Presentation on theme: "Formal & Informal Register Written & Spoken English"— Presentation transcript:
1Formal & Informal Register Written & Spoken English Sophia Butt19 February 2015
2Sophia Butt 2015Academic Register [adapted from Jordan, R.R. (1999) Academic Writing Course]Look at the sentences below:I showed that his arguments did not hold water.It has been proved that the arguments so far are without foundation.Are the following sentences formal or informal..?
3Formal or Informal? Written or Spoken? Sophia Butt 2015Formal or Informal? Written or Spoken?Identify the features of the informal sentencesLet’s look at it differently.I wonder why she put up with those awful conditions for such a long time.Additional tests will be necessary before the experiment can be concluded.It is possible to consider the argument from a different viewpoint.The report is quite bad - you should really change it.
4…Formal or Informal? Written or Spoken? Possible Answers Sophia Butt 2015…Formal or Informal? Written or Spoken? Possible Answers1. Let’s look at it differently.contraction2. I wonder why she put up with those awful conditions for such a long time.‘I wonder why’; phrasal verb; ‘awful’ = emotive; ‘such a long time’3. Additional tests will be necessary before the experiment can be concluded. (acceptable)4. It is possible to consider the argument from a different viewpoint. (acceptable)5. The report is quite bad - you should really change it.colloquialism; the dash; use of the second person; imperative form
5Which of the following passages is more formal? Sophia Butt 2015Which of the following passages is more formal?[A] Mrs Vine tended to handle the monetary side of the business and Mr Vine took care of the workshop, purchasing, marketing and sales. Both of them worked in the store during the day and between them they managed to share the running of the business. However, Mr Vine’s passion lay in helping out in the workshop.
6Sophia Butt 2015…or this one?[B] Mrs Vine controlled the financial aspects of the business, while Mr Vine was responsible for the purchasing, marketing and sales. They worked in the store during the day and managed the business together. However, Mr Vine was fundamentally a craftsman and was keen to assist in the workshop whenever the opportunity arose.
7Exercise 1: Again, which is more formal - A or B? Sophia Butt 2015Exercise 1: Again, which is more formal - A or B?[A] The Birmingham Furniture Company (BFC) was set up in 1972 and until recently, it was a fairly profitable business. In 1999, its sales turnover averaged £15,000 per week. Given that it operates a 200% mark up (quite normal in furniture retailing), its £7,500 of weekly overheads were easily covered. The owners, Mr and Mrs Vine, have always believed that much of their success has been due to the incentive scheme they operate; the 2% on all sales provided a carrot of about £300 per week for the 6 members of staff.
8Sophia Butt 2015[B] The Birmingham Furniture Company (BFC) was established in 1972 and, for many years, had continued to grow into a reasonably profitable business. By 1999, the average weekly turnover had risen to £15,000 with overheads of £7,500, and a sales mark-up of 200%. The owners and founders, Mr and Mrs Vine, laid great stress on their incentive scheme and this, they believed, contributed to the success of the company. Each of the six members of staff was paid 2% commission on all sales, which, in 1999, provided them with an extra £300 to share between them.
9The informal features are… Sophia Butt 2015The informal features are…[A] The Birmingham Furniture Company (BFC) was set up in 1972 and until recently, it was a fairly profitable business. In 1999, its sales turnover averaged £15,000 per week. Given that it operates a 200% mark up (quite normal in furniture retailing), its £7,500 of weekly overheads were easily covered. The owners, Mr and Mrs Vine, have always believed that much of their success has been due to the incentive scheme they operate; the 2% on all sales provided a carrot of about £300 per week for the 6 members of staff.
10Sophia Butt 2015The sentences in exercise 2 are all informal. Rewrite them in a formal style:1. She said it wasn’t good enough. It was reported to be unsatisfactory. 2. I thought the lecture was terribly difficult to follow. The lecture was extremely difficult to understand. 3. The results were a lot better than expected. The results were significantly better than had been anticipated…or…The results exceeded expectations.
11Sophia Butt 20154. None of the other students knew the answer either. The answer was also unknown to the other students. 5. The students said, ‘It’s hell writing your thesis!’ a) Keep unchanged to retain the quote, or… b) Several students reported experiencing substantial difficulties in writing their thesis.
12Sophia Butt 2015Recognising Language Styles [adapted from Jordan, R.R. (1999) Academic Writing Course]Pair-work: Five definitions of ‘education’ are listed in exercise 3. Each one is in a different style.Decide if it comes from a written or spoken source.Identify the possible source type (e.g. a speech, radio programme, newspaper article…).Exercise 4: Now write your own definition…
13Exercise 4: Possible Answers Sophia Butt 2015Exercise 4: Possible Answerscorporate responsibilityCorporate responsibility includes being consistent with ethical principles and conduct such as honesty, integrity and respect for others. By voluntarily accepting responsibility for its actions, corporations earn their license to operate in society (source: Financial Times Lexicon).financial accountingFinancial accounting gathers and summarizes financial data to prepare financial reports such as a balance sheet and income statement for the organization's management, investors, lenders, suppliers, tax authorities and other stakeholders (source: accounting.html).
