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

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

Have you ever attended a conference for which “formal” attire is anticipated? You most likely failed to wear old jeans with holes in the knees, a tee that is stained promoting your preferred beverage, and a couple of sandals. You almost certainly chose more formal attire.

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 viewers, the importance of the occasion, your need to demonstrate your knowledge associated with the subject, together with impression you may like to make, you could possibly use a far more voice that is formal your speech than what you should use when talking with good friends.

For many for the essays you write with this course, you need to use a formal writing voice. You need to use the kind of language you would use when giving an important speech, not the kind of language you might use when talking with close friends. A tone that is formal establish the writer’s respect for the audience and suggests that the writer is seriously interested in his / her topic. It is the type or sorts of tone that educated people use when chatting with other educated people. Most academic writing uses a tone that is formal.

1. Do not use first-person pronouns (“I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” “us,” etc.).

Using these expressions in analytical and persuasive essays could make the writing wordy, will make the writer seem less confident of his / her ideas, and may provide the essay an tone that is informal. Use of first-person pronouns is unnecessary when you look at the kinds of essays you might be writing for the course. Readers will know that they are reading your thinking, beliefs, or opinions, and that means you do not need to state, “I think that,” “I think that,” or “in my opinion.” Simply delete these expressions from sentences, and you shall be left with stronger sentences.

Example
i believe 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 similar sometimes may be used effectively instead of first-person pronouns in formal papers, but be careful not to overuse these expressions. You intend to sound formal, not awkward and stiff.

i could sense the smoothness’s confusion.

2. Avoid addressing readers as “you.”

Addressing readers using pronouns that are second-person”you, your”) can make an essay sound informal and can bring assumptions into an essay that aren’t 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 believe 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 instance “one,” “the reader,” “readers,” and “the viewer.”

3. Steer clear of the use 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 may be surprised by simply how much better a sentence can sound if non-contracted versions regarding the words replace the contractions.

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

Making your writing more formal by avoiding contractions is simple: just discover the contractions and replace these with the non-contracted versions regarding the words.

4. Avoid slang and colloquialism expressions.

Colloquial diction is informal language used in everyday speech and includes such words as “guys,” “yeah,” “stuff Read Full Report,” “kind of,” “okay,” and “big deal.” Highly informal diction, such as “freak out” and “dissing,” falls to the category of “slang.” While slang words often are vivid and expressive, slang comes and goes quickly, another reason why slang should be avoided in formal writing. Both colloquialism and slang expressions convey an tone that is informal should always be avoided in formal writing.

Example
The guy was nailed for ripping off a liquor store.
The guy 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 store is known as to be a “gentleman.” Likewise, “the lady was convicted of robbing a liquor store” would probably cause readers to wonder why a lady who robs a liquor store is regarded as to be a “lady.”

5. Avoid nonstandard diction.

Nonstandard diction relates to expressions which 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 complete lot”), and “alright” (the accepted version is “all right”). Most good dictionaries will identify such expressions utilizing 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 simple sentences.

Even though the writer might use diction that is formal such sentences, way too many short and easy sentences can make an essay sound informal, just as if the writer is not recognizing that the audience is capable of reading and understanding more complex and longer sentences. Short and simple sentences can be used effectively in formal writing, but heavy reliance on such sentences reflects poorly on the writer and gives the writing an informal tone.

Final Comments

Try not to confuse formal diction with presumptuous diction (the sort 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 that 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 writing that is different speaking voices, plus one voice is not any more “genuine” than another. Instead, the different voices reflect choices in line with the writing or situation that is speaking. Through your word choice in essays, it is possible to portray yourself as an person that is intelligent is conscious of your audience–a set of well-educated people whom you do not know. Imagine the kind of language that you may used in a job interview for an job that is important. With formal diction, it is possible to express yourself clearly, accurately, and effectively, without depending on the type of language that you may use within less situations that are formal.

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