How to Write a Formal Essay

May 7, 2021 support
How to Write a Formal Essay

Table of Contents

A student will have to write numerous essays throughout their academic life. Despite having to write papers and essays constantly, it does not become any easier. Even after years, students dread formal essay writing. Essay writing is a challenge, but with a few tips and tricks to guide you, it becomes an uncomplicated and gratifying assignment.

What Is a Formal Essay?

The most common formal essay definition is: “It is a piece of writing that conveys a serious and objective discussion of the main idea using sound reasoning and arguments.”

In simple terms, it is an essay that focuses on developing arguments to support the central theme. It is more objective as it relies on facts to strengthen the argument and not on the writer’s point of view or opinion. In formal writing, all the rules of grammar and punctuation have to be observed.

Importance of Writing a Formal Essay?

Learning to write a formal essay is an essential skill that helps students in their professional lives. Formal essays teach students the format of formal writing, which is how most people communicate in their work environment. A formal essay will have students critically analyze their thoughts and use them as sound arguments, which grooms the students for the real world.

Formal Essay Structure And Format

Every essay needs to have a format that it follows. Otherwise, it runs the risk of confusing the reader and failing to grab their attention. Without a proper structure in formal writing, the end product will cease to impress anyone.

To create a structure in your formal essay, you need to create an outline. An outline acts as the skeleton of your paper and gives it a coherent shape. It allows for the natural flow of information rather than random facts sprawled across the essay. It adds coherence to your paper and allows the reader to comprehend it much better.

How to Write an Outline

Many students often do not create an essay outline as they consider it to be very time-consuming. The exact opposite is true. The outline takes only a few minutes to make and saves the writer time. A sample outline for a formal essay is as follows:

• The title of the essay;

• The introduction and thesis statement;

• The body paragraphs;

• The first paragraph (main statement, explanation, and example);

• Second paragraph (main statement, explanation, and example);

• Third paragraph (main statement, explanation, and example).

• The conclusion of the essay.

How to Start a Formal Essay

When you start to write a formal essay, you need to ask yourself how to write a formal essay introduction. The simple answer involves two steps. The first step requires you to understand the topic and what your professor expects from you for this step. After you have a clear view of what you need to write about, you can provide a little background information to act as the foundation of the essay.

In the second step, you create the thesis statement. The thesis statement will incorporate the central theme of your essay concisely. It answers the main question of the essay, and you can refer back to it during the writing process to determine if the facts are relevant or not.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

The body of a formal essay has three paragraphs. Although all the paragraphs will revolve around the thesis statement, each paragraph will showcase a different side or element. The information in the paragraphs will be customized depending on the essay topic. For examples, if the topic is the pros and cons of smoking, then the paragraphs can have themes like;

1. The pros of smoking;

2. The cons of smoking;

3. Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Each paragraph will state facts and a different side of smoking, but it will all revolve around the concept of smoking. Start each paragraph with a strong topic sentence, then explain it. In the end, you can even write an example to support your stance. Each paragraph should have around 3 to 7 sentences and use transitionary words like moreover or consequently.

How to Write Conclusion for a Formal Essay

Many students find themselves hit writer’s block when writing a conclusion and wonder how to write a formal essay conclusion. For a formal essay, the conclusion should be concise and limited to 3 to 5 sentences. It is best to not include any new ideas or concepts in the last paragraph but rather briefly touch upon the central theme of the body paragraphs. After all, it is the summary of the essay. In conclusion, you should write something interesting that stays with the reader and gets them thinking.

Tips for a Great Formal Essay

Writing a formal essay is a challenging assignment for every student. You can use the following tips and tricks to help set your essay apart;

  1. Always have a title page;
  2. Write the date on a formal essay;
  3. Keep referring to the thesis statement and outline;
  4. During the research part, jot down necessary points;
  5. Always proofread to remove grammatical errors;
  6. Recheck all the facts and dates;
  7. Write the introduction after the body paragraphs;
  8. Ask a friend or colleague to read it and give you feedback.

Difference Between Informal And Formal Essay

All essays can be categorized into two forms, informal and formal essays. There are several differences between the two that students are not aware of. The following informal vs. formal essay list will help you understand the differences better;

  • An informal essay is written in the first or second person, whereas a formal essay is written from a third-person perspective.
  • An informal essay allows passive voice, whereas it is frowned upon in a formal essay.
  • In informal essays, you can use abbreviations like he’s or I’m, which is not allowed in formal essay writing.
  • Slang expressions can be used in informal essays but not in formal essays.
  • An informal essay will have a loose structure, where a formal essay is perfectly articulated, so arguments purposefully follow each other.

