Academic vs. Informal vs. Journalistic

As someone who wrote both densely academic prose and wispy personal essays this semester, I was curious as to how professionals and scholars separate academic and casual styles. I feel like it’s one of those you know it when you see it issues. I could definitely point out when something is academic and when it is more casual, but I don’t think I could create some all-encompassing definition of the two, or some checklist to verify which is which. I found a pretty interesting resource for (Would you believe it?) accounting students that points out the clear differences between academic, informal (casual,) and journalistic writing styles.







My quest for a (near) all-encompassing definition for each of the styles has not been fulfilled, but I don’t think it ever can be. Style is so complex. If there were a single checklist for each type of style, if there were even a complete list of each and every type of style, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.


One thought on “Academic vs. Informal vs. Journalistic

  1. awebb8 April 25, 2015 / 11:04 pm

    I love the example charts! they literally show the perfect deferences in each writing style. I do not know if you know but Journalistic writing style is also refereed to as AP Style. Journalists use it and so do Public Relations practitioners. I find it to be the easiest of the three writing styles because you write as if you’re talking and not trying to sound smart all the time.


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