What Is an Informative Essay?
The main goal of any informative essay is to inform its audience about a specific topic on a particular object, phenomenon, or person. The goal of the essay is to explore the topic in details to ensure that the audience gains a full understanding of the topic. It is assumed that the reader of the informative essay has little to no understanding of the essay topic. For this reason, informative essays are mostly written at a high school and college level to ensure that the essay is not overwhelmed with difficult terminology that is difficult to understand for an entry-level reader. However, professional language can indeed be used in an informative essay as long as its use is appropriate. The condition for using professional language in an informative essay is to provide exact explanations to all terms that are being used.
Choosing a Topic for an Informative Essay
As a rule, topics of an informative essay are of an average difficulty because such essays are rarely completed on an academic level above college. It is possible to select an informative topic within the competency of a student that would engage the audience and present them with new valuable information. Some of the appropriate examples of an informative essay topics include:
- Contemporary Racism in the United States;
- An Introduction to the South Indian Cuisine;
- The Relevance of the Zero Waste Movement;
- Main Components of a Balanced Diet;
- Benefits and Risks of Consuming Marijuana;
- Practical Tips for Starting the First Business;
- Health Consequences of a Sedentary Lifestyle;
- Career Trends of the 2020s;
- The Peculiarities of the Electoral College System and Possible Solutions;
- Alternative Approaches to Learning.
Pre-Writing Tips from Our Expert Writers
Selecting a topic is the most important step of the prewriting process unless the topic is already provided by the instructor. The process of an informative essay topic selection is specific in more than one way. First of all, a successful informative essay can never be focused on a broad, non-specific topic. What is more, a topic of an informative essay cannot be too narrow since the writer is likely to face challenges related to the limitations of available information that can be presented to a reader. All in all, a topic of a medium scope is the best choice for an informative essay as it allows the author to have enough maneuver in presenting the information. At the same time, choosing a medium-scope topic limits the author to the right extent for an essay to remain logical, focused, and understandable by the audience.
When choosing a topic for an informative essay, one should avoid selecting the topics he or she has little to no interest in. Whereas this rule is true for many forms of essays, it is especially relevant in case of writing informative essays since choosing a topic that does not appeal to the writer will likely result in poorly written paper. The context of one’s class is also important in the process of selecting a topic for an informative essay. The best decision is to choose the topic that is may be useful for one’s colleagues because an informative essay should also be practical and allow people to learn something new.
Unlike in argumentative essays, where it is not recommended to choose a topic one is passionate about due to the possibility of bias, one may choose a topic for an informative essay of his or her interest. Such a choice is likely to keep the audience engaged; moreover, the writer is likely to explore the topic from different angles and present it to the audience in an approachable manner if he or she is interested in the topic.
There is a need to stay focused on target audience of the essay. For instance, if an essay is a regular assignment that is presented to an instructor only, it should be primarily aimed at him or her. What is more, it is important to not overestimate one’s knowledge about the chosen topic. Even if the writer considers himself or herself an expert in the chosen field, there is a need to prepare oneself and conduct in-depth research before starting to write.
Though the writing styles of the students are different, and some can come up with a perfect structure of an essay in the process of writing, it is in student’s best interest to create a thesis statement and imagine the basic structure of all claims before writing. What is more, it is necessary to find the sources that would serve as an evidence base for the claims. If one is familiar with the topic of an informative essay before starting, it is useful to write down basic facts that would serve as a “skeleton” of the arguments. However, double-check the facts in the process of finding the relevant sources to make sure that they are true. If you are assigned to write an informative essay on the topic you have no prior knowledge, it is necessary to spend some time on research to ensure at least a basic understanding before starting forming the arguments and finding the evidence.
Structure of an Informative Essay
The structure of an informative essay reflects a typical structure of an academic essay. According to it, the essay should contain an introduction, a minimum of three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of paragraphs depends on the specifications provided by the instructor, as well as on the specifications of the chosen topic. If the topic of an essay is complicate, it makes sense to include more body paragraphs to reflect all aspects.
An informative essay begins with an introduction that should keep the audience focused on the topic of the essay. The introduction should be appealing to make the audience interested in reading the paper. Introduction of an informative essay should not be too general as it is expected to reveal the background context that the reader should be aware of in order to understand the topic of an essay.