Short Example of a Formal Essay

To help you better understand how to write a formal essay, a sample formal essay has been attached.

Formal Essay Example

Why should athletes not be permitted to use steroids?

Sports and games play an influential role in every person’s life. It may be as small as playing football with your friends after school or as big as making a career out of it. Irrespective of whether you still play any sports or not, you are sure to enjoy watching it. Consequently, sporting events are some of the most significant events celebrated globally, like the football world cup or the Olympics. All these factors put immense pressure on athletes to perform their best and even go beyond their abilities. To achieve this, many athletes look to steroids for help. The use of steroids should be strictly prohibited as it adversely affects their health and creates an unfair advantage.

Steroids are human-made chemicals used in various fields. Some of these steroids can enhance the physical performance of athletes. Using steroids to improve your physical performance is not without consequences. You can only see results from steroids after prolonged use, but that also means that the steroids have been in your system long enough to damage it. Steroid use has a significant impact on your health. It can be the onset of many health issues such as affected endocrine function, tumors in the liver and kidneys, heart conditions, blood clots, and affected reproduction function.

These are just some of the significant effects. Acne and premature hair loss are widespread side effects of performance-enhancing steroids.

In addition to being severely damaging to one’s health, steroids also provide athletes with an unfair competitive advantage. Competing professionally in sports at the national or international level is not an easy task to achieve. It requires constant hard work, with most of the athletes’ time doing different physical activities. They alter their lives to adjust to being at the peak of their physical health. They will spend hours in the gym or training, having a healthy diet, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is unfair that some athletes can use drugs and steroids to overtake the athletes that put their blood, sweat, and tears into their training.

Consequently, the use of steroids to go beyond other athletes defeats the purpose of the game itself. Sports is not about winning or losing. It has so many dimensions, and all of those are blown to smithereens when players use performance-enhancing drugs. Aspects like sportsmanship, friendship, and fair play, and rewarding the hardest working and talented people are determinantal to how sports should be played. Sports are meant to promote teamwork and healthy competition. Using steroids abolishes the fundamentals of sports and why they are so important.

Over centuries, human life has changed so much. However, sports have stayed somewhat the same and have been passed down through the generations; the Olympic games prove that. They measure a man’s natural abilities and should not be tainted using artificial means like steroids. Performance-enhancing drugs destroy the essential integrity on which sports and games are founded.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing Formal Essays

A student assumes that if they have written the conclusion, they are done with the essay. A formal essay involves a few more steps after the conclusion. Overlooking these is a common mistake that can cost you your grade.

  • Students will not proofread their essays.
  • Students will not add citations.
  • Students will not accurately format the paper or add citations according to the designated referencing style.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a student, you will need to write several different kinds of essays. So, it becomes challenging for some students to distinguish between the different types and remember their attributes. We have compiled the four most common questions students ask regarding formal essays, and hopefully, you will find the answer satisfactory.

What Are The Three Parts of a Formal Essay?

A formal essay has three parts, they are;

  • Formal essay introduction;
  • Formal essay body;
  • Formal essay conclusion.

What Are The Five Steps of Writing an Essay?

The process of writing a formal essay contributes to how it turns out, so you can follow a few steps and write a masterpiece. These five steps are;

  1. Choosing the right title;
  2. Research and outline creation;
  3. Write the body;
  4. Write the introduction and conclusion;
  5. Proofread and submit it to your professor.

Can You Use “THEY” In a Formal Essay?

A formal essay is considered frowned upon to assume the reader’s gender to be one or the other. So, as “They” is a common gender pronoun, it can be used in formal essays.

Who Can Write My Formal Essay?

Essay writing is a daunting task, so sometimes, students wish for someone to write my essay for me. To do so, they can reach out to writing services like Write My Essay. will assign your formal essay to one of their highly skilled professional writers. The essay is written entirely from scratch and is customized to your needs, so it has zero chance of plagiarism. The writers will work tirelessly to produce a paper worthy of an A grade; it will exceed not only your expectations but also your professors.