Now here’s the most basic essay students are assigned in high school and college classes. If you’ve ever been assigned a five-paragraph essay, chances are you’ve already written an informative essay even if that’s not what the teacher called it. Informative essays can run the gamut from the causes of the civil war to climate change to the reason dogs make good pets. As long as the audience can be informed regarding a particular topic, then that subject is fair game for an informative essay.
If you are still unsure about the definition of the essay, find that out with our guide: What is an Essay?
What is an Informative Essay?
An informative essay aims to educate the audience about a particular subject. The essay does so by introducing the topic and providing background information, providing specific details within body paragraphs, and ending with a conclusion which reviews the main points.
The informative essay is typically five paragraphs but can be more – if more points need to be covered in the body paragraphs. It relies greatly on facts, and should contain a good amount of cited research from reliable sources. The informative essay’s goal is solely to provide information instead of persuading or entertaining the audience.
Writing the Informative Essay
Ready to get started? This guide will provide the key steps to creating an A-level informative essay. We’ll provide the help you need to craft a great introduction, compelling body paragraphs, and a solid conclusion. So, here is what constitutes the process of writing the informative essay:
Initiate research and pre-draft your ideas
At its core, this essay aims to inform the audience. In order to inform the audience, you’ll need a bevy of facts. You’ll also need to consider the audience. What information are they likely to know? What information do they need to know? Always remember to consider the audience you’re writing for. This academic essay form requires research; so before beginning to write, know exactly what you need to research. Here are some helpful pre-writing and research tips:
- Generate a list of questions that the essay should answer
- Brainstorm at least 10-20 search terms for research
- Know the citation method required for the paper
- Create a research outline to document which paragraph the research will go into
- Check to make sure you have research to support each idea in the paper
Once you’ve got your research, it’s time to begin outlining your informative essay. A good outline can save tons of time during the drafting process. Let’s take further steps to
While the body paragraphs share the specific points that strengthen an informative essay’s viewpoint, the introduction paragraph works to hook the readers with an engaging beginning. A good introduction paragraph typically contains three key elements:
- An attention getter
- Background information
- Thesis statement
The attention getter can take several different forms including a rhetorical question, a quotation, a fact or statistic, or personal anecdote. A good goal of any writer is to gain the audience’s undivided attention and keep it until the last sentence in the conclusion. Therefore, make the audience sit up and take notice; think about what would capture your attention and work to create it for the reader. Following the attention getter should be relevant background information; such information varies depending upon the subject discussed within the informative essay. However appropriate background could include historical context, specific vocabulary, or introducing important people or places discussed within the essay. Finally, the last sentence should be the thesis statement. This sentence acts as a transition between the general idea of the subject and the specific argument that will evolve within the paper. Therefore, the thesis statement should be concise and contain a roadmap outlining the argument you plan to make as the writer.
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Draft body paragraphs
Need a bit of inspiration heading into the hardest part of the essay? Take this advice from a literary giant:
“You fail only if you stop writing” – Ray Bradbury.
Here’s the thing about paragraphs: they each contain a new idea that supports the argumentative statement or thesis. In a typical informative essay, a teacher requires at least three body paragraphs to support the thesis. This means that for whatever subject the paper discusses, you’ll need to organize three supportive ideas. For example, if the paper is on the detriments of climate change, the writer would need to brainstorm three reasons why climate change harms the environment. Here’s an outline example:
Thesis:Climate change negatively impacts the planet by increasing water levels, changing weather patterns, and affecting animals.
- Body paragraph 1. Climate change poses a threat to populations living on the coast.
- Body paragraph 2. Climate change alters weather patterns, affecting farmers’ crops.
- Body paragraph 3. Climate change contributes to higher temperatures, negatively affecting animal migration.
By brainstorming three reasons climate change negatively affects the planet, the student now has a clear idea of what type of research he or she needs to find and support each idea.
