Art of formal writing


Hello friends how are you? Today you are going to read something which is helpful for every student. Irrespective of your field, this blog will help you in learning the art of formal writing. This the name of today’s topic “Art of formal writing.” Students often get confused when it comes to writing an essay, letter, or any academic work in a formal manner. They move to assignment help from different sources. Taking help is not bad but Hey! It would be good if you learn things yourself. There are certain rules which have to be followed while making a formal piece of writing. Today our blog will highlight those intricate areas of formal writing which never got highlighted.

Have a look on topics which we will be going to discuss in this blog:

  • What is Formal Writing
  • Audience and Purpose
  • The Rules of Formal Writing
  • Types of Formal Writing Assignments
  • Tips for formal writing

What is Formal Writing?

There can be different categories of all kind of writing. But the main division of writing is between informal and formal writing. So what could be the possible examples of formal writing? Business writing, formal letter writing, and academic writing come under this category. Almost all the writing that comes under formal include almost similar pattern. So in today’s blog, we will discuss in detail about formal writing and its uses.

Audience and Purpose

So, first of all, you should know that informal or formal writing both are the correct form of writing. You cannot say one is right and other is wrong. Each is having their own purposes. Just like formal and informal clothes. At times you need to wear formal clothes and other times you can be in informal. Similarly with these two types of writings. When we talk about any official work, business, academics like for research papers or writing to someone who is senior to us then we should write formal manner. When we write a letter to our friends, family, we can use the informal way of writing.

The Rules of Formal Writing

  • Use complex sentences and make specific meaning to the writing.
  • The usage of words should be sophisticated, and they should match the topic — for example, technical words related to the subject.
  • The tone should remain serious in formal writing. It should not be filled with metaphors, phrases, or clichés.
  • It should have a particular purpose, which is also called as a thesis. This is used in academic writings.
  • Whenever you are writing in a formal way, keep in mind that it should be in third person perspective. Reduce the use of ‘I’ or ‘You’ to the level of zero.
  • Use standard spelling of the word. Do not try to use slang or text message tone.
  • Use standard spelling (no texting-style words like ‘LOL’).
  • There should be a correct use of punctuation. Also, your work should be grammatically correct.
  • When you are trying to write an academic paper, references should be properly cited and correct.
  • Whenever you write, organize it properly. Keep your text into paragraphs. Every paragraph should have meaning to the previous one.

When it comes to formal writing, there are four main ways you can tell the same story. The way that you choose will depend on your audience, the reason for the story and what will best suit the occasion.

If you are at a funeral, for example, a fact telling style might not be the best way to portray your message as this can come across impersonal. If you are looking to write a eulogy, you might consider a storytelling style which can take on various forms to suit your audience and the person the story is reflecting.

Different writing styles

Narrative Style: Storytelling

This writing style does justice with its name. I mean it tells a story. When someone writes in narrative writing style, he/she shares an experience or any real-life event in an elaborative manner. This type of style gives personalised feeling to the reader. This type of formal writing has scope for creativity and emotions.

Descriptive Style: Paints a picture

Descriptive style of writing is almost like narrative writing style. Descriptive style of writing paints a picture in listener or reader’s mind. As the name suggests, it’s a kind of description about a place, person or any event. When we say descriptive, it does not mean you have only to describe a topic, but also convey an emotion or feeling. You have to use emotionally descriptive words or anything which evokes senses. Descriptive writing should be written in a manner to draw out emotion from the audience.

Expository Style: A factual piece

When you have to write an informative article based on facts of a topic, then it is called expository writing. This piece of writing is informative, as it provides information based on the facts. This form is a perfect example of a formal writing style. In this form of writing the writer uses statistical data, facts or examples in their piece of writing. Here no emotions or feelings are required. The writer is not having any compulsion to raise any kind of feelings from the readers. Here writer usually writes with third person perspective.

Persuasive Style: Convincing

Persuasive writing style again matches its name. The aim is to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view. Here writer wishes to make audience accept his point of view. He/she uses facts, statistical data or examples to explain the topic on which he/she is writing. The writer reads a lot of research work and after that only put that research into his own work. When writer uses point of views and data of famous researchers, then he/she gets more weight and persuasion power. This form of writing is not like the expository style. Here the focus is to influence the reader with words and tones of the text. Through the help of persuasion, the writer communicates his/her point of view.

Uses of Formal Writing Assignments

  • It gives students an opportunity to portray the knowledge which they have gain in academics. They can portray the intellectual skills they have.
  • Students can raise a discourse through formal writing. This allows them to make the perfect use of the language. They can get acquainted with the intellectual community.
  • Formal writing allows students to make well-researched assignments and research papers.

Techniques for formal writing for students

  • Establish a context for the student’s text:
  • Why is the student writing the book?
  • Who will be reading the text?
  • What makes reader to read the text?
  • Explain your evaluation criteria
  • Separate the assignment into intellectual tasks that the students must Perform according to a timetable
  • Keep an eye on the students’ progress
  • Give models or examples
  • Define the conventions you want the students to use (e.g., documentation forms, textual
    format, levels of diction, organizational patterns)
  • Create opportunities for students to receive feedback on proposals and drafts (feedback 
    from peer groups? or from you? from the Writing Center? from departmental tutors?
  • differentiate and separate feedback from evaluation

Different types of Formal Writing Assignments

  • Scholarly papers: research articles, review articles, critical essays
  • Professional writing: memos; essays, articles, reports; proposals; and instructions for a lay audience; editorials; brochures; letters to the editor; critiques & reviews
  • Academic papers: term papers, research papers, dissertation, seminar papers, essay exams

So let’s see these writings in an elaborative manner

Academic writing

It is the most common form of formal writing that students have to do in schools or colleges. The major purpose of academic writing in educational institution is to demonstrate their knowledge of a specific subject. In this form of writing students have to describe, analyze, explain, and evaluate the topic. Various reports, research papers, and critical essays come under this category. Academic writing is of utmost importance for students. They get evaluated on the basis of academic writing assignments submitted to teachers. Almost 40 percent of marks are based on these assignments.

