Informal letters are letters written to people we are familiar with or letters written in an unofficial capacity.
The general rules of writing regarding content, spelling, organization, expression are applicable to the writing of an informal letter.
Examination bodies such as WAEC and NECO often include a question on informal letter writing in the English theory paper.
Features of informal letters
Informal letters have the characteristics listed below which differ from formal letters.
Address and Date
Informal letters make use of only one address and that is the address of the writer. Unlike formal letters, the address of the recipient is not included. A date can be added after the address.
Salutation and Heading
The salutation could be just the recipient’s name or Dear (recipient’s name)
Informal letters do not need a heading describing the subject matter of the letter.
The language of informal letters is not strictly official. The introductory paragraph may be used for greetings and inquiries on personal issues concerning the recipient.
An informal letter is not required to have a signature. The writer may also close the letter with his first name only, excluding his surname.
Example of an Informal Letter
Question: write a letter to your friend in another school and give him three reasons why he should transfer to your school.
Christ the King College
Plot 60 Gado Nasco Road
21 July, 2018
How are you? I hope you are performing well in your studies as you used to do when I was still with you at St Francis? How is your younger sister Nora? I am sure that now she is with you at St. Francis she would not be playing as many pranks at your expense as before or else you will punish her being her senior! Please tell her I said hello.
Emma, I know St. Francis is a very good school but I wish you would join me at my new school, Christ the King College. You may wonder what the difference is between the two schools but Christ the king is a boarding school, whereas St. Francis is a day school. I believe that now that we are in our senior years of secondary school we don’t need distractions that are common at home. For instance, I bet you still do a lot of chores when you return from school. And then there’s the television with its many tempting shows. I will be truthful; I wish I can watch “Dr Strange” right now!
Also, Christ the King College is older and bigger than St. Francis. It has a fully equipped and functional laboratory donated by the many eminent alumni of the school. St. Francis has a laboratory too but it is still a work in progress. It is something that will be beneficial to students presently in the junior classes and not students already in the senior classes who are so close to the Senior School Certificate examination.
Again Emma, remember how well we studied together? So well that if I am in the first position when results are released, you are second, and vice versa. Our parents even became friends because of us. I wish we could continue challenging ourselves but that would only be possible if you come over to Christ the King College.
Finally Emma, have you made a choice of university yet? I have decided on Covenant University Ota. The school ticks all the check boxes for quality tertiary education, and although it is far from home, I believe it will be a great experience.
Please talk to your parents about the idea of coming to Christ the King! I look forward to seeing you and Nora during the holidays. Take care!
Note: the writer kept to the three reasons as required in the question. Observe how each reason was given and explained in a single paragraph, earning him top marks in content and organisation