This is an excerpt from my Guide to Language Features of Formal Writing (and Register).
Phrasal Verbs are one of the main features of conversational language, so avoiding them in Formal Writing is very important.
Many of my Senior students (Year 11 and 12) struggle to write with a formal and academic register. Australian Curriculum and Common Core require students to begin to understand register (level of formality) from Middle School.
My approach to literacy is 'explicit' teaching with extensive scaffolding. I try to make obvious the 'unwritten rules' of language styles. These handouts are the sum of my experience trying to break down the language features of formal register. They're designed for students, but would be useful for any educator who needs to learn more about levels of formality / register.
Topics covered in the full handout include:
* Audience, Context and Purpose
* 'Levels' of 'Register' (Academic, Formal, Common and Casual)
* History of English Vocabulary (Germanic and Latinate, and which is used in Formal Writing)
* The 'Register Continuum': a framework which can be useful for understanding levels of formality
* Phrasal Verbs
* First / Third Person and writing impersonally
* Objective and Subjective writing
* Active and Passive Voice in Formal Writing
* Using Nominalisations and Technical Language (Jargon)
In addition, the handout also includes two vocabulary lists (Phrasal Verbs and Casual/Formal Alternatives) which students can use as reference.
This is the first step in a larger package which should also include PowerPoints and worksheets based around these handouts. Keep an eye out!
In the future I'm hoping to develop resources for other features of language and study skills: narrative point of view, audience, clarity, referencing and citation etc.
Have you used this handout in class? I'd love for you to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit my blog for free resources: http://duffystirling.wordpress.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.