A formal writing style is one that is used for business, legal or professional purposes. It is used when writing for academic, professional, and legal purposes. An informal writing style is used when we are writing for some personal or casual reasons. It is used when writing personal emails, text messages, letters to friends and family, etc. Writing for professional purposes is likely to require the formal style, although individual communications can use the informal style once you are familiar with the recipient. These are just some of the differences between formal and informal writing. The main thing to remember is that both are correct, it is just a matter of tone and setting.
Dissimilarities between Formal and Informal Writing
- A formal piece of writing is used when we do not have any idea of the person, or when we know the person but haven’t exchanged words, or we are not having familiar terms with the person who receives the letter.
- Formal writing is that form of writing which is used for the business, legal, academic, or professional purpose.
- In formal writing, interjections are usually avoided, and so exclamation marks are not used.
- In a formal piece of writing, when we refer to audience 1st person plural or third person singular is used.
- Formal words: Avoid using colloquial words/expressions (substitute with children, man/boy, wonderful, many, etc.)
- The informal style of writing is used for personal and casual conversation, wherein friendly and colloquial language is used. In an informal writing style, personal and emotional tone is used, and the reader is directly referred by the words ‘you’ or ‘your’.
- On the other hand, informal writing is one which is used for personal or casual purpose.
- In informal writing, interjections are commonly used.
- Informal piece of writing, we use 1st person singular form to refer to the audience.
- Informal words: May use colloquial words/expressions (kids, guy, awesome, a lot, etc.).
Both formal and informal writing is used in our day to day life but in different situations. We just need to think about the reader and the topic of your discussion, before choosing the writing style. When the topic is quite serious and objective, the formal writing style is suitable. It is also used when the write up is addressed to some respectable person or institution. On the other hand, informal writing is best suited when you are communicating with your family, friends, and acquaintances. Formal English is used mainly in academic writing and business communications, whereas Informal English is casual and is appropriate when communicating with friends and other close ones.