Contractions in Formal Writing Mla
Contractions in Formal Writing MLA: To Use or Not to Use?
When it comes to formal writing, one of the most common questions is whether or not to use contractions. The answer is not always straightforward, especially if you`re writing an academic paper and following the MLA style guide. In this article, we`ll explore the rules and guidelines regarding contractions in formal writing MLA.
What are Contractions?
Before we dive into the specifics of using contractions in formal writing, it`s important to understand what they are. Contractions are shortened versions of two words, where the missing letters are replaced by an apostrophe. For example, “it is” becomes “it`s,” “can not” becomes “can`t,” and “does not” becomes “doesn`t.”
Why Use Contractions in Writing?
Contractions are commonly used in everyday language, including in spoken and informal writing. They can help make your writing feel more conversational and reduce the formality of your tone. Using contractions can also help to make your writing more concise and easier to read. For these reasons, contractions can be an effective tool in certain types of writing, such as personal essays and blog posts.
However, in some instances, contractions can be inappropriate or inappropriate. For example, in academic writing, where precision and formality are highly valued, contractions may be seen as too informal.
When to Use Contractions in Formal Writing MLA
The MLA style guide, which is commonly used in academic writing, does not explicitly forbid the use of contractions, but it does suggest limiting their use to informal writing. According to the guide, you should avoid contractions in the following circumstances:
– In formal, academic, or professional writing
– In essays or reports that require a formal tone
– In works that require precision or accuracy, such as scientific or technical writing
When to Avoid Contractions in Formal Writing MLA
While the MLA guide discourages the use of contractions in formal writing, there are some instances where they may be appropriate. In general, it`s best to avoid contractions in academic writing, unless you`re quoting a source that contains a contraction.
If you`re unsure whether a contraction is appropriate in a particular context, consider the following:
– Who is your audience? If you`re writing for an academic audience, it`s best to err on the side of formality and avoid contractions.
– What is the purpose of your writing? If you`re writing a research paper or technical report where accuracy and precision are essential, then contractions are likely inappropriate.
– What is the tone of your writing? If you`re striving for a formal and professional tone, then you should avoid contractions.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the use of contractions in formal writing MLA is an issue that requires careful consideration. While contractions can help make your writing more conversational and easier to read, they can also detract from the formality and precision that are often required in academic writing. As a general rule, it`s best to avoid contractions unless you`re writing in an informal context or quoting a source that contains a contraction. When in doubt, it`s always best to consult with your instructor or refer to the MLA style guide for guidance on the appropriate use of contractions in your writing.