Format Essay Informal Letter

SPM Directed Writing: Informal Letter
You recently went an expedition with your classmates to Langkawi. You have been asked to write a letterto your cousin about your visit to Langkawi Island.

Rosni Alias
No.3,Jalan Sutera,
Taman Cempaka,
43600 Bandar Baru Bangi,
12 March 2012.

Dear Zarina,

        How's life? I hope you are in the best of health. How's my beloved Uncle Johari? I miss him too.The reason I write this letter is to tell you about my expedition to Langkawi. Guess what? We just came back from Langkawi . I went there with 25 of my classmates and my class teacher. Mr, Zaid had kindlly accompanied us for the 3 day-trip. You should have joined us. It was such an awesome experience!

        Well, on the first day, we arrived at Langkawi in morning after a short flight. Then, we were taken to Langkawi Geopark, a UNESCO World Heriatage Site where we could see magnificent rock formations. We were taught the history of the place and some fossils of fish could also be sighted. This is a wonderful opportunity to understand geogical aspect of the island at the Geopark.

        After visiting Geopark, we were taken to Pulau Dayang Bunting which about an hour boat ride. I forgot to mention that the boat ride itself was so exciting and adventurous. Upon arrival at the island, we were greeted by monkeys and soon, we saw a breathtakinng lake, with its gree clear water. Not forgetting the fish spa where thousands of catfish nibble at your feet when you lower feet into the water. Again, this is a new experience for me. Other than that, we could really enjoy the beautiful scenery of the island.

        The next day, we went to Underwater World where we saw the penguin, giant fishes, colourful onemones and all sorts of marine life there.I'm sure, it's heaven for fish lovers. One advantage of this trip is I could  learn about themarine life. Well, on the final day, we went to Mahsuri   Tomb and Padang Mat Sirat to relive the legend of Mahsuri. It was a good experience since I managed to see the historic sites and understand Mahsuri legend better. Other than that, I also learn about the importance of being true to our words and do not spread false gossips since these can lead to horrible consequences. I also managed to make friends with some other tourists visiting the site.

        Okay, I guess I have to have to pen off now. Hope to see you in the next letter. Please convey my love and regards to my uncle and aunti. Take care!

Love,                                                                                                                                                          Rosni

Source: By Roshini Bala



Informal letters are friendly letters that we write to friends and family members on a personal basis.

In addition to giving news, they are often used to give information, congratulate, give advice and expressing concern.

Step by step

1. Write the address of sender on the right hand corner

Taman Melawati,
PO Box 221, 99808,
Tenom, Sabah.
332, Taman Jutaria
11992, Sarawak. 

2. Write the date bellow the address

Example: 23 July 2017

3. Salutations with the name of the person you are writing to

Dear Maria, Dear Aunt Alice, Dear Mum

4. Opening

Useful phrases for the opening

§ How are you? / How have the family been? / I hope you are well.

§ Thank you / Many thanks for your (recent/last) letter / postcard.

§ It was good / nice / great to hear from you again.

§ I was so surprised to hear that...

§ I’m sorry I haven’t written / haven't been in touch for such a long time.

§ It’s ages since I’ve heard from you. I hope you're well / you and your family are well.

§ How are things? / How are you? / How’s it going?

5. State the purpose of your writing

Useful phrases to state the purpose of your writing

Referring to news

§ Great news about … Glad to hear that … Sorry to hear about …

Giving news

§ Listen, did I tell you about …? You’ll never believe what …

§ Oh, and another thing … This is just to let you know that …

§ I thought you might be interested to hear about / know that …

§ By the way, have you heard about / did you know that …?


§ I’m writing to apologise for missing your party but I’m afraid I was with flu.

§ I’m really sorry that I forgot to send you a birthday card but I was busy with my new job.


§ I’m / We’re having a party on Friday 19th and I / we hope you’ll be able to come.

§ Would you like to come / go to see ‘Room With a View’ with me at the weekend?

§ I was wondering if you’d like to go to the theatre / come on holiday with us.

§ Could you let me / us know if you can come / you’d like to join us?

§ Thank you very much for your invitation. I’d love to come.

§ Thank you for asking / inviting me to … but I’m afraid I won’t be able to …


§ I’m writing to ask for your help / you (if you could do me) a favour.

§ I wonder if / I was wondering if you could help me / do me a favour.

§ I hope you don’t mind me asking but could you (possibly) …?

§ I’d be very / really / terribly grateful if you could …

Thank you / Congratulations / Good Luck

§ I’m writing to thank you for your hospitality / the wonderful present.

§ It was so kind of you to invite me to stay with you.

§ I really appreciated all your help / advice.

