How to Write an Informative Essay Outline

What is an informative essay? In order to understand an informative essay outline, you need to know what an informative essay is all about. An informative essay is a type of academic paper that educates your audience on a specific topic.

How to Write an Informative Essay Outline

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This essay will elaborate on terms and analyze data for your intended readers. When writing this type of essay, you provide in-depth knowledge and offer your audience basic facts about your topic.

Unlike a persuasive essay, an informative essay does not require you to present your personal opinion or convince your audience to take a particular stand or action. Instead, it focuses on providing knowledge.

Make your informative essay as interesting as possible. This way, you encourage your readers to continue reading the whole paper and learn more about your topic.

What is the main purpose of an informative essay?

The main purpose of an informative essay is to present information that will educate your audience on a specific subject. Your professor is most likely to give you an informative essay assignment.

It is important to know what this type of assignment is supposed to address in order to produce a high-quality paper and score higher marks. An informative essay will require you to answer five “W’s.” These are Who, Why, Where, When, and What of your topic.

It can also address “the How to,” which will teach your audience how something is done. Make sure that while addressing these questions, your essay is as engaging as possible so that readers enjoy reading it.

How to write an informative essay

An informative essay requires you to have an informative essay structure in place. This structure will help you to organize your thoughts when writing your paper. A structure will enable you to write your essay accurately and much faster.

You will have your key points outlined in proper order so that you do not forget anything important. Also, you will organize your work in the usual five-paragraphs standard essay format to provide it with a good flow. The standard essay comprises of the following elements

  • An introduction and a thesis statement that introduces your topic and presents your arguments in an engaging and interesting way
  • Three paragraphs in the body section that supports your thesis statement
  • A conclusion paragraph that will finalize your work by presenting the significance of your discussion to your audience

When writing an informative essay outline, make sure you organize all your evidence and examples logically. This way, your readers can follow your trail of thought. Here is how an outline for an informative essay should look like

1.   Introduction paragraph

How to Write an Informative Essay

An interesting introduction will grab your readers’ attention and keep them hooked to your writing. The main aim is for your readers to read the introduction to the conclusion part of your paper.

Also, make sure that your title is impressive enough to make people want to read your writing. In some cases, students can use definitions in the introduction paragraph of their informative essay.

It is also advisable to consider using the right hook that is exciting and interesting. A hook should be the first sentence of your introduction paragraph, and it can include

  • Some startling statistics
  • An interesting fact
  • An anecdote
  • A joke
  • A rhetorical question

The hook that you choose to use will depend on the topic you are addressing and your audience. Not all hooks will be appropriate in all writing situations.

Provide context or background information

After capturing your readers’ attention with the right hook, you need to provide them with background information about your title. Putting your title in context will give your readers the information they need to understand your essay.

2.   Thesis Statement

A thesis statement which is usually a single sentence at the end of the first paragraph, should follow after the background information. The thesis should be informative to the audience by summarizing your main points.

It should also elaborate the purpose of your paper but in a simplified version. Make your thesis statement reliable, precise, and appealing to your readers so that they can learn more about the subject.

3.   Body paragraphs

The body section in the informative essay will enable you to defend your thesis statement. This section is where you will present your arguments. The first sentence in a body paragraph is usually the topic sentence.

This sentence links your main point to your thesis statement as it transitions from your introduction. After the topic sentence, you will provide your readers with your points and give details to support them.

These supporting details are the validation that your point needs to make it a fact. Supporting details should be provided from external reliable, and credible sources. This also adds credibility to your discussion.

Make your claims in the body paragraph reliable so that you can provide quality defense for your thesis statement. You also need to validate your claim using evidence.

For example you can validate your claim using a quote from a reliable document. Validating your claim transforms it from a personal opinion to a valuable fact.

Finally, conclude your body paragraph by explaining how the claim proves your thesis statement. Make sure all three paragraphs of the body section follow this model.

The number of paragraphs in the body section will depend on the number of points you need to discuss. If you have more than three points, you can add an extra paragraph, or if you have fewer points, you can reduce the number of paragraphs.

3. Steps to writing an informative essay outline

How should you write an informative essay outline? A good informative essay outline includes a body paragraph that will defend your thesis statement well and make it highly valuable. You can confirm if your body paragraph will be effective by checking if it has adhered to three steps

I. Making a Claim

Check if your body paragraph makes a claim, which is what you should be discussing in the body section. Make sure your claim is connected to your thesis statement and proves it.

II. Provide evidence

Check your evidence and make sure it defends your claim. Evidence from reliable and credible external sources transforms your claim from an opinion to a fact.

You can get primary or secondary evidence to back up your claim. The sources can be varied from documents, articles, or even physical objects that will make your discussion valid.

III. Explain your reasoning

Explain your claim to your audience. Do not assume that they understand. You can use relevant, informative essay examples in your explanations to help readers to gain a deeper understanding of the discussion.

