Defining Informal and Formal Writing
Informal Writing/Writing to Learn: Writing for the main purpose of finding out if students understand material, have completed reading, or done assigned work. Formal Writing/Learning to Write: Writing for the main purpose of having the student present content from the discipline in a style and form that practitioners could readily recognize and accept. Informal Writing
By articulating their analyses and opinions on paper, students digest information more quickly and are able to reflect critically on course content. Theoretically, students end up improving their writing by writing a lot, but the main goal is to improve their learning. Using writing activities in your classroom creates an active classroom with engaged students. Characteristics of Informal Writing Activities
Collaborative, discussion-like, and/or loosely structured.
Other students and/or the teacher are the audience (or the assignment lacks an audience). Activities may begin and end abruptly.
All informal writing can serve as prewriting for formal writing projects. Examples: journals, in-class responses, and WebTycho conferences. Formal Writing
Designed to help students communicate according to the professional standards of the discipline by acquiring certain discipline-based skills of communication. Students learn that writing is diverse and that each career field has its own set of language conventions. Formal writing assignments work to create a professionally-focused classroom. Students end up learning both the content and the types of communication that convey that content in the field. Characteristics of Formal Writing Assignments
Assignments conform to the conventions of the discipline in which you teach. Audiences are often beyond the classroom (simulated or real industry audiences, etc.) Assignments require particular language use and style (passive voice in some scientific writing, expected literature review styles in psychology and sociology, etc). Assignments are in the genres of your discipline: law reviews, lab reports, case studies, memos, briefs, etc. Examples of Informal and Formal Writing Assignments
Timed Short Response
Web Site Review
Group Project Report
Letter to the Editor
What's in a Name
Inn & Conference Center
Global Media Center
Informal reports are generally going to be reports that you will just have to share with your coworkers, like a report of the status of a project, or simply some statistics that you need to share with your coworkers. The difference between an informal report and a formal one mostly comes down to the audience and of course as the names state the amount of formality required when writing for those audiences. The example below is one of an informal lab report that shows a great visual on the difference between that and a formal one. http://writing.umn.edu/tww/disciplines/engineering/assignments/assignmelab.htmlThese examples explain the formats and what should be involved. Formal Reports
Formal reports require more attention to detail, for instance making sure the ideas that the report is explaining are understandable to the audience by using words that explain concepts in the simplest way possible. Using the example of a lab report, with an informal version you would be able to use jargon because you know the people you are writing to have the same knowledge base that you do, but with a formal report you cannot assume these things are cannot leave out details that to you and your coworkers could be considered common knowledge. Formal to me...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document