The next guidelines should help you maintain an official voice that is writing your essays.

The next guidelines should help you maintain an official voice that is writing your essays.

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

If perhaps you were giving a significant speech to a group of people that you don’t know, can you utilize the same sort of language you use when talking with friends? Most likely not. Recognizing your lack of familiarity with the audience, the significance of the occasion, your desire to demonstrate your knowledge regarding the subject, while the impression you’d like to make, you may possibly use an even more formal voice for your speech than what you will use when talking with good friends.

For several for the essays you write for this course, you should use a formal writing voice. You should use the sort of language you would use when giving an speech that is important not the type 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 suggests that the writer is seriously interested in his or her topic. It will be the type or sort of tone that educated people use when communicating with other educated people. Most academic writing uses a formal tone.

1. Don’t use first-person pronouns (“I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” “us,” etc.).

Making use of these expressions in analytical and persuasive essays will make the writing wordy, can make the writer seem less confident of his or her ideas, and may give the essay an tone that is informal. Use of first-person pronouns is unnecessary into the types of essays you might be writing for the course. Readers will know you don’t need to state, “I think that,” “I think that,” or “in my opinion. that they are reading your thinking, beliefs, or opinions, so” Simply delete these expressions from sentences, and you shall 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 a far more confident tone.)

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

I’m able to sense the character’s confusion.

2. Avoid readers that are addressing “you.”

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

3. Avoid the utilization of contractions.

Contractions are shortened versions of words that use apostrophes rather than letters, such as for instance “can’t,” “isn’t,” “she’s,” and “wouldn’t.” The greater amount of formal, non-contracted versions are “cannot,” “is not,” “she is,” and “would not.” You are surprised by how much better a sentence can sound if non-contracted versions associated with the expressed words replace the contractions.

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

Making your writing more formal by avoiding contractions is easy: just find the contractions and replace all of them with the non-contracted versions for the words.

4. Avoid colloquialism and slang expressions.

Colloquial diction is informal language used 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 into the category of “slang.” While slang words often are vivid and expressive, slang comes and goes quickly, another good reason why slang must be avoided in formal writing. Both colloquialism and slang expressions convey an informal tone and must be avoided in formal writing.

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

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

5. Avoid diction that is nonstandard.

Nonstandard diction relates to expressions that aren’t considered legitimate words according towards the 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 seen as legitimate words, these expressions are marked by me in essays as examples of “inaccurate word choice.”

6. Avoid abbreviated versions of words.

As an example, as opposed to writing “photo,” “phone” and “TV,” write “photograph,” “telephone,” and “television.”

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

While the writer might use formal diction in such sentences, way too many short and easy sentences could make an essay sound informal, as if the writer is not recognizing that the audience is capable of reading and understanding more complex and longer sentences. Short and easy sentences can 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

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

You should not sound “artificial” while you use formal diction. Instead, consider that different situations require different uses of language and therefore educated individuals are able to adapt their use of language to a variety of writing and situations that are speaking. Educated men and women have several different writing and speaking voices, and another voice is not any more “genuine” than another. Instead, the different 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 intelligent one who is alert to your audience–a set of well-educated people whom that you do not know. Imagine the type of language that you may use in a job interview for an important job. With formal diction, you can easily express yourself clearly, accurately, and effectively, without counting on the sort of language which you might used in less formal situations.