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How to write a formal essay

When writing an essay, you should pay attention to the style you use. Yet sometimes, you get stuck when you need to write a formal essay. So, our essay writing service would like to share tips on how to write an outstanding formal essay paper.

What is a formal essay?

To see the difference, let us find out what an informal essay is. Formal essays are usually written for enjoyment. Here some grammar or punctuation rules might not be followed. On the other hand, a formal essay is a paper written formally using substantial vocabulary. The grammar and punctuation should be strictly followed. The formal essay must include facts, and there is no room for creativity.

The key differences between formal and informal essays

The vocabulary
If you compare formal and informal essays written on the same topic, the second one will be shorter. It happens so since when you are writing in a formal style, you are intended to use a formal vocabulary with longer words and more complex constructions. In formal style, phrasal verbs are rarely used. Also, if you have a choice between simplified and more complex terms, you need to choose the longer one.

Passive voice
When you are writing in the informal style, you should try to use active voice rather than passive. The informal essays are more personal, and formal ones are representing facts.

Slang and slang expressions
In formal style, slang expressions are a tabu. You should never use idioms and similar expressions. Only formal vocabulary and language of specifics are be used.

The use of various abbreviations is so-called lazy writing that is not okay for a formal writing style. Of course, if it is the name of an organization or a Latin expression (like “etc.”), you can use them in your essay paper. Yet, there are abbreviated forms that are prohibited in a formal essay. These are “I’m,” “he’s,” “they’ve,” and so on. All these abbreviations must be written in full, so in your formal essay, they should be “I am,” “he is,” “they have.”

Appeals in the formal writing
The informal writing’s primary feature is the use of “I.” It is a first-person appeal, and it allows the writer to improvise. In formal style, we use “we” and follow a stricter style. Moreover, formal essays are not addressing anyone. That is why imperative constructions are replaced with passive voice constructions.

The structure of formal essay

Every formal essay follows a particular structure, and it is standard. Here are the parts of the academic paper:

  1. Essay title, its name. The topic of the formal essay should reflect the contents. It should be standard and catchy.
  2. Introduction. Any formal essay should have an introductory paragraph. In this paragraph, you should describe the topic of the essay paper. There should be 3 to 4 sentences that cover the primary theme of your essay. The section must contain your thesis statement.
  3. Main body. This part consists of two to three paragraphs. It describes the essence of the work. You need to clear the topic, provide arguments, and answer them. It should contain direct and clear sentences.
  4. Conclusion. The last part of your essay should sum up your topic. You need to summarize the whole paper in five-four sentences.

As you see, the formal essay structure does not differ from the informal one. The difference lies in the language used.

Formal essay writing: the active vocabulary

As we mentioned before, formal writing is different from informal in the patterns used. There are a lot of common phrases used in these papers. Here are some phrases you should add to your vocabulary when writing a formal essay paper:

  • “It would seem that…” to express disagreement.
  • “It could be argued that…” to challenge the statement.
  • “This supports the idea…” to provide an additional argument to your statement.
  • “In view of all that has been mentioned so far…” to summarize everything you wrote before.
  • “This proves that…”, “it leads to the conclusion that,” and “This suggests that…” to give the results of the studies.

There are even more language patterns you can use in your formal writing. These can be found online. Also, it is a good idea to take notes when conducting the research of academic literature. You can find many formal language patterns in scientific publications, books, and pieces of research. They can help make your formal writing diverse.

How to write a formal essay on six steps

Now you know more about the language and features of formal essay writing, and you are ready to start. So, it is time to learn about writing to follow, which does not differ from the informal one. And practice makes perfect.

Choose the topic of your essay. Of course, you might be assigned a topic by your teacher, and you can skip this step. But if you have a choice, you need to pick the one that is interesting to you. The formal essay task does not mean that you need to be bored with your research and writing. Yet, you should always remember that formal essays are different from informal ones, and you cannot write about your first day at school or something similar.

Craft a thesis statement. The thesis statement is your opinion that is aimed to present the main idea of your essay. It should answer the question that you choose for your paper. You should put your thesis statement into the first paragraph of your essay – introduction.

Create an introduction. Here it is time to share the information you are planning to include in your essay body. The final sentence of your introduction is your thesis statement. The introduction’s primary goal is to show your readers what they will find later on while reading.
Write the body of your essay. Each idea or theory you cover in your formal essay paper should be disclosed in a new paragraph. And each section should address your thesis statement from the introduction.

Summarize in conclusion. Never include new information in this part of your essay. Instead, you need to show that your thesis statement was proven. Introduction if it is appropriately written will help you with that.

Review edit and format. We decided not to divide these three into steps since they relate to each other. First, you need to get rid of clutter in your essay. Remove unnecessary information, correct language, and make sure that your paper reads smoothly and grabs attention. Correct all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes and re-check them with different tools to ensure there are no errors in the paper. Use the dictionary of something seems unclear. Always scan your writing with plagiarism software. Lastly, format the paper and check the citing.

Writing a formal essay: final thoughts

As you see, formal essay writing does not significantly differ from informal ones. You follow the same structure, similar steps to writing, editing, and proofreading. When writing a formal essay, you should always remember that it has its own unique features. These are language patterns used, abbreviations, appeals, and other things we discussed in this article.
Hopefully, our tips help you in your formal writing and it will be easier for you to craft a perfect formal essay next time.

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