Reading: Formality and Bias

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Reading: Formality and Bias Revision

Formality and Bias

You will have to tell the difference between formal and informal language and know how to use both appropriately.

In conversation, the speaker must consider who they are speaking to and adjust their tonal register accordingly.

You will have to know what bias is and why it is important to look out for.

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Formal language


Formal language is the language used in professional settings.

Some features of formal language include:

Full sentences


“Your proposal to improve the road conditions is a very good idea.”


Instead of just replying in a short phrase such as ‘Yeah, good idea!’, it is always best to write in full sentences when writing formally.


No contractions


“I should have called you back sooner.”

This sounds more formal than using the contraction ‘should’ve’.


Correct grammar

For example:


“Hi Holly Stir, please can I return the clothes that were sent to me? They do not fit properly.”


This example sentence contains:

  • Capital letters for names and at the start of the sentences
  • A comma in the right place after the introduction
  • A question mark after a question has been asked
  • A full stop to show that the sentence has ended.



Some examples of situations where formal language would be most appropriate include:

  • A job interview/application
  • A student talking to a teacher
  • A business email/enquiry


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Informal language

Informal language is the language used in less serious situations.


Some features of informal language include:

  • Improper sentences
  • Contractions
  • Use of slang


For example:

Yo Matt Allan what you saying. That party last night was lit!


In informal language, you have more freedom with what you say – you don’t have to conform to grammatical rules or use sophisticated language.



Some example of situations where informal language is most appropriate include:

  • Talking to friends and family
  • Emailing/messaging someone you know already
  • Writing a greetings card


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When messaging someone you do not know or haven’t met before, it is always best to use formal language!

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Answer – Pre-assessment. This useful tool identifies the key areas of the exam you will need to work on in order to pass your level 2 exam for the first time. 

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Bias is the term used when an author states their own opinion and disregards all other points of view.


Biased language could contain exaggerations and sarcasm to bolster the author’s viewpoint.


It is important to look out for bias as the text could give a distorted version of the truth.


Understanding the writer’s point of view and argument will help to work out what is biased.


An example of bias would be:


A company advertising and promoting their products


Of course it’ll be one-sided – they’re not going to criticise their own products!



For example:


Our hotel is the best in London – it has the comfiest beds and the best views of the city!


This is bias – the statement contains opinions (these can’t be proved!) and exaggerations in order to appeal to guests!


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Additional Resources


Exam Tips Cheat Sheet

FS Level 2

Reading: Formality and Bias Worksheet and Example Questions

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Reading: Formality and Bias L2

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