How to Write an Informative Essay: Step by Step

How to Write an Informative Essay: Step by Step

Academic essays provide information on a chosen topic thus one may come to an assumption that any academic essay is an informative essay. To some extent this is true but an informative essay has specific features.

As a student, you may be required to write this kind of paper and have no idea where to start or how to craft one. Do not be worried, this article is dedicated to giving you all the tips on how to write an informative essay.

Definition of an informative essay

The big question thus is what is an informative essay? An informative essay is an essay directed at providing details and facts to inform your audience on a specific topic. It should entail a provision of both basic and in-depth knowledge of the selected subject. This type of essay is void of opinion and bias.

For example, say you were to be asked to write an informative essay on the topic of genetically modified organisms. Your objective would be to give facts on the topic without any allusion to your perception or issues on morality surrounding the topic. Remember, you must educate your reader on the topic without trying to persuade him or her.

An informative essay closely resembles the following types of essays:

  • Compare and contrast essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Cause and effect essay
  • Problem solution essay
  • Process Essay
  • Homework hacks essay

Informative Writing

If you are wondering what is informative writing, here is an explanation of what it is and its aims. The main purpose of informative writing is to increase knowledge. It answers the question of why or how about a particular topic. It gives direct information on the topic under discussion to the reader and does not aim to persuade or challenge the reader to action.

Characteristics of a good informative essay

A well-written informative essay should have the following elements within it:

  • Introduces the topic in an attention-grabbing manner to the reader
  • Clearly expresses Knowledge and facts regarding a particular subject
  • I depth analysis of a subject containing a variation of definite, admissible details, for instance; facts, existing research, quotes, etc.
  • Employs typesetting, illustration, and interactive media, including hyperlinks when needed
  • Harnesses accurate and relevant language on the subject under discussion
  • Uses a formal style and tone
  • Uses standard English
  • Concludes and summarizes all the main points and follows through the order in which the information has been presented

Informative essay topics

A crucial and initial phase of writing an informative essay is coming up with a suitable topic for your prompt. At times you may not be assigned a topic by your tutor thus have to come up with one yourself. Since there is a whole range of topics to choose from depending on your subject, it is important to have a few things in mind to help you come up with the best topic. 

  • Ensure your topic is neither too wide nor too narrow. Pick a topic that has enough information on it but not one that will make you end up with too long an essay.
  • The topic should be relevant and sensational to your audience. A good rule of thumb for this is to think of who will be reading your paper.
  • Choose a topic that is interesting to you. This will make the writing process easier and more pleasant.

Here are a few topic examples:

  • The way gravity works
  • The life cycle if a mammal of choice
  • Racism in modern society
  • Domestic Violence
  • Causes of high unemployment rates in developing economies
  • Post-traumatic depression in war veterans

How to write an informative essay

If by now you are asking yourself how to start an informative essay you are on the right track. However, before you put pen to paper or start typing on your computer, you need a bit of preparation. Planning before proceeding with writing your paper helps the organization and flow of work way easier compared to when it is done haphazardly.

Brainstorm ideas

Conduct research and choose a field most relevant to current affairs, your audience, and prompt. Consider choosing a field or discipline you have a great interest in. As you brainstorm, you create a general outline of what your informative essay will be about and hence organize your thoughts in the process.

Settle down on a topic

After eliminating all the irrelevant options, it is time to narrow down to a topic of your choice. Remember your pick should be moderate i.e. neither too wide nor too narrow.

Gather information

Now that you have a topic in hand the next step is to gather all the information on the topic. Conduct your research from the most reliable and up to date materials you can find. Include both primary and secondary sources of reference to support the writings on your paper.

Informative essay outline

How to write an informative essay outline

The informative essay outline is written in the format of the standard essay style. This is; an introduction and thesis, body, and conclusion.


The reader’s attention should be grabbed in this section to keep them interested in reading the rest of the paper. Introduce your essay with a hook, something unusual that provokes thought or emotion. You should also include any background information concerning your informative essay that may be relevant to the reader’s consequent writings of the paper.

