Informal essay format

Informal essay format

Informal Essay

The informal essay is written mainly for enjoyment. This is not to say that it cannot be informative or persuasive; however, it is less a formal statement than a relaxed expression of opinion, observation, humor or pleasure. A good informal essay has a relaxed style but retains a strong structure, though that structure may be less rigid than in a formal paper.

The informal essay tends to be more personal than the formal, even though both may express subjective opinions. In a formal essay the writer is a silent presence behind the words, while in an informal essay the writer is speaking directly to the reader in a conversational style. If you are writing informally, try to maintain a sense of your own personality. Do not worry about sounding academic, but avoid sloppiness.

The essay, which follows is an opinion piece that was written for The Globe and Mail. The style is therefore journalistic but aimed at a fairly sophisticated readership. Paragraphs are short, as is normal in a newspaper with its narrow columns, and the tone is more conversational than would be appropriate for a formal essay. Notice the clear statement of the thesis, the concrete illustrations in the body of the essay, and the way the conclusion leads to a more general statement of what is perhaps to come in the future. It is included here both because it is a good example of the essay form and because it explores the kind of problem you will come up against as you try to punctuate your essays correctly.

The essay topics of the informal essay type are not limited to any specific subject, you can write your informal essay on any topic. For example, here are some popular essay topics to give you an idea:

  • The Best Journey of My Life
  • The Point in My Life Where I Would Start Over
  • The Perfect Woman, Marriage and Divorce
  • My Religion
  • The Celebrities Give Us Bad Examples
  • Reincarnation
  • The “Delights” of Our School Cafeteria

You should be well familiar with the informal essay topic you choose. Also, you have to consider the interests of your readers. You should show your personality and the attitude in your informal essay.

Extended Essay: Formal vs. Informal Writing

Differences Between Informal and Formal Essays

When writing your extended essay you should use language that is formal and academic in tone. The chart below gives you some idea of the differences between informal and formal essays. See the Box below for examples of the differences in tone in informal and formal essays written on identical topics. A PDF of this chart, and the examples below, is in the Box to the right, along with a list of tips for avoiding colloquial writing.

Examples of Informal and Formal Tone in Essay Writing

The following examples highlight the differences between formal and informal tone.

Language B — English

I decided to write an extended essay on how hip-hop works as protest of the lower classes because I think the music is cool and really gets people dancing, inspiring those people who wouldn’t normally think there’s any point in being against anything to listen to the message. Being an enthusiastic hip-hop dancer myself, I really wanted to find out some more about this.

This extended essay on how the lyrics of hip-hop developed as a form of protest against a society segregating the working classes is based on the premise of the music having a distinct and energizing rhythm that really inspires people To move, thereby reaching out to audiences who wouldn’t normally believe in protest, let alone speak out in public. Thus, the music becomes a vehicle for words of protest that can and indeed have changed the world. My own experience with dancing hip-hop at a relatively advanced and skilled level fuelled my desire to research this topic in more depth.


Biology has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was searching for frogspawn in my grandparent’s pond as a four-year-old and annoying my mum with a battery of jam jars on the window sill in which I was trying to raise tadpoles I have been fascinated with observing nature in detail. Even in English, reading Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney, I found myself thinking up an experiment to do with dragonflies and bluebottles. I have a fish tank at home with three different sorts of fish. I’ve noticed that they all respond differently when I feed them. I’m wondering what else is different in their behavior so, in this extended essay, I’m going to find out how they react to light.

This extended essay is focused on investigating the phototaxic responses of three different species of fish that occupy different areas of an aquarium: danios (Danio rerio), which group near the surface of the water, black skirt tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi), which swim in the middle of the tank, and kuhli loach (Pangio kuhlii), which swim near the bottom of the tank. It is anticipated that they will respond differently to light according to their niche within the tank.

The outcome of my investigation could inform the feeding strategy used for different fish as well as highlight the adaptive nature of toxic response in fish. In addition, this essay may help to inspire some fellow students to view their fish with new interest, and consider their own strategies in populating a fish tank.


When I go into a supermarket there is always gentle background music playing, although in the clothes shops I like it is always loud pop music. At breakfast my dad likes to listen to Rossini string sonatas, while my little brother has heavy metal on his iPod and will head-bang his way through a bowl of cornflakes. My extended essay is trying to research why people rely on certain types of music to influence their mood and how music is used in this way for advertising. I am not sure if there is a connection and whether the music does affect, for example, people’s shopping habits, but it will be interesting to try to find out, especially to see if different peoples’ brains are wired differently when it comes to music.

T his extended essay intends to investigate whether there is a causal relationship between music listened to and the mood of individuals. Additionally, it will seek to explore whether this relationship is used in advertising to encourage people to spend money.

Science on Religion

Exploring the nexus of culture, mind & religion

No More Help With Homework? — NEA Today essay example informal letter Order Research Paper Online | Essay Writing Online Service

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