7 junio, 2024

Formal aspects of writing: what they are, list

What are the formal aspects of writing?

The formal aspects of writing They are all the elements that are used so that a text can be understood more easily. They are rules strictly used in the written language, necessary for the message that the sender wants to transmit to be properly received by the receiver.

Since writing is a form of communication, it is likely that there will be some difficulties in interpreting it. For this reason, various formal aspects of writing were established, such as spelling, punctuation or calligraphy. All of them dedicated to making the communication process easier.

Punctuation marks are one of the most important elements, since their use makes it possible to give meaning to a written text.

These elements indicate where to pause while reading a text, and their use is essential at all times, especially when writing formal documents, such as job letters and resumes.

Formal aspects to take into account during writing

1. Order and structure

The order and structure of a text are one of the most important formal aspects that must be taken into account when writing. These aspects are what will give the final appearance of the text at the time of printing.

The order is what gives the appearance to the text, it is what is seen with the naked eye and inspires the reader to approach the text and read it.

When the order is clear and legible, it will be easier for the receiver to understand the message encoded in the text, since the ideas will be more clearly exposed and the graphic appearance of the content will be friendlier.

The structure, on the other hand, includes the way in which the text is arranged visually, that is, it refers to the way in which the information is hierarchical and presented visually. Here, the use of margins, indentations and spelling play a fundamental role.

2. Margins

All texts have four margins (top, bottom, right side, and left side). These are spaces that are left blank and are located around the text, bordering the edge of the page.

Generally, they are clean spaces, where there is no type of inscription, and they are arranged equidistantly, that is, at the same distance from the text mark and from the edge of the page.

Margins allow you to frame the text on the page. Its correct use is essential to give the text an orderly appearance. They symbolize a respect for the rules of writing or formal aspects of a text.

3. Indents and capitalization

The indentation is that small white space that is located before the first letter of a paragraph.

It is useful for showing the reader that a new paragraph has started. Another fundamental formal element that is used for the same purpose are capital letters.

Capital letters are used to indicate that a new paragraph or sentence has started. They are also used to denote that one is speaking of a proper name.

4. Spelling

The spelling (from the Latin spellingand from the Greek ὀρθογραφία, spelling‘correct writing’) is the set of rules and conventions that govern the usual writing system established for a standard language.

This is one of the most important formal aspects of writing, since any misspelling can lead the reader to misinterpret the message encoded in the text.

As a fundamental rule, it is considered that spelling mistakes take away the credibility of the text and at the same time make it difficult to understand it.

5. Punctuation marks

Punctuation marks are visual elements used to delimit sentences and paragraphs. Its use is essential to structure a text correctly. Using them excessively or avoiding their use can make it difficult to read and understand.

They are ideal for ordering information and prioritizing ideas. They are also the graphic representation of the pauses, changes in the tone of the voice and the conclusion of ideas that are made in the spoken language.

Spot (.)

The point is the visual representation of the prolonged pause that is made in the spoken language. This indicates the completion of a phrase or idea. When the writer wants to change the subject, he will use a full stop and end the writing of a paragraph.

However, when you want to conclude an idea, but you want to continue talking about the same subject, you use a full stop.

There is a third type of point, used only when a text is concluded, and is called the end point.

Eat (,)

The comma is the graphic representation of a brief pause in the spoken language. The formal rules of writing indicate that it should be used in the following cases:

1. When listing a list: “I like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, etc.” ice cream.

2. When you want to isolate the subject or vocative to give it greater emphasis: «Juan, my neighbor from above.» «Hello Francisco how are you?».

3. When inserting a subordinate clause or wanting to delve into an idea: «every day, even those that weren’t work, my boss called me furious.»

4. When you want to divide the grammatical elements of a sentence: «The days of the week are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.»

5. To give order to the heading of a letter: «Medellín, January 5, 2017».

Semicolon (;)

It is the graphic representation of a longer pause in verbal language. Typically, it is used to separate long sentences from shorter ones where commas are already present.

It is also used to list people, objects, or events in a sentence: “the branches of biology are nuclear biology; molecular biology; ethology, etc.»

Two points (:)

They are used before starting a list or enumeration of elements, to indicate that a textual appointment is going to be made or after the heading or introduction of a letter.

Ellipsis (…)

They are used when you want to leave a sentence in suspense. In this way, the reader can interpret doubt or include a word that her imagination indicates to complete the sentence that has been left incomplete.

6. Grammar

Grammar is the part of linguistics that studies the structure of words and their accidents, as well as the way in which they are combined to form sentences. It includes morphology and syntax, and certain schools include phonology as well.

Probably, it is more important than regionalisms and other formal aspects, since if the grammar is not correct and fluent, it will not be pleasant to read a text.

7. Others

Among other punctuation marks that must be considered within the formal aspects of writing we have question marks (?) and exclamation marks (!), parentheses (), quotation marks (“”) and hyphens (-) .

It should be noted that Spanish is the only language that uses both question marks and exclamation marks, that is, the opening ones (¡) and the closing ones (?!): “When will we go on a trip?”, “¡¡ I knew that!».

In addition, the closing ones work as full stops, and if you want to continue with the sentence you have to put a comma or start it with a capital letter: “How did you say? I didn’t understand». «Leave that! I’m not going to repeat it.»

It’s a misspelling place the point after these signs: «What do you want?.», «The sky is beautiful!.».


Formal aspects of writing. Recovered from xuletas.es.
Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from aims.edu.

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