Absolutely all high school and college students are assigned informative essays — this is a standard part of the curriculum. Topics, on the other hand, may be quite flexible — often, the teacher will not bother assigning a specific list of subjects but leave the matter open to the student. Sure, a free topic sounds better than the assigned subject you have zero ideas about. Still, there is more to an A+ informative essay. Want to find out more? Keep reading, we’ll teach you the tips and tricks of informative essay writing!
Informative Essay: the Basics
Even if you have trouble wrapping your head around the whole informative essay concept, chances are — you have written some form of informative paper already. So, chill — it’s not as hard as it seems. The primary goal of any informative essay is to provide information on a particular subject — as simple as that. In other words, you are to educate the reader on a chosen topic. The best way to present new and interesting information is to pick arguable, challenging topics that are not too general.
Plus, there are many other sub-types of essays that fall into the informative category. An expository essay is the closest one. Other varieties include:
- problem-solution paper
- cause and effect essay
- compare-contrast essay
- descriptive essay
- process essay
10 Ideas for Informative Essay Topics
The examples below are good prompts for informative essays and even speeches (also assigned to students now and then). The trick is to pick a general topic audience will relate to, but narrow it down to a specific angle — so the information you present would not be common knowledge. Consider something like this:
- Traces of proto-language in modern languages
- How does the Internet work?
- Origin of the mankind
- The reason behind procrastination
- Causes and reasons for addiction
- Legalization of drugs
- Artificial Intelligence
- Why do we see dreams?
- The history of human rights
- Maximizing financial efficiency
Steps Before Writing
Sitting down to write right away usually leads to staring at a blank document for hours. If you really want to save your time and trouble, take a couple of pre-writing steps. Remember, planning might take time, but it will save you even more time when writing, so it’s worth the trouble.
- Brainstorm: as we mentioned before, the teacher often allows students to choose their own topics. While this may sound fun, picking one question out of thousands may become a frustrating process. Also, note that you may be tempted to choose a topic you are already familiar with. This is a sound approach that will save you a lot of time, but in the ideal world, you should not stick to subjects you already have extensive knowledge of. For starters, it’s going to be boring as hell. Then, you will not learn anything new — and that is the main goal of education. So, choose a topic interesting to you, something you have some experience with, but avoid subjects you already know inside out. This is what the brainstorming stage is about.
- Choose a topic: brainstorming will help you figure out the subject for your informative essay, but choosing a topic is something entirely different. Think of a topic as the title of your paper. To put it simply, try to narrow down the subject you have in mind. Remember, dealing with an overly broad topic (in the ideal world) requires pages of extensive research, and that is not your goal when writing an informative essay. Your topic is basically one question — just one. You will answer this one question in the course of your informative essay.
- Research the info: all academic papers should be backed up by solid research. Not only it is important to choose relevant, academically accepted articles, but also to include both primary and secondary sources in your work. The difference between primary and secondary? Simple! If for example, you are writing a paper on a literary work or speech, the book/speech is going to be your primary source. All critical articles about the same work will be your secondary sources.
- Validate the sources: it is once again important to stress that the sources you choose must be acceptable in the academe. Wikipedia, for example, will be useful in the brainstorming stage, but it should not act as one of your sources. Blog posts are also frowned upon in the academe. Articles published on .edu domains are usually a better choice. Plus, remember to diversify your sources — ideally, those should be printed and online materials, books and articles, etc.
Outlining the informative essay
An outline is a crucial step in essay writing. Even if you have decided to hire someone to write your essay, you still have to know what a solid, informative paper looks like — otherwise, you risk getting a bad grade and damaging your reputation in high school/ college. So, what should an informative essay look like?
The basic principles of essay writing apply to informative papers as well. That is, your essay will always include an introduction, several main body paragraphs (usually, three), and conclusion. The introduction is a quick overview of the problem in question, wrapped up by a thesis statement. The following three body paragraphs should further on provide evidence to support the thesis. The conclusion is aimed at summarizing your findings and highlighting their significance.
Ideally, you should start your introduction with a catchy sentence — it should grab the reader’s attention. However, do not forget that your hook should be relevant to the topic in question, so the safest course here would be to start with a rhetorical question.
After hooking the reader, you can elaborate on the issue you are about to discuss. Give your audience any background information they might not be familiar with. This part of the intro builds up to the thesis statement.
