An informative essay serves to literally inform the reader about a particular subject. It does not require or even call for the writer's own opinion or point of view of the subject; they are not to argue for or against anything, but they must provide an objective, unbiased description (or explanation) of the subject they are informing about. Informative writing is seen in instruction manuals, encyclopedias, news articles, as well as other types of reference material – all of which is meant to only inform the reader.
If you are assigned to write an informative essay, here are some useful articles to read:
Since the student is generally limited in word count, they are not able to write an informative essay that includes every possible factoid that pertains to or explains the subject being examined. That would equal a book, not an academic essay. This means that the student-writer must be brief as well as fair as they possibly can in how they select which information to include into their informative essay. They are to inform the reader about a subject without being overly broad, but they still should present their subject in a manageable, focused manner.
While they write their informative essay, the students must keep in mind that their purpose is to merely provide an overview of a subject so that the reader will ultimately learn a good deal about the subject.
Since the informative essay must make a point about the topic or subject being discussed, it will include a thesis – generally, a summation of what information the reader has discovered about the subject while researching it – that then becomes the focus and direction of the essay.
Steps to Writing an Informative Essay
1) Choose a subject to write on.
The subject should be one the student knows something about, one that can be simply described in a fair, unbiased manner. Of course, depending on the course in which the assignment is given, the subject of the Informative Essay needs to appropriately match the course material.
2) Research the topic and gather notes and information.
Once the student has chosen a subject to describe at length in their essay, in their Informative Essay, they are to conduct effective and sufficient research to learn more about their topic. Once again, they are to incorporate into their essay a well-balanced description and explanation of their subject, one that is fair and doesn’t favor one side or another of the subject. The student is to also incorporate the sources they used to find this information, which they are to use to inform their reader.
3) Create an outline for the essay.
The purpose of the outline is to help the student visually and mentally plan and develop the various elements, transitions and inclusions of their essay. It should start with a general definition of their essay’s subject (if there is one, a single definition), or an overview of why the subject is relevant and topical. In this step, the student-writer organizes the main points of their essay.
4) Following the outline, write the first draft.
Here, the student-writer follows each point in their outline to produce an essay with several paragraphs, key transitions and insight – one that introduces the subject and provides the reader with a sufficient, yet keenly narrowed Informative Essay.
5) Proofread, edit, make corrections and submit for evaluation.
In this stage of the essay-writing process, once the student-writer has written the first draft of their Informative Essay, they should reread it for errors – punctuation mistakes, spelling errors, lack of flow, logic, etc. Then, they are to make these corrections in their essay before rereading it once again. Finally, once they feel the essay appropriately informs the reader about a subject, they should submit it to their professor for a grade evaluation.
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