When you are a High School or College student, you will have been set an informative essay at some point. You could have been assigned a topic by your teacher, or you have been allowed to choose a topic yourself.
But, many students, given a topic they know nothing about, struggle to build a strong essay and do not know where to build.
If you feel you struggle with something like this or need extra help writing an essay, keep reading. You will learn how to create your essay in easy steps.
Start By Finding Your Topic and Create a Plan
Before you start writing, you need a firm plan. If you have already been given a topic, you can move onto the section about researching your topic. Choosing your own? Then keep reading.
A plan is vital when writing an informative essay, and knowing what you want to write about is the first stage.
Brainstorm Your Ideas
Finding a topic, you feel strongly about or are interested in is always a good place to start when creating an informative essay.
But regardless if you are writing about a topic you are invested in or have been given, brainstorming will give you the starting point you need. It will allow you to create an outline for your essay and help organise your thoughts.
Choose Your Topic from Your Plan
After coming up with some ideas and narrowing down your options, it’s now time to pick your topic. When picking that your topic fits your topic’s requirements, keep in mind and make sure it is not too broad/too narrow.
Too broad, and you will not be able to go into the details of your topic; too narrow, then you may struggle to find things to write about. A balance is needed.
Research Your Topic Properly
Researching your topic, whether you have chosen it or it has been given to you, is the stage that will help you build a strong essay.
You will need to do some in-depth research to create the best platform to build off from. Gather a variety of different sources, both primary sources and secondary sources.
These sources will give you plenty of evidence to back up what you are writing about and give you many avenues of discussion to explore. Failure in your preparation will lead to a weaker essay.
As well as using a variety of different sources, you need to use reliable sources. Reliable sources are essential in creating an informative essay, as they are trusted.
You should also provide a well-rounded essay by using one type of source and a selection.
Plan Your Structure and Outline
Informative essays will usually follow the standard style for essays. It will be layout out like this:
- The Introduction
- The Thesis Statement
- The Main Body
- The Conclusion
Write your Introduction Paragraph
What you want to happen with your introduction is to hook the reader’s attention. If you grab their attention instantly, they are more likely to keep reading instead of getting bored.
After you have hooked them, you want to reveal any background information to provide any context to your writing. This part is crucial to your essay as it provides the information that your reader will need when reading through your essay.
Add Your Thesis Statement
The very last line of your introduction should be your thesis statement for the essay. This statement needs to be well-thought-out, well-formed and coherent.
A well-formed thesis statement summarizes the essay for the reader. It makes the main points clear concise. It should be:
- Informative: it needs to highlight what the essay is about without expressing any opinion or views.
- Straightforward and easy to read.
- Appealing: like your introduction, it needs to hook the reader.
It is worth referencing examples online to really understand the style and what should be included.
Create The Main Body Of Your Essay
The role of these paragraphs is to support your thesis statement, so you need to make sure you have all the facts and figure you are going to need. Refer to your plan.
The main paragraphs of your informative essay should consist of three main arguments or points. Any less, then you will not be presenting a solid essay.
Each paragraph in the main body follows a structure and needs to contain certain things.
To start each of your body paragraphs, you need to include a topic sentence. This sentence will help create smooth transitions between sections, making it easier to read and more coherent.
With each new paragraph, the structure stays the same:
- Target point
- Supporting detail
Your target point is the part of your original thesis you are aiming to support and prove. The supporting detail offers evidence and validation, which enriches your statement and supports your target point.
Make Your Claim in Your Paragraph
With each paragraph, you need to make a claim. This claim will follow the topic sentence and provides the bulk of each paragraph. These paragraphs will follow the CCE structure:
Your claim is your argument that you will be defending in each paragraph. It will be made up of a statement and one to three pieces of solid evidence, which you believe proves your point. Your claim should be an opinion, which you think proves your thesis.
Every claim needs to be supported with evidence. This evidence will defend the claim you make and be from a primary source or a secondary source. This proof can be various things: A Document, an article or some other physical object you can present.
The final step includes an explanation that defends your thesis and should be two well-reasoned and solid explanations. It helps support the evidence and the claim; without it, the paragraph cannot be concluded correctly, leading to a weak paragraph.
Conclude Your Essay in the Right Way
When you have presented your three main points, you need to move on to your essay’s conclusion. This will help round off your essay, and it will bring you back to the central thesis.
You need to restate the original thesis and offer any of your final thoughts or insights into the topic. It should be done smoothly and allow you to restate the impact of each of your points; this should be brief as you have gone into detail in the main body.
When you get this right, it should flow and be a good mixture of going over your points and briefly arguing them again.
To finish your essay correctly, you need to finish with a concluding statement. It helps your essay by explaining the significance of your points/arguments. It will help your reader understand why your essay has value and how they can apply the information.
It helps them apply it to real-life situations that they may encounter or have already encountered.
Finish by Editing Your Essay
Once your essay has been written, it is now time to move onto editing your work. This stage will turn your work from a good essay into a great one, so it is crucial to get it right.
Take a Step Back from Your Essay
You may feel like you want to just get your writing finished and out of your mind, but this is counterproductive. The best way to begin editing your work is to take a step back. Spend some time persuing other things utterly unrelated to what you are writing about.
