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How to Write an Informative Essay and Succeed

06 Jun 2019

What is an informative essay? As the name suggests, informative paper is written by students to enlighten audiences about events, or phenomena. Authors assume that readers lack knowledge of subject, so they should explain it to them. For example, when writing about gun control, students must inform reader about what gun control implies, its societal significance, global trends, benefits, and risks.

Unlike other forms of writing, authors do not intend to persuade readers accept certain options. Although writers often have personal biases, they must refrain from displaying them, which makes a question of how to write an informative essay very important. Students must learn how to fairly present all sides without demonstration of their own opinion.

How to Write an Informative Essay

Informative Essay Structure Explained

Informative essay follows a basic essay structure and usually consists of introduction, body paragraphs (number of them is not limited) and conclusion. Here is a more detailed description of each structural part:

  • Introduction

How to start an informative essay? First paragraph should briefly describe the subject to your readers. Good introduction provides background information about the topic, notifies to audience its importance. Common way of starting an introductory paragraph is by questions such as, “Have you ever experienced fever after vigorous workout? The condition is known as Exertional Heat Illness (EHI).

Approximately 68% of professional athletes experience EHI on daily basis”. Alternatively, one may start with interesting statements like, “People often complain about fever that appears after vigorous exercise. Medically, this is EHI.” Generally, professors in most universities in the USA recommend approximately 7 sentence introduction.  

  • Thesis  

Every introduction should finish with the thesis statement. It describes paper’s scope in one or two sentences and summarizes main points of an essay. After selecting informative speech topics, students must think of the thesis. However, while writing, some new ideas often emerge. Consequently, one can adjust thesis statements after finishing the paper to reflect them.

Thesis statements tell more about an author and paper. For instance, their understanding of an issue, ability to present ideas through informative essay and to retain focus on the main problem. Most students find formulating thesis or finding a good topic challenging, so Edubirdie writing help is very useful.

  • Body

Body section is the main part. Writers express all their ideas in body segment. It contains several paragraphs depending on essay's length. Each paragraph contains a unique idea and must follow a logical sequence. Lengthy papers require students to split the body into subtitles with at least two paragraphs. The main criteria to be followed for the argumentation are sequence, chronology, and contrast. According to these principles, you can form a comprehensive and effective body of your essay or while writing an informative speech.  

Good body paragraphs are cohesive. Paragraphs should anchor to their predecessors. Transitional enable writers to achieve cohesion. Words and phrases like ‘in addition’, ‘similarly’, and ‘likewise’ introduce supporting ideas, while ‘but’, ‘however', ‘on the contrary', ‘on the other hand', and ‘nevertheless' introduce contrasting opinions. ‘To conclude’, ‘in closing’, and ‘in summary’ indicate conclusion. Finally, words like ‘first’, ‘secondly’, and ‘thirdly’ indicate sequence. Below is a sample body paragraph:

However, business trips to the Middle East are incomplete without visiting the United Arabs Emirates (UAE). For the last two decades, UAE has risen as a leading business tourism destination in the Eastern hemisphere for three main reasons. First, the country has extremely low crime rate compared to its counterparts. Secondly, traveling from the USA to the UAE is convenient. One can fly directly by either Fly Emirates or Etihad to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Finally, the country boasts of an established hotel and real estate sector. Hotels and luxury apartments that surpass Western standards. Basically, everything you need is available in the UAE.

  • Conclusion

Conclusion occupies last paragraph of informative essays. They recap ideas discussed by authors in different words. After finishing a paper, conclusions let students look back and assess if it matches your thesis. If some parts of thesis are not addressed, one must change either content or thesis statement accordingly. Authors also use this area for calling readers into action. However, students should not introduce new points. Below is a sample conclusion:

Clearly, insects are not as useless as portrayed by selfish capitalists. Their role in nature is immense. In their absence, food will become scarce and human would starve. Disputed areas may be insignificant in size, but allowing their destruction would set a dangerous precedent for developers.

Therefore, local authorities must revoke already issued ‘change of land use’ permissions and instead, invite innovative ideas for destroyed parks’ restoration. Future generations must not suffer consequences of current greedy generation.

