How to Write an Informative Essay in Film and Theater Studies

Writing guide
Posted on April 21, 2021

Looking for tips on how to write an informative essay in film and theater studies? Informative essays are common assignments in many college courses and they have some specifics that differentiate them from other types of academic papers. This complete guide covers all essential aspects of the writing process from choosing an engaging topic to creating a thesis to editing and proofreading.

You’ll find useful tips that can help you work more productively and create an impressive and memorable informative essay in film and theater studies fast. If you face problems with completing other writing projects, check other full guides to all writing assignments out there on our essay writing website to get professional help from experts.

What Is an Informative Essay in Film and Theater Studies?

Film and theater studies are a diverse discipline that mainly has a practical approach. Typically, the curriculum includes workshops, lectures, and practical lessons. But students who are interested in the theater industry and the history and culture of filming can take part in theoretical degree programs that involve writing different types of academic papers, including informative essays. They are written in a formal style

The purpose of writing informative essays is to educate your audience on a certain topic. You need to provide an answer to the main question by explaining the topic in detail. To do that successfully and to sound convincing, you need to perform in-depth resource of relevant sources and synthesize all the important information you have gathered. You should do your best to sound objective and never include your personal opinion in this type of essay. And of course, you should never try to convince other people to accept your point of view on the topic. Informative writing also doesn’t aim to move the readers to take action. Your goal is just to inform them.

You can organize the information in your essay, using one of multiple organizational patterns, for example, definition, problem and solution, descriptive, compare and contrast, sequence of events or steps or cause and effect. The choice of a specific pattern depends on the topic of your paper.

Here are some elements of excellent informative essays:

  • It has an engaging introduction that grabs audience’s attention and a strong conclusion that summarizes all major points.
  • It provides useful information on the topic with a variety of relevant details and that information is logically organized according to a certain pattern.
  • There are appropriate transition words and phrases that help organize the ideas and show connections between them.

How to Choose a Good Topic for an Informative Essay in Film and Theater Studies

If you were not assigned a specific topic for your informative essay, you should choose a subject that interests you. It’s always much easier to write about something you are passionate about and you are most likely to enjoy the research and writing process which may be rather time-consuming.

You can select a topic that is familiar to you and you will need less time for research. But you shouldn’t be afraid of picking a challenging or unusual topic because the purpose of informative writing is also gaining new knowledge and improving analytical and research skills. Besides, you are sure to become an expert on your topic when you finish doing research. When you decide on a general topic, you should use brainstorming techniques such as freewriting, creating bullet lists, and doing preliminary research to narrow down your topic and make it manageable within the length of your essay. You can also discuss ideas for your paper with your friends and classmates.

To help you get started with brainstorming your own interesting ideas, we created a short list of engaging informative essay topics in film and theater studies.

  • Historical, Cultural, and Aesthetic Relationships between Theatrical Genres and Film Genres;
  • How Do Cinema and Theater Differ?
  • 19th Century Theater and Film;
  • Evolution of Theater in Ancient Greece;
  • Theater in the Age of Shakespeare;
  • Western vs. Eastern Theater;
  • Types of Drama in Medieval Theater;
  • Performing Arts in Asia;
  • History of Film Industry: Hollywood;
  • Technology Advances That Revolutionized the Film Industry;
  • Augmented Reality and the Exciting Future of Hollywood;
  • What Will Film Industry Be Like in 20 Years?
  • Crisis of Contemporary Film Aesthetics;
  • History of Sound in Movies;
  • Best Silent Movies of All Time.

Do Research and Gather Data

You need to do in-depth research and gather interesting facts and ideas about your subject. That’s why you should use relevant keywords and search online databases or do library research to find reliable primary and secondary sources related to your topic. You should skim to evaluate each source and determine whether you can use it to back your argument or find additional information about the subject that will allow you to look from a different perspective.

When you find enough sources, you should read each of them carefully and critically. It’s vital to gather enough substantial facts and statistics that you will use to support your claims. You should take notes as you read your sources and document all the necessary information about each source that you are going to cite or paraphrase in your essay.

Create a Detailed Outline

Many students often skip this important step but you shouldn’t do that. An outline can help you establish relationships between your ideas and organize your information logically. It may be especially useful if you are assigned to write a long, complex essay a huge amount of information and a lot of specific details.

When creating an outline, you should take into account the purpose of your essay and your audience. Besides, you’ll need a strong and highly specific thesis statement that will determine the focus of your essay. Your thesis should cover only those ideas that you discuss in your informative essay and it should be supported with specific evidence.

