How to Write an Informal Essay: Explained by Professionals

Although educational institutions prefer formal essays, knowing about such a format as an informal essay is also crucial for students. You will not likely be asked to write informative articles for school, but this format can be used for many other purposes. And we can guarantee that you will love writing informal essays.

Are you intrigued? Well, keep reading to learn more about informal essay writing. In this article, we will explain what it is, show how it can be used, and provide valuable tips on writing such essays. Let’s get started!

Informal Essay Definition & Characteristics

So, how can we define an informal essay? It is a type of essay written chiefly for pleasure and is frequently called a personal essay. Informal essays are based only on a writer’s opinion, so all expressed ideas and positions are subjective and not backed up with facts and research. But, at the same time, an informal essay can be persuasive, educational, and informative. 

An informal essay is easily distinguished from a formal one, as its characteristics contradict legal writing. Let’s take a look at some of the distinctive features of informal essays:

  • A relaxed, more casual tone
  • Short sentences, sometimes not finished
  • Lack of logical sequence
  • Weak structure
  • Possible grammatical, punctual, and spelling errors.

As you can see, an informal essay has nothing in common with a formal report. Yes, in writing informal essays, you can follow a specific structure and avoid grammatical mistakes, but it is not required.

Informal Essay Example of Use

As we said, most professors usually assign formal essay assignments to students, and informal essay writing is almost not used. But there are a lot of examples of idiomatic writing you can see daily in real life.

A great example of informal essays may be social media posts. Internet users, especially bloggers, like to share their thoughts, stories, and opinions on different social network platforms. And usually, their posts don’t follow the rules of formal writing. A casual tone, more informal language, weak structure, and sometimes grammatically incorrect sentences help to characterize social media posts as informal writing.

Also, informal essays are not always public. People can write them for pleasure, reflection, and entertainment purposes. Here are some other examples of informal essays:

  • Personal diaries
  • Thoughts on a book, movie, or piece of art
  • Blog posts
  • Mood journals
  • Satirical essays.

Informal essays are not limited in subjects they can be written on. People use this format to describe their experiences in different spheres, emotions, points of view, and feelings. Thus, there are a lot of purposes for writing an informal essay; everyone can find it helpful in some spheres of their life.

How to Start an Informal Essay: Is Introduction Important?

Now, let’s talk more about how to write informal essays. Although a specific structure is not required, we can still divide the article into three parts: the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. Let’s start by explaining what a standard introduction looks like.

Creativity is appreciated in informal essays so you can start with an attention-grabbing sentence. However, it should be exciting and a bit abstract, so readers will want to continue reading to understand the context.

Also, it is unnecessary to state a thesis or provide background information in the introduction. Of course, you can outline what you will discuss in your essay, but as informal writing lacks a logical sequence of sentences, it can be hard to follow your thesis statement.

Thus, the introduction of an informal essay is more about grabbing the attention and setting the tone of your article.

How to Write a Body of an Informal Essay

If you have a specific topic, you need to define the purpose of your essay. For example, should it be convincing, informative, or descriptive? Once you know your goal, you will understand what to write in your essay.

In an informal essay’s main body, you should express your opinion on a chosen topic or explain your point of view. There is no sure way you need to structure the essay’s body, but we recommend writing short and clear sentences and dividing the text into small paragraphs. 

And it is entirely your choice how you will back up your position or opinion. It is acceptable to use arguments or examples, provide quotes if it is a reflection of a book, and many other methods to prove your point. You can even put all your thoughts about a specific topic into a paper and result with arguments at the end of the main body paragraphs. So don’t be afraid of experimenting if your professor didn’t provide specific requirements.

How to Conclude an Informal Essay

Writing a conclusion for an informal essay is not hard at all. Depending on the size of your paper, you can conclude it in a few sentences or a whole paragraph. Re-reiterating all your points in the body paragraphs is unnecessary, but you must summarize your main message. Also, you can end your informal essay with some assumptions about developing ideas around a particular subject or what can come in the future.

Thus, your conclusion can either summarize all points discussed in the essay or provide some questions and assumptions to think about. Anyway, a decision should leave an impression on your readers.

And you don’t need to add a bibliography or reference chapter at the end. Informal essays are based on your opinion, so citation is almost useless here. Thus, the conclusion paragraph is the last part of the informal essay.

Tips on Writing Informal Essays

Writing an informal essay is a fun and entertaining task. There are not that many rules on how an excellent informal article should be noted, so you have the freedom to express your thoughts on a particular subject the way you want. 

However, we want to give you some recommendations that may come in handy if you write an informal essay for school.

  • Don’t be afraid to express your opinion. It is what informal essays are all about. You didn’t need to provide facts, statistics, or other data to prove your point. Even your arguments can be based on your feelings and assumptions. 
  • Sarcasm and jokes are acceptable. It will be entirely appropriate in an informal essay if you feel like adding a mark to emphasize your position toward specific ideas. Just ensure that it will show readers that you are joking, mainly when you use sarcasm. Otherwise, it cannot be obvious.
  • Make sure of your essays’ readability. Although informal essay writing is more relaxed and doesn’t require you to follow strict rules, it is critical to make your essay readable. If informal essays are your school assignment, try to follow a specific structure or divide the text into paragraphs. Also, proofread your essay to make sure there are no errors. Grammar, spelling, and other mistakes are acceptable if you write just for enjoyment. But if it is for school, your essay should be error-free.

Final Thoughts

Even though students are mostly asked to write formal essays, informal writing is another skill that can help them on the way to academic success. Such assignments as informal essays are comparatively rare, but you should be prepared to write at least one during your education. And we hope our tips will help you to create an excellent informal essay!


What is the difference between a formal and informal essay?

Formal and informal essays differ in writing style, purpose, structure, and many other aspects. Generally, standard reports are research-based, use proper language, and are grammatically correct. And informal essays, also known as personal essays, are characterized by a relaxed, emotional tone, simple language, and lack of structure.

Do informal essays need citations?

No, it is not necessary to include citations when writing informal essays. This type of essay is always personal and all ideas discussed are subjective and biased. Plus, it is usually not required to conduct research or investigate a subject to write an informal essay, so you are not likely to have any data, ideas, or quotes that need to be cited.

How many paragraphs is an informal essay?

Unlike it is for formal essays, there is no specific structure for informal essays. If you write a conversational piece for school, your instructor can provide particular requirements or limit the word count. But, if you don’t have any guidelines, don’t limit yourself. You can write as many paragraphs as you need. Also, it is not essential to follow a specific structure, so feel free to divide your text into parts in the way you want.

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Adam Stone
Religion & Theology
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