When writing an informative essay, you must understand what source of argumentation it stems from. Additionally, you must follow an informative essay format, which has its own peculiarities. You may be familiar with expository essays where the author must investigate and evaluate various evidence. Moreover, the author must provide the argumentation for the stated idea as well.
What Is an Informative Essay
An informative essay is an academic paper written by high school and college students. This kind of informative writing aims to inform the target audience about a particular object, person, situation, or phenomenon. The purpose is to respond to the main question by explaining the topic in detail. When writing in an informational essay format, imagine the readers do not know anything about the topic in front of them. If possible, use professional terms to explain the topic, but remember to provide meaningful explanations. The definition of informative writing is as follows: The piece must be informative and based on facts. It is not supposed to sway the reader into changing their beliefs or give an opinion.
- based on cold facts, statistics, and scientific evidence
- not supposed to give the author’s opinion
Example: When writing an informative essay about marketing for the audience of students who have no idea of startups and business, try to express the main idea with the help of special words. Great words to use are brainstorming, A/B testing, target audience, customer research, copywriting, etc. Give professional definitions. In some cases, use specific examples to explain the meaning of words.
Informative Essay Structure
If you don’t know how to write an informative essay outline, don’t worry. It looks much like most of the academic papers. There are three parts in it: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Also, do not forget to include a list of references at the end of the work. The number of body paragraphs may vary based on your topic, so choose it carefully. In the conclusion of your informational essay, remind the reader of the main idea. Instead of providing a thesis statement in the shape of an argument, you can stress the importance of the issue under consideration. The purpose of an outline for an informative essay is to determine what you are going to talk about and organize your thoughts.
Example: Imagine that the topic of the informative essay is “The effectiveness of exercising on coping with stress.”
Your informative essay outline should look like this:
- Origin of the problem. This is the main idea of the essay, focusing on the ways exercising helps dealing with stress. Feel free to go into the history of the problem, and in this case, it is especially important to have a thorough introduction. This will let the reader know what is going on and help understand the information you will provide later in the body of the essay.
- Process. Write about the ways researchers detect what type of exercises help and why. Describe how exactly does it work.
- Benefits. Describe the advantages of regular exercise using examples from real life.
Decide on the clear message your essay will have. Address reasons why the specific problem is important, and how to let your audience know about the issue’s significance. A good informative essay thesis should contain a clear message that you can later prove with evidence. Make it in such a way that you can later easily support it. An example of a good thesis is: “Smoking causes three health problems that lead to gradual health deterioration by the age of 40”. To support this thesis, you will have to list the three health disorders and provide information on how each one of them harms people’s health.
In this part of the essay, take the time to introduce the problem you are going to discuss. The introduction should not be very long; however, in some cases, there are exceptions, especially if the problem you are discussing is complex and not well known to the general public. The main objective of this section is to provide a background of the topic, write your thesis, and let the essay smoothly transition into the next part, the body.
Use the body part to inform the target audience about the peculiarities of the topic. You have got three paragraphs that you can use to share some interesting facts with your audience. Go into the little known details, or reflect on common knowledge in a new light to intrigue readers. The three integral elements of each body paragraph you must absolutely have are the claim, supporting evidence, and explanation. The principle here is simple, state something and explain why it is so by backing it up with evidence. Be as detailed in your explanation as you can and remember to stay on point.
As a rule, in conclusion for informative essay, just like for a descriptive essay, you should summarize everything that was mentioned in the text. Sum up all information in the essay and give a short rundown of what you have talked about. This will help the reader to solidify what they have just read in their mind and link all the pieces of your essay together.
Make sure your conclusion is not far-fetched and does not come “out of nowhere.” Finish your essay by providing a summary of the main points listed in the body of your informative essay. Avoid adding any new information and questions; this may steer your essay off the topic and confuse the reader. Besides, you should have provided all the needed information in the body section of the essay. End your essay in a way that maintains the reader’s interest in the topic you discussed and encourages its further exploration.
Informative Essay Topics Ideas
You can find good informative essay examples online on various platforms. In turn, we want to offer you a list of informative essay ideas and topics you can choose from.
- Prison Overcrowding. In this informative essay example, you can mention all of the consequences that come with the number of prisons, a number of inmates, and the justice system in general (stick to facts and statistics and pay attention to the difference between fact and opinion.) You could also take a slightly lighter approach and touch on decreased mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses. Remember, try not to make it too narrow or too broad.
- Family. Discuss the importance of family for children in this informative essay sample. There are plenty of resources and data to back up your point of view.
- Smoking. When tackling a subject like smoking, it could be interesting to address the history of tobacco and how it evolved, as well as its societal status through the years. There are a lot of interesting facts on the matter that many people may not know. It would also be a rather interesting topic for a compare and contrast essay, as you could talk about the perception of smoking in different cultures or countries, etc.
