Essay Style

Essay style means the way you write an essay.
The way you use language in an essay is different from how you write in other tasks.
In this lesson, we will go through what you write and how you write in an essay.

Formal Language of Essay Style

Formal language means that you use ‘proper English’.
formal language of essay writing
This means:

  • Grammar is always correct.
  • Do not use contractions. e.g. can’t they’d shouldn’t
  • No expressions or colloquial language. e.g. on the other hand, go from bad to worse


Essays cannot have words like, I, me, you, your -> we, us, our
This is called impersonal language.
What Else?
You should not use words that show:

  • Feelings how you feel, e.g. It is a terrible thing to do …
  • Comments what you think, e.g. I do not like this …

How Does Impersonal Language Work?

You need to change what you write to make it look like it is not your opinion.
Impersonal Language
For Example:


I think it is important that we stop the horrible violence in schools.


Violence needs to be stopped in Australian schools.

Clear and Simple

An essay needs to be very clear and easy for someone to understand it.
clear and simple essay writing
You need to:
Get rid of adjectives. e.g. this amazing machine
Use specifics. Specifics mean that you point right at what it is you are trying to say.
e.g. something happens → the gears make it move

On Topic

Every paragraph of an essay should carry on with the same point you started that paragraph with. This means you stay on topic.
on topic essay writing
e.g. Turtles are creatures that live under the sea. Dogs live on the land. Turtles may go from the sea onto the land to lay their eggs. They live in mostly shallow water…

Complex Sentences

Good essays use many complex sentences. This means they have two or more parts. They must have a main idea, and a detail(s) which support it.

Summary of Essay Style

Essay Style requires:

  • correct grammar
  • no contractions
  • no colloquial language
  • no I, me, or we
  • no feelings or comments
  • no adjectives
  • be specific
  • be on topic

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