The purpose of an informative essay is to educate others on a certain topic. Typically, these essays will answer one of the five Ws: who, what, where, when, and why. Of course, they can also answer "how," indicating how to do something.
Informative essays must never express your opinion or try to convince others to take a certain action or stance. That role is expressly reserved for persuasive essays. Of course, if your informative essay is interesting enough, it may move readers to learn more about the subject, but they'll have to come to that on their own, thanks to the wealth of interesting information you present.
Read our examples of informative essays and learn more about choosing a topic and how to write an informative essay to help you get started.
Structure of an Informative Essay
The basic structure of an informative essay is very simple. It needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. These are known more formally as the introduction, body, and conclusion, respectively.
The beginning, otherwise known as the introduction, is your opportunity to present your thesis statement and grab the attention of the reader. Your thesis statement must be one sentence, making it very clear what the reader will be informed about.
The introduction can be anywhere from a paragraph to a page, depending on the requirements and circumstances. Use this opportunity to introduce the main idea, provide any pertinent definitions, and briefly describe what will be covered. Above all else, the introduction must clearly state what readers are about to explore. Be sure to steer clear of any evidence of your opinion on the topic.
Below, you'll find two informative essay introduction examples to help you brainstorm your own ideas.
Sample Introduction #1: This essay discusses the topic of donating blood.
When you woke up this morning, did you think today would be the day you save a life? In fact, it's quite easy to save a life and it only takes a little bit of your time. You don't even need to be a paramedic or firefighter. All you have to do is set aside approximately one hour to donate blood. This essay will explore how to donate blood, whom it benefits, and how often you can contribute to these life-saving measures.
Sample Introduction #2: This essay explores the history of Ireland from the perspective of its iconic castles.
Ireland is a country steeped in history. In fact, its history dates beyond 3,000 B.C, when the megalithic tombs were constructed in Newgrange. Throughout the country's expansive evolution, the Irish fought time and again to maintain their independence as a sovereign nation. Evidence of the rich history is clearly visible through its many castles, including Leighlinbridge Castle and Carlow Castle, two of Ireland's oldest establishments.
The middle, otherwise known as the body, is your opportunity to expound upon the thesis statement and grab the attention of the audience with solid facts, statistics, statements, and other supporting details.
The body will be several paragraphs long, comprising the bulk of the essay. This is where you'll provide further details about the main idea. Be sure you delve deeply into every area previously outlined in the introduction.
The end, otherwise known as the conclusion, is your opportunity to summarize the essay in a paragraph or two. It should spur the reader to want to learn more about the topic. Be sure to reiterate the thesis statement clearly. In your introduction, you may have laid out what would be covered in the essay. Offer a sentence or two reiterating what was learned about those topic areas.
After that, offer up a few closing remarks that gloss over the most important elements. End on a high note, encouraging your readers to learn more or contemplate the most important elements of your essay. You may even pose a rhetorical question.
Below, you'll find two sample conclusions to help you brainstorm your own ideas.
Sample Conclusion #1: This concludes the essay example above on the topic of donating blood. Note how it emphasizes the simplicity of the process.
The process of donating blood is decidedly simple. Many folks carry out the process while reading a chapter from a new book or watching an episode of their favorite TV show. Indeed, the infinitesimal amount of time it takes to donate blood can transfer into a lifetime of happiness for the recipient. Remember to bring juice or something sugary to keep your glucose levels high at the end of the procedure. Then, hold your head up high, knowing there's a life out there that's about to be saved by you.
Sample Conclusion #2: This conclusion to the Ireland essay example reiterates the "ferocity of its people."
If Ireland isn't an example of a rebel nation, what is? The ferocity of its people is clearly evidenced by the fact that Leighlinbridge Castle was built and rebuilt three times before it was finally sacked by the Cromwellians. Carlow Castle's staggering history earmarks Ireland's triumphant history too, starting as a mighty fortress and surviving numerous rebellions. Indeed, Ireland is a country storied in history and its many castles are the tellers of its tale.
Sample Informative Essay
In the sample below, note a few things as you read. Try to keep an eye out for the thesis statement in the first paragraph. Then, note the transition words in two of the body paragraphs. They are, "Also in line with safety…" and "In terms of fun…" Finally, in-text citations will vary, based on your teacher's style guide, so be sure to double-check those. Download the PDF version below the essay to keep as a handy reminder.
The title of the following essay is "How to Travel Solo Successfully."
