Sunday, April 29, 2018

When to use contractions at university

Students get confused about this. Contractions like "wasn't" "couldn't've" "aren't" and so on are not used in formal writing... but what is formal writing?

Well, almost everything you hand in to a teacher is formal writing, unless they told you to be informal, so no contractions in your essays or dissertations (except of course when quoting dialogue and so on). This is even more the case for essays at capes and so on.

Informality is sometimes allowed when you are the person who has the power in a situation. This is why you should not be surprised if a teacher writes in the margin of your essay: "Don't use contractions, please!" The teacher, commenting on your work, is allowed to be informal: in your essay, email etc, you are generally not.

More information here


Business writing is similar to university writing in this respect, see here:


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