The informal essay, unlike most of the other essay types out there doesn’t come as a task, homework or something mandatory. Instead, it’s a piece of work that you write for pleasure or simply because you feel like putting some experiences down on paper. Nonetheless, like any other type of essay, it should reveal your ability to express your point of view on certain events or experiences in an informal style. The main feature of an informal essay is the lack of academic requirements or rigid structure and, above everything, revealing the true style of communication that each individual has.
When reading an informal essay, the readers should be left with the impression of a casual conversation. One very important thing in such an essay is to maintain the sense of personality in writing it and, just like a reflective essay, it should contain you most of all. When reading an informal essay, the reader should be able to understand you and your point of view of the matter, event that is discussed in the essay.
The subject for an informal essay can be an actual experience or a fictional one, it’s not really important as long as the style of such an essay is being respected. Before getting started, you should take some time and shape out the story you’re going to follow. Call it your first draft if you may, but it has to be done so that, once you get to the actual writing you will have a steady flow. Simply start with an introduction and build up your story as you go. Remember, there’s no real need for emotions or personal impressions on the story, it’s an informal essay, there are no rules here. But even if there are no strict rules on how to compose an informal essay, there are still some techniques that you can use to make sure you work is as accurate as possible.
This technique will allow you to underline the important elements and events in your story while compressing anything that is not relevant or you don’t want to bring out in the spotlight. Exactly as a painter focuses on the main object and leaves the background blurry, you should do the same with the main piece of your story.
This rather special technique can be used in an informal essay especially to make a statement about your work. Since it’s an informal essay and there are no strict rules, you can easily place the events of 2002 after the ones of 2014, for example. It may also add to the mystery of the final work but you should still be careful about how much time inversion you use as you may damage the entire structure and lose the reader if you’re not careful. This technique will also allow you to present the most important piece of information first and then come with the details or the events that lead to it. This can be a great hook to get the reader interested on the story and then keep him along the way.
Creating Suspense in an Informal Essay
Even if it’s not an academic piece, since you started writing it you clearly want people to read it and be interested in it. Well, a good way to do so is to learn how to build-up suspense in your essay. It’s true, it’s quite a challenging task and there is no simple or clear recipe on how you can achieve such things, however, you can always use the following suggestions.
One of the most important parts in creating suspense is to have an overall feeling of uncertainty floating all around your essay. If you manage to give the reader the feeling of something unknown, a thrilling experience of some sort, something that can not be predicted, then your work is half done. The technique is called foreshadowing and is very helpful in writing good fiction stories that keep readers hooked. Of course, it’s just as useful in composing an informal essay that aims to create suspense as a form of keeping the reader interested on what is about to happen next.
Withholding some parts of the information or not revealing all the facts that lead to an action in your essay will also help a lot in the build-up of suspense. It’s like never giving all the information to the reader but rather trying to let him guess what’s going to happen next, never being too certain about it.
Narrowing the Plot
Of course, having a lot of interconnected stories and jumping from one point of view to another can be a great addition to your informal essay and the entire suspense build-up, however, you don’t want to get too tangled in a lot of interconnected stories. That’s why narrowing the plot at some point is a great tool to give the reader the impression that he or she is finally getting a hold on things and where the entire story is going. Remember, you want to challenge your readers but at the same time you don’t want them to lose interest because the entire essay lost its purpose or plot.
Some Helpful Informal Essay Topics
Due to their informal nature, the informal essays are not limited to certain topics or themes and you can write about almost anything. But in case this wide offer of topics is the thing that keeps you from getting started, you can use some of the above-mentioned suggestions.