§ Congratulations on passing your exams / your excellent exam results!

§ I wish you good luck / Good luck in / with your exams / your driving test / your interview.

§ Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do well / pass.

§ Do be on time, won’t you, and don’t forget to …

Making suggestions and recommendations

§ Why don’t you …? / Maybe you could …? / How about …?

§ You can’t leave New York without (...doing sth)

§ I’m sure you will enjoy (...doing sth). If you like, we can …

§ Do visit ... / Don’t forget to ... 

6. Contents/Body

Write in paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain new theme

7. Closing remarks 
Give a reason why you're ending the letter: 
Anyway, I must go and get on with my work! / I guess it's time I got on with that studying I've been avoiding.

Send greetings and/or make reference for future contact

Give my love / regards to... / Say hello to... / Anyway, don't forget to let me know the dates of the party. / I'll try and phone you at the weekend to check the times. / We must try and meet up soon. / I can't wait to hear from you / Look forward to seeing you again / Hope to hear from you soon / See you soon / Write soon

8. End of letter
Write you end of letter on right hand corner.

Examples:Yours Sincerely, Yours affectionately(for closer person), Your loving daughter/son, Your cousin
Make sure to write your name as clear as possible instead of just some random signature scribble

Tips and Important Notes

1. Read the questions carefully

2. The tone of the letter can be as personal as possible BUT remember that yo are answering a question in an examination.

3. If you are writing to a friend, the tone is casual.

4. If you are writing to someone older, the tone is polite.

5. Use casual or informal language, for example, ‘I’ve’, ‘I’m’

FAQ: Can I use the terms ‘wanna’, ‘gonna’, ‘gotta’, and so on in my essay?Answer: NO. Not recommended. 

6. Organise your letter into paragraphs for easier marking experience for your teacher.

7. Be polite even if you are writing to a friend.

8. Keep your writing content positive.

9. Reread your essay after writing every paragraphs to avoid grammar errors.

10. Include idioms!

11. Manage your time properly so you won’t be rushing later

12. Add your own points

Example Essays


P.O. BOX 123
Kampong Amboi 2,
89908, Tenom,

22 August 2016

Dear Edgar,

                How are you? How is your preparation for your upcoming examination? Do not worry too much, I have had the same experience too. Let me share with you some useful tips to handle such pressure.

                First of all, time management is an important aspect in everything we do. One of the ways to manage time properly is to prepare a daily and weekly time table. Allocate appropriate amount of time for studies, exercises and relaxations.

                Next, the important tip is to stick to your time table. This means that you must not procrastinate. If you do, you will end up piling up your works and become stressed.

                Other than that, I would advise you to form group studies. This way, you can learn hand in hand with your friends through discussions and brainstorming. When examination is around the corner, focus more of your time on revision. However, continue to have your exercise and enough rest because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

                I believe you can follow these simple suggestions. I am sure you will do well in your examinations. Until next time, bye!


P.O. Box 193,

Lot 3, Taman Amboi Delima,
89908, Tenom,

24 August 2016

Dear Felix,

                It was great to hear from you again after some time. We are all safe and sound and it’s good to know that you are too. I’ve sent your regards to my family. They really miss you!

                I am astonished by your recent letter about inviting me to your country. I was overjoyed! I thought you would never ask that to me. London is a beautiful and historical part of the country. It’s a must visit place before I die.

                However, even though I find this invitation hard to resist, I think I might be taking a rain check for your invitation. Sad but true, so I will explain the reasons why I must do this hard decision.

                First and foremost, I just checked the cost of the trip. My eyes almost flipped! It is so expensive giving the condition of my current family’s economy. My brother was just sent to the university and that already cost my parents a lot of dimes. It might be unfair to ask my parents money for now.

                Also, you must know about my journey to some of the states in Malaysia in the past years. I would like to highlight that those were all family trips. I have never traveled alone before. This may make you smile like a goat but believe it or not, it will scare my parents to their bones if they know I’ll travel that far alone.

                Furthermore, next year I will have the most important exam in my schooling year. With the exams and trials being around the corner, I will need this holiday to pump up my academic performances by doing ample of revisions. My parents are relying on me to get better grades for a scholarship. Let's keep our fingers cross for that!

                The bottom line is, there are too many cons than pros for me to accept this exciting invitation. I am very sorry for rejecting it now, but I may not do so in the future. So keep your doors open, and wait for me to be there soon.

                In the meantime, why not you and your family come and visit us here in Malaysia? You can help me be their tour guide since you have been here during the student exchange program. It would be a breathtaking and memorable experience for all of us.

 That’s all I can scribble for now. Take care my dear friend and do keep in touch. As for your coming exams, make your parents proud and break a leg!




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