Formal Writing Guidelines and Examples (Expression of views (Avoid '…
Formal Writing Guidelines and Examples
Definition: accurate, polite, respectful, correct, true, serious and factual. No "written shortcuts".
: film review, employment contract
No contractions: don't - do not
No abbreviations: TV - television
No text spelling: cya or JK (just kidding)
No confusion between homophones: there vs their vs they're
Avoid common spelling mistakes: alot - a lot
Punctuation matters. Remember apostrophes! its - it's
Use punctuation: capitals, speech marks, full stops...
Use topic sentences
Add facts and evidence to be persuasive
Use third person.
Follow the number rule: If less than 10 write in full. Therefore: eight, one, 14, 256.
Dates are written as in the newspaper: 25 May, 1980
Structure and Syntax
Avoid changing tense
Vary sentence beginnings
Use compound and complex sentences
Structure ideas into paragraphs. One idea per paragraph
Use link words: in addition, on the other hand
Develop ideas using SEXY - add evidence.
Expression of views
Avoid 'I' statements: In my opinion...I think...
Use reported speech: The skipper agreed, "It was not a problem."
Acknowledge sources of info: According to Dr Smith...
Avoid cliche's (common expressions): make no mistake, turned a blind eye, at the end of the day
Avoid emotive phrases which alienate readers: It was a
thing to do becomes we are all guilty of foolish decisions.
Avoid sexist language (put downs): Wife of a Bears' lineman wins a bronze medal today in the Rio Olympics [defined by the success of her husband instead of her own]
Only use generalisations if you can prove them: So not: All cyclists take steroids
No colloquialisms or slang: mean as, bro
No acronyms: BLT sandwich
No unexplained jargon: USB, cache, cookies, defrag, phishing, adware, CSS
Do not use euphemisms: died rather than passed away
Grammar & Punctuation
Subject and verb match
If you begin a sentence with a conjunction, you will need a comma.
Do not use apostrophes for plural nouns.
If you are asking a question, ensure you use a ?