James Baldwin said it best. "I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself" (Baldwin, 2014). Solo travel will not only reveal colorful new heights, it will also introduce you to yourself - your resiliency, your sense of adventure, your independence. Learning how to travel solo is as intrinsic as tying your shoes, and it is something that can be learned today.
The first, most obvious, way to travel solo successfully is to research your area. The number one indicator of a tourist is someone stopped in the middle of the sidewalk scanning the GPS on their phone. According to World Travel News Report, four in fifteen tourists will be pickpocketed if they stand still on a busy street (Parker, 2019). Arrive well-informed on the area. Understand the public transportation system to the point where you can blend in as a local.
Also in line with safety, you may want to splurge on accommodations. You can stay alone in a hostel, but read the reviews carefully. Make sure it is in a safe area and security is a priority for them. You might even want to consider a private room, some of which include a private bath.
In terms of fun, pack for your lack of companionship. Bring a blank journal to record your adventures. Pack a paperback to enjoy while you wait out a rainstorm in a coffee shop. World traveler Samantha Byrnes says, "I never travel with friends. When I'm exploring a new continent, my journal is my only sidekick" (Byrnes, 2018).
This allows her to absorb her new surroundings, make new acquaintances, and focus on the act of encountering herself. Byrnes continues, "We lost sight of ourselves in the day-to-day. We focus on work, family, to-do lists, chores. Solo travel allows us to return to ourselves so that, when we resume our day-to-day activities, we can give our all" (Byrnes, 2018).
Learning how to travel solo successfully is an achievable feat. You can stay safe if you remain knowledgeable on the area and choose your accommodations wisely. Beyond that, you can experience true transformation through the simple act of carrying a tattered old journal. What do you say? Will you explore solo travel? Choose wisely, for it just might change your life forever.
Have you been tasked with writing an informative essay? If the topic is open, the first thing you must ask yourself is, "What interests me the most?" This will make the task far less laborious. Take something you're already knowledgeable about and share it with the world, citing other sources and stating current facts and statistics.
This is your chance to add to others' viewpoints on a subject as long as you don't include your own opinions. Allow them to analyze the data, perhaps in a cause and effect layout. Or, you can educate them on how to do something, create something, or solve a problem.
Here are some examples of informative essay topics to get your creative juices flowing:
- How to open a bank account
- World poverty
- Procrastination and its effects
- Air pollution
- Dream interpretation
- History of women's right to vote
- Foreign cultures
- U.S. stock market
- Dog breeds
- Architecture in Paris
- History of the Titanic
Example Essay Titles
While your introduction must be carefully crafted in order to reel readers in, your essay title is the first thing they encounter, and it needs to be enticing. Formulate a clear title, indicating what's about to be discussed. Find a way to invite others to want to learn more. Remember to follow these rules for capitalization in titles.
Here are some possible titles for inspiration:
- How to Donate Blood
- A Brief History of Ireland
- Understanding the Link Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease
- How to Buy a House
- Understanding Your Credit Score
- Defining Poverty in the City of Chicago
- The Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
- The Importance of Regular Daily Exercise
- Top Three Causes of Global Warming
- Reducing Carbon Emissions With Alternative Fuels
- The Many Cost Savings of Hybrid Vehicles
- Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling
- Why Cleaning Your Air Ducts Is Important
- Qualifications for Contractors
- How to Get a Commercial Driver's License
Essay Writing Steps
Most of the work on an informative essay is done before you actually sit down to type.
- Select an appropriate topic.
- Research and gather ideas about the subject. See what you already know about the subject as you uncover other areas you still need to research.
- Make a list of these important facts. Be sure all the facts are accurate. This is a good time to craft your thesis statement as well as a topic sentence for each fact you'd like to include.
- Create an outline that will organize your facts in a logical way. After this, you'll be ready to make your first draft.
- Write your essay based on the outline you've created. Ensure that one section naturally flows into the next.
- Proofread and edit your work. Editing is an important step for any writing project. Reading your essay out loud will help you notice areas where your writing may be unclear or awkwardly worded.
If possible, have someone else read your essay and offer their ideas for improvement. Of course, don't forget to pay attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and other errors as well.
Knowledge Is Power
An informative essay is the best way to explain something complicated - in an uncomplicated way. Even though you're (hopefully) writing on a topic of interest to you, be sure to back up each claim with substantial facts and statistics. Let the content speak for itself, inviting readers to learn more.
Informative essays are powerful, persuasive essays are moving, but have you ever been tasked with a narrative essay? Enjoy the wonders of this third form of essay writing in Narrative Essay Examples and let the endless exchange of knowledge begin!