When Should We Write Formally and Informally?

Raden Ayu Lefiana
2 min readMar 31, 2022

Is there really a place to write formally and informally?

The answer is:

Yes, there is. We write formally for academic, legal, business, and other professional purposes. Meanwhile, we write informally for our personal enjoyment or other casual reasons. But, why is that?

Well, because formal and informal writing styles has a lot of differences, from the sentence structures, the language voice, even the pronouns used on both styles are very different. Their differences created a different tone in your writing and help you achieve different goals in your writing.

In writing formally, the tone should and will be polite. It means, you have to thoughtfully make sure your choice of words are proper enough for your piece of formal writing. This isn’t the case with informal writing, where the words used are a bit or perhaps very much loose, friendly, and casual. Slang and cliche is allowed in informal writing, but a big no no in formal writing.

We have to use third person pronoun while avoiding first and second person singular pronouns in formal writing style, but it is accepted in informal writing. Another thing to avoid in the formal style of writing is repetition and over-generalisation, while those are pretty common in informal writing, including the use of personal and very subjective opinions. Passive voice is used in writing formally and active voice is used in writing informally. The language in formal writing is also formulaic, while in informal writing, the language is very direct.

When you write formally, your claims and statements are required to have evidence-based justifications. You are also prohibited to use statistics without providing references. Everything in your writing should be objective, properly justified, and supported by data-based proofs and experts. Meanwhile, all of those are simply a non-issue when you write informally.

In conclusion, all of that sets the tone in your writing. You are required to phrased your words and organise your writing in a certain type of way to achive either formal or informal style. Your tone will have to be professional and official in formal writing, while being personal and friendly for informal writing. Both styles are used a lot in our every day lives, but in different places and situations. To really determine when you should write formally or informally, you can simply think of two things: who is your reader and what is the topic? When you are faced with serious topic, whether academic, legal-related, or business, it means you will need to be very objective, thus, the formal writing style is the proper one for such situations. On the other hand, when you write to your relatives and friends, discussing about light topics, then informal writing is suitable.



Raden Ayu Lefiana

2223200085. Class 4B. English Language Education Student at the University of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa.