When writing a scholarly document, the tone and style of the writing become very important. It becomes necessary to note down when you are writing the document for academic purposes. Well, normally, there are two kinds of writing styles that are in practice these days. One is called formal writing, and the other is called informal writing. Both styles are different from each other, and you are also here to know about the differences that exist between them. Well, you have come to the right place at the right time. In today’s post, we will look at both styles. So, let’s start with the definitions of both of them.
What Does It Mean By Formal Writing Style?
A formal writing style is a style that tends to be clear in its meaning and well organised around the central idea. This writing style is frequently used in scientific writings, where the discussion is purely academic. This kind of writing is done when you do not know the audience of the writing personally. It means the recipient is unknown to you. Formal writing is serious writing which has some strict rules to follow.
What is an Informal Writing Style?
Informal writing, on the other hand, is totally different from formal writing. It is friendly writing, and colloquial language is mostly used in this writing. Informal writing style consists of shorter sentences, just like you are conversing with someone whom you have known for a very, very long time. This kind of writing style is mostly employed in personal settings. For example, when you write a letter to your friend, it falls under the category of informal writing.
Characteristics of Informal And Formal Writing
Like other kinds of writing, formal and informal writing styles also possess some characteristics, especially when used in academic assignments. Knowing about those characteristics is important when you are about to work on any of the writing styles. Hence, a brief description of the characteristics is as follows:
Characteristics of Formal Writing
- This writing uses very polite words, and the tone of the writing is also very formal.
- It does not allow the use of singular pronouns in writing.
- The language of writing is literal and purely academic. The words are also literal.
- There is no place for the use of jargon in formal writing.
- Lastly, this kind of writing style does not allow the use of contractions, colloquial words, and cliches.
Characteristics of Informal Writing
- It uses contractions, cliches, jargon, and colloquial words.
- The language of the writing is very basic, and the sentences are also very short.
- Informal writing possesses the characteristics of being personalised and subjective.
- The structure of this writing style is also very loose.
- It utilises both the first and second person in writing the document.
Differences Between Formal and Informal Writing
After reading the information above, you must have known that formal writing is completely different from informal writing. However, you still do not know in what ways they are different from each other. Well, it is time to explore this. Hence, a brief description of the differences between formal and informal writing is as follows:
1. Choice of vocabulary
The first difference lies in the choice of vocabulary. Informal writing uses casual words to describe something. On the other hand, formal writing uses more literary words. For example, the two words “Examine” and “Check out” have the same meaning. Still, “examine” is formal, and “check out” is informal.
2. Use of pronouns
A huge difference also lies in the use of pronouns. Informal writing being conversational writing, utilises first and second person. In the meantime, a formal way of writing about something asks you to be impersonal. It means there is no place for the use of the first and second person in formal writing.
3. Sentence length difference
The next difference that lies between formal and informal writing is sentence length. The length of the sentences is short in the case of informal writing, and the sentence structure is also very basic. In contrast, formal writing employs long sentences or a combination of sentences. This makes the formal way of writing a complex one.
4. The difference in the tone
A difference in the tone of both writing styles is also observed. In formal writing, the writer does not have any connection with the audience. Therefore, he writes the document in a formal way. In the meantime, informal writing has a very personal and friendly tone. It is because you know the audience of your writing.
Conclusively, the definition, characteristics, and differences given above show that informal writing is different from formal writing. If one writing uses a formal tone, the other employs a direct tone. Therefore, it is important that you read all the differences mentioned above before working on your scholarly documents.