Formal vs informal writing, learning the original fabric of communication

Formal vs informal writing, learning the original fabric of communication

Writing as a clear form of communication is divided into a variety of forms but one of the foremost comparisons that are now renowned is the tug of war between formal and informal writing. Knowing the difference can take you a long way especially when you are trying to pass information that can fabricate meaning and structure logic.

This article would help you discern between the two and which style to apply when engaging in writing; it would help you understand the various rules needed to succeed in writing both in school, for your blog, official and unofficial purposes.

Determining the type of writing style to use is the equivalent of picking footwear or a drawing pencil. Before picking a shoe, what does the occasion demand, is it an official occasion like a board meeting or a casual hangout? Should it be that you are warming up for a meeting?

You, without being told would have to identify yourself an oxford shoe and if it’s otherwise you’d likely go for sandals or sneakers similar to the formal and informal they are written based on what the event demands opting to switch either of them both for the opposing event would only have you go down in history with unpleasing remarks. We would begin with the definition and proceed further with what pronounces both writing styles as what they are.

Informal writing

Formal writing or otherwise known as formal language is holding a casual communication with individuals that you are familiar with but in written format. This leans towards having a typical loud spoken conversation this style of writing permits the use of contractions e.g. don’t as an alternative for do not, it also entertains the use of slang, exclamations, abbreviations, and outbursts of emotion expressively.

This style of writing is always adopted when writing an informal letter or sending a text message to a close companion. Example of an informal write up;

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Waddup bruh, how’s life treating you? I suppose it’s all cool over there, right? Great! So I’m hosting a sick party this Saturday and the whole calibre is gonna show up we would like your presence though, it’s all happening at around 11 pm, hope to see you.

Types of informal writing

  • Fictive novels
  • Informal letters
  • Blog posts etc.

What is formal writing?

Formal writing is a type of writing style that is adopted while writing an official piece, it is presented in a formal manner which means the construction process must adhere to social rules, convention, and etiquette, it mot be straight forward brief and embodied with information this style has been effectively utilized while writing formal letters but that doesn’t mean it ends there the style extends beyond the form of official communication with letters to a variety of others.

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Types of formal writing.

  • Formal emails
  • Formal letters
  • News reports
  • Essays
  • Non-fictive books e.g. memoirs, autobiographies, and historical books

Rules of formal writing

  1. Must aim at an objective: a formal piece of work to present facts, not theories or opinions, while you may have an opinion on the topic you must use factual happenings and numbers to support your intuition, this must be written in the third person not first or second.
  2. Exhaustive use of vocabulary in the diverse range: this is where you should deposit all knowledge acquired from the dictionary, this style of writing demands a high level of initiative. Repetition of words with synonyms mustn’t exist but the use of descriptive words should appear dominantly so instead of saying “it is bad” rather say how ominous it is.
  3. Does not involve contraction: this should be avoided at all cost if this appears it would most likely present your formal write-up as an informal one, do not apply “don’t” to a sentence instead go for “do not”.
  4. Does not include slang: formal writing is expected to be structured in a professional manner, so they should be no inclusion of “how far” or “dope” except if they are names or places being referenced, however, the use of those may be permitted if they are the subject for an essay or write up e.g. A deep study on the languages in Nigeria.
  5. Presence of compound sentence: there are often lengthy sophisticated sentences in a formal write-up. The use of compound sentences that must include two or more clauses must be involved. E.g. I want to lose weight, yet I eat chocolate
  6. Reference must be adequately quoted
  7. Paragraphs must be properly utilized, organized, and spaced to fit each other
  8. It must contain a serious and literal tone, they should not be a need to involve the figure of speeches.
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Formal language; what is it and how should it be applied?

At this point there is already an understanding of what formal is, but how can they be used, they are for official purposes but what major keywords should be used? And what must be avoided?

  • If you are writing down a letter to Femi Akin, avoid using “hi/hello Femi” Starting with “Dear Femi Akin” the last name should be included.
  • Avoid the use of contraction, never write “aren’t “, “you’re” instead go for “are not”, “you are”
  • If the words cannot be found in the dictionary they shouldn’t be used, do not pull verbs from thin air and apply them to a formal write-up.
  • Make use of longer words; the dictionary would be of service to you while searching for formal words, they are always indicated.
  • Utilize different conjunctions, instead of using “but “all the time try “nonetheless”
  • As much as you are using complex words endeavour to use complex punctuations like brackets, semicolons, and em dash to add more information, etc.

Formal vs. Informal

Do not perceive one to be better than the other because of the compulsory use of fancy or complex words, their difference is based on their peculiarity in different aspects of communication. So a formal and an informal write-up should be judged based on how well it is written, however below is the outstanding difference between formal and informal

  • The tone of an informal write-up is friendly and light which directly opposes formal write up which is serious and must be official
  • The use of voice in an informal write-up must be active e.g. here are some reasons I should be getting a 3 square meal daily. While formal should be passive e.g. pubescents are required to be given 3 square meal a day due to.
  • Informal writing requires the use of short sentences and simple words while formal demands the use of complex and sophisticated languages
  • The third person should be used while making a formal write-up while a first or second-person perspective can be used for informal writing.
  • The use of emotional language and expression is allowed for an informal write up while a formal should be lacking in such
  • The use of slang is allowed in informal writing while in formal writing it is not.
  • Formal writing must be literal and direct an informal write-up; can contain metaphors and literary expressions.
  • Informal is common in speaking while formal is common in writing except when giving an oral speech.


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