A typical informative essay body paragraph contains at least five different kinds of sentences; each builds on the last in order to form a cohesive and comprehensive argument in support of the thesis. The five sentences a well-written body paragraph should include:
- Topic sentence
- Background information
- Quotation from research
While five sentences would be the absolute minimum per paragraph, most students find that it’s beneficial to include two to three cited quotations from their research to support the idea put forth in the topic sentence. Additionally, the analysis portion may be several sentences as the student works to make their point.
Each body paragraph should contain a single idea; if the writer wants to introduce a new idea, he or she should begin a new body paragraph.
Sum up the conclusion
A conclusion paragraph’s purpose is to review the main points established within the body paragraphs and remind the reader that the argument put forth in the thesis has been supported. While the conclusion reviews these points, they shouldn’t be verbatim; instead, they should be echoed or simply reworded. Additionally, no new information should be introduced in the conclusion; the conclusion should exist solely as a mirror for the most important information already shared within the paper.
Polish and revise your essay
While perfection is the goal, first drafts are often riddled with mistakes, and that’s okay. The goal of the first draft is to get the ideas on paper – then it’s time to go back and polish them. Once you’ve got the first draft, use the following questions to make it even better:
- Does the hook grab the audience’s attention and make them want to read more?
- Does the introduction contain helpful background information relevant to the topic?
- Is the thesis at the end of the introduction paragraph?
- Does the thesis clearly explain what the essay will be informing the audience about?
- Does each body paragraph begin with a clear topic sentence?
- Do all body paragraphs contain cited research to support the topic sentence?
- Does the conclusion review the main points?
- Are all sentences complete and grammatically correct?
Informative Essay Sample
Be sure to check the sample essay, completed by our writers. Use it as an example to write your own informative essay. Link: Informative Essay on Tesla Motors.
Tips from Our Expert Writers
If you have the opportunity to select your own topic, choose one that interests you! Take the opportunity to educate others about a subject you find interesting! Unlike some other forms of essays, the informative essay should be devoid of persuasion or emotion – its overall purpose is to dispassionately educate the audience regarding a particular topic. This essay should stick to the facts and only the facts.
- Before beginning to write an informative essay, it’s always a good practice to review any rubrics provided by the teacher or professor.
- While formatting and font size is important, it’s additionally important to know length expectations and citation guidelines. For example, does your teacher prefer MLA, APA, Chicago, or another form of cited research? Knowing before you begin to outline and then draft can save you a ton of time later!
- Perhaps most importantly, know the due date and begin to count backward in order to figure out a reasonable timeline to complete the informative essay on-time. Take into consideration the time you’ll need to set aside for research, outlining, drafting, and revising before arriving at the final essay.
- It’s harder to catch your own mistakes, so try to have another set of eyes (or two, or three) look over the paper before handing it in. Whether you have another classmate, a tutor, the professor, or an editor look over the paper, get a second (or third) opinion and take any constructive criticism in stride. Sometimes it takes a village to create a masterpiece.
Informative essay writing is an art that every student needs to master. In order to graduate from any educational establishment, one has to accomplish a lot of writing assignments successfully. Thus, essay writing skills are of utmost importance when it comes to student’s academic performance and grades. In this post, we will share with you some tips on how to work on an essay and pay special attention to hints and strategies for writing essays as well as examples of informative essay topics.
A special feature of an informative essay is that it sparks the reader’s interest to the discussed topic. Therefore, to produce a high-grade paper, you should know virtually everything about the theme of the essay and express your thoughts in an organized manner. Profound research, detailed outline, close following our recommendations, and informative essay examples will help you master an outstanding piece. Still, you can always read our post with some writing tips and become a guru of essay writing.
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An Informative Essay: Where to Start?
The very first step to getting started with an informative essay is studying assignment requirements and instructions very carefully as well as collecting relevant information. Find out what sources (primary or secondary) are required to know where to get the information. Specify the formatting requirements, word count, and essay content. Ask about the deadline to start working on the essay as early as possible so that you have time to make all necessary corrections.
