How to Write Informative Essay Outline
At some point in your school life, you will be asked to write an informative essay. In most occasions, teachers provide students with topics or ask them to choose their preferred topics. It is important to select a topic you are familiar with to avoid the challenges of research and also the challenge of finding a starting point.
An informative essay is written with the sole purpose of educating or informing your readership about a certain topic or idea. The writer mainly focuses on relaying the facts to the audience. Here, the writer’s opinion is not encouraged because the emphasis should be on providing factual information regarding a topic. The primary goal should be to ensure that the readership learns something new about an idea.
Tips Concerning Introduction Writing
The introduction of an informative essay mainly defines the topic under review. The writer also includes information that will help the readers to understand the other parts of the essay. Introductions are often short and direct. The information provided or included here should be enough to entice the audience to continue reading the essay. It is easy to get stuck while writing the introduction and some students often find it hard to begin their essay.
However, the following tips can help students to develop an easier way of approaching their introductions:
- Understand the essay’s topic or goal or focus.
- Begin with a hook. Capture the audience’s attention in the introduction.
- Narrow down the scope of the essay.
- Avoid ambiguity in your thesis statement.
Tips on Thesis Writing
A thesis statement is normally included in the introduction and seeks to reveal the writer’s stance on a particular topic. When writing an informative essay, research is an essential part, and it should form the basis of a student’s essay. Before the writer develops their thesis statement, it is important that they conduct extensive research. Since informative essays are factual, it is essential for the writer to avoid including information that contradicts the existing facts.
When writing a thesis statement for an informative essay, consider the following tips:
- Make the thesis statement interesting or argumentative. In most occasions, students often write standard statements, but it is always fascinating whenever someone decides to deviate from the norm.
- Avoid the use of cliché phrases when writing your thesis statement. For example, “This article will focus on…”
- Make the scope of the statement narrow. The entire essay will be based on this statement and, therefore, the scope is determined by this statement.
Tips on Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay contains arguments and statements that support or build on the thesis statement. In the body of an informative essay, the writer mainly provides the audience with factual information regarding the topic under study. The information included here should be based on extensive research using credible sources.
When asked to write an informative essay, consider the following tips on writing the body paragraphs:
- Use topic sentence. Each supporting argument should be the first sentence of the subsequent paragraphs after the introduction.
- Start with the widely accepted facts about the topic under review. It is always advisable to start an essay with your strongest points. These tend to capture the reader’s attention and make them want to read the remaining bit.
- Avoid including your opinion, but base your arguments on exhaustive research.
- Make use of transition words, for example, Firstly, Additionally, Subsequently, etc. These help readers identify the main facts and to distinguish them from supporting insertions.
Tips on Conclusion
Essentially, a conclusion gifts the writer with the opportunity of leaving a lasting impression on the readers. It is, therefore, important for the writer to make their point stand out. An informative essay should educate, and by the end of such an essay, readers should remember the main points.
For the above to take place, consider the following tips to help you write your conclusion:
- Restate the essay’s thesis.
- Highlight the main points or arguments that were included in the essay.
- Offer suggestions for further research on the topic while also pointing out the existing loopholes in the study of the subject.
Example of an Outline
An informative essay outline mainly includes the main points that the writer will include in their essay. An outline for an informative essay should be developed when the writer is conducting his research because it will help them to remember the most important points. Informative essay outline writing should not be a challenging task because while developing it, the rules of writing do not apply. Essay writing begins with the development of an informative essay outline.
Below is an example of an informative essay outline on the topic Caffeine Addiction.
- Define the topic (what is caffeine addiction?).
- Brief background information about caffeine addiction (How can a person be a caffeine addict? How does the brain become addicted? What happens when someone decides to quit caffeine?).
- Thesis statement (Focus the essay on the relationship between Caffeine and the risk of heart diseases and Osteoporosis – in other words define the scope of the essay).
- Caffeine and Osteoporosis.
- Caffeine and Heart diseases.
