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Elements of Formal Writing

Thursday, January 3, 2013
by

Ms. Guthier

on 4 September 2013

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Transcript of Elements of Formal Writing

Writing out Numbers
Spell out numbers under ten.
Write out numbers above ten NUMERICALLY.

Examples:
one class
ten people
13 monkeys
5,280 feet in one mile
Contractions
What are they?
Contractions are words that are combined and use an apostrophe.

can't, won't, shouldn't, would've...etc...

Contractions are inappropriate to use in formal writing.

When in doubt, write it out!
The Use of "I"
Do not use any form of "I" in formal writing.


Examples:
"I think this is an important part in the novel because..."
"We really enjoyed the interview."
"This interview was important to me."
"I'm going to tell you about my aunt."

How can you use these ideas, but omit the "I?"
Tense and Point of View
Formal essays should ALWAYS be written in third person point of view.
Formal essays should ALWAYS be written in present tense.

WRONG: Salinger's use of specific diction enhanced the voice of his protagonist and leads me to relate to Holden.

CORRECT: Salinger's use of specific diction enhances the voice of his protagonist and leads the reader to relate to Holden.
MLA Format
Modern Language Association

Citation and formatting rules

*English Studies- Language and Literature
*Foreign Language and Literature
*Literary Criticism
*Comparative Literature
*Cultural Studies
Elements
of Formal Writing

Comma Splices
Comma splices are a common mistake among writers, and they are very easy to fix.

Comma splices are when commas are separating two sentences or independent clauses.

This is my my best friend, her name is Kelsay.

I ran to the mall, it was crowded.

Correction: Use either a period or a semicolon.
Run-On Sentences
Run- on sentences exist when there is an absence of internal punctuation, and there are separate thoughts, phrases, clauses going on.

Ew: The airport is about to shut down because of the snow and if the plane doesn't land soon it will have to go on to Boston.

How can you fix these? semi-colons, periods, commas depending on the information in the sentence

Fix these!
The show begins at 7:30 make sure you're there before 7:15.

Throughout history money and religion were closely linked there was little distinction between government and religion.
Tense Shifts
It is important that you stay in the same tense in formal writing (and really most forms of writing).
Idiomatic Phrases
An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning
that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words
"back to square one"
"kick the bucket"
"tie the knot"
"under the weather"
Full transcript