The second step is choosing a topic. Selecting a theme of your writing is an extremely important decision since it influences other stages of your writing. You need to pick a topic that you can easily find information about. At the same time, your writing should not, in any case, be trivial and boring; surprise a reader with some interesting facts and intriguing statements. Think about your audience. This is necessary to get the correct idea about what new you can tell people in your composition.
After you find the topic, it’s time to do the research and brainstorm on the theme. This process is quite labor-intensive and requires a lot of time and attention. Not to miss out any important detail in your writing, it is essential to make notes and write down interesting and informative facts that you can include in your essay. Make sure to collect all the information before moving forward. Otherwise, you risk forgetting about some main points. Once the supporting material is in place, you are to write down your ideas to form an outline and proceed with the first draft of the paper.
Informative Essay Topics – How to Choose the Theme?
Choosing informative essay topics can stall your writing process for a long time, since you simply do not know what to write about. In addition to the case where your teacher formulates the exact topic of the essay, the choice of a theme can be reduced to narrowing the direction given by the tutor. When picking a particular topic, pay attention to the availability of literary sources and relevant information to use in your writing. In some cases, it is more logical to search the necessary information first and then proceed with choosing a topic and working on an essay.
As it has been earlier stated, choosing the right topic for an informative essay is half the battle. Therefore, before deciding what to write about, make sure that the topic is interesting to the audience. Avoid picking beaten themes that have already been discussed millions of times. Apart from being attractive and catchy to the audience, the topic should be also motivating to you. Otherwise, you will not be able to do the detailed research and collect all the necessary information. In case you are excited about the theme, the writing process will be much easier and the result will pleasantly surprise you.
There is no rule on what topic to choose for an informative essay. Everything depends on your interests, preferences of your tutor, the academic level required, word count, and the discipline. It will be difficult to prepare a 500-word essay on a broad topic; however, 500 words will be perfectly enough to write about your weekend or hobby. Here, you should also understand that easy informative topics will never get a high grade. Therefore, it is recommended to write about some interesting, complex, and engaging themes. Although there are no good/ bad informative essay topics, we have prepared a list of themes that might inspire you to find a special theme for your informative essay.
Good Informative Essay Topics
- The most interesting event in my life
- My favorite book
- What is friendship/ love to me?
- In what time would you like to be if you had a time machine and why?
- Life without the Internet
- Family and family values
- Why is tolerance so important today?
- What is my favorite film?
- Music is the best healing therapy
- How to become a true leader?
Informative Essay Topics for Middle School
- Great inventions of mankind
- The Internet is an integral part of our life
- Relationship between parents and children
- How to save the environment?
- Bad habits
- Modern society: progress or degradation?
- Why freedom and independence are important today?
- How to become a writer?
- My favorite Hollywood actor/ actress
- Meaning of money in modern world
- Skills necessary for becoming a leader
Informative Essay Topics for College Students
- The impact of modern technology on our lives
- Secrets of gestures and body language
- What does the body language say?
- The biggest leaders in the history
- What does handwriting say about a person?
- Astrology as a science
- Seven wonders of the world
- How to become a perfect wife/ mother?
Easy Informative Essay Topics
- The book I’ve recently read
- Why is reading so important?
- The film I've recently watched
- Which book is worth reading at any age?
- Reaching success at work
- Nature protection is the acutest problem of the 21st century
- How must the word “honesty” be defined in dictionaries?
GET ORIGINAL TOPIC IDEAS
Informative Essay Outline – How to Prepare It?
Once you have explored the Internet and come up with the ideas you are excited to write about, this means that you have found your topic and are ready to proceed with the task. It would be a good decision to prepare several topics and let your friend or a teacher choose the best and most informative one. This way, you will kill two birds with one stone – find the topic that will be interesting both to you and your reader. The most important aspect here is to write down your ideas carefully without missing out on any important detail. This is where a detailed outline will be of great service to you.
