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When writing in a particular genre and to a particular audience, one important consideration is the level of formality of your writing.  For instance, the type of language typically used in texting differs significantly than that used in email and even more significantly than that used in an academic essay.  Even if you are writing in the same genre, say an email message, your language should change depending on your audience.  For instance, you would write an email differently to a friend than to a professor.

Here are some characteristics of different genres of writing:




Reflection activities

1. Brainstorm some additional informal/formal word pairs.

2. Compare an email that you wrote to a friend or family member and one that you have written to a professor.  Did you adapt your language for the different audiences?  If not, what could you have done differently to write to the more formal audience of your professor?

3. Why do you think expressions like “I think” and “In my opinion” are generally avoided in academic writing?

This page was created by Todd Ruecker in July 2010.
   
     

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