Appropriate Level of Formality
Diﬀerent audiences require diﬀerent level of formali4es.
You wouldn’t a9end a Presiden4al Inaugura4on wearing a hoodie, so why would you write an academic paper using informal language?
Writing to Your Friends and Family When you write an email to your friends or family, you will probably use idioms and informal phrases. ì That test was a piece of cake. This means the test
ì I’m broke aFer spending so much money at the
beach. This means I’m out of money.
ì I’m about to start a new job. About to is an informal
phrase appropriate for informal wri4ng only.
Writing for Your Teacher or Academic Audience When you turn in a paper to your teacher, you cannot use idioms and informal phrases. Here are a few rules to remember before wri4ng a paper for a teacher or any academic audience. ì Do not use contrac4ons (don’t, can’t, shouldn’t, etc…) ì Unless you are asked to do so, do not use the ﬁrst person. ì Assume your audience has some background knowledge on the
ì Vary your sentence style; include compound and complex sentences. ì Never use text abbrevia4ons (lol, roﬂ, cuz, etc…)
Informal Made Formal Informal Language
The humans were caught oﬀ AFer the animals’ surprise a9ack in the guard in the Ba9le of the Ba9le of the Cowshed, Mr. Jones Cowshed. Mr. Jones was afraid to retreated and never returned. go back to his farm. Caught oﬀ guard was eliminated because it is an idiom. The ideas of two simple sentences were combined to create one complex sentence.
This example refers to George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945).
Informal Made Formal Again Informal
I think it’s wrong for TV sta4ons It is unethical for television networks to make a proﬁt from showing people in to take advantage of people 4mes of tragedy. suﬀering. Unless your instructed otherwise, present your opinion as fact. This is known as objec4ve wri4ng It is replaces it in formal wri4ng. Television networks replaces TV sta4ons. This sentence is more speciﬁc because it gives a speciﬁc example of how television networks take advantage of people.
One More Example Informal ì Napoleon kept tricking the
other animals because he wanted to be in charge and live in the house.
Formal ì Napoleon con4nued to
deceive the other animals because he wanted to remain the leader and live in the house.
ì Kept tricking was changed to
con4nued to deceive.
ì Be in charge is an informal
phrase. This example refers to George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945).