Table of contents:
- What Is an Informative Essay
- Informative Essay Structure - Full Description and Useful Tips
- Expert Informative Essay Tips
- How to Write an Informative Essay Outline
Every day students face new challenges, get new assignments, and deal with new responsibilities. Many people say that college years are the best in one's life, and it would be hard not to agree with them. It's a perfect time to learn new things, achieve academic heights, and make great friends. However, in recent years, students have been under a lot of stress: too many subjects during the semester, demanding professors, complicated tasks, and no free time at all! They have no time for personal growth, hobbies, and building relationships, which is why they need to set their priorities straight and start looking for ways of alleviating their college load and combine study with pleasure. One of the best ways to make your student life easier is to turn to online writing guidelines which can become your indispensable advisor and help you boost your writing skills drastically.
Containing the most useful writing tips, our guide is designed to take the hassle out of the writing process and make it as easy as possible for you. Just follow all of our experts' recommendations, and you are sure to come up with the best informative essay ever!
What Is an Informative Essay
What is the informative essay? What are its main characteristics? Let's try and answer these two vital questions.
The informative essay is a piece of academic writing that aims to inform and educate people, as well as convey particular topic-related information to the audience. The motto of the informative essay is 'Time to Learn Something New!', so your goal, as a writer, should be to provide the reader with some relevant, undiscovered, and interesting information, making sure they increase their awareness of the topic by the time they're done reading your essay.
People tend to confuse different types of essays, and, as a result, they often make mistakes. One of the most common errors they commit is that instead of providing useful information they try to express a viewpoint, share an impression, or give an opinion on the topic. So, how do you avoid it?
First of all, it's important to understand what the informative essay is all about. Actually, its main job is to:
- Answer questions by explaining the topic in detail.
- Compare controversial viewpoints on the topic.
- Describe topic-related points.
- Look into cause and effect.
- Highlight the main problems exposed by the topic.
Informative essay format
As far as the format is concerned, the informative essay consists of the introduction, body part, and conclusions. You can split your informative essay into five paragraphs, for example:
- 1st paragraph - Introduction.
- "Attention getter" - the hook.
- Thesis statement (not longer than 1 sentence, includes 3 reasons).
- 2-4th paragraphs - Explain/Expand on the reasons you've stated in the thesis.
- 5th paragraph - Conclusion.
There are no specific format requirements for this type of essay, but usually, you are expected to come up with 3 to 6 pages and cite at least five sources.
Informative Essay Structure - Full Description and Useful Tips
As mentioned above, the informative essay consists of the introduction, body part, and conclusion, so let's take a closer look at each of them.
The introduction - start your essay the right way!
The introduction is like your car's engine: if you manage to start it, your car will go, but if you don't, you won't be able to move an inch. And the same is true of the essay - if your introduction is written well, the reader is more likely to continue reading your essay. However, if you fail to make the introduction interesting, the result will be quite the opposite. Overall, it is the summary of what will be discussed further on in your essay, which provides some background information on the topic.
Your introduction should start with the so-called "hook sentence", which is meant to draw the reader's attention to the discussed topic (one way of creating the hook is to use a rhetorical question). Then you should provide some background information and give an overview of the things you are going to discuss in the remaining parts of your essay. The last thing you should come up with is the thesis statement - one of the most important and challenging parts of the essay.
The thesis and its purpose
The thesis statement sets a problem and provides an argument which will be supported with facts and examples further on in your work. What makes the thesis statement important is that it helps the reader understand the main idea and purpose of your paper, so one should never neglect spending enough time to make it perfect.
The main body part of your informative essay
The introduction is followed by the body paragraphs containing examples, facts, and all the topic-related information that supports the argument of the thesis. Each statement you provide in the essay should be supported with some strong and relevant evidence drawn from the in-depth research you've done. There are no special requirements for the length of this part; however, professors usually ask their students to write at least three paragraphs (which should be more than enough). Each paragraph should contain an idea that supports the thesis, some background information, a quotation from the research, an analysis, and a small conclusion. You should always follow the "new idea - new paragraph" principle to come up with a well-structured body part of the essay. In other words, whenever you think of a new idea, you should start a new paragraph that makes a claim, presents some evidence, and explains the claim. Let's have a look at some tips that will help you avoid common mistakes associated with writing the body paragraphs:
- Try to avoid repetition.
Very often students restate the same idea several times in different paragraphs. Your ideas should, therefore, be new at all times.
- Don't put too much information in your paragraphs.
We know you have to comply with your professor's word count, but if you overload your paper with irrelevant stuff, important information may get mixed up with rubbish, and as a result, your essay will lose logic and coherency. It is, therefore, better to be brief and to the point.
- Avoid including your opinion.
All the information you provide should be based on thorough research.
- Don't forget about transition words.
What makes them effective is that they ensure a smooth transition between different parts of your essay and make those easy to read.
