Writing an Excellent Informal Letter in WAEC/NECO [Ultimate Guide]

Informal letter writing is always an essay option in WAEC/NECO English language exams. And unlike formal letter writing, the rules of writing an informal letter are more flexible.

In this tutorial, you will learn the art of writing an excellent informal letter with the correct format for the:

  1. Writer’s address
  2. Date
  3. Salutation
  4. First paragraph
  5. Body
  6. Last paragraph
  7. Complimentary close
  8. Writer’s name

BONUS: A link to past questions on letter writing is included at the end of this tutorial.

1. Writer’s address

As the writer, put your address at the top right-hand corner of your paper using the correct format explained in the steps below.

Writing a residential address

STEP 1: Begin with your house number and then the name of your street.

Example:

19, Samson Street,

If your house does not have a street name (which is unlikely), then replace the space for ‘street’ with the busstop, junction or major road closest to your house.

Example:

19, Onuegbu Road,

STEP 2: For the second line of your address – where is that your street or road located?

This should be the area that contains your street as well as other streets. It is usually the community within which your street is found.

Example:

19, Samson Street,

Toppers Island,

STEP 3: For the third line of your address – where is that community located? A community is usually found within a town/city.

Example:

19, Samson Street,

Toppers Island,

Badagry,

STEP 4: For the fourth line of your address – in which State is that your town/city located?

Example:

19, Samson Street,

Toppers Island,

Badagry,

Lagos State.

Summary on the writer’s address in an informal letter

  • Each line of the address is positioned directly under the other in a block format.
  • The first alphabet of every word and paragraph is CAPITALIZED.
  • The entire address has only one full stop.
  • The address occupies 4 lines which is the minimum.

A good address is followed from the last area at the bottom to the first at the top.

Here is what I mean,

If you were to visit me with the house address in the Example above, you will have to first be in LAGOS STATE, then get to BADAGRY, find TOPPERS ISLAND before getting to SAMSON STREET and knocking on the house number 19.

TAKE NOTE THAT when writing to someone abroad, indicate the country that you are writing from.

Example:

19, Samson Street,

Toppers Island,

Badagry,

Lagos State,

Nigeria.

2. Date

This is the date of the day that you are writing the letter.

Put the date directly under your address (i.e. leave no gap) and it must be written in this format: Day Month, Year.

Example:

Address + Date:

19, Samson Street,

Toppers Island,

Badagry,

Lagos State.

23rd July, 2020.

Summary on the date in an informal letter

  • The day is written in numbers.
  • A comma is after the month.
  • It ends with a full stop (i.e.) after the year

3. Salutation

This is a short reverence to the receiver of your informal letter. It must begin with any of the following words “Dear… My dear…” followed by your receiver’s real name, alias or who they are to you.

Example:

Dear Mother,

Summary on the salutation in an informal letter

  • The salutation starts with a CAPITAL letter.
  • The name you choose to call your receiver starts with a CAPITAL letter.
  • The salutation ends with a comma.

4. First paragraph

Use this first paragraph of your informal letter to ask after your receiver’s well-being. It could be about their health, studies or job.

Example:

How have you been? I hope everything is alright over there.

After asking after the well-being of your receiver, get creative and add a few more sentences to this first paragraph. However, what you choose to add must be related to the person or location of your receiver.

Example:

How have you been? I hope everything is alright over there. Thank you for the gift you sent me last week. Infact, I’m still overwhelmed and will forever be grateful to you for that.

5. Body of the letter

The body of your informal letter should discussed, in full detail, the main topic that you are writing the letter on. It should cover at least 3 or more paragraphs.

6. Last paragraph

Use this last paragraph of your informal letter to ask after the well-being of your receiver’s friends and family members. Extend your regards to the mentioned friends or family. Finally, tell your receiver that you hope to see or hear from them soon.

Example:

How is Sister Tope and Grandpa? Extend my warm regards to the both of them. I’m look forward to hearing from you soon.

7. Complimentary close

For the complimentary close of your informal letter, use “Yours sincerely” and a comma afterwards.

Example:

Yours sincerely,

8. Writer’s name

As the writer, your name comes directly under the complimentary close and must be positioned at the bottom right-hand side of your paper.

Write your first name ONLY, or the name that your receiver calls you. Do NOT include your surname.

Example:

Yours sincerely,

Sammy 

Summary on writing an excellent Informal letter in WAEC/NECO

  • Writer’s address to the right.
  • Leave no space between your salutation and the first paragraph
  • First paragraph is about your receiver’s well-being
  • The body of your informal letter should be about 3 – 4 solid paragraphs.
  • Last paragraph is about the well-being of your receiver’s family and friends.
  • Complimentary close is — Yours sincerely,
  • Followed by your name or alias (NO SURNAME)

Do you have something to add to or ask on this topic? Post it in the English Discussion Group and I will reply you as soon as I can.

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