Thoughtful Thursday – Should you write formally or informally?

Posted May 22, 2014 by Emily in Blogging / 6 Comments


When I first started blogging, this was one of the biggest questions I had. Should I blog formally, like writing an essay for school, or informally, like how I would talk to a friend? There are pros and cons of both, but as you can probably tell, I chose to blog informally. Why? Well, here are some pro and cons of writing informally. 
Pro – Avoid School Overload
I already have to write a lot of papers for school with correct grammar, spelling, no contractions or pronouns etc… Blogging is like my hobby – it’s supposed to be fun, not entirely stressful, like writing an essay. I would rather take it easy.
Pro – More Personal
Writing informally can sometimes seem as if you are having a conversation with the reader. It’s like how you would talk to you your friend. Writing formally is more like something you would do when you “talk” with your boss (or your parents). This is actually one of the main reasons why I prefer to write informally. Because for me, writing informally makes it easier to connect with the people reading my blog (cough, cough, YOU) and sometimes this leads to great blogger friends and great discussions below in the comment section.
Pro – My Voice
Another reason why I prefer to write more informally is that it suits my voice better. Sometimes my friends in real life describe me as sarcastic and sassy. And i think it translates a little from when I’m talking to when I type. Not that it’s easy to be sarcastic on a computer screen – there’s no way to depict it and saying it just ruins the point. The way I write is kind of like the way I talk, in fact, if I were to have one of those software things that type for you as you talk, it would probably end up the same as if I typed it.
Con – Less Professional = Less Credibility
The only con is that writing formally does make you seem more professional and thus gives you more credibility. Formal writing is like the work of a professor, while informal writing is like the work of a high schooler. If you were to write a research essay and have to cite your sources, who would you rather cite  – the professor or the student?
What do you think?
Do you prefer to write informally or formally?



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6 responses to “Thoughtful Thursday – Should you write formally or informally?

  1. That is a very tough question that I ask myself almost daily. Most of the time I verge on a casual tone with a few quote unquote ‘big’ words thrown in. But I struggle a lot trying to find the balance. When I attempt, attempt being the operative word, to write sounding more casual I sound like a ditzy teenage girl only focused on makeup, but when I try to sound professional, I sound like I’m trying too hard. Personally, it’s all about finding the right balance for who you want to be as a reviewer/blogger.

  2. I think I’m definitely more on the informal side, with some being fairly informal but with others being more formal. I don’t consider formal to be school-type writing, but it’s generally more collected, insightful, etc, while an informal post/review probably has a lot more fangirling.

    I think both are fine, but I know I’d definitely rather read a more informal review. Formal in your sense of it feels too stiff or impersonal for me, though it can sometimes work out well.

    (PS. I actually really struggled with this when I joined Lit Up Review (and still do) because I feel like many of my reviews are much more informal than the other girls. But you know, they chose me because they liked my reviews and my style, so I’ve learned to just continue doing what I would normally do. :))

  3. I started out by writing more formally, especially in my reviews. Now that I’ve been blogging for a few months though, I’ve started adopting a more informal tone, which reflects who I am a lot better 🙂 Most of the blogs I follow also use an informal tone, and it’s easier to read I think. Great topic today!

  4. “Writing informally can sometimes seem as if you are having a conversation with the reader.” THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! Blogging is an informal process in itself, so it just works when it doesn’t feel like you’re reading an essay for publication.

  5. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing informally. We are bloggers after all and we’re just here to express ourselves. I feel like if you’re writing for a legit website, that’s when you should be writing professionally. 😀

  6. I fully agree, I write informally – the way I speak basically. It should be for fun, and I’m not a literary critic. 🙂 If I ever had to submit a book review to a local paper or similar, I think I would do it more formally but not on my blog.