Step-By-Step Guide to Writing an Informative Essay
Informative essays are aimed to educate the audience about a certain topic. You should have the necessary knowledge about your subject and be able to convey information in an organized and understandable way. If you have enough practice, writing a successful paper won’t be a problem for you. Just follow this step-by-step guide at college-writers.com blog.
Researching the topic
1. Understand your assignment
The first thing you should do is check the requirements and your prompt. Depending on the given requirements, you can understand how much information you need to collect, and how to present it properly. If you have any questions, we recommend that you talk to your teacher.
Make sure that you know the required citation format. Sometimes, teachers may also recommend reference software, such as RefWorks or EndNote which make it easier to keep track of your sources.
Strictly follow all the formatting requirements. Use the recommended font, and if there are no specific guidelines, go with a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman, 12 pt. Avoid “funny” or unusual fonts.
Start working on your essay as soon as you can to complete it before the deadline.
2. Select a topic
If you haven’t got the topic assigned by a teacher, you need to choose one yourself. Choosing a topic may be not an easy task, however, you can quickly narrow down the range of options available. For example, your topic shouldn’t be too broad or too specific. You should be able to find enough information about your subject, however, you should also be able to cover this topic in the essay.
Think of your audience and choose a topic that will be interesting for your readers. What background does your audience have? What they may want to learn? Obviously, the topic should be also interesting for you so that you can get really involved in the writing process and create a nice paper.
3. Conduct research
Good research is crucial for an informative essay. Make sure to only use reliable, proven sources, such as academic journals, scholarly databases, and encyclopedias. Avoid citing Wikipedia and other online sources that may have unreliable content. Check websites of government organizations and universities. A great way to search for sources is using Google Scholar.
4. Take notes
While researching your topic, jot down the key facts and ideas that look useful for your essay. Grab a sheet of paper or type your notes on a laptop. The main point is to remember information that can serve as a basis for your essay. Keep in mind that your essay should have an introduction, a body with at least three key points, and a conclusion.
5. Mind your sources
Write down all the crucial information about your sources, such as the author, title, publisher, and other details so that you can cite your sources properly.
6. Brainstorm your ideas
Once you’ve got enough information, start brainstorming the main ideas. You may create a mind map with the main subject in the center of the map, and subtopics connected to it logically. Another way to brainstorm effectively is to write a list of ideas, starting with your topic, and following it with any ideas that come to your mind. Don’t try to sort them by priority, just come up with as many ideas as you can.
Another approach is freewriting. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and generate ideas. Once again, you don’t need to evaluate your ideas or care about grammar at this stage. Just keep writing until the time is up.
Writing an Outline
1. Plan your introduction and hook
The introduction should present your thesis statement, which is usually 2-3 sentences long. The thesis statement is the central argument of your essay.
Don’t worry about creating a perfect thesis statement when you just start to write the essay, Many people choose to write it when the whole essay is ready, so just jot down the main points so that you can understand the main idea of your essay. At this stage, the thesis statement should just help you build the outline.
2. Use one strong piece of evidence per body paragraph
The body of your essay is its main part. Choose the main points from your research and determine the number of details you’re going to provide. For example, if you have to write a five-paragraph essay, you need three body paragraphs, with one point for each paragraph. Make sure that everything you’re going to write about is really important in the context of your subject.
3. Add supporting details
Once you’ve determined the major points, add specific details that will support your idea and help your readers understand it. You may use such details as quotes, examples, etc. Make sure that you have enough details for each body paragraph. If this task seems difficult, we suggest that you choose another topic or do additional research.
4. Restate your thesis statement
The conclusion of your essay should restate your thesis statement and summarize the whole paper. You may also present your ideas in a new light.
Writing the Essay
1. Write your first draft
Start writing your first draft, using the outline as a guide. Since it’s the first draft, just focus on conveying your ideas in a logical manner, without fixing spelling or punctuation mistakes.
2. Write a topic sentence for each paragraph
The topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph which describes its main idea. It may also serve as a transition between two paragraphs. It should set a clear direction for the paragraph. In addition, make sure that all of your paragraphs are directly related to the central idea of the essay and contain evidence that supports your claims.
3. Structure your essay
As we’ve already mentioned above, your essay should include the introduction, body, and conclusion. Every body paragraph should contain your claim, evidence that supports it, and explanation. Check your outline to be consistent while writing.
Edit your draft, answering the following questions:
- Do you have a clear thesis statement?
- Are the body paragraphs directly related to your thesis?
- Can your readers learn something new from your essay?
- Is your essay interesting and easy to read?
- Does every paragraph have the right structure?
- Is your language clear and easy to read?
- Did you cite the sources properly?
5. Write the final draft
Write your final draft, making it coherent and logically correct. The final draft should not only provide information but also do it in a smooth, engaging, and easy-to-understand way. In addition, make sure that all of your paragraphs have the right structure.
6. Check your language
Once you’ve checked the logical structure, make sure that you don’t have any sentences that sound awkward. Get rid of word echoes and repetitive phrases.
Proofread your essay, fixing any grammar mistakes, misspelled words, or wrong punctuation. If you have any problems with proofreading, just order professional proofreading on College-Writers.com. Reading your essay out loud may also help you make your essay better