Formal and Informal Writing: What’s the difference?

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We can communicate with people in different ways. We need to know our audience before communicating with someone. We should have a purpose to communicate and we should know what we want to communicate. We can communicate with the audience by writing or speaking. Written communication has two styles of writing i.e. formal writing style and informal writing style.

What kind of writing style we should use to communicate depends on our target audience and purpose of communication. If we want to communicate with friends or relatives, we should adopt informal writing style. If our target audience is a co-worker, stranger or person in authority; we should go for formal writing style. If our purpose of communication is to entertain, we should be informal. If our purpose of communication is to persuade, we should be formal. We can either be formal or informal while providing information depending on our target audience.

There are many differences between formal and informal writing which we should know to communicate effectively with our audience. Following are 14 rules which illustrates the difference between formal and informal writing:

Rule No. 1

Colloquial expressions/words can be used in informal writing. For example: guy, awesome and kids etc.

Colloquial expressions should be avoided in formal writing . We should use words like man, wonderful and children in formal writing.

Rule No. 2

Contractions can be used in informal writing. For example: can’t, won’t and shouldn’t etc.

Contractions should be avoided in formal writing . We should use full form of words. For example: can not, will not and should not etc.

Rule No. 3

Vague pronouns may be used in informal writing. There are two common kinds of vague pronoun reference. The first occurs when there is more than one word that the pronoun might refer to; the second, when the reference is to a word that is implied but not explicitly stated.

Formal writer should avoid beginning a sentence with It, But, So, And, This or vague pronouns.

Rule No. 4

Cliches may be used in informal writing. For Example: loads of and conspicuous by absence etc.

Cliches should be avoided in formal writing. Raining like cats and dogs, over the hill, back against the wall and under the gun are some examples of cliches.

Rule No. 5

First person, second person and third person can be used in informal writing. Readers may be addressed in second person as you or your’s.

Readers are addressed in third person in formal writing with exception of business letters where first person may be used. Reader may be addressed using one, one’s, the reader or the reader’s.

Rule No. 6

Abbreviations can be used in informal writing. For Example: TV, photo

Abbreviations, symbols or slang should be avoided in formal writing. Following abbreviations are considered offensive in formal writing:

& = and; with = w/, because = b/c; without = w/o

Some examples of internet and texting slangs are: d/l =download, OMG! = Oh My God! ; LOL = Laugh Out Loud

Rule No. 7

Informal writing requires clear and concise thesis statement.

Thesis statement should be clear and rationale in formal writing.

Rule No. 8

Imperative narration may be used in informal writing. For example: Remember…………..

Polite voice should be used in formal writing. For example: Please refer to……………

Rule No. 9

Active voice is used in informal writing. Example: The teacher graded the paper.

Passive voice may be used in formal writing. For example: The paper was graded/the paper was graded by the teacher.

Rule No. 10

Rhetorical questions are commonly used in informal writing. Example: How could I be so stupid? 

Rhetorical questions must be avoided if you are writing a formal essay or response.

Rule No. 11

Simple and short sentences should be used in informal writing.

Complex, related and long sentences should be used in formal writing.

Rule No. 12

Difficult subjects should be explained to the audience with full empathy in informal writing.

Points should be stated confidently in formal writing and arguments should be backed up with firm evidence.

Rule No. 13

Oxymorons and pleonasms are acceptable in informal writing.

Oxymorons and pleonasms ahould not be used in formal writing.

Rule No. 14

Direct quotes and indirect quotes should not be overused in formal writing as compared to informal writing. 

 

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Definition of Statistics– Data Collection & Sources of Data – Variable and Its Types

What is Statistics?

“The study of collection, presentation, analysis of data and drawing conclusion about parameter on basis of statistical inference is called Statistics”. Following is a block diagram that defines statistics:

statistics-definition

All four terms mentioned in bold in the above block diagram are defined below:

  • Population: “Any well-defined group of individuals/items/objects whose characteristics are to be studied is called Population”. For example, students of a college or books in a library.
  • Parameter: “Any quantity which defines the characteristic of whole population is called a Parameter”; it’s therefore the average of a population.
  • Sample: “A part of population is called a Sample”. Sample is a subset of population (universal set). In statistics, a sample is drawn to avoid calculations on a large population.
  • Statistic: “A characteristic of sample is called Statistic”. It is thus an average of a sample. Statistic is a singular word while statistics is plural.

Types of Statistics:

There are two types of statistics which are descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. In the definition of statistics; collection, presentation and analysis of data are parts of descriptive statistics whereas drawing conclusion about parameter on basis of statistical inference is a part of inferential statistics. Descriptive and Inferential Statistics are defined below:

Descriptive Statistics: It is a type of statistics that deal with organizing and summarizing data.

Inferential Statistics: It is a type of statistics that deal with using data you have collected to form conclusions.

Data Collection & Sources of Data

Data is necessary for statistical analysis and it is collected from two sources which are internal sources and external sources. Internal and external sources are mentioned below:

  1. Internal Sources:

If information is available; then, we use internal sources for collecting data. Internal sources of data are internal reports of an organization. For instance, a factory publishes its annual report on total production, total profit and loss, total sales, loans, wages to employees, bonus and other facilities to employees etc.

