The main objective of informal essay is pleasure – both for the writer and the reader, although it doesn’t mean that you can just ramble about something unintelligible for a few hundreds of words.
It tests your ability to write informally, how you will behave if given an almost complete freedom in the way of expressing your opinion. Its structure is less rigid and pre-defined, but there are still some distinctive features:
- Informal essay is usually much more personal, than any other kind of academic writing, and may deal with such subjects as your religious beliefs, your opinion on some controversial issue (like abortion, euthanasia or suchlike), or some personal experience.
- It should look or feel like a conversation – you know, just like things people start to prove to each other when they have drank a little bit and start to argue about politics.
- You should make your personality be seen in the text as distinct as possible – in a usual essay it is perceived, but never plays major part; here you write in order to express it.
Informal essay is most often assigned to define the final mark when there is some uncertainty, to find out how creative you can be when faced by almost complete freedom. The best analogue of the style of informal essay is journalistic style, aimed at more sophisticated audience: short text, witty and catching phrases, more colloquial wording.
To give an exemplary plan of such an essay would be to cancel its informality; we shall give you a couple of tips instead:
- Don’t overdo informality. Relaxed manner, colloquialisms, even slang may be alright if used sparingly and not turned from the means into an end.
- Be yourself, express your personality, make it noticeable in the text.
- Try to make your essay in the same manner as interesting fiction is written: create suspense. Use such techniques as defeated expectancy, foreshadowing and withholding of the most vital information up to the end.
All in all, the informal essay being what it is, the main rule here will be this: “Do not follow any rules”. There is no worse way to destroy the feeling of informality, than to try and build the essay along the once and for all pre-determined lines. Just be reasonable about the degree of informality, try to be witty, interesting and yourself and everything will be alright.