Stepping away allows you to return to your work with fresh eyes, gives you a different perspective on what you have written. You can catch things you may have well missed, whether a spelling error or an inconsistency.
Edit the Easy Parts First
Before you get into editing the main essay, you should fix the easy things first. By fixing these things first, you are building a solid platform to work from. You are also less likely to forget these little things that could be the difference between passing not.
These little things can be:
- Checking you have Followed the guidelines/requirements
By fixing these errors, you are making your essay look more professional and more polished. This will resonate with your reader, so it needs doing.
Check The Formatting of Your Essay
How your essay looks is also something to keep in mind. What we mean by formatting is to make sure everything is consistent throughout your essay. These things can be:
- The same font throughout
- Using the font in the same way in your essay – for emphasis
- The spaces between lines are the same
- The Headings are the same (if headings are used)
These may seem like little things to think about, but they really help your essay look professional. Uneven or inconsistent writing looks messy and unprofessional, even if the content is decent.
You want your essay to not only read well but look perfect as well.
Keep Your Essay Clear and Easy to Understand
Your essay needs a solid structure to ensure it is easy to follow and clear for your reader. Check to see whether you have good transitions between points and paragraphs.
An unclear or incoherent essay will not be pleasant for your reader. They may be confused about your points, unsure of your reasoning or feel the conclusion is not linked to your points.
Write Exactly What You Want To Say
Clarity is critical in an essay. When you are re-reading your essay, consider the words you have chosen are saying what you want them to say. By using precise and concise language, you can get your point across without any mixed messages.
You want to use short sentences that are clear and crisp. If your sentence is too long, it can make your argument unclear to the reader. If your argument is unclear, it will get lost.
You want to avoid using loose language or fragments of sentences that do not make sense on their own. You want to use everyday language that the reader will understand, no jargon or colloquialisms. Remember, your reader may not be as informed as you are.
Delete What You Do Not Need
Long-winded paragraphs can be hard to read. The overall goal of your essay is to make it as readable as possible. For it is only when it is read that it has value. Do not get attached to specific paragraphs, phrases or words; they can add flair, but your message will be lost or distorted.
Go through your essay and see if you can change what you have written to make it shorter or the words more straightforward.
Look for where you can reword phrases or sentences into shorter ones. You should aim for around three or four sentences, as a giant wall of text can be very daunting for a reader. When starting a new chapter, it is good to leave a line to really break things up.
You may be amazed at how short you can make sentences without them losing their meaning.
Find what you can take away from your essay without losing your meaning, and you will be heading in the right direction.
Check Your Facts or References are Correct
When adding facts and figures, you need to check to see whether you have the correct information. Not just the numbers, but the references, the sources and the quotes are 100% correct.
If not, your essay will have less value and may even spread misinformation. To show you have done all your research correctly, you want to make sure you give the correct information to your reader all the time.
Look For Any Repetition In Your Essay
When you are editing, one device to look out for is repetition. Constantly repeating phrases or facts and figures will not help your essay. Repeating facts, figures or phrases will make it seem that you have not researched your topic correctly.
It is a hard literary device to get right, especially when the essay is short, so it is also best to avoid it.
Write in Confident Way
Keep in my the voice you are writing in during your essay. To appear more of an authority on your topic, you need to write in the active voice rather than passive voice. It will also make your essay pleasant to read and keep the clarity.
Two tips you can use when writing are:
- Make the subject of your sentence take action: I put, I talked etc
- Avoid has been, will be etc., find ways to paraphrase.
Keep Your Essay As Simple As Possible
Your essay needs to be clear and readable; aim for using simple punctuation, phrases or grammar. Using simple concepts such as punctuation, you increase how readable your essay is.
This simplicity is a good thing to look for during editing, as you should aim for a good flow to your writing, whether it makes sense and connects well. This flow is far more critical to your essay than trying to look intelligent by using complicated devices.
You want to avoid overly complex language as well. You do not need to add words that you got out of a thesaurus when a simple word will do. We are not saying that you should never use complicated words, but do not go over the top
Be Thorough When You Edit
When you are going through re-reading your work, make sure you are thorough. You should be reading your essay multiple times before you submit it. It is far better to read it one hundred times and submit it once than to read it once and fail.
When you feel your essay is perfect and nothing more needs changing, re-read it and check the little things. This could be spelling, punctuation or formatting.
Try reading your essay out loud or backwards to see if it really makes sense. You may have missed something small or a sentence that does not work. Little things can be easily missed.
Give Your Essay to Someone and Get Them To Check
When you think you have checked everything, let someone else read over your work and get their opinion. Your friend or family member’s perspective or insight will be valuable to you.
They will be able to see things that you may have missed even though you have checked properly. They can also give their opinion on how clear your essay is.
Writing informative essays are a great way to get information across to a reader. They help explain otherwise complicated subjects or concepts. When written in the way we have explained to you, they can make inaccessible information accessible for a wider audience.
By making your claims and backing them up with evidence, you can teach people the subjects they are passionate about or subjects they find hard to understand.
Hopefully, after reading this, informative essays seem less daunting, or you understand how best to approach them. Now, you can create a solid, informative essay; you can go ahead and submit it.