Thesis Statement

The last sentence of the introduction should be a thorough and clear thesis statement. The statement should state the main purpose of the paper without an expression of opinions or outlooks on the subject.


The main objective of a paragraph body is to develop and support the topic. Here is a simple format of writing a paragraph:

Topic sentence – introduces the main idea or point of the paragraph; the most important idea you want your readers to take away from the paragraph is stated herein. This comprises the target point, the part of the thesis statement you aim to prove.

Provide evidence for your claim – show that your point or idea is true. This statement validates and compliments your target point. Remember not to lose relevance when providing proof for your claim. Types of support to your claim could include; facts, statistics, quotations, examples, etc.

Form an analysis or evaluation – be sure to demonstrate a relationship between the evidence and your claim. It is important to be critical and objective while still demonstrating to the reader the correlation of evidence and ideas.

Transition – help your readers move from the current idea to the idea you are about to introduce next. Ensure smooth transition between ideas and points without any break in the coherence of your paper.

Developing and organizing your ideas is important to keep the informative essay as clear and the essay to follow as possible to the reader. You may consider; introducing the most important information first, stating events in chronological order, comparing and contrasting your ideas as a way of organizing your ideas.

A well-developed body paragraph should have the following elements:

  • Is relevant and focused
  • Well detailed
  • Vivid and descriptive
  • Coherent and consistent
  • Highlights key points and main ideas


The main purpose of a conclusion is to; leave the reader with something to think about and clarify the relevance of the topic to your audience. While writing an informative essay remember to restate the thesis statement and offer a summary of thought and insight into the topic.

Remember not to add any additional information or new research in the conclusion. Instead, you may make a call to action, ask a rhetorical question or share a quote by an expert or influencer of the field your paper is about. Finally, finish the essay with a concluding statement. The statement should serve as a description of the importance of your argument.

Informative essay examples

Learning how to write an informative essay may require you to see one for yourself and get a practical perspective on how to write one. In higher learning, it is prudent to go over as many informative essay examples for college as possible. This will give you vast ideas on topics as well as methods on how to tackle informative essays.

Below is a brief example of an informative essay:

Driving is one of the best surreal experiences anyone could ever have. Have you ever considered what it would be like to take up driving as a full-time job? This could entail anything from being a load truck driver, a bus driver ferrying passengers, or a long-distance driver ferrying cargo.

Long-distance drivers usually operate huge haul trucks to ferry goods in between countries and continents. For you to however qualify for operating such motor vehicles you need a CDL. Thus, here is a brief overview of what you need to do to get a CDL.

CDL is an acronym for commercial driver’s license. A commercial driver’s license is one that is required to operate large and heavy commercial vehicles. Different types of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) require a driver to own an up-to-date and valid CDL.

As a driver, you may need a few special endorsements such as; school bus/ passenger transport, tank vehicle, hazardous material (hazmat), etc. You are required to undergo a written test and sometimes a skill set for you to hold any one of the CDL endorsements.

There are a few steps however needed for you to obtain a CDL. You need to be at least 21 years of age; however, at 18 years you may apply to drive across states. The next step is now to make a CDL application and pay the fees due.

From there you are required to submit a complete medical examination report accompanied by your examiner’s medical examiner’s certificate. Undertake and pass a vision test as well as a knowledge exam.

After satisfying all the above requirements you will be issued with a commercial learner’s permit (CPL). You need to wait 14 days (minimum) before scheduling your CDL examination to test your road skills.

After passing the road skills and driving examination, you will be handed your CDL after paying the necessary fees.

Being a commercial driver gives one a very different experience from the norm due to its dynamic nature. Thus, if you want a new career or feel the need for a different experience in life. Why not try obtaining a CDL and venturing into commercial driving?

To sum up

It is imperative to know how to write an informative essay as a student. An informative essay provides details and facts on a specific topic. To write a good informative essay, remember; the characteristics of an informative essay, to create a good topic for your essay and keep in mind the standard informative essay outline. With all this information in hand, you are set to tackle any challenge concerning informative essays.

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