How to Write an Informative Essay

An informative essay is, in reality, the same type of writing as expository writing.  The primary difference when it comes to the choice of name is the fact that the informative essay informs or says what the purpose of the essay is. By contrast, expository writing expounds on a subject or describes how something is done. When an informative essay is written for a general audience, it is permissible for the writer to use personal pronouns (e.g., “I” and “you”), anecdotes, and an informal tone. In the academic world, however, the tone of an informative essay should be formal and the style should be academic. The arguments and information in it should be presented in an objective manner and it should not contain any colloquialisms, contractions, any personalization (unless a tutor or instructor has other preferences).

The information in an informative essay can be organized in any one of a number of different patterns

These patterns can be cause/effect, comparison, definition, problem/solution, and/or in sequential steps. The informative essay is often used in the academic world where many of these writing styles are used in classes covering technical subjects. For example, writing in sequential steps is often used in manuals explaining how something is done. Likewise, it is common for informative essays of the compare and contrast variety to be used in classes about literature for the purpose of comparing literary elements such as character, theme, and so on.

In the same manner as expository writing, an informative essay has a set structure, which includes an introductory paragraph, a few paragraphs setting out the writer’s argument(s), a paragraph addressing any counter-argument(s), and a concluding paragraph. The introductory paragraph should include a thesis statement or question that is arguable. Being arguable refers to a thesis where there may be opposing views or counter claims. The paragraphs devoted to the writer’s argument(s) set out an amount of information collected from the opinions of experts, the writer’s own analysis, interviews, field surveys, statistics, and other reliable academic material. Additionally, in each of the argument paragraphs (where each individual paragraph is devoted to a single argument) you should evaluate the particular argument for that paragraph and demonstrate how it relates to your central thesis.

Once you have objectively presented the arguments supporting your essay’s thesis, you then need to present one or even two counter arguments, again in an objective manner, along with your evaluation of each one and a statement in respect of how each relates, either in a supporting or contradictory way, to your essay’s thesis.

Your concluding paragraph should reiterate the main thesis statement and recap on your supporting arguments while showing how you successfully proved your point(s). It is also permissible to include a statement about how relevant your topic and your thesis are to any current or future study or application. This closing paragraph should be around the same length as your introductory paragraph. Therefore, the language and statements need to be succinct and concise.