Also, your explanation links your evidence and claim and defends your thesis. Conclude each paragraph section with a final sentence that is assertive and wraps up the points you have discussed.

4.   Conclusion

This is the final paragraph of your entire essay, and it should wrap up your whole discussion conclusively. One of the things that you must do in this section is to restate your thesis statement.

When restarting your thesis, you must not repeat it word for word. Instead, rephrase it and maintain its original idea. The final paragraph of your paper should also summarize your discussion in the body section of your essay.

Highlighting your key points in your conclusion helps the readers to remember them. The final part of your concluding paragraph should be an overall concluding sentence.

This final sentence should explain the significance of your discussion. When your audience reads your conclusion, they should understand the value of your informative essay and where it applies.

5.   Edit and proofread your informative essay

After writing your first informative essay draft, make sure you edit and proofread it. An essay that is not edited and revised is likely to be having grammar and spelling mistakes.

These kinds of mistakes lower your credibility as a writer, and your audience may question the validity of your work. In the case of a school assignment, your primary audience is your professor, and grammatical or spelling mistakes can make you lose marks. You can perform the following to ensure you thoroughly edit and proofread your work

Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Reread your work after you have finished writing and correct all grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. You can use tools like software programs that will help you edit your work thoroughly and faster.

Check tone of voice

Make sure that you use the correct tone in your writing. This way, you are able to resonate with your audience and engage them with your writing.

Ask a friend to counter check

After editing and proofreading, you can ask a friend to read through your work again. Having a fresh pair of eyes looking at your work is a good method to try and catch errors that you may not have seen earlier.

Also counter check your discussions, evidence, and informative essay examples and make sure they are presented appropriately and in an organized manner. You can take some time off away from your writing for a day or two and come back later to check it with a fresh mind. This way, you are able to produce an excellent paper using an informative essay structure.

How should an informative essay Outline be written?

In summary, an informative essay outline should have the same elements as most of the other essays. First, you may want to understand- what are the elements of an informative essay?

These elements include the introduction, body, and conclusion sections of your paper. In order to write a proper essay outline, you need to understand the information that belongs to each section of these elements.

This way, you are able to develop an outline that will enable you to quickly write your paper. When your essay extends beyond the typical five-paragraph format, you can add more paragraphs depending on your points of discussion. Make sure your discussion is not too broad for an ideal essay format.

What is a good informative essay Outline template?

How to Write an Informative Essay Outlines

A good informative essay outline template will follow specific steps that are required to develop an informative essay. These steps should include creating a good topic, conducting in-depth research, and providing reliable and credible sources of information.

The next step is to draft an essay outline. This outline can be used as a template to draft an informative essay. Some of the types of informative essays that you can draft using a template are as follows

  • Cause and effect essay
  • Compare and contrast essay
  • Process essay
  • Problem and solution essay
  • Descriptive essay

Informative essay topics

An informative essay is a popular topic that an instructor will assign to students. This type of essay helps to sharpen student’s skill of conveying relevant information objectively on a particular subject. In most cases, an instructor will provide you with a topic for an informative essay.

Sometimes you may be required to look for your own topic. Below is how you can come up with informative essay topics

1.   Brainstorm topic ideas

You will need a catchy title that will grab your readers’ attention. Brainstorm topic ideas that are impressive to your readers and write them down before you can analyze them one by one.  Make your title informative, and make sure it reflects your main idea.

2.   Select the best topic

Choose a topic that is most appropriate after writing down your ideas from the brainstorming activity. Narrowing down your options will help in your selection process.

Also, make sure that the topic is not too narrow for you to find information or too broad for you to discuss it in your essay. The length should be long enough to fit in the informative essay outline format.

Ensure that the topic you select is one that interests you. This way, you will enjoy researching and writing about it.

Also, the whole process of writing will be easier and faster. When you enjoy writing about a topic, your audience will also enjoy reading about it.

3.   Conduct a research

How to Write an Informative Essay

Perform in-depth research on your selected topic to gather information from various credible sources. Information can be gathered from reliable primary or secondary sources.

Make your essay strong and well-rounded by gathering information from various sources to validate your work. Do not use only one source of information.

Instead, widely research your topic and get evidence and information from different reliable sources. The following are some topic examples of an informative essay

  • Effects of addiction
  • What are the benefits of a vegetarian diet?
  • How to clean your air ducts
  • How you can understand your credit score
  • What are the causes of addiction?

Key Takeaway

To write an informative essay outline, you need to be able to answer the question what is an informative essay, and why is it important? Its main purpose is educational. You are not required to express your own opinion, but you need to present facts to your audience.

A well-crafted outline will enable you to organize your thoughts and write your essay fast. It is a perfect way to ensure you do not forget any valuable information by organizing and presenting your work in a well-structured format. 

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