Teachers usually ask students to write an informal essay for enjoyment and entertainment. In many cases, there are no specific instructions that students have to follow. This means that informal writing does not have to be informative or persuasive. It can be a mixture of both types of essays. Make sure you understand exactly what informal writing means. It does not mean "free writing" or "free flow of ideas". Yes, you can write formally, but you should always choose a clear essay structure to convey the message.

Students generally prefer informal essay writing because they can write "comfortably". They are free to express all their thoughts and feelings, which is forbidden in academic writing. This is the primary reason why informal writing is the only homework that students do with pleasure.

What is an informal essay?

Organizing your thoughts on a specific topic is the purpose of an informal essay. It encourages students to reflect on a subject or material in writing and to express their ideas, but with less stress in terms of form. With this, we can conclude that an informal essay is like any other but with less emphasis on academic writing rules. The main factor that differentiates a formal and informal essay is informal language. However, informal essays should still contain a thesis, an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion, be systematic, and most likely, a list of sources.

Since the informal essay allows the writer to use informal language, students can use their natural language. When the informal essay topic allows, they can display their sense of humor. There is no need to give voice to scholars. Thus, students can express their thoughts more clearly.

Your professor usually lets you know when an informal essay is expected. Generally speaking, discussion posts and reflection letters are examples of informal essays.

How do you write an informal essay?

1. Research Your Topic

As mentioned earlier, the only distinguishing feature of an informal essay is its language. This means that the content is expected to be well-researched and insightful. The stored knowledge will not suffice. Research is encouraged, and students are encouraged to reflect on their findings. Always do enough research before writing an informal essay - just as you would for an essay.

2. Plan an Informal Outline

Because of the informal language used in informal essays, students tend to write their stream of consciousness, so they stray from their topic and what they mean to discuss. This style can work for creative non-fiction essays, but certainly not where you're trying to convince your reader that you understand what you're talking about. Furthermore, an informal essay still needs some semblance of organization. As a result, you need two things: a thesis and an outline.

3. Use Informal Language

Now, let us come to the main feature of the informal essay. We're sure you already know what informal language is - you use it daily. But that doesn't mean you can write whatever you want or want. There should still be some rules. Here's a rough list of what you can and can't do:

Contraction. These are not allowed in formal academic essays but are welcome in informal essays.

First-person and second-person. While formal essays restrict the use of first and second persons, informal essays encourage them because they give a personal touch to your writing.

Layman's terms. Where appropriate and where it does not sacrifice clarity, you can replace technical terms with layman's terms.

4. Cite Your Sources

Just because you're writing an informal essay doesn't mean you can skip citing your sources. Well, it depends. If you are writing a purely personal fiction essay or a reflection paper that does not reference another person's work, by all means, omit the quote. However, if you are writing an essay on material discussed in class or something similar, never skip citing your sources. Once again, informal essays are not exempt from essay writing rules.

5. Edit and proofread before submitting

Writing informal essays is fun, and getting lost in the flow is easy. It is human nature to make mistakes; grammar omissions and typing errors are inevitable. Don't let these overwhelm you and undermine the quality of an otherwise well-written informal essay. Run your paper through at least one round of editing before submitting it.

Additional Tips for Writing Informal Essays


Informal letters have compelling opening paragraphs, improving relevance and readability. For example, submissions should provide a personal opinion and summary of the topic. In addition, including a strong and debatable thesis sentence improves overall results.

Body section

Students should adhere to the following concepts:

  • Body paragraphs use informal language.
  • Short body paragraphs make reading easier.
  • Sections enhance the overall flow of information.
  • Informal essays should arouse the reader's emotions.
  • Respectful communication is what makes informal letters compelling to readers.


Successful learners present enough information that supports the main narrative. Informal essays are more compelling and useful when they include real-life examples. Furthermore, creativity is essential to intimate compositions, improving overall results.

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