The conclusion - you're at the final line
It's important to know how to conclude the informative essay because this part is a kind of a culmination of all the work you have done so far. You may come up with a great thesis and provide some convincing evidence in the body, but if you mess up the conclusion - don't expect a good grade. It is generally believed that people evaluate things mostly by the first and last impression. But we feel that they are both extremely important: the introduction engages the reader, while the conclusion leaves them with an aftertaste. When writing the conclusion, you have to switch from being specific (as you were in the body part) to being more general. Your conclusion should restate points stated in the essay, summarize the importance of the topic, as well as the relevance of the evidence you've provided. The informative essay conclusion should be based only on the information that has already been referred to in the essay, so you shouldn't include any new facts and ideas in it. Simply highlight the most important points and suggest ideas for further research into the topic. One more thing that will help you understand how to come up with a proper ending for your informative essay is this: don't try to be persuasive. You are not writing the persuasive essay - you aim to use facts, evidence, and logic.
Expert Informative Essay Tips
We've prepared some useful tips that will help you cope with the task even better:
- Create the outline.
The importance of this writing tool will be discussed further on in the article.
- Don't neglect preparation.
Take the time to thoroughly analyze the topic - find all the necessary information, brainstorm, and ask yourself questions. This will help you gain a better understanding of the topic.
- Compare different viewpoints, try looking at the idea you convey from different perspectives.
The more in-depth research you do, the more trustworthy your facts will be, and the better paper you will come up with.
- Take the time to revise.
During the revision phase, the writer should take a break now and then. "Why?" You may ask. The thing is, if you put your essay aside for at least a day, you are more likely to notice mistakes you failed to identify before. Having a break will also refresh your mind and make your revision more effective.
- It is also important to sort all information, add some useful things and remove all irrelevant data.
- Share your ideas with your professor.
Very often students neglect the opportunity to get their professor's recommendations regarding completing college assignments. However, professors are always willing to share some important information with them, so seek their advice whenever you can.
- Let other people, such as your friends or family members, read your essay before you hand it in.
Sometimes, it's hard to detect your own mistakes. You may not even recognize them as such, so asking your friends for help will be a good idea. Other people will find something you've overlooked, thus making your essay much better in many respects.
How to Write an Informative Essay Outline
As already mentioned, the outline is a great writing tool that makes paper-writing a lot easier. As soon as you find all the necessary information on the topic, you can start creating an outline. It has the same structure as the essay itself, containing the main points you want to mention, as well as some paragraphs and a short description of what you are going to include in them. Consider the outline a kind of a mini-version of your essay that helps you organize all the ideas and thoughts effectively and ensure a well-structured final product.
Let's take a look at what a typical outline for the informative essay may look like:
- Title - Nicotine addiction.
- The introduction.
- Provide a definition.
What is nicotine addiction?
- Background information.
How widespread is it? How does smoking affect the human brain? How hard is it to quit smoking?.
Point out a possible connection between nicotine and the risk of developing diseases that smoking inevitably leads to.
- Provide a definition.
- The body.
- Three arguments about nicotine and diseases.
Evidence and facts proving that nicotine and the disease are inevitably linked.
- Three arguments about nicotine and diseases.
- The conclusion.
- Restate the main ideas, giving a general summary and suggesting ideas for future research. Highlight the importance of the study concerning the effects of this particular addiction.
Good and exciting informative essay topics
It's hard to underestimate the importance of a topic because your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion are inseparably linked to it. Thus, it's essential to choose a good topic which will be exciting and relevant both for you and the reader. Try to avoid broad topics like "Friendship" and "Love" - though you may find a lot of information about them, you are unlikely to engage your audience that way because they've heard about love and friendship so many times before. Try to be original and unique - the readers will certainly appreciate it!
Let's check out a list of some good informative essay topics prompts:
- The origin of the universe.
Suggest the most common beliefs about the origin of the universe.
- The effects of poverty on your country.
Discuss problems linked to the economic state of the country and suggesting possible solutions.
- Health benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Provide all possible information confirming that a vegetarian diet is beneficial for humans.
- Modern wars and reasons which cause them.
List countries with ongoing military conflicts; provide facts and examples which suggest possible reasons for such situations.
- Does a placebo help cure life-threatening diseases?
Help the readers understand how a placebo works and provide evidence on how it helps fight dangerous illnesses (if it does).
- Gun control.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of letting people own firearms. Refer to the situation in the USA and recent situations which prove that stricter gun control laws are necessary.
- Foul language.
Provide information about the origins of foul language; cite reasons why people are using many bad words today.
- The pros and cons of being lazy.
Being lazy is a characteristic of geniuses and leads to breakthroughs. Provide evidence that proves and disproves this point of view.
- Legalization of same-sex marriages.
What are the future consequences of such a move?.
- The importance of sports in everyday life.
- The danger of data theft.
Is there anything we can hide from hackers? Do information leaks mean that the data we consider personal is not personal at all?
Writing an informative essay can be a piece of cake of you. With due preparation and a little effort, you can come up with an excellent paper that will earn you the grade you genuinely deserve. But if you're ever in a slump, remember - there is no shame in outsourcing! Our team is on standby 24/7, ready to help you find a suitable writer among hundreds of our professionals. Just reach out - and we will answer. But for now - good luck!