Formality in academic writing refers to the language you use to express your ideas and requires you to communicate differently to how you would in everyday situations.

Learning to write using formal academic language means that you sound like a serious member of your academic community and your ideas and research should be taken seriously.

Let’s look at some examples of authentic student writing from the BAWE corpus. The examples have been amended to include typical academic style errors. 

Task: Read the example below from a case study for mental health nursing, what do you think about the academic style of this writing?

What did you think?

A tutor gave the student some feedback on their academic style below. 

Task: Read the feedback below to see if your opinion of the essay was similar or different.