How to write a formal essay: definitions and forms

How to write a formal essay

Speaking about formal style in writing we commonly mean advancedvocabulary, sophisticated sentences, scientific tone and othermajor league aspects. We know that formal writing is required forsuch official occasions as academic papers, speeches, lectures,reports or ceremonial events.

But do we know all the specifics about this kind of writing? Canwe perform brilliant formal papers that impress one and all? Havewe any ideas how to write a formal essay? Can we express theviewpoints accordingly? If you have more NO-answers, thisguideline is right up your alley! Let’s get started!

A formal essay serves two main goals: to inform or persuade theaudience about the argument you have drawn while researching thetopic.

Essentials for formal papers

To follow academic writing standard means to write using formal,impersonal language and avoid colloquial vocabulary andreferencing to feelings and personalities. But this is only thetop of the iceberg. Assuming that you have fairly good skills forwriting in a formal style, they may seem insufficient forproducing first-rate academic papers.

That is because you need to have a better command in three moreaspects:

  • Style. Despite the difference in vocabulary, each academicdiscipline requires the peculiar manner of writing. For instance,Science essays work better if written in short paragraphs filledin with factual information. Paragraphs in such kinds of essaysmay not include a topic sentence. Most Humanities disciplinesexpect students to write longer paragraphs with a topic sentence.The majority of the university subjects do not accept thefirst-person narrative, while a few disciplines allow somepersonalized writing.
  • Technical vocabulary. Your language directly depends on theconcepts that are specific to your study area. Whether it islinguistics, economics, history or physics, the vocabulary cannotbe the same. Therefore, you should acquire a good stock oftechnical words for adequate writing within your academicdiscipline.
  • Structure. If you think that all academic subjects requireusing a common essay structure, you are far from the truth. Thereare many other genres which you need to compose your paper, forexample, you may be asked to write a report, a proof, a casestudy, a review, etc.

How to sound formal

How to write a formal essay

Every educated person is expected to be able to use a formalstyle for reports, official papers and letters, scholarlyarticles, presentations, etc. It will be easy to cope with avariety of official writing challenges if you know theseessentials:

  • Writing in the third person. First-person narration, as wellas second-person writing, is acceptable for informal papers. Allformal styles expect you to write in third-person as it actuallymakes the paper sound formal and serious. Keep in mind thatformal style allows facts rather than emotions and opinions. Whensaying “I think”, you express your personal view while aprofessor wants you to build your arguments on the researchedfacts.
  • Full words instead of contractions (for example, it will –it’ll, they are – they’re, cannot - can't).
  • Keep your writing as plain as possible. Long vague statementscan mislead the reader off your point. Do you need a bored andtired reader who is losing the interest in your topic with everywordy sentence?
  • A topic sentence in each body paragraph
  • No clichés. What is fine for everyday conversation should beavoided in formal writing. Figures of speech, idioms and proverbsseem to sound powerful but not in formal essays. Most of them cando a disservice to your paper as the readers may fail tounderstand them. Their meaning is not immediately obvious andoften can be confusing for them. Filling your writing with suchidioms as “fall on deaf ears”, “by hook or crook” or “bitterend”, you should think carefully what their purpose is. To addmore colour? To make the statement more impressive? To deepen thefeeling? All of these aims are beyond the focus of the formalpaper. Official style supposes using evidential facts and otherreliable data rather than pompous phrases to produce animpression on the reader.
  • No slang and humour.
  • More passive constructions than in informal writing but nottoo many.
  • Observe grammar rules. This is a must for every style.However, formal papers are thoroughly examined for suchinappropriateness. That is why you have to proofread your paperuntil it has no grammar mistakes, lapses or typos. For this, useonline grammar and spelling checkers. However, it is better tohire a professional editor or ask your English teacher to reviewthe paper.
  • Proper citation and referencing. Do this according to theformat of your paper (more info about citation styles is at essaywriting tips section).

Formal vocabulary vs informal vocabulary

Students willing to learn how to write a formal essay should payattention to the language they use.

Your paper will meet academic requirements if your evaluationsare more cautious and less emotional. Thus, such strongadjectives as splendid, useless, horrible should be replaced withmoderate words: excellent or well-formed, ineffective orunproductive, problematic or appalling. It is not good if yourstatements sound absolutely positive or categorically negative.For example, the word “wrong” has more graded equivalents such as“less convincing”, “ungenuine” or “inaccurate”.

The following list will help you distinguish between official andcolloquial terms:

  • Somewhat – a little
  • Insufficient – not enough
  • Baby – offspring
  • Men – male
  • Try – endeavour
  • End- terminate
  • Stuff – items
  • Rude – abusive
  • Friendly – sociable
  • Rich – wealthy
  • Childish - Immature
  • Bad – unacceptable
  • Elderly people – retirees
  • Great – preferable
  • Need – require
  • Ask – request
  • Lab – laboratory
  • Put up with – tolerate
  • Also- moreover
  • Funny - amusing
  • Better - improved
  • Worse - Inferior
  • Whole – entire
  • Think about – consider
  • Really – extremely
  • A lot – a great deal
  • Call off – cancel
  • So – as a consequence
  • Go down – decrease
  • Speak to – address
  • Really big – considerable
  • Talk about – discuss
  • Think of – conceive
  • Lively – energetic
  • Break down – collapse
  • Let - permit
  • Handy – convenient

Best strategies for shining papers

  • Planning matters
  • Any serious paper requires in-depth insight into the issue.Although some students skip this stage especially when thedeadline is approaching, it is crucial to find time forbrainstorming. Think twice while choosing a topic and designingappropriate arguments. Be careful when deciding on what sourcesto use for your research. And try to make a clear, step-by-stepoutline for your first draft. How does it help? It simply makesyour paper look solid, well-structured, well-connected andelaborate.
  • The focus on variety
  • A hallmark of the effective academic writing is diverselanguage and sentences. Thus, try not to repeat a word or phrasetwice and use the different types of sentences and sentencepatterns in your paper. However, overusing vague scientific termsis not good either; just add a little variety to your languagewith the help of synonyms and antonyms and your ideas will getbrighter.
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Perhaps your first essay will be far from perfect. But themethod of trials and errors is actually more efficient than anyother theory regardless how solid it is. You may read numerousinstructions and watch loads of videos about skating but you willnever know how it works until you put on the skates and step ontothe rink. The same is with writing academic papers. You willunlikely learn how to write a formal essay unless you grab yourpen and conquer this paper on your own. The more writingexperience you gain, the stronger skills you acquire. The moreskillfully you write, the bigger chances for A-graded essays youhave!

Who can observe all formalities?

How to write a formal essay

When you have to attend some official occasion, you carefullychoose the outfit often seeking advice from your parents, friendsor other people whose opinion is important to you. You want tolook smart and correspond to the dress code invented for this orthat event. It could be quite challenging to find appropriateclothes for those who used to dress casually.

The same thing is with the formal papers. Without experience andmore or less good writing skills, it is impossible to produce adecent formal essay. If you still have no idea about the level offormality to use in your academic essay, you will find a helpinghand on this website.

Qualified writers and editors are at your service ready to fulfilany writing assignment within the time specified. Here you areoffered a diverse range of writing services from editing towriting papers from scratch. Do you want a formal essay? This isnot your issue anymore. Best writers will take care of your paperright away you place the order.

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.