Informal Essay Writing: Strategies for Engaging Your Readers

informal-essayAn informal essay differs in many ways from other papers that students have to write in high school or in college. There are many people who can write excellent research papers or reports, but they sometimes struggle with informal essays. In case you don’t know how to approach such an assignment, take a look at this article. It will offer you many essay writing tips that you will find helpful.

Informal Essay: Its Most Distinctive Features

There are several traits of an informal essay, which distinguish it from typical academic essays that people usually have to write. You should take into account the following issues:

  1. First, an informal essay appeals not only to the readers’ reason but to their emotions and feelings as well. Certainly, it has to be thought-provoking, but it also has to be entertaining.
  2. A person who writes such a paper can use more colloquial language. For example, it is quite possible to use contractions such as don’t, haven’t, or isn’t. Moreover, the writer can use personal pronouns like I, we, or you. In contrast, such colloquial language is hardly appropriate for other types of academic essay writing.
  3. The thesis of such a paper is not always stated at the very beginning. In fact, in many cases, it is not stated at all, because informal essays normally prompt readers to make their own conclusions.
  4. There are practically no structural requirements for such papers.
  5. Finally, an essay is informal when it is mostly based on individual experiences and perceptions of a writer, rather than some empirical findings.

Informal Essay: Strategies for Achieving Success

There are various rules and strategies that will help you cope with this paper successfully. Some of them may seem to be rather obvious, but they have been of great help to many students:


  1. First, you should choose a topic that is interesting to you and your readers. For example, you can describe a moral dilemma that you had to solve or a person who deeply influenced you. Remember: this paper has to refer to your individual experience and observations.
  2. Avoid clichés and hackneyed expressions. For example, phrases such as “arrive at a conclusion”, “at this juncture”, or “it should be noted” shouldn’t appear in your paper because they sound too formal.
  3. Try to capture the reader’s attention right from the beginning. You can do it by asking a rhetoric question, telling an anecdote, or by using an interesting quote that best fits the topic of your essay.
  4. Don’t force your reader to accept your own conclusions. He or she will surely understand the point your are trying to make.
  5. Don’t try to refer to the so-called authority figures when making an argument. Your professor wants to evaluate your own ideas, rather than someone else’s. Instead, you should rely on a narrative to illustrate your ideas.

Informal Essay: Learning by Example

At this point, you know much about informal essays. Yet, you should also take a look at the best examples of such papers. For instance, you might find it useful to read the works of Bernard Shaw, Umberto Eco, Virginia Wolf, and other writers. You can learn a great deal from them.