  1.  External Sources: If desired information is not available; then, it is obtained from external sources which are primary sources and secondary sources. Primary and secondary sources are mentioned below:

Primary Sources: Primary sources of data are sample survey (information is collected from a correspondent; its tool is questionnaire) and experimentation either fields like agriculture or labs (research sides/industries). Data collected from primary sources is a primary data and it is defined as:  “Data collected by the investigator himself/herself for a specific purpose or from a primary source”. It is also called First Hand Data.

Secondary Sources: Secondary sources of data are official sources (government sources); for e.g. ministries and departments, private sources (non-government sources) for e.g. magazines and newspaper, semi-private sources and unofficial sources.  “Data already collected or taken from a secondary source is called a Secondary Data”. It is also called Second Hand Data. Secondary data may be used or unused, published or unpublished.

Variable & Types of Variable

Variable: “A characteristic of individuals of a population or of a sample which varies from individual to individual is called a Variable”. There are two types of variables which are mentioned below:

  • Categorical or Qualitative Variable: “Variable that cannot be specified in numbers; therefore, category has to be made for it is called a Categorical Variable”. For example: title of a book and blood group of a student.
  • Quantitative or Numerical Variable: “Variable that can be specified in numbers is called a Quantitative Variable”. For instance: number of pages in a book and weight of a student. Quantitative variable has two subgroups which are defined below:
  1. Discrete Variable: “A characteristic which is countable and can take on discrete values is called a discrete variable”. A discrete variable take limited numbers from 5-10 like 6, 8 and 10. Number of siblings in a family, number of tickets sold in cinema for a particular movie in a day and birth year of student are some examples of discrete variable.
  2. Continuous Variable: “A characteristic which is measurable and can assume all possible values within a given range of values is called a Continuous Variable”; as between 5-10; some of which may be 5.6, 7.0 or 8.9. Some examples of continuous variable are weight, pressure and mass.      
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Communication and the Communication Process

What is Communication?

“Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning is called Communication”.

Understanding the Communication Process:

Following figure represents the communication process:

Communication-Process

This process can be understood by knowing about the following 7 elements/factors of the communication process:

1. Sender: Sender is a person who initiates the communication process. Sender may be an editor, reporter, speaker, teacher or anyone who takes the first step to start the process of communication. As you know before we transmit something, we think of it first. For example, when an artist makes a portrait, he is communicating his thoughts or imagination on the canvas. Therefore, sender will have something (an idea, thought or information) in his/her mind for communication that he wants to convey the receiver.

2. Encoding: “Dressing of one’s thought in meaningful language is called Encoding”. The use of this meaningful language; oral (spoken), written or nonverbal (gestural) becomes a message. A message should be composed of words which receiver can understand.

3. Medium (Channel): Once the message is created, it must be transmitted to the receiver with an appropriate medium or channel. “A vehicle through which message is transmitted to the receiver is called a Medium or Channel”. Medium can be a telephone, newspaper, chart, picture, television and so on.                                                                                                

4. Noise: “The blocks in the flow of communication are called Noise or Barriers”. They are always present in the communication process somehow. Some examples of noise and barriers are external interference, faulty transmission, poor language and defective translation. In order to make the communication process effective, noise and barriers should either be reduced or eliminated as much as possible.

5. Decoding: When receiver receives the message; then, he/she decodes it. “The interpretation of message by the receiver is called Decoding”. Decoding of message by the receiver will depend upon receiver’s background, perception, knowledge, viewpoint and relationship with the sender.     

6. Receiver: “The person who receives the message and decodes it is called Receiver”. Communication can never be perfect as there is always a deviation between idea sent and idea received. Communication will be highly deviated if the receiver does not decode the message in the manner the communicator (sender) wants him to. However, if the receiver is skilful in communication, the deviation will be small.

7. Feedback: “The response of receiver to sender’s message is called Feedback”. Feedback of receiver may be making a face, organizing a point and asking for explanation. Feedback allows the message to be shaped and reshaped by the sender and the receiver until the meaning becomes clear. In this way, both participants in communication interact and constantly exchange parts. Feedback, thus regulates the communication process by reinforcing an idea that is desired to be communicated. 

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What Is Advertising?

what-is-advertising

“Paid and persuasive form of communication is known as Advertising”. Advertising uses nonpersonal media (mass media) – as well as personal media (interactive media) – to reach broad audiences to connect an identified sponsor with a target audience. The objective of advertising should be units sold.

As mass media, interactive media and sponsor are related terms to advertising; therefore, these are defined below:

1. Mass Media: Means of public communication for reaching a large  Examples of mass media are radio, television, newspaper etc.

2. Interactive Media: Media that permits two-way communication such as a telephone call or e-mail message.

3. Sponsor: A person or organization who pays (in part or in full), the cost of an activity or event (such as a radio or television program, sports event, concert, etc.) in return for the right to advertise during that activity or event. 

