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A Simple Guide to Writing a Great Informative Essay Outline

05 Oct 2018

Virtually all high-school/college students are familiar with the idea of informative essay writing. It is one of the most frequently assigned papers. The main aim of this assignment is to teach students how to find objective, conveying the relevant information on a certain topic. When writing an informative essay outline, you need to focus on the facts. Avoid expressing your opinion - readers aren’t especially interested in knowing the minutiae of your perspective.

Your audience is looking for information on a certain topic and readers will appreciate if you share it in a clear and concise manner. Don’t want to fail? Prepare a killer informative essay outline. Believe us, it won't take you too much time if you follow the simple steps below that will make you capable of working miracles! If it is a grade-A informative paper you’re crafting, check this helpful step-by-step guide on how to write an informative essay outline, all while pending less than 30 minutes of time.

How to Structure an Informative Essay Outline in 7 Steps:

Despite the fact that all essays have a similar structure, each type has its own distinctive features and peculiarities. It is a must to be aware of them in order to create a well-structured informative research paper outline. So, let's look at the steps a writer is expected to take when working on a high-quality outline.

  • Step 1: Think of an impressive title that will catch the reader's attention. Brainstorm several ideas, write them down, and read them aloud to somebody. Observe which one best causes the necessary reaction and pick it. Make sure that the title reflects the main idea of the topic. It must be informative but not too long. Consider this as you brainstorm title ideas.
  • Step 2: Think of a powerful beginning. Most students start with the definition. Is this the best approach to writing informative papers? Sure, the introduction should include the topic but the very first sentence would do better by featuring a powerful hook. Don't rack your brains on how to catch the reader’s attention - just write an eye-catching fact, statistics, news able to attract the audience to your piece of writing.
  • Step 3: Write the thesis statement. Don’t forget to include a couple of sentences that will frame your topic. Your task is to highlight the key idea of the entire research undertaking. The reader should feel compelled to keep on reading.
  • Step 4: Reveal the purpose of your writing in the first paragraph of the main body, introducing the topic.
  • Step 5: Present your data and information. At this stage, the reader should have the better understanding of the key idea.
  • Step 6: Write the last paragraph of the main part, displaying the most valuable information on the topic. Disclose the topic to the full extent so that the reader has no questions left.
  • Step 7: Lead the essay to its logical end. Conclude the paper with a short summary of the points discussed before. Recommend further directed investigation of the topic.

An In-Depth Insight into Outline Sections

Like other essay types, an informative paper outline usually includes five or six paragraphs. When you are assigned to write this kind of assignment, stick to a certain format. Start with a brief introduction consisting of one paragraph, proceed to the main body, which should contain not less than three paragraphs, and finish with the conclusion. This should probably look familiar to you. Let's take a deeper look into the informative paper sections. Ensure that you have depicted a clear picture of what each paragraph should cover.

  • Introduction: When working on an outline for informative essay, in plain terms, give the definition of the topic. Make sure that it is not simply your own interpretation of the topic but the definition taken from credible sources. It is possible to include background information on the topic, the so-called prehistory containing some interesting facts, which aren't known to everybody.
  • Arguments: The middle part of the paper should contain arguments supporting the thesis statement in the very beginning. The number of arguments will define the number of body paragraphs as it is recommended to devote each paragraph to one topic idea.
  • Opponent's Claims: Make sure that you have conducted extensive research on the topic and have gathered all pieces of information that go into a logical piece of writing, considering the topic from different angles. Regardless of the chosen topic, there will be more than just one point of view on its essence. That's why you need to be careful when conducting in-depth research and presenting the opponent's claims to your audience.

Each paragraph should contain not only an argument but the fact that it can serve as evidence that the claim is true. In your citation, mention the names of scientists and researchers responsible for sources. Offer a detailed picture of the topic. That's why your task is to give the answers to all major questions.

  • The Conclusion: This outline part should repeat the idea reflected in the thesis, but not be a verbatim copied statement as many students assume.

The conclusion should focus the reader on the most vital aspects of the research providing the processed information once again. The main rule you should be guided by is that the final part of the paper should contain the explanation of how the reader can benefit from the research findings.

A Good Informative Essay Outline Example

Consider the following outline sample on the topic “The Negative Effect of Alcohol on the Human Body”

I. Introduction:

  • Hook: Have you known that after drinking alcohol, your visual acuity is noticeably reduced, and you require stronger lighting to distinguish small objects?
  • Purpose: Everyone should recognize how daily consumption of alcohol damages the human body.
  • Importance to the audience: the reader should be able to make the right decision as to whether he/she chooses to consume alcohol.
  • Thesis: Along with a relaxing and "soothing" effect on the nervous system, alcohol causes many different painful manifestations that may prevent a person from having a fulfilling and productive life.

II. Body Paragraphs:

  • First Main Point: How does alcohol affect the vessels of the human brain?
  • Sub-point: In a state of intoxication or alcoholic hangovers, quite often (especially in the elderly) such dangerous complications as cerebral strokes develop.
  • Sub-point: Disturbance of blood supply to the brain caused by prolonged consumption of alcohol manifests itself in general lethargy and an inability to concentrate.
  • Sub-point: Sleep disturbances occur very often with alcoholic brain damage. The patients have difficulty falling asleep, and experience any number of vivid and violent nightmare.
  • Second Main Point: A person who drinks alcohol for a long time may become dependent on the substance and immune to criticism.
  • Sub-point: There is no interest in learning new things.
  • Sub-point: There is a tendency toward irritability, and aggression, which turn into apathy. In this regard, the need for social contacts disappears as the person loses friends, choosing only to communicate with others for basic needs and transactions.
  • Third Main Point: Changes in the structure of the brain caused by years of alcohol intoxication are almost irreversible.
  • Sub-point: In addition to mental disorders, there are also disorders in the peripheral nervous system.
  • Sub-point: Even with minor changes in the nervous system caused by alcohol intake, it is necessary to contact a doctor as early as possible and begin treatment. Treatment takes a long time and can become quite expensive.

III. Conclusion:

  • Summary statement: The effects of alcohol on the nervous system include a decrease in vision, hearing, and reaction time in humans. After a time, a man ceases to live and begins to simply exist. It is very important to be aware of the danger of drinking, and to give up this bad habit before it is too late. Alcohol does not solve problems—it only creates them.

Creating an Informative Essay Outline Is a Piece of Cake!

Most students would disagree with this. Believe us, though, you will change your mind about the complexity of informational papers if you follow the guidelines in this article. If you don't underestimate the role of the essay outline and designate 15 to 30 minutes to the outline structure, you will be rewarded with a paper worthy of the highest score! Remember that an outline is the skeleton of your essay. By making it solid and foolproof, you protect yourself from failure.

After you are done with the essay outline, proofread it on your own or ask somebody to have a look at the structure of the paper. If you are deprived of such possibility, have a fresh look at the paper in a couple of days to make sure you have included all significant pieces of information. If you understand that the outline lacks transitions and logic in the topic presentation, edit it and follow it only after you have made sure that it sounds just perfect.

Provide readers with a valuable guide on how to do something, or how some phenomenon takes place, why it happens this way and not another way, highlighting the key thoughts the reader should pay attention to, and you are guaranteed to enjoy success!

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