Difference between Formal and Informal Essay

Essays are commonly given academic assignments. These essays fall under two categories – formal essays and informal essays. Why is it important to learn the difference between formal and informal essays? Whether you are writing an essay assignment per the guidelines set by your instructor or simply typing a message to a friend, it is important to understand the receiver of your writing and the purpose of your writing. The main idea behind learning formal and informal essays today is to understand how to change your writing style while writing an essay on any of these specific categories.

Difference between Formal and Informal Essays – Complete Guide

Firstly, formal and informal essays are two different categories and not the same. If you are given to write a formal essay, then it is highly inappropriate to write an essay in an informal style. For example, essays are normally given during admission, and scholarship applications fall under formal essays. Informal essays, on the other hand, are based on personal opinions and common interests. In the next section, we have discussed the definition, after which you can easily write a formal and informal paragraph.

What is a Formal Essay?

When you need to write a formal essay, remember that your approach should be more like that you are informing a valuable piece of information with proven facts and statements to convince the readers. The below steps are listed from the works of our own professional writers:


You need to write this in the third person’s point of view, such as – they, their, he, him, himself etc.

Tone in Formal Writing Style

There is zero to no emotional expression while writing an essay in the formal writing style. The objective is to present powerful facts and supporting statements to persuade the readers.

Formal Essay Structure

A formal essay structure mainly highlights one clear argument and idea. Based on the structure, we organize the essay in the following way:

  • Introduction- first paragraph
  • Body- 2 to 3 paragraphs
  • Conclusion- final paragraph.


Write in proper grammar and use supportive words related to the subject. Do not use “I” or “You”.

Why is it Used?

Essay assignments are one of many uses of formal writing. A formal writing style is also useful apart from writing academic essays. The main idea of formal essay writing is to present facts from a third person’s point of view after analyzing a specific event, subject or matter.


You must write at least five paragraphs for high school academic essay assignments. However, there is no specified length for writing a formal essay. The writer needs to continue the essay for as long as it takes him to prove one particular fact or idea.

What is an Informal Essay?

Unlike formal essays, informal essays do not follow strict guidelines. A successful informal essay engages the reader easily through its interactive way of writing.


The first dissimilarity between formal and informal paragraphs is that when you are writing an informal essay, you need to write in the first person’s point of view.

Tone used in Informal Writing Style

The writer can make use of “I”, “You”, and “My” while writing an essay in informal writing style.

Informal Essay Structure

There are no specific rules for preparing an informal essay structure. The author can choose their own layouts. However, if you are writing an essay for an academic assignment, read the guidelines carefully first.


You can use common words to make your essay more interactive. For example, “Hey, long time no see!” “At Least I am bringing you a cup of coffee, so you better be thankful”.

Why is it Used?

The Informal style is mainly used for entertainment purposes. However, you should look for sample informal essays to get a better idea.


Check the assignment guidelines for word limits because you can play with your informal essay length and make it as short or long as you want it to be. Just be creative.

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