How To Write a Proper Essay: Structure your Language Formally


Writing academically is not the same as writing casually or for pleasure. It is definitely worlds away from writing a text or simple email. If the majority of your written correspondences have been in those arenas in the past it will be necessary for you to learn many rules in order to construct a proper essay from scratch it will be difficult at first but then, most things are difficult the first time around and become steadily less so as time goes by and you acquire new skills. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind to keep your language more formal.

  1. Don’t use contractions
    Yes, the contraction in the title was intentional. The English language is full of delightful contractions that take two words and make one. They are useful in spoken language and can even help tell the difference between a native speaker and someone who has learned the language in a purely academic setting. You may not be grammatically incorrect for using contractions in an essay but it makes the tone appear far more informal which can distract from your message in some settings. For that reason you should avoid them in academic writing.
  2. Adjust your tone
    There are things you can say to your friends, family and lovers that simply have no place in an essay that is meant to be graded by people who have no bonds with you. Your tone should not be too friendly as a result. Greetings such as “Hey” have no place here. Your essay should not beg, it should use strong evidence to convince. If any thanks are necessary make sure that they do not overstep the bounds of the student teacher relationship.
  3. Eliminate all incidences of slang
    You may be hip to all the latest slang that the young kids are using nowadays but when it comes to writing an essay, you will be expected to use the Queen’s English, or at least the American equivalent. Even worse, accidental inclusion of text speak can result in failure if your professor is strict enough. It is fairly difficult to play off the word ‘imo’ when you intended to state “in my opinion” quite clearly. Thorough proofreading can eliminate slips like this.

These are only the tip of the iceberg that is formal writing but following these rules should get you off on the right footing to a proper essay.