Informal letter: How to Write an Informal Letter that Meets WAEC/NECO/GCE Standard
The informal letter is also known as a personal letter or a friendly letter. It’s a letter we write to friends, relatives and people we like to identify with. Very many candidates like to go for informal letter because they feel it’s easier than the formal letter. Just like the formal letter, the informal letter has its features.
Features of an informal letter
The introduction of an informal letter has three basic features. They are:
- address of the writer
To illustrate further, let’s refer to yet another past question. It reads:
Write a letter to your uncle working in another country stating three problems the family is facing and requesting his financial assistance.
With regards to the above past questions, let’s have a sample so that we can illustrate it better.
It is very important that you pay great attention to your introduction, especially when writing important exams like WAEC, NECO or GCE, Many students often begin in a complimentary note. The most common introduction is
Dear Uncle Jack,
“I’m happy to write this letter to you and your family? I hope you are swimming in the ocean of health an your work is going smoothly.” While this may not be a bad introduction, there’s a particular reaction to it. It’s ok if your’re writing in real life situation but for the purpose of exam you need to come up with something different from what others are writing. This is important because you are competing for the best grade and with a while lots of candidates.
The ugly part of this nature of introduction is that 80% of candidates will start with “I’m happy to write this letter to you.” “I’m delighted to ……….” “It gives me great pleasure to ……………..” This will lead to monotony because the examiner will be reading the same thing over and over. And then it becomes uninteresting to him. There is no hard and fast rule that says you must start on a complimentary note.
How about you come up with a unique introduction. Consider this example
Dear uncle Jack,
I recall your parting words five years ago. As we waved good bye in tears you said’ “I will always be there for whatever you need.” But since then, you have neither written to us nor rendered any financial assistance, Life is so difficult here in Nigeria and my father can hardly meet up with the family’s financial needs.
Body of the letter
Next is the body of the letter which is the content and the most essential as it is what carries the message, And like I said in the formal letter, it is the reason for writing the letter. Without the body of the letter there is no letter. With regards to the above question, let’s do justice the content of the letter.
Under content you are expected to write at least three basic problems facing the family and still under content you are expected to request three to four solutions to the problem. I will illustrate the content below.
One of the problems facing the family is that my dad lost his job a year ago. Ever since, we’ve been living from hand to mouth. Dad couldn’t pay our school fees for two terms so we were sent away from school. This is especially bad for me as my WAEC exam comes up soon. Dad is so depressed knowing he can’t give his children a worthwhile education.
Another problem facing the family is that we are now homeless. Uncle, can you image that Dad can no longer afford the rent for our two bedroom flat! We were sent parking and the family had no choice but to take refuge in the church premises. We had to keep our property with friends and well wishers.
Uncle you have yet to read the worst. It has to do with life. Mum is very ill and Dad is not able to pay the hospital bills. She is to undergo a surgery and a deposit N100,000 is required before the doctors can commence treatment. In the light of these problems we need immediate financial assistance.
Uncle, two of these problems require urgent attention. First we need to save Mummy’s life. I plead with you to send some money for her hospital bills so that doctors can commence treatment. Once Mummy is out of the hospital, she can return to her petty trading so as to assist Daddy to put food on the table.
The second problem that requires urgent attention is accommodation. Uncle, we need a place to lay our heads so kindly assist us with some money for accommodation. The family has resolved to make due with a two rooms apartment popularly known as room and palour.
Again uncle, if daddy had a business of his own things would be a lot easier. We wouldn’t have to bother you for financial assistance. He feels like a failure not being able to provide for his family. Therefore, Daddy requested that I plead with you to send him some money to start a business of his own so that he will be able to live up to his responsibilities as the family head.
I’m already in SSS 3 and my WAEC exam comes in 3 months. I need money for my WAEC fees while my siblings enroll in a public school as much as it hurts.
Uncle, in order to solve all these problems we need at least a million naira. With this we will be able to get Mummy out of the hospital, get an accommodation, pay my WAEC fee and Daddy can start his own business. We count on your support.
Conclusion of an informal letter
I said earlier that candidates may not always begin on a complementary note. The conclusion may now take care of the greeting. You can end your letter somewhat like this: “The whole family sent you greetings. We miss you dearly and eagerly look forward to your safe arrival in the nearest future. Till then do take care of yourself. We count on your support.
For the informal letter you can use any of the following:
Yours sincerely, Yours truly, Yours affectionately, Yours nephew,