Essays are generally authors own point of view or an argument regarding the subject that he/she is talking about. Essays are distinguished into two categories formal and informal category. Essays written by students on various topics such as social issues, environmental matters, adapting to changes, technology up gradation and its role in our lives, how to overcome fears and deal with stress, famous monuments and their stories etc, are the common topics that school students work on and such topics come under formal essays. Topics like a review of a novel, experiencing joy, a trip to your favorite destination, learning a new skill or activity, your experience in summer camp, competing in a difficult exam, best lived moment etc, are the topics written by students for homework, school magazine, and such topics come under informal essays. Formal and informal essays are written differently.
The major difference between formal and informal essays – Using the type of language or to be the more clear choice of words, sentence framing, tense used and choice of person (first person, second person, third person) play an important role in distinguishing them.
In the case of the informal essay, the choice of words is quite simple. Jargon words are avoided. Everything is mechanically put. The essay is written in the third person and the tense used is according to your content and time period. Stick to one particular tense. Don’t shift tenses because it’s one of the most distracting things for readers to endure. Sentence structure used for writing a formal essay is simple and short -consists of a noun, a verb and naming a word.
In the informal essay, the choice of words put to use are fancier and its presented in a story format. It’s written for enjoyment. The sentence structure is more of long, relaxed style, less rigid and the kind of tense put to use is again according to the content and time period. Informal essay is written in conversational style its as though the writer is directly speaking to the reader.
These are all the basic points used in distinguishing the format between formal and informal essay.
To make your essay worth reading be it formal or informal there are ways and methods to make them attractive and readable.
A. Collecting Information
To begin with – gather information, read books, online research, analysis of a news piece etc are some ways to gather information or collect facts for your topic. Suppose your teacher prescribes you to go to the library and have a read on your topic, it’s worthwhile because you may find something extra that will give depth, breadth and new perspective to your argument.
B. Make An Outline
Before you start writing it is important to plan how you are going to put forth your argument. This is the most important and yet the most neglected step by students. Poor structure of the sentence, unclear lines of argument, is clear signs for you to practice outlining your essay or planning.
1) To begin with be sure of what you are going to convey in the beginning. It is always better to give an idea about the essence of your essay to the reader.
2) Second, re-read whatever you have written. If you think that you have misplaced your ‘main point’ or if you feel some information is missing or some facts need to re-checked – organize whatever you feel can make your essay easy to read. Plan out your thoughts before you put them into a sentence. Put your thoughts in sections and link your ideas together.
3) Next, fill the skeleton order by order. Decide what will be your conclusion because an abrupt ending is what irritates the reader.
C. Writing Style, Vocabulary, and Context
Your writing style can be anything as pink and flowery or as scientific and direct. However to get good grades it is imperative for you to be precise and style-wise there are two types of wrongness, one is over- complication and vagueness. The subject on which you have written your essay has its own vocabulary and learning that is essential. The small words are small details of the essay when linked gives the entire picture of your essay so you need to know the meaning of those small words. Before you use any word you need to know what it means and think about the context you are putting them. The meaning of the word with the context you are wanting to portrait should go rightly or else the reader would perceive a different idea of your essay. Use terms that help you contribute the development of essay and nothing of the flow is lost.
D. Punctuation and Good Grammar
Any professor or any teacher would not want to read an essay that is poorly constructed with poor grammar. Employ you sentences with good grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Precise and sophisticated sentences make the world of difference. Effective punctuation is essential to convey your arguments.
E. Tone of Voice
The tone of the voice helps in constructing a better essay. Read through your old essays if they are not absorbing and engaging then you haven’t used the right tone. Essays can be interesting if you establish a confident tone of voice and a confident voice tone assures the reader that you know what you are talking about and that they are in the safe hands.
F. Active Editing And Proofreading
Don’t submit your article without editing it. Check out for some common trouble areas in your final draft. Eliminate unnecessary words. When proofreading the spell checker will not tell the word you used is the right word. Check for commonly confused words and common errors online to help you use the correct word in your essay.