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Lesson 3: Phrase and Clause

Phrase-and-Clause

The group of words which make some sense but not complete sense is called a phrase. Examples of phrases (marked in bold) are:

in the east (example1), which you may find in a sentence: The sun rises in the east. the mountain tops (example2), which you may find in a sentence: The mountains tops were covered with snow. how to do it (example3), which you may find in a sentence: Show me how to do it.

The group of words containing subject and predicate but not constituting a complete sentence is called a clause. In the following sentences, clauses are italicized with subjects and predicates mentioned while phrases are marked in bold:

  1. He (subject) has a chain (predicate) which is made of gold.
  2. I think that you (subject) have made a mistake (predicate).
  3. We (subject) cannot go out safely (predicate) while it is raining.
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Is It Correct To Say: “Happy New Year”?

How-one-face-may-appear-in-new-year

It is quite common among us whenever a ‘New Year’ comes, we like saying to people: “Happy New Year”. Of course, every next year is a ‘New Year’ but do you really think thing every ‘New Year’ will bring happiness for people all around the world. For instance; In the ‘New Year’, some people may loss their loved ones for some reasons, some people may live from hand to mouth due to financial problems or some nations may become captives due to defeat in a war.

‘New Year’ can definitely bring happiness for many people. For example; In the ‘New Year’, some people may be promoted to better ranks, some people may win valuable prizes because of luck or some nations may achieve freedom from countries who made them prisoners.

‘New Year’ can either bring good or bad fortune for people, so we should not say, Happy New Year’ to people when ‘New Year’ comes as we can’t say that everyone will be happy in the future; instead we should say, “Let’s Hope For The Happy New Year”.

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Creating an Ideal Resume

CV

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume is a document that tells your potential employer what you are capable of. Ideally, a CV should cover following 7 elements, in general:

1. Personal Details
2. Personal Statement
3. Work Experience/Internship/Travel Experiences & Challenges
4. Education
5. Skills
6. Hobbies and Interests
7. References

About Your Personal Details and Personal Statement: While writing your resume, you must include your name, address, phone number/numbers and email address in your personal details. Including your nationality in a resume is not mandatory. Your personal statement should state the grandness of job you are applying for. One example of personal statement for the job of a teacher can be: “Education earns people respect”.

About Your Work Experience/Internship/Travel Experiences & Challenges: If you have no work experience and have done an internship previously; then include it in your CV under the heading of “Internship” instead of work experience. Include the name, location of an organization where you did your internship and the period in which you completed it in your resume.

However, if you haven’t done an internship before but have traveled to different places and faced challenges there; then, write about them in your CV under the heading of “Travel Experiences & Challenges” instead of internship. Write in bullet points where you did travel, challenges you faced there and how you overcome those challenges. Remember the part of travel experiences & challenges in curriculum vitae should be discussed after the portion of education.

If you have work experience; then, write the name/names, location/locations of company/companies where you have worked before and date/dates of your employment under the heading of “Work Experience” in reverse chronological order.

About Your Education: Most people are either technically qualified or academically. Some people are qualified technically as well as academically. Whatever education you have earned, you must write about it in reverse chronological order.

If you are technically qualified, write the name of your technical qualification/qualifications, institute/institutes where you received your qualification/qualifications and the period/periods of completion of your technical education under the heading of “Technical Qualification” instead of education.

If you are academically qualified, write the name of your academic qualification/qualifications, institute/institutes where you received your qualification/ qualifications and the year or years of completion of your academic education under the heading of “Academic Qualification” instead of education.

If you are qualified technically as well as academically; then, write about your academic education first under the subheading of “Academic Qualification”, then write about your technical education under the subheading of “Technical Qualification, both qualifications should be written under the main heading, “Education”.

About the Skills: You may have earned many skills during your studies and work period. It is a good idea to include your core skills in a CV. You should list at least 3 and at most 7 of your core skills in a resume. Your core skills can be effective communication, critical thinking, neat writing or many more.

About Your Hobbies And Interests: Writing about your hobbies and interests is optional but if you include them in your curriculum vitae; then, it will give your interviewer some idea about your personality. Whether you write about your hobbies (which can be planting, stamp collecting or others) or interests (which can be fictional books reading, playing computer games or others) in your CV, keep the details of these things short.

About the References: It is not necessary to include reference in your CV, so you can write under the heading of “References”: “References will be provided on request”. But if you want to include references; then, choose the name of persons who you think feel positive about you. You should only list 2 or 3 references. If you are applying for your first job; then, it’s a good idea to nominate your teachers and mentors, otherwise, give references of people whom you have worked with before.

Things to Be Careful About While Writing a CV

Your CV should be written in accordance with the rules of grammar. Moreover, it should be related to the job you are applying for. It is always a good idea to include a photograph (in formal dress) of yourself in your CV. While writing curriculum vitae, you should either choose “Arial” or “Times New Roman” fonts because they are easy to read. Avoid using font size smaller than 8 point; otherwise, it will create difficulty for the reader. Try to keep your CV to 1 page if possible. Last but not least, make sure your CV is presented well.

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