Tips on Informational Essays Every Student Should Know

Writing an informative essay is not very simple. One should perform several steps before sitting and writing an actual paper. Here are some tips that you should consider

  • Select narrow topics. Broad themes like insecurity, sports, clouds, music, forests or love are unsuitable. Students should choose manageable topics which they can discuss conclusively in few pages. Good informative essays must display professionalism. The author should tell the audience more than what they already know. If student is familiar with sports, theme like “Causes of injuries during physical exercises” would appropriate option.
  • Information availability. After you decide on your issue, surf the Internet to check if there are reliable and available sources. You should lean towards peer-reviewed articles, websites of official organizations and books. Avoid materials that have no author or date when they were published. Wikipedia is also not a reliable source.
  • Research. Nobody knows everything. Reading articles written by other authors open students’ insight. But research is not limited to written literature. Certain subjects require authors to conduct interviews or perform laboratory experiments for scientific research.
  • Brainstorming, often conducted by individuals or in groups help writers generate ideas. For individual brainstorming, first step is defining goals. Writers should note different perspectives subject matters, note challenges, and state objectives. Osborn states that during brainstorming writers should not judge ideas, allow wide array of ideas, expound on existing ideas, encourage unconventional ideas.
  • Mind mapping is a common organization tool. Unwritten ideas quickly vanish, so maps allow writers to visually arrange random ideas by collecting similar ideas into clusters. Writers also weigh idea strength, arranging them from most relevant to most irrelevant. Designing maps is left to writer's discretion. However, until writer is out of ideas is advisable. Nevertheless, authors can add new info they come across.
  • Review instructions. Lecturers may have preferences on topics, writing styles, essay length, font style, and size. Good students review instructions issued for every paper even when they believe they know requirements. Learn all the details before writing and follow all the comments from your professor. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help or pieces of advice.
  • Create an outline. Outlines provide a map of where to go with an essay. They display preliminary title, thesis statement, main points, as well as supporting points. Most universities in the USA require students to submit outlines to prove adequate preparation before starting the essay.
  • Drafts and editing. Professors may demand that students submit various drafts before delivering final essay. After every draft, lecturers write their comments, return papers to student for correction. Revision involves taking into account the professor’s comments and editing the paper for spelling mistakes, wordiness, comma misuse, and run-off sentences. Grammarly, Ginger, and Microsoft Office grammar checker are some useful tools for revision.

Mistakes To Avoid While Writing an Informative Essay

Although informative paper may sound not complicated for some students, there are a few things they should consider before completing this kind of essay.

  • Do not use personal pronouns - an essay should inform not express your attitude. Imagine yourself a writer of an encyclopedia article. Provide facts, not thoughts.
  • Do not analyze - it is important to stay away from the analysis of the topic. No need to show your emotions or thoughts as it may mislead the audience.
  • Be honest - provide all data or facts you have found. Do not hide important things or negative sides of an issue you write about. Your readers must know everything and make a decision based on the information you served.
  • Use logic - informative essay format should be logical. Do not write fact after a fact. Firstly, create an outline, make sure it is consistent and don’t forget to use transition words or phrases. Essay should sound smooth and clear.
  • Avoid repetition - ensure that info does not repeat several times. Proofread your text and illuminate possible mistakes.

Q&A

  • How do you write a thesis statement for an informative essay?

A thesis statement tells a reader about an informative essay’s focus. While writing a thesis statement, (1) Best speech writers should identify the scope of the essay. (2) Note key points she/he is going to discuss. (3) Connect part 1 and 2 using appropriate connective words.

  • What are the parts of an informative essay?            

Informative papers have three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Introduction gives background and tells readers why a topic is relevant. Body contains paragraphs that address issues mentioned in thesis statement. Conclusion wraps up an informative paper. Drafts and outlines are not considered part of an essay.

  • What should be included in an informative essay?            

Informative essay enlightens readers about an object, person or event. Therefore, they must have three objectives. First, explain origins and history of a research problem. Secondly, inform readers of processes involved in the issue. Finally, discuss risks and benefits of an issue using facts and opinions.

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  • Does an informative essay need a thesis?

Yes. Like other writing forms, informative papers require thesis statements to prepare readers by preempting a writer’s intention. However, unlike argumentative essays, students do not create an argument, instead, it summarizes facts and ideas. Example: “Police brutality is more than extrajudicial killings. It includes corruption, intimidation, and unwarranted surveillance.”

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