- Your favorite band/movie/art etc. Those who do not share your tastes may find something interesting in your favorite art. Behind the scenes footage, cut content and its importance, song meanings, historical context, etc. The sky's the limit, but keep in mind that you cannot express your personal opinions.
- How Something Works. Ranging from the role of a cinematographer in film production to a nuclear power plant, there are plenty of opportunities to explain the technology behind machinery, a job, or an idea.
- Caffeine Addiction. Here you can explain the role of caffeine-containing products in the daily lives of people. Any substance can provide its benefits to our lives; however, there are drawbacks that come with prolonged usage.
Tips on Writing an Informative Essay + Examples
The most frequent mistake that students make is attempting to write right away, without the proper research and a lack of an informative essay structure plan. Such an attitude is especially unproductive when writing an informative essay since it needs a lot of effort put into the synthesis of information. Therefore, it is best to have a structured plan that you can follow. Having a blueprint of your essay speeds up the writing process. Make sure to follow the plan and deliver the information in the best possible way you can. The audience must learn something new by the end of the piece.
Here is a basic plan you can follow when writing your informative essay:
First of all, you must understand that the topic you choose for your informative essay cannot be too vast or too specific. A good student will always write about an area they have yet to explore. Think of it as an exercise, you are expanding your pool of knowledge, and try to stick to something you care about. Visualize the route you will take with your paper; you may refer to the list of provided topics and see if anything tickles your curiosity.
The most important part is the research. Familiarize yourself with several sources, and save them for later. You will need to refer to them, and perhaps even cite them if your educator wants you to do so. Archiving knowledge will improve the retention of that material and will help during the writing process. Do not limit yourself to only primary sources. Evaluate the secondary ones as well and make sure they are legible and relevant.
How to Write an Informative Essay Outline
Before you start working on your informative essay outline, remember that the most common way of writing an informative essay is a five-paragraph format. You start off with an introduction, follow with three body paragraphs, and finish with a conclusion. Your intro serves to present the main idea of your article. The three body paragraphs of your article will mainly expand on the thesis statement you have created in your intro. Your conclusion will sum everything up and present the significance of your topic.
How to Write an Introduction
The introduction to your informative essay should be something that will grab your reader's attention. Include an essay hook, a thesis statement, and a transition sentence (usually the same sentence) to make sure everything moves smoothly.
Let’s take one of our topics as an example - showcasing art on a factual basis. The critical thing is to avoid sentiment. Suppose your theme is based on the context behind the album “Kid A” by Radiohead. To explain it, you would have to delve into the band’s prior history and experience and explain why Kid A turned out the way it did base on interviews and reviews.
An example of an attention grabber: The tunes on the radio head in a different direction nowadays.
An example like that is a bit ridiculous, but it is an extreme example of the job that an essay hook needs to perform. Hopefully, a play on words will make the reader grin in this case.
An example of a thesis statement:To what extent has Kid A’s deviation from the norm been influenced by the band’s prior experiences?
How to Write a Body
The goal of the body paragraphs is to support the thesis statement with evidence or examples. Continuing with our example:
1st body paragraph - Kid A’s deviance in style
- Kid A’s deviance in style
- Exhausting touring schedule
2d body paragraph - Exhausting Touring Schedule after “OK Computer” album
- Heavy Themes in Artwork
- Themes in Music (and why)
3d body paragraph - Lyrical Meaning
- Use of sarcasm, irony
- Threatening messages delivered very softly
How to Write Informative Essay Conclusion
The goal of the conclusion is, to sum up, everything that was stated in body paragraphs. Implement your thesis and provide significance. Explain why the topic you chose is valuable, giving it importance in the real world. This step can be very subjective, so that is entirely up to you.
To Sum Up
Informative writing is assessed on the specific criteria that show the writer’s ability to implement them in their essay. The following is a foundation you need to base the piece on. Run through these questions to make sure that your essay is the best it can be: Does the thesis statement adequately unify all subtopics presented in the essay? Does the introduction engage the reader, and does it explain the forthcoming content? Are there enough details for the reader to understand the subject matter fully? Does the concluding paragraph effectively unify the essay? Does it make a point of the importance of the stated idea?
Informative essays are very tedious by definition. The amount of research that goes into them can seem a little too much to handle. If you feel like you have difficulties completing such a task yourself, we have a team of essay writers at your disposal to help you accomplish it. You can hire a writer to proofread your writing and help you make it perfect, or you can order a custom essay written from scratch for a very affordable price. Don’t hesitate to ask for essay help and improve your grades now!