An introduction of an informative essay is followed by a clear and concise thesis statement. A thesis statement has some characteristics that differentiate it from a usual thesis statement in an argumentative essay of different kinds. Whereas argumentative essays create a thesis statement in the form of an argument, a thesis statement in an informative essay should be focused on stressing out the need for researching the topic of an essay. It should not reflect author’s personal opinion on the topic of the paper. On the contrary, it should present the topic in an unbiased manner. Apart from being clear and concise, a thesis statement of an informative essay should be relatively easy for understanding.
The body paragraphs of an informative essay should follow a clear structure. The most important thing for the body paragraphs it to be logically concise and informative. Each of the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence to give a reader a clear understanding of what is about to follow. From a stylistic perspective, it is important to have a smooth transition between the paragraphs, with all of the paragraphs related to the thesis statement.
Each of the paragraphs should include the main point and details that are used to support the given point. It is better to structure the main idea of each paragraph on just one fact, and not to overcrowd the paragraph with the abundance of the main points. The key idea of the paragraph should reflect the part of the thesis that is being proven in a particular paragraph. Supporting details are based on the outside evidence that is used to support the statement. Supporting evidence can be found in books, peer-reviewed articles, and other relevant sources. Finding correct evidence is extremely important as an essay is merely an opinion piece without them.
Finally, each paragraph should successfully connect a thesis statement to a claim made in a paragraph. The explanation should be based on the point and supporting evidence. At times, there is a need to present extra evidence to prove the connection between the claim and the thesis statement. However, the points and evidence already presented are usually enough to make a connection. Each paragraph usually ends with a synopsis of the presented information.
A final part of an informative essay is its conclusion. A conclusion of an informative essay provides a concise summary of the main essay topic. A conclusion of an informative essay does not merely restate its thesis statement, but also offers additional insights into the theme of the essay that might have been left out in the first place. The essay ends with a concluding statement that explains the overall value of the provided explanations.
After a draft of an informative essay is finished, there is a need to check the draft for vocabulary, grammar, coherence, and consistency. The language of an essay should be edited to communicate the topic of an essay more clearly. Correct grammar, including punctuation and spelling, is important in an informative essay just like it is in any other essay. What is more, correct grammar adds legitimacy to the author’s claims from the perspective of a reader. However, logical consistency is the most important component of an informative essay because the paper achieves its purpose of informing the reader about the topic through smooth transitions and the right flow of a logical argument.
When in doubt, it is possible to ask one’s peers to give an unbiased review of the essay in order to potentially make some changes according to the feedback. Reviews both from those with the knowledge of the topic and without such knowledge might be equally useful. The former can review the quality of the essay’s content, whereas the latter can inform the author whether the ideas are well explained. Finally, there is a need to self-check the essay for coherency. The questions for self-check can include:
- Did I share all of the relevant information that I discovered in the process of preparing the essay with the audience?
- Does the thesis of an essay reflect the goal of an essay?
- Is the thesis of the essay clear?
- Are the transitions between the paragraph smooth?
- Does each paragraph have a concise main claim that is backed up by supporting evidence?
- Is the quality of the supporting claims high?
- Does the paper achieve its goal of informing the audience about its topic?
The list of questions is approximate, and the questions can be more specific depending on the topic of an essay.
At this point, the essay could be checked for the context-based mistakes that quite often appear in the informative essays. One of such mistakes is the repetition when two identical statements that are somehow paraphrased are used as the main points in two different paragraphs. Another common mistake to look for is the overflooding of the paragraph with a piece of extra information that is not quite relevant to the point of the essay. Finally, inconsistency could be a major problem if the connection between the main points and the supporting information is lost.
In conclusion, the draft of an informative essay should be transformed into a final version of an essay as soon as all changes are made. A final look at the paper allows to track down the minor mistakes that were not visible before. Having confidence in one’s essay is an important component of an informative essay that signals of the essay’s high quality.
How to Write an Informative Essay. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Informative-Essay
Examples of Informative Essays. (2019). Retrieved from https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-informative-essays.html
Steps How to Write an Informative Essay: Guides – A Research Guide. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.aresearchguide.com/write-informative-essay.html
What is an informative essay, and how do I write one? | eNotes. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-an-informative-essay-how-do-you-write-one-361998