A thesis statement is always the last sentence of your introduction. Do not forget that your entire essay will be based on this declaration, so make sure you get it right. A quality thesis is something that can be argued with. At the same time, remember that it should answer the questions you are posting. More than that, the info found during the research should be enough to extensively support the thesis.
This is the part where you support your thesis statement, so the information provided should be logical, easy to follow, and consistent with the questions posed. Always start each paragraph with the topic statement. In the case of the first body paragraph, the sentence should be directly related to the thesis. Do not forget that all transitions should be smooth and logical — you cannot just jump from one point to another.
The topic sentence of each body sentence should be extensive enough to state a single point. Further on, you will support this idea with evidence.
While the topic sentences introduce the main point of your paragraphs, the claim (argument) is what usually follows it. Making a claim after the topic statement is common CCE standard. And, given that a claim is one of the three parts of defending your thesis, make sure it is a strong one.
Next, you get to the actual evidence. This is exactly where your academically accepted sources come in handy. The best way to validate your claim is to quote from a reputable academic resource. Once again, remember that the sources you use should be academic journals, scientific works, etc. Without them, the paper will lose credibility. Present your sources like facts.
After, you are to justify the claim you’re making. In a nutshell, you are to explain to the reader why the claim is related to your thesis and how exactly it proves it right. This is the concluding part of the CCE process, and it can perfectly wrap up each of your body paragraphs. The deeper you dig here, the more validation points it will get you. Still, make sure you stick to the point — do not try to overly broaden or provide excessive information, not related to the subject you are analyzing.
Finally, you are to conclude your body paragraph. Create just one sentence that summarizes your findings. This step may seem excessive, but in reality, it makes your writing style more assertive, which will get your informative essay a couple of extra points.
A conclusion is the summary of your paper, summarizing everything you have analyzed. For starters, restate your thesis statement — do not rewrite it word for word, paraphrase it. Prepare for a smooth transition to your arguments.
Now, summarize all of the three arguments you made in the body paragraphs. Make sure to once again highlight how these arguments are related to your thesis.
The last sentence should conclude everything you’ve discussed. It is always a nice idea to highlight the importance of your thesis and its significance in the real world. Basically, the last sentence of your essay answers the ‘so what?’ question.
After you’ve finished writing
There are a couple of extra pointers that should help you polish up your paper. Here are some weak areas you should pay special attention to:
- Word choice: when proofreading, make sure you do not overuse the same words; try to diversify your paper with synonyms, if applicable. Also, eliminate any colloquialisms in the process. Make sure your paper is written in an objective scientific language.
- Spelling and grammar: even if you’re good with grammar, you still will make a couple of typos as you write. Often, these simple mistakes are hard to spot so you might want to use websites like Grammarly and GrammarCheck. But, they are not perfect either, so keep a good eye on your spelling.
- Logic: as a writer, you probably know what it is you are trying to say. Now, try to look at your work objectively. Is your logic easy to follow? Will the readers understand it the same way you do? Are your transitions logical enough? If your paper were a road, would it be a smooth highway or a bumpy mountain path?
- Peer help: the best way to find out how other people would react to your work is to get them read it! Ask one of your classmates to read your paper and see what he/she has to say about it. Sometimes, peer advice can be incredibly useful. If you have no one to turn to, you can always get in touch with one of our essay writers — they will gladly take a look at your work and help you polish it up.
Pro writing advice from our expert team
An informative essay should explain a complicated idea in simple words. So, my advice would be to spare as much time researching and analyzing the information as you possibly can. The more time you spend on research, the easier the writing process will be. Choose a topic you’re interred in, a topic you understand — that is the surest way to come up with easy to follow informative essay. Do not even try to come up with a thesis until you’ve finished your research. If you want to save even more time on writing, construct the logic flow before you start. Create an outline of your arguments and draft the supportive evidence. It will take you some time, but you will save plenty when writing!
Steve, expert at Elite Essay Writers.
Have more questions about informative essays?
Sure, even with all the info mentioned above, coming up with an A+ informative essay is a challenging task. If you would like to improve your grade and submit a truly top-notch work, do not hesitate to contact our expert writing team. Elite Essay Writers is a team of professional academic experts who are always completing highest quality assignments for reasonable prices. Each new order is assigned to a graduate in a particular major, so the quality of the completed work is always impeccable. Our writers surely know how to make professors happy, so feel free to get our quote any time you need a hand with essay writing!