There is no universal agreement as to the exact scope and subject matter of logic (see § Rival conceptions, below), but it has traditionally included the classification of arguments, the systematic exposition of the 'logical form' common to all valid arguments, the study of inference, including fallacies, and the study of semantics, including paradoxes. Historically, logic has been studied in philosophy (since ancient times) and mathematics (since the mid-19th century), and recently logic has been studied in computer science, linguistics, psychology, and other fields.
The concept of logical form is central to logic. The validity of an argument is determined by its logical form, not by its content. Traditional Aristotelian syllogistic logic and modern symbolic logic are examples of formal logic.
However, agreement on what logic is has remained elusive, and although the field of universal logic has studied the common structure of logics, in 2007 Mossakowski et al. commented that "it is embarrassing that there is no widely acceptable formal definition of 'a logic'".
Logic is generally considered formal when it analyzes and represents the form of any valid argument type. The form of an argument is displayed by representing its sentences in the formal grammar and symbolism of a logical language to make its content usable in formal inference. Simply put, to formalize simply means to translate English sentences into the language of logic.
This is called showing the logical form of the argument. It is necessary because indicative sentences of ordinary language show a considerable variety of form and complexity that makes their use in inference impractical. It requires, first, ignoring those grammatical features irrelevant to logic (such as gender and declension, if the argument is in Latin), replacing conjunctions irrelevant to logic (such as "but") with logical conjunctions like "and" and replacing ambiguous, or alternative logical expressions ("any", "every", etc.) with expressions of a standard type (such as "all", or the universal quantifier ∀).