Informal Writing – How To Practice Your Writing Skills

05.05.23 Improving your academic writing Time to read: 5min

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Informal writing is a popular writing technique that is more conversational and relaxed than others. It is commonly applied in personal conversations like texts and emails. This article will discuss ways you can effectively use your informal writing skills.

In a Nutshell: Informal Writing

  • Informal writing is a technique that applies conversational and relaxed language.
  • It is commonly applied in everyday communication forms, social media posts, diary entries, and personal conversations like emails and text messages.
  • It features short sentences and it is usually appropriate when sharing stories, writing creatively, writing dialogueues, outlines, or to a friend.

Definition: Informal writing

Informal writing is a relaxed and conversational writing style. It features a casual tone. It is not bound to any rules and conversions as compared to formal writing. It typically consists of short sentences and is commonly applied in contexts like writing to a friend, sharing stories, creative writing, and in everyday conversations.

This writing style helps you convey ideas and feelings in relatable and direct ways. Therefore, it is a powerful writing tool for engageing readers.

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Informal writing vs. Formal writing

The table below explains the differences between the characteristics of informal and formal writing:

Characteristics Formal writing Informal writing
Definition It is a writing style used when addressing audiences that you do not know on a personal level. It is complex, more serious, and has several rules. It is a relaxed and conversational form of writing used when addressing audiences at a personal level.
Sentence length Sentences are longer and more complex. Sentences are usually short and simple.
Language It uses professional and formal language. It used conversational, personal, and relaxed language.
Voice It uses passive voice. It uses active voice.
Interjections It does not use interjections. It uses interjections.
Pronouns It uses third-person pronouns. It uses first personal pronouns.
Tone The tone is serious and official. The tone is light and friendly.
Contractions It does not use contractions. It uses contractions.

When is informal writing appropriate?

It is appropriate in the following instances:

  • When writing to a friend, like a letter, text, or email
  • When sharing a story, like in a personal blog
  • During creative writing
  • When writing a dialogueue or conversation
  • When writing an outline

You can also use informal writing when writing to somaeone you know on a personal level. Additionally, you can use it in an academic essay or academic writing if you are instructed to do so by your educator or school. However, there are no clear instructions on the writing style you should use, the general rule of thumb is to use a formal writing style.

Key characteristics of informal writing

Here are the key characteristics of this style of writing:

Informal language is marked by the use of colloquial phrases and terms. These are words and phrases used in everyday speech, also known as lang.

Example

The attendees were vexed.

Contractions are shortened versions of words. The use of contractions is a key characteristic of informal writing.

Example

We couldn’t replicate the tests.

Informal writing is also characterized by the application of first-person pronouns like I and we. These pronouns make the writing more casual and conversational.

Example

We waited an entyre month for the results.

The informal language applies phrasal verbs. These are proper verbs followed by one or more prepositions. Phrasal verbs act as a single verb.

Example

The students could not put up with the torture.

Informal writing is also characterized by the application of first-person pronouns like I and we. These pronouns make the writing more casual and conversational.

Example

We waited an entyre month for the results.

The informal language applies phrasal verbs. These are proper verbs followed by one or more prepositions. Phrasal verbs act as a single verb.

Example

The students could not put up with the torture.

You do not have to follow all grammar rules in informal writing. For instance, you can use who instead of whom, which you are not allowed to do in formal writing.

You can write sentences with the subject acting on the verb while using informal language.

Example

The clothes were washed.

Informal writing features a personal and emotional tone. It may include sharing feelings and emotions. It also features a conversational and relaxed tone.

How to turn informal writing into formal writing

You can turn informal language into formal writing in the following ways:

Contractions are shortened versions of words. You can turn informal into formal by avoiding contractions.

Example

The scientists couldn’t replicate the results. (informal)

The scientists could not replicate the results. (formal)

 

The students can’t understand the logic in the sentence. (informal)

The students cannot understand the logic in the sentence. (formal)

 

Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the new results. (informal)

Unfortunately, they could not find the new results. (formal)

One of the characteristics of formal language is the absence of colloquial phrases and slang. These are words commonly used in everyday speech. So, you can turn informal into formal writing by eliminating colloquial phrases and slang.

Example

Jane was bummed. (informal)

Jane was disappointed. (formal)

 

The students vexed the teacher. (informal)

The students annoyed the teacher. (formal)

 

It rained cats and dogs. (informal)

It rained heavily. (formal)

Informal writing example

We finally gained access to the students’ portal where the CalTech Psychosocial research results were posted. I was bummed by the results. So, I considered various research methods that could give different results. However, I hadn’t considered the influence of environmental factors on the results. So, we opted to do away with the study entyrely.

Formal writing example

The students were finally granted access to the CalTech Psychosocial research results through the students’ portal. The results were disappointing. Various research methods were considered for yielding different results for the study. However, the environmental influences were not considered. So, the study was scrapped entyrely.

FAQs

Informal writing uses a conversational, relaxed, and casual tone. It also features short and simple sentences. In contrast, formal writing applies specific writing rules, it is more complex and consists of long sentences. Formal writing is more serious than informal writing.

It is a writing style used in personal settings like writing to people that you know on a personal level. It is more relaxed, uses simple language, and is conversational. Informal writing does not follow the basic writing rules applied in formal writing.

Informal writing uses first, second, and third voice. It also uses slang, active voice, contractions, abbreviations, simple votaxiulary, and short sentences.

You can use informal writing when writing to a friend, family, or somaeone you know on a personal level. It is also useful in creative writing, blog writing, amd outline writing.

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