Scholarly writing

This form of writing includes all types of writing work a scholar do. Scholarly writing helps in communicating the ideas, theories, research findings, and inquiry methods. When you do majors in a specific discipline, you enter into a discourse community. You start to think and learn and bring your communication skills into play. Thus an important aspect of scholarly writing is to develop the ability to participate in the discourse. The most appropriate example of scholarly writing is a scholarly article in a journal. There are more types of scholarly writings such as lab reports, grant proposals, field study reports, critical reviews, essays, opinions, etc.

Professional writing

Professional writings are those which are used by working professionals. Many graduates who opt for job rather than higher studies are in need of professional writing work. For a student, it is not possible to learn all types of workplace language. But having some experience and expertise in a few professional writings will help them in their jobs. Perhaps it is necessary for students to understand the audience and use specific writing targeting that particular audience. Examples of workplace writings are business letters, guides, pamphlets, program proposal, brochures, etc.

Tips for Formal Writing

College application essay is a perfect example of a formal writing style. When you do formal writing work, you want to sound clear, well constructed to your readers. Formal writing work is one of the most difficult work when it comes to writing but an easy one for reading.  Below I am going to mention some tips which will help you a lot in writing a formal application essay for your college.

1. Use the active voice

Whenever you are writing any piece of formal writing, write it in the active voice. The rule for active voice is simple:

 (noun performing an action) + (action/verb) + (object receiving the action).

Passive voice does not suit the theme of formal writing. The rule for passive voice:

 (noun receiving action) + (action/verb) + (optional indirect object).

Take a look at these examples:

Active:  Maria (noun performing the action) ate (the action) an orange (object receiving the action).

Passive: An orange (noun) was eaten (the action) by Maria (the optional indirect object).

When you write in active form, your article will look more clear and direct. Passive voice makes sentence dull and weak and complicated.

2. Use literal and concrete language

Ornamented language or abstract language is good but only for fictions and poems. Whenever you are writing a persuasive essay, make it clear and use direct language. You must exclude the use of similes, metaphors, alliteration, hyperboles, litotes, and various other literary techniques. The aim of writing a persuasive essay is to be easily understood. If your language is abstract, then it will become tough to read, instead of creating any literary work focus to make your essay an example to support your argument.

Also while writing avoids vague language. Don’t write something like, ” I know how to do all the things” such sentences keep readers wondering. They will wonder, “What things.” Use concrete and specific language. Do not leave your readers to imagine anything. Your aim is to give a clear picture of your topic.

3. Be concise

Long sentences are hard to retain in mind. According to me, you should not write sentences more than a line or two. You should not write 10 words if you can explain it in 5. Also when you write a paragraph do not exaggerate it more. Also, write every sentence with some sort of significance. Do not write anything copy-pasted. College admission officers can see it very easily.

4. Be careful with placement of descriptive words and phrases

When you are writing formally, place adjectives and descriptive phrases closer to the nouns. Otherwise, your text will become difficult to read. This can also lead to misconstrued meaning.

5. Do not use abbreviations or contractions

Keep this rule in mind while writing a formal piece. Contractions are good for conversational language. If you write it in the formal piece of work, then it will become informal and inappropriate. Same goes with the abbreviation; it makes the text less readable. Abbreviations are unclear not everyone has the same understanding of it.

6. Avoid repetition

In a formal piece of writing you present your views in different ways. You come up with different points to support your views. But never ever present the same point in different ways. If your sentences say similar things, then your text will become boring to read, and readers will lose interest. They will think that you are not capable of producing a good essay.

You should also need to keep in mind that adjectives should not be repetitive. If you use the same adjective in every line then also your work will become monotonous. Feel free to take online dictionary help to get the vocabulary right.

7. Keep grammar and punctuations correct

Whenever you are making a formal writing work, keep grammar correct. Your work will be of no use, and people do not show interest in reading it if it is grammatically incorrect. Also, keep your punctuation correct. Excessive use of punctuation will also disrupt the flow of the text.

8. Do not exaggerate

To make your piece of writing extraordinary, you need to stop unnecessary exaggeration completely. If the reader sees any obvious exaggeration, he/she will lose faith in your text. Exaggerations will lead to mistrust which any writer doesn’t want.

I hope these eight points will help you to understand the concept of formal writing. I have made these points with some personal experiences and research. Even still if you find difficult to complete an essay or find yourself in tough situation, go for online assignment help and get ready made an essay on time.


It is time to wrap up this blog. Let’s have a look in short on the topics we have discussed in this blog. First, we started with introduction of what is formal writing. The second thing is the purpose of formal writing and the audience to whom you are going to give. The third thing is different writing styles. In this section, you have seen various styles of writing that usually people use.  After that, there are uses of formal writing format. The fifth thing is techniques of formal writing for students. after this, I have discussed types of formal writing assignments. Here I have to give description of different types of formal writing. In the end, I have described the tips for formal writing to help students to learn the way how to write formally. I hope you find this blog helpful. Please provide us feedback on this blog.

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