I write for a living and I write in a business setting.
Too many people think that business writing is all about being formal, fancified, and, frankly, pompous. I recently saw a post here about the passive saying that it was common in business writing. Oddly, it's the scientists and engineers who use that, not the professional communicators.
I pretty much abhor writing for the educational setting. They often seem more intent on showing how much they know than heping other people understand what they have learned.
I don't know if the OP wanted formal=academic or formal=business or formal=something else. If it's the 2nd of those, go with the phrasal, and readjust your idea of what formal means.
I don't claim to be an expert in academic writing. Only an expert in knowing what I like to read.