How To Do An Outline For An Informative Essay

Informative Essay Outline

An outline helps with the writing of any essay. It generally serves as a guide for a student-writer who is to complete a writing assignment of this sort.

 

The same applies to writing an Informative Essay, which literally (objectively) informs the reader about a particular subject because it is void of the writer's own opinion or point of view of the subject; in this particular kind of essay, the student-writer is not to argue for or against anything. An outline helps them organize their thoughts into the form of paragraphs.

 

Creating an outline before writing the first draft helps the student-writer narrow the focus of their informative essay. Since the student-writer is generally limited in word count, they are not able to write an informative essay that includes every possible factoid that pertains to or explains the subject being examined. This means that the student-writer must be brief as well as fair as they possibly can in how they select which information to include into their Informative Essay. They are to inform the reader about a subject without being overly broad; but they still should present their subject in a manageable, focused manner.

 

Below is a basic outline for an informative essay. Because it illustrates each of the five main paragraphs of the informative essay, it should be followed, with the student-writer covering each paragraph’s main points.

 

Outline for an Informative Essay


Introduction Paragraph

 

A. Topic Sentence – organizes the essay’s first paragraph and introduces the essay’s thesis, acting as a signpost for the essay’s overall argument.


B. Thesis Statement – the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained in the essay, generally a sentence or two explaining the meaning of a certain text and the criteria that can be used to analyze it and defend it.

 

Body Paragraphs 

 

The informative essay’s body paragraphs directly follow the introduction paragraph and defend the Thesis and Thesis Statement. For this particular essay, each of the three main points that are to defend the essay’s argument are illustrated in each body paragraph one at a time; each body paragraph (each main, supporting point) marks the various criteria that the student-writer utilized to logically evidence their case for the text's meaning, purpose, etc.

 

Each body paragraph should begin with a transitional phrase (Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, Lastly, Next, Subsequently, Furthermore, etc.) indicating to the reader that a new point is being examined or put forth.

 

Also, before each body paragraph's main point is being expounded on and put forth, the student-writer must remember to restate their essay’s thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the introduction paragraph – in order to keep the reader focused and reminded of the essay’s original argument.


Body Paragraph 2

 

A. Transitional Phrase – First of all, Firstly, To start off with, To begin with.

 

B. Restate Thesis.

 

C. Point No. 1 (The first reason why the student’s thesis is true).

 

Body Paragraph 3

 

A. Transitional Phrase – Secondly, Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover.

 

B. Restate Thesis.

 

C. Point No. 2 (The second reason why the student’s thesis is true).

 

Body Paragraph 4

 

A. Transitional Phrase – Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover, Thirdly, Lastly.

 

B. Restate Thesis.

 

C. Point No. 3 (The third and final reason why the student’s thesis is true).

 

More paragraphs can be added to the body paragraph section if another point needs or warrants further illustrating.

 

Conclusion Paragraph 

 

Conclusion ties the essay together to better the reader’s understanding of its argument and to announce the essay has come to a close and the point has been made.


A. Transitional Phrase – Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, Ultimately.

 

B. A Summary of the essay, from the original Thesis Statement to its three main points of support that are illustrated in the body paragraphs.


If you are assigned to write an informative essay, here are more useful articles:

 

Informative Essay Example

Informative Essay Example Infographics

15 Informative Essay Topics

 


 

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The purpose of an informative essay, sometimes called an expository essay, is to educate on a certain topic. It is not for giving an opinion or convincing someone to do something or change his beliefs. In addition to being informative, it needs to be interesting.

Structure of an Informative Essay 

The basic structure of an informative essay is very simple. It needs to have a beginning, middle, and end.

  • The beginning needs to present the topic and grab the attention of the audience. It needs to include the focus sentence for the entire essay.  
  • The middle will be the main bulk of the essay and it will contain all the important facts that you are covering. This is where the audience will get their questions answered. Remember to answer these questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how. 
  • The end is a conclusion where you will summarize the essay. It should spur the reader or listener to learn more about the topic.

The Beginning

Here is an example of the beginning of an informative essay: 

As you are listening to me, you might not think that today is the day that you will save a life. It is quite easy to save a life any day and it only takes a little bit of your time. I’m not talking about being a paramedic or fireman; I am talking about donating blood. 

The Closing

Here is an example of a closing: 

So that now you know how easy it is to donate blood, it’s time to take action. After all, you have plenty of blood, so why not share? When you do, you will feel good about yourself and you will save a life.

Subjects of Informative Essays

Informative essays, sometimes called expository essays, can be used for many purposes. They can compare viewpoints on a controversial subject as long as they don’t include the author’s opinions. They may analyze data, like in a cause and effect situation, or educate the audience on ways to do something, like solving a certain kind of problem.

For example:

  • An informative essay might explain the pros and cons of the death penalty, using statistics on crime rate reduction as a pro and statistics on innocent men being found guilty as a con. 
  • An informative essay might analyze whether lack of education is a cause of homelessness by using statistics and information about the educational attainment of homeless men and women. 
  • An informative essay might educate the audience on how to open a bank account.

Informative Essay Titles

To help you get a better idea of the different types of informative essays, here are some possible titles for this type of essay:

  • 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
  • The Causes of Global Warming
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions with Alternative Fuels
  • Cost Savings of Hybrid Vehicles
  • Understanding Geothermal Heating and Cooling
  • Why Cleaning Your Ducts is Important
  • Qualifications of Contractors
  • How to Get your Commercial Driver's License

Steps in Creating an Informative Essay 

Most of the work on an informative essay is done before you actually sit down to type. Here are the general steps to take:   

  1. After you have chosen the topic, you will need to research and gather all the pertinent details on that subject. You need to ascertain what you already know about the subject and then decide what you would like to know.
  2. You will need to make a list of the important facts and then list the main steps in your paper. Make sure all your facts are accurate. You will need to write a topic sentence for each fact and write a focus sentence (thesis statement) for the entire essay.
  3. Create an outline that will organize your facts in a logical way. Then you will be ready to make your first draft.
  4. Editing is an important step for any writing project. Reading your essay out loud will help you notice places where the writing is awkward or unclear. If possible, have someone else read it and give you their ideas for improvement. Of course, you will need to pay attention for grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and other errors.

An informative essay is the best way to explain something that is complicated...in an uncomplicated way.

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Examples of Informative Essays

By YourDictionary

The purpose of an informative essay, sometimes called an expository essay, is to educate on a certain topic. It is not for giving an opinion or convincing someone to do something or change his beliefs. In addition to being informative, it needs to be interesting.

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