An informal essay is one that espouses to tell a personal story or opinion of the author. It is entirely different from the other types of essays in its content, language, tone and voice. It is casual and relaxed in manner. It carries on as a conversation one would have with an acquaintance in an informal setting. The themes of informal essays are normally set to seek the opinion of the writer, a narration of an event or idea or to convey an idea or decision to the reader. The personal sentiments of the writer are paramount and this sets the informal essay apart from other essays.
The main idea of the essay is the first constituent of the essay to be formulated. It carries the premise of the essay and the rest is pegged on the thesis statement. The body of the essay serves to justify the thesis statement. It should be stated in plain language to make it obvious to the reader and comes in the first paragraph of the essay, mostly as the last statement of the introductory paragraph.
Organization of the essay is essential to any essay. Because of the type of essay being written, the organization of the essay should not be ignored. It helps give the reader a proper comprehension of the essay. Each point should be developed fully and progressively to build up to the next point. The writer should adhere to the main topic and all supporting points should be relevant to the topic.
The style of an informal essay differs from the other formal essays in the informal voice used, departing from the academic voice used in the others. The personality of the writer tends to show in informal essays because of the language and literary style used. The creativity of the writer is essential in writing a good informal essay. The active voice is permitted in informal essay writing, as is the first or second person. Formal writing permits a passive voice and a third person only.
Topics of an informal essay are not limited to any subject but are likely to be ones that allow for the opinions of the writer to be aired. Factual subjects such as in the sciences would not suffice; hence, many topics of informal essays tend to be based on the personal life or experiences of the writer. Social commentary in some newspapers and magazines are examples of informal essays.
An example “The Perfect Man or Woman” would give the writer the opportunity to give their personal opinions on the topic. Others are aimed at discussing controversial topics in an informal atmosphere such as “Reincarnation” or “Celebrities are Bad Role Models”. Mostly, the topic of the essay is based on personal experiences and memories “A Turning Point”.
Just like all other essays, an informal essay consists of three parts
- An introduction that contains the thesis statement
- A body that gives the points of the essay in detail by developing the thesis statement
- A conclusion that restates the thesis statement and sums up the contents of the essay.