14Sophia Butt 2015Cautious Language (Hedging) [adapted from Jordan, R.R. (1999) Academic Writing Course]Look at the two sentences below:A survey has shown that lecturers use the terms ‘seminars’ and ‘tutorials’ interchangeably.A survey has shown that many lecturers tend to use the terms ‘seminars’ and ‘tutorials’ interchangeably.Hedging: Definite/generalised > cautiousHere are some of the common phrases used to hedge>
15believe, assume, suggest Certain modal verbs: Sophia Butt 20151.Introductory verbsseem, tend, look like, appear to be, think, believe, doubt, be sure, indicate, suggest2.Certain lexical verbsbelieve, assume, suggest3.Certain modal verbs:will, must, would, may, might, could4.Adverbs of frequencyoften, sometimes, usually5.Modal adverbscertainly, definitely, clearly, probably, possibly, perhaps, conceivably,6.Modal adjectivescertain, definite, clear, probable, possible7.Modal nounsassumption, possibility, probability8.That clausesIt could be the case that… It might be suggested that…9.To-clause + adjectiveIt may be possible to obtain…
16Now work through Exercise 5… Sophia Butt 2015Now work through Exercise 5…(There is an assumption that) Interest rates may not rise further this year.It is often said that/Perhaps reading is most effective when it has a particular purpose.The answer to many problems is often found in asking the right questions.Many countries tend to disagree on the interpretation of democracy.
17Inappropriate Language Sophia Butt 2015Inappropriate LanguageRead the extract in exercise 6 on your handout.Work with a partner to identify the informal and/or inappropriate features of the text and rewrite the paragraphs in a more suitable academic style.
18Sophia Butt 2015Possible rewrite…Research has shown (James) that learners of English find writing the most difficult thing they’ve got to do. There are 3 main types of error that the learner will make.Recent research (James, 2004) suggests that learners of English appear to find writing the most challenging skill to master. There are three common errors that many learners frequently make.
19Sophia Butt 2015The biggest sort of error leads to misunderstanding or a total breakdown in communication. There are lots of causes of this: usually translating word for word the student uses the wrong sentence patterns (grammar) and the wrong words (vocabulary).The most serious errors lead to misunderstandings or a complete failure in communication. There are many causes of this, with literal translations from the first language being the most common. By translating each word separately, students tend to use incorrect grammar and inappropriate vocabulary.
20Sophia Butt 2015Another cause is choosing to write long and complicated sentences with far too many supplementary clauses. The longer the sentence, the bigger is the chance of making mistakes and failing to communicate the meaning.Another cause is choosing to write long, complex sentences with an excessive number of subordinate clauses. Such sentences increase the likelihood of making mistakes and failing to communicate the meaning.
21Sophia Butt 2015Therefore, in the early stages of your writing, you shouldn’t write sentences longer than 3 lines.Therefore, in the early stages of their writing, students should avoid sentences which exceed three lines.
22Avoid Personal Pronouns Sophia Butt 2015Avoid Personal PronounsActive to PassiveI investigated the causes of pollution.An investigation was conducted into the causes of pollution.Refer to the evidence (rather than your thoughts)I am convinced from the data that…The data unequivocally suggests that…Use ‘It’ constructions &/or the third personI found that… > It was found that…
23Article: Internal Branding Sophia Butt 2015Article: Internal BrandingThe article entitled ‘Internal Branding’ by Allan Steinmetz, CEO of Inward Strategic Consulting, has been written in a completely personal and interactive style.Skim-read the article and extract an example of each of the items listed in exercise 7 of your handout. Then, rewrite the same in formal academic register.
24Formal Writing: Summary Sophia Butt 2015Formal Writing: SummaryConsider audience, flow, organisation, purpose, styleChoose formal vocabulary; write in a consistent style (including spelling)Use the passive voice more frequentlyAvoid the use of the first and second person pronouns (except in certain genres of writing)Avoid use of phrasal verbs & colloquialismsUse hedging language, where appropriate
25Cont’d Avoid the use of the possessive apostrophe Sophia Butt 2015Cont’dAvoid the use of the possessive apostropheProvide support for claimsDo not use idioms and proverbsDo not use contractions/abbreviations (acronyms and initialisms are acceptable)Use numerals in dates/statistics only, or for figures over tenAvoid direct questions to the readerMinimise lists/use of ‘etc.’: give specific examples, using the tripling effectAny questions?