The following guidelines should allow you to maintain an official writing voice in your essays.

The following guidelines should allow you to maintain an official writing voice in your essays.

Have you ever attended a meeting for which «formal» attire is expected? You probably did not wear old jeans with holes when you look at the knees, a tee that is stained promoting your preferred beverage, and a set of sandals. You almost certainly chose more attire that is formal.

You do not know, would you use the same kind of language you use when talking with friends if you were giving an important speech to a group of people? Most likely not. Recognizing your lack of understanding of the audience, the necessity of the occasion, your aspire to demonstrate your understanding associated with subject, additionally the impression you desire to make, you could possibly use an even more voice that is formal your speech than what you would use when talking with close friends.

For several regarding the essays you write with this course, you should use a writing voice that is formal. You need to use the type of language you would use when giving an important speech, not the type of language you may use when talking with close friends. A formal tone helps establish the writer’s respect for the audience and shows that the writer is intent on his / her topic. It’s the variety of tone that educated people use when chatting with other educated people. Most academic writing uses a formal tone.

1. Do not use pronouns that are first-person»I,» «me,» «my,» «we,» «us,» etc.).

Making use of these expressions in analytical and persuasive essays will make the writing wordy, will make the writer seem less confident of his / her ideas, and will provide the essay an informal tone. Use of first-person pronouns is unnecessary within the forms of essays you might be writing for the course. Readers will know that they’re reading your ideas, beliefs, or opinions, and that means you don’t need to state, «I think that,» «I think that,» or «in my opinion.» Simply delete these expressions from sentences, and you will be left with stronger sentences.

Example
I think that this character is confused.
This character is confused.
(the 2nd sentence is less wordy, sounds more formal, and conveys a more confident tone.)

«One,» «the reader,» «readers,» «the viewer,» or something like that similar sometimes can be utilized effectively as opposed to first-person pronouns in formal papers, but take care not to overuse these expressions. You intend to sound formal, not awkward and stiff.

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

2. Avoid readers that are addressing «you.»

Addressing readers using second-person pronouns («you, your») will make an essay sound informal and certainly will bring assumptions into an essay which are not true. A student once wrote in her own essay, «If you wear a tube top, guys might genuinely believe that you are easy.» I wondered why the learning student would genuinely believe that I, a male, has on a tube top. As with first-person pronouns, second-person pronouns may be replaced by words such as «one,» «the reader,» «readers,» and «the viewer.»

3. Avoid the utilization of contractions.

Contractions are shortened versions of words that use apostrophes instead of letters, such as for instance «can’t,» «isn’t,» «she is,» and «wouldn’t.» The more formal, non-contracted versions are «cannot,» «is not,» «she is,» and «would not.» You might be surprised by how much better a sentence can sound if non-contracted versions for the expressed words replace the contractions.

Example
the type is not conscious that he is surrounded by people he can’t 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 get the contractions and replace these with the non-contracted versions of the words.

4. Avoid colloquialism essay writer and slang expressions.

Colloquial diction is informal language utilized 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 group of «slang.» While slang words often are vivid and expressive, slang comes and goes quickly, another reason why slang should really be avoided in formal writing. Both colloquialism and slang expressions convey an informal tone and should be avoided in formal writing.

Example
The guy was nailed for ripping off a liquor store.
The person 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 man who robbed the shop is regarded as to be a «gentleman.» Likewise, «the lady was convicted of robbing a liquor store» would cause readers to probably wonder why a lady who robs a liquor store is recognized as to be a «lady.»

5. Avoid nonstandard diction.

Nonstandard diction relates to expressions that are not considered legitimate words according to your rules of Standard English usage. Nonstandard diction includes «ain’t,» «theirselves,» «hisself,» «anyways,» «alot» (the accepted version is «a lot»), and «alright» (the accepted version is «all right»). Most good dictionaries will identify such expressions because of the word «Nonstandard.» Because nonstandard expressions generally are not seen as legitimate words, these expressions are marked by me in essays as samples of «inaccurate word choice.»

6. Avoid abbreviated versions of words.

For example, instead of writing «photo,» «phone» and «TV,» write «photograph,» «telephone,» and «television.»

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

As the writer might use formal diction in such sentences, a lot of short and easy sentences could make an essay sound informal, as though the writer just isn’t recognizing that the audience is capable of reading and understanding more complicated and longer sentences. Short and simple sentences can be utilized effectively in formal writing, but heavy reliance on such sentences reflects poorly on the writer and gives the writing an tone that is informal.

Final Comments

Do not confuse formal diction with 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 for instance computer technicians).

You must not sound «artificial» while you use formal diction. Instead, consider that different situations require different uses of language and that educated people are able to adapt their utilization 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 based on the writing or speaking situation. Throughout your word choice in essays, you can portray yourself as an person that is intelligent is conscious of your audience–a set of well-educated people whom that you don’t know. Imagine the kind of language that you could use in a job interview for an job that is important. With formal diction, you are able to express yourself clearly, accurately, and effectively, without depending on the sort of language which you might use within less formal situations.

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