Writing an essay can be quite problematic, especially if you do not feel inspired or cannot collect your thoughts in a logical sequence. But do not worry – a little planning, research, and diligence will help you structure your piece in the most effective way. When preparing an informative essay outline, remember that an essay should begin with an introduction (containing a thesis), a body, and a conclusion. Although a good essay cannot be written without a plan, the outline should not be too large. In it, you are to state only the main idea of each separate paragraph of your writing. We make sure that each paragraph is relevant to the topic of our essay. Looking at the outline, you shouldn’t be distracted by minor details. It should help us focus on the main idea.
Informative essay outline example
- Nature protection is the acutest problem of our times (introduction)
- The biggest environmental problems of today
- The problem of deforestation
- Air pollution
- Water pollution
- Effects of environmental problems
- The threat of global warming
- Destruction of the natural environment of life
- Non-indigenous species
- We should protect nature
Make sure that each point of the outline is thoroughly discussed in the paper and none of the paragraphs is missed out.
How to Write an Informative Essay?
When writing an informative essay, do not forget about the rule “5 wh?”. Having determined the subject of reasoning and your attitude towards it, ask five simple questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? Answering each of them in your writing will help you create an informative masterpiece and keep your reader interested till the very last word. As a general rule, an essay should contain 5 paragraphs.
- Introduction – introduce the importance of the topic and write down a thesis statement.
- Body – provide arguments in support of the statement.
- Conclusion – generalize the arguments from the previous parts of the essay, restate a thesis, without introducing any new ideas.
How to Write an Informative Essay Introduction?
The first paragraph is for you to introduce the topic to the reader. Here, you are to provide some background information and demonstrate why this theme is important to be discussed. When writing an introduction for your informative essay, you need to grab the interest of the reader. You can start your writing with either a question or an interesting statement. You can find some inspiration on how to write a great essay hook here. As a general rule, an introduction should contain up to 7 sentences, along with a thesis statement. However, there are no restrictions here.
How to Write an Informative Essay Thesis?
After choosing the topic, the first thing to do is to formulate a thesis. A thesis statement is not a certainly proven fact and not the result of observations. A thesis is the main idea of your essay, which you can formulate in several statements. The presence of this statement in the text not only helps the reader understand the basic idea of the essay. It also helps them see how much you understand this idea, how much of text is consistent with it, and that you know how to write an informative essay. A thesis statement is usually 1 or 2 sentences long that shortly cover all the main points of your writing.
How to Write an Informative Essay Body?
At this stage, you are to describe the main points that support the thesis. Devote a small paragraph to each of them, without mixing the ideas. Make sure each subsequent paragraph is different from the previous one and doesn’t break the logical chain. The main criteria to be followed for the argumentation are topics, sequence, chronology, and contrast. According to these principles, you can form a comprehensive and effective body of your essay.
Major mistakes in argumentation
- Repetition – Do not state the same idea in two different sections. Each new paragraph should contain a new idea and argument.
- Extra information – Make sure that all the statements directly relate to the main topic. Even if you have an insurmountable desire to write an incredibly interesting fact, read it a few times and think if it has anything in common with the thesis statement.
- Inconsistency – If you are discussing the main point, make sure that it has a connection with the informative statement above. Do not confuse the logical connection introducing some unrelated ideas.
How to Write an Informative Essay Conclusion?
In the last part of the essay, you need to restate your main idea in a concise manner It is a section where you summarize the argument and briefly repeat the thesis. Of course, it is not the best idea to reiterate a thesis in a conclusion in the same way as it has been written in the introduction. Use different wording and support your idea with the arguments discussed in the body.
Major errors in the conclusion
- New arguments – The conclusion is inherently an informative but a summarizing part. Do not introduce new ideas at the end; it's better to add one more paragraph to the body.
- Reiteration – It is not necessary to describe the structure of the written work and literally repeat what was written above. If the reader has reached the conclusion, they have already read all the main points of your essay.
Informative Essay Examples for Your A-grade Writing
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