essay, “that you might be easy. in the event that you wear a tube top, guys might think” I wondered why the student would believe that I, a male, would wear a tube top. As with first-person pronouns, second-person pronouns can be replaced by words such as for instance “one,” “the reader,” “readers,” and “the viewer.”

3. Prevent the utilization of contractions.

Contractions are shortened versions of words which use apostrophes in place of letters, such as for example “can’t,” “isn’t,” “she is,” and “wouldn’t.” The more formal, non-contracted versions are “cannot,” “is not,” “she is,” and “would not.” You could be surprised by just how much better a sentence can sound if non-contracted versions associated with the expressed words replace the contractions.

the type isn’t aware that he’s surrounded by people he can not trust.
The smoothness just isn’t aware he cannot trust that he is surrounded by people.

Making your writing more formal by avoiding contractions is not hard: just find the contractions and replace all of them with the non-contracted versions of the words.

4. Avoid colloquialism and slang expressions.

Colloquial diction is informal language utilized in everyday speech and includes such words as “guys,” “yeah,” “stuff,” “kind of,” “okay,” and “big deal.” Highly informal diction, such as “freak out” and “dissing,” falls to the group of “slang.” While slang words often are vivid and expressive, slang comes and goes quickly, another reason why slang should be avoided in formal writing. Both colloquialism and slang expressions convey an tone that is informal ought to be avoided in formal writing.

The guy was nailed for ripping off a liquor store.
The guy was convicted of robbing a liquor store.

As you avoid informal language, be careful not to use words that suggests ideas that you may not intend. “The gentleman was convicted of robbing a liquor store” would probably leave readers wondering why the man who robbed the shop is regarded as to be a “gentleman.” Likewise, “the girl was convicted of robbing a liquor store” would probably cause readers to wonder why a lady who robs a liquor store is recognized as to be a “lady.”

5. Avoid nonstandard diction.

Nonstandard diction refers to expressions that are not considered words that are legitimate to your rules of Standard English usage. Nonstandard diction includes “ain’t,” “theirselves,” “hisself,” “anyways,” “alot” (the accepted version is “a complete lot”), and “alright” (the accepted version is “all right”). Most good dictionaries will identify such expressions using the word “Nonstandard.” Because nonstandard expressions generally are not considered to be legitimate words, these expressions are marked by me in essays as samples of “inaccurate word choice.”

6. Avoid abbreviated versions of words.

For example, rather than writing “photo,” “phone” and “TV,” write “photograph,” “telephone,” and “television.”

7. Steer clear of the overuse of short and simple sentences.

Even though the writer might use formal diction in such sentences, a lot of short and simple sentences can make an essay sound informal, just as if the writer is certainly not recognizing that the audience is with the capacity of reading and understanding more technical and longer sentences. Short and easy sentences may be used effectively in formal writing, but heavy reliance on such sentences reflects poorly from the writer and gives the writing an informal tone.

Final Comments

Try not to confuse formal diction with presumptuous diction (the kind of language that seems intended mainly to impress readers) or jargon (the sort of language only familiar to people within a specialized field, such as for instance computer technicians).

You should not sound “artificial” while you use formal diction. Instead, consider that different situations require different uses of language and that educated folks are able to adapt their use of language to a variety of writing and situations that are speaking. Educated people have several writing that is different speaking voices, and something voice is not any more “genuine” than another. Instead, the various voices reflect choices on the basis of the writing or speaking situation. Through your word choice in essays, you are able to portray yourself as an person that is intelligent is alert to your audience–a group of well-educated people whom you may not know. Imagine the sort of language that you may use within a job interview for an job that is important. With formal diction, it is possible to express yourself clearly, accurately, and effectively, without relying on the sort of language you may possibly use in less situations that are formal.

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