After that, you have to brainstorm and create a list of main ideas that you would like to include in your essay. It would be better to categorize your ideas and group related ones together. You will also need to organize all the ideas, evidence, and facts in subsections from general to specific. Finally, you will need to create headings and subheadings. When you finish the outline, you should review it and may start putting your ideas to paper.
Think about your outline as a roadmap but that doesn’t actually mean that you should stick to it. You may do additional research as you write your essay and decide to change your topic. Then, you’ll need to make changes in the thesis statement as well.

Write Informative Essay in Film and Theater Studies

Now you’ve the point when you can actually start writing a draft of your informative essay. You can use the outline you have created as a roadmap and build a logical argument to ensure that every section naturally flows into the next one. The structure of your essay should include an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. Let’s discuss how to write each section of your paper in detail.

How to Write an Introduction

An introduction is very important part of any essay because it gives you an opportunity to grab your readers’ attention and motivate them to keep reading your essay till the end. That’s why it should be both engaging and informative. Here is how you can write this part of your essay step-by-step.

  • Start the paragraph with a hook to catch your audience’s attention. It can be an anecdote, a rhetorical or provocative question, a surprising fact, interesting statistics, a vivid description etc.
  • Introduce the topic of your paper by providing the background information.
  • Write a strong thesis statement to establish the argument and the goal of your piece of writing.
  • Briefly outline the most important points that you will cover in your paper to inform your audience of what they can expect from your paper.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

The body of your essay is the only part where you actually develop an argument on your topic. This part consists of several paragraphs and each of them focuses on a single main point that supports the thesis and the overall argument. You should also make sure that all sentences within every paragraph are clearly linked and logically organized. An effective paragraph typically consists of three parts such as claim, evidence, and analysis.

You can use the following structure for your body paragraphs:

  • Begin all paragraphs with topic sentences that introduce your major points;
  • Add several sentences to explain each main point and show how it is relevant to the topic of your essay;
  • Support your points with evidence, relevant quotes, and examples; provide explanation to your evidence and tell how it helps to support your major point;
  • Write a concluding sentence that summarizes everything you have told in the paragraph and includes a link to the following paragraph.

If you need to explain complex material and your paragraph is too long, you will need to split it into two shorter paragraphs and make your essay more readable. That also means that you will need to create a topic sentence for a new paragraph.

You should use transitions to make your essay coherent and help your audience follow your logic. Transition words and phrases can link different ideas in your essay and connect one sentence to another. For example, you can use such transitions as on the other hand, however, therefore, finally, most importantly, still, nevertheless, as a result, thus, consequently, in addition, and more.

How to Write a Conclusion

The conclusion has to summarize everything that you have told in your essay. You should do your best to write a memorable conclusion that can motivate your audience to learn more about the topic. It’s not enough to only summarize your main points and restate your thesis. Your goal is to wrap everything up and to show connections between your ideas. That actually means that you need to synthesize the key points of your essay and demonstrate relations among them. You should also emphasize the significance of your thesis and overall argument. Besides, you should show new possibilities, implications, and new broader question that your essay has opened. You may set your topic in a larger context, give a specific advice, and try to predict the future.

But you shouldn’t include any new material in this section and avoid using the so-called ‘concluding phrases’ like to sum up or in conclusion. Actually, it’s obvious that you are finishing your paper.

Edit and Proofread Your Assignment

Writing a draft is only a part of the process of completing an engaging informative essay in film and theater studies. Revising the draft is a very important step that ensures your essay achieved its goal and is perfect in content and style. You may need to write several drafts until you feel you are satisfied with them and that requires time and effort. So, you should plan your essay before you begin to write it and start early to ensure that you’ll have enough time for editing and proofreading which are two separate steps and you shouldn’t confuse them.

When you edit, you look at the global issues such as organization of your ideas, clarity, coherence, paragraph structure. Then you are through with these issues, you should improve the sentence structure and word choice. When you complete that, you’ll get the final draft which you should proofread to fix minor issues such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, typos, and inconsistencies.

Proofreading can be difficult in certain ways and you can overlook some mistakes due to the writer’s blindness. So, it’s better to read your essay aloud slowly because, in this way, your ears can catch some awkward words and phrases that your eyes are likely to miss. Besides, you may need a second set of eyes. You can ask your friends, classmates or family members to read your essay. They are almost sure to catch mistakes that you may not see.

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