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What are some differences between academic and personal writing?

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Quick Answer

Some of the differences between academic and personal writing, also known as formal or informal writing, include the varying rules about the use of contractions. Academic writing makes use of complex sentences, while personal writing does not, and academic writing focuses more on word choice. Academic writing does not contain slang or colloquialisms, but personal writing does.

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Full Answer

In academic writing, the use of contractions is forbidden. However, in personal writing, contractions are acceptable and are often used. It is not uncommon to find short and direct sentences when reading personal writing. In academic writings, the use of short sentences is minimal, and the use of complex sentences is usually heavy. Slang or colloquialisms are never used in academic writing, while it is very common to see it in personal writing.

Formal writing includes documents such as essays, thesis papers and business correspondences. Formal writing is used in newspapers, magazines and published journals. Every library contains academic, or formal, writing. Academic writing is often used for professional purposes, and the rules must be followed carefully.

Personal, or informal, writing includes personal emails, text messages and personal journals. Informal writing may also include a personal blog or social media chat conversation among friends. Social Media and text messaging add to the growing popularity of informal writing styles. In some cases, there are very few rules associated with personal writing.

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