- How to quit caffeine and ultimately ending the addiction.
- Restate the thesis (mention how caffeine is connected or could make it possible for a person to get a heart disease or osteoporosis).
- Reiterate the importance of the study concerning the effects of caffeine.
- No definition of caffeine addiction.
- Provides detailed information about caffeine addiction (the introduction ends up being more than two paragraphs and mind you it could be a five paragraph essay).
- Inclusion of a thesis statement that does not provide a narrow scope (this means the writer has not made it known to the audience what aspect of caffeine addiction they will be discussing).
- Caffeine and heart diseases.
- The dehydrating effect of caffeine.
- Caffeine and pregnant women.
- Health benefits of caffeine.
- Caffeine and insomnia.
- Effects of caffeine on children (Introduces new information in the conclusion).
- Lacks direct thesis statement and therefore fails to restate it.
The purpose of an informative essay, sometimes called an expository essay, is to educate on a certain topic. It is not for giving an opinion or convincing someone to do something or change his beliefs. In addition to being informative, it needs to be interesting.
Structure of an Informative Essay
The basic structure of an informative essay is very simple. It needs to have a beginning, middle, and end.
- The beginning needs to present the topic and grab the attention of the audience. It needs to include the focus sentence for the entire essay.
- The middle will be the main bulk of the essay and it will contain all the important facts that you are covering. This is where the audience will get their questions answered. Remember to answer these questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
- The end is a conclusion where you will summarize the essay. It should spur the reader or listener to learn more about the topic.
Here is an example of the beginning of an informative essay:
As you are listening to me, you might not think that today is the day that you will save a life. It is quite easy to save a life any day and it only takes a little bit of your time. I’m not talking about being a paramedic or fireman; I am talking about donating blood.
Here is an example of a closing:
So that now you know how easy it is to donate blood, it’s time to take action. After all, you have plenty of blood, so why not share? When you do, you will feel good about yourself and you will save a life.
Subjects of Informative Essays
Informative essays, sometimes called expository essays, can be used for many purposes. They can compare viewpoints on a controversial subject as long as they don’t include the author’s opinions. They may analyze data, like in a cause and effect situation, or educate the audience on ways to do something, like solving a certain kind of problem.
- An informative essay might explain the pros and cons of the death penalty, using statistics on crime rate reduction as a pro and statistics on innocent men being found guilty as a con.
- An informative essay might analyze whether lack of education is a cause of homelessness by using statistics and information about the educational attainment of homeless men and women.
- An informative essay might educate the audience on how to open a bank account.
Informative Essay Titles
To help you get a better idea of the different types of informative essays, here are some possible titles for this type of essay:
- Understanding the Link Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease
- How to Buy a House
- Understanding Your Credit Score
- Defining Poverty in the City of Chicago
- The Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
- The Importance of Regular Daily Exercise
- The Causes of Global Warming
- Reducing Carbon Emissions with Alternative Fuels
- Cost Savings of Hybrid Vehicles
- Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling
- Why Cleaning Your Ducts is Important
- Qualifications of Contractors
- How to Get your Commercial Driver's License
Steps in Creating an Informative Essay
Most of the work on an informative essay is done before you actually sit down to type. Here are the general steps to take:
- After you have chosen the topic, you will need to research and gather all the pertinent details on that subject. You need to ascertain what you already know about the subject and then decide what you would like to know.
- You will need to make a list of the important facts and then list the main steps in your paper. Make sure all your facts are accurate. You will need to write a topic sentence for each fact and write a focus sentence (thesis statement) for the entire essay.
- Create an outline that will organize your facts in a logical way. Then you will be ready to make your first draft.
- Editing is an important step for any writing project. Reading your essay out loud will help you notice places where the writing is awkward or unclear. If possible, have someone else read it and give you their ideas for improvement. Of course, you will need to pay attention for grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and other errors.
An informative essay is the best way to explain something that is complicated...in an uncomplicated way.