Today, we are going to talk about the type of essay that differs greatly from other types of papers. It may be a surprise for you, but an informal essay is written usually for enjoyment. This doesn’t mean that this type of essay cannot be informative or persuasive, but it is less formal than a relaxed expression of the opinion, observation, or research. A good informal essay may have a relaxed style, but it has a strong structure, though this structure can be less strict than a formal essay has. An informal essay has a tendency to be more personal than a formal one, though both can express subjective opinions. In a formal essay, a writer is silently presenting his or her thoughts behind the words; at the same time, in an informal essay, the author is connected with the reader in a conversational style.
How to Write an Informal Essay to Interest Readers
Before we are talking about how to write this type of paper, we should understand what is informal writing. Informal writing is writing where you should reveal your ability to write informally and express your own point of view on an issue. If you write informally, try to express your own personality in the essay. Don’t worry about writing in academic style, but avoid sloppiness.
Many students may ask, “what is the difference between formal and informal essay?” The difference is in the style of writing or in how we use words to say what we want to say. Different situations require different ways of using words. The way we write in the academic or scientific purposes differs a lot from the way we write to a friend or a close person. Proper writing of the informal essay is to understand the features of the genre. Observance of the basic principles and recommendations on writing will create an interesting essay.
Steps for Writing an Informal Essay
- Select the topic. You have a great opportunity to select any topic for your paper. An informal way of writing provides a great chance to write about whatever you want. Choose a topic that will be really interesting to you. The presence of a certain narrow topic that contains the problem and prompts the reader to thinking is a great choice. If there is no list of topics among which you can choose one, and only a general direction is given, then you need to take into account which audience the essay is written for. Variants can be different: your classmates and a teacher, the commission, the literary community, the employer. If the essay is written for handing in to the teacher, then it is necessary to consider what qualities will be evaluated. Proceeding from this, the topic should be chosen in such a way that it would be possible to show those abilities that the examiner is waiting for from the author: originality, the ability to logically construct sentences, literacy, professional qualities, etc. When choosing the topic for writing an essay from the proposed list, you should choose one which you have particular knowledge in.
- Write an informal outline for essay. This part of a paper is important, because with an informal essay outline, your writing will be much easier. An outline is like a plan with which you will not forget to include all main points in your paper.
It often happens that a person who has enough eloquence and the ability to express his/her thoughts on paper, has difficulty in starting the essay. Thinking about the introduction can take quite a long time, which greatly darkens the process of creative work. Before you start writing an introduction, you need to formulate an idea, define a goal, and find sources of information for the work. It is important not to focus on the introductory part too long. Write an introduction including a thesis statement. Remember that the essay is distinguished precisely by the presence of the author’s view of the existing problem, his or her relation to the world, speech, and thinking.
- Write the main body of your essay using cliches, colloquialisms, and even jargon, as the format of this paper allows you to write in this way. It is necessary to avoid complicated formulations or too long sentences. It is important to follow a laid-back style to establish contact with the reader. It is important not to overdo it, however, turning the essay into a substandard text full of slang. The correct emotional color of the text will be given by short, simple, understandable sentences, and the use of different intonations in sentences. Include a detailed analysis of the problem. Your own point of view needs to be argued on the basis of factual material.
- Write a conclusion. Summarize everything that you have said before in your paper.
- Remember relative brevity of writing. There are no restrictions on the number of pages, but the informal essay is usually small in volume. An informal paper has a free construction. The informal essay has a way of presentation that does not fit into any definite framework. The construction obeys its own logic, which the author adheres to, trying to consider the problem from different angles.
- Proofread and edit your paper. Ask your friend to do it in order to find and correct more mistakes.
Informal Essay Example
The following example of informal essay writing was created to help you handle your own paper. As this type of paper is not formal, you can find personal observations, opinions, or points of view. The main thing is that this example is written in a relaxed manner, but it adheres to a particular structure. Short informal essay examples usually include the personal contact, and not the academic writing flow. You can find a subjective opinion in this type of paper, so you should write in this way as well. Our sample will help you understand how to write your own informal paper in order to get a high grade.
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Useful Tips for Informal Essay Writing
- Keep in mind that informal essays can be written in the first person, so using “I think that…” “In my opinion…” and “I believe…” are welcome.
- Sentences of your essay should not be too long, especially in the case of run-on sentences. At the same time – they should not be too short. Varying your sentence lengths is a good practice.
- Reread your essay at the end of your writing process. Ask yourself whether the tone is too formal or too informal. Make all necessary changes if needed.
- Add personality to your essay! Don’t know what it means? Well, an informal essay gives you a chance to personalize your writing, using words and phrases which are used only by you. In this way, you will have a unique piece of writing on a particular topic. Be creative!
- All statements that you include in your paper should be clear and realistic.
- Despite the free composition, the informal essay must have internal unity, with consistency of the author’s statements expressing his or her opinion.
- The author does not insist on his/her point of view, but uses a method as if inviting the reader to think about and discuss it.
Typical Mistakes for Writing an Informal Essay
- The absence of links between the substantive parts of the essay: introduction and conclusion, and the main part of the essay with the conclusion.
- Having proportionality of parts of the essay which should not be equal in length. The introduction and conclusion in the aggregate should be no more than one-third of the entire work. The main part is two-thirds.
- Inability to strictly follow the theme of writing in the course of reasoning.
- Inability to compositionally structure an essay in accordance with the theme and the main idea.
- Vast amounts of unnecessary information in the introduction and conclusion. However, too short and too unreasonable a conclusion is also inappropriate. It must really summarize and sum up all the work. The absence of a conclusion is a serious logical mistake. The conclusion must be meaningful in accordance with the introduction, topic, and main body of the essay.
- Absence of a problem in the introduction (this is the topic itself) and the formulation of a key thesis, which will be proved there.
- Indistinct formulation of theses, making it difficult to integrate them into the logical structure of the work. If there are several theses, then there should not be a contradiction between the theses formulated in different parts of the paper.
- Weak arguments. They are such if they do not prove or confirm, unconvincingly or superficially, the thesis.
- Unreasonable repetitions of the same thoughts.
- Errors in the division of the text into paragraphs and even the complete absence of paragraphs.
- Inability to operate with abstract concepts.
- The non-distinction between the concepts “example” and “argument,” and inability to formulate a micro-output, on the basis of an example, correlated with the thesis put forward.
Types of Outlines and Samples
This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.