Informative essays are some of the most common essay topics that students are given to write. For example, in college, high school, or middle school, every student will encounter an informative essay – if you haven’t already.
Informative essays should be easy since your professor is basically telling you to describe something you love. But writing essays tends to be a daunting task for students, especially when they don’t know how to go about it. This article supplies helpful information on how to get started with writing your informative essay and how to write it beautifully.
What is an Informative Essay in Informative Writing?
An informative essay is a type of academic paper that is primarily written to inform readers about an event, a person, an object, or a phenomenon. Informative essays require researching the topic of interest and gathering enough information about it. Whatever topic you choose or are given, your duty is to describe the subject of discussion in full detail.
The main purpose of an informative essay is to inform or educate readers on a certain subject. When writing an informative essay, be careful not to express your opinion or compel others to take a stance. Informative essays are different from persuasive essays in that regard. When written well, a good informative essay will be interesting enough to make readers decide on their own using the wealth of information you provided.
Detailed Guide on How to Start an Informative Essay
When it comes to informative writing, most of the work is done before you sit down to write or type. The steps you take before you begin an informative essay determine how easy or difficult you will find the task. Below are expert tips and steps regarding how to write an informative essay.
Step 1: You first choose an appropriate topic for your informative essay. You want to choose a good topic, but you also want to ensure the topic is one you are passionate about. If you have some passion or an idea about the topic, researching and writing will be fairly easy.
Step 2: Next, you will research the essay’s subject and gather ideas concerning it. Researching helps you see what you already know about the subject matter and areas you still need to research.
Step 3: list out important facts; ensure they are accurate. You will need to write your thesis and a topic sentence for each of the facts you intend to include in your essay.
Step 4: Create an outline to logically organize the facts you gathered and get ready to create your first draft.
Step 5: Begin writing the informative essay based on your outline; ensure the article flows naturally.
Step 6: Read your work aloud, proofread, and edit it; this part is important because it polishes your essay and fizzles out essay-demeaning errors. Moreover, you discover areas that are unclear or make no sense.
Step 7: Consider getting professional help for proofreading and editing your essay, or have someone else around you read it.
Informative Writing Structure: How to Write an Informative Essay
Informative essays follow a standard, basic structure, and it is a simple one. Basically, your essay should have a beginning, middle, and end – also known as introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Introduction: you state your thesis in your introduction in a way that will hook readers; it should occupy one sentence. Depending on the requirements and length of your essay, the introduction length can be a paragraph or a page. Your introduction should leave your audience curious and wanting more.
- Body: this is where you elucidate your thesis with facts, statements, statistics, and details to prove it. The body of an informative essay is the longest part of the essay, containing several paragraphs. At this point, you delve deeply into every area you outlined in your introduction.
- Conclusion: the informative essay conclusion summarizes the essay in one or two paragraphs. However, it should be more than just a summary; it should inspire readers to learn more about the topic. Finally, restate your thesis clearly and add one or two sentences about what you learned about those topic areas.
Formatting Good Informative Essay Examples
The standard writing format for school papers is the MLA format – but you should ask to be sure what your school’s is. The MLA format that good informative essay examples follow begins with one-inch margins, the standard with Word documents. Then, double-spacing paragraph lines to help your teacher read easily and make corrections. The font size is 12, and the font type is Times New Roman. Finally, you begin with a four-line heading aligned to the left and reading your full name, professor’s name, class name, and submission date.
Check out this essay sample to get an idea of how a good informative essay should look like:
Locard’s Exchange Principle
This brief paper introduces the concept of Locard’s Exchange Principle, also called Locard’s Principle of Exchange or Locard’s Exchange Theory. It outlines and defines what the principle is and how it is applied in forensic science. It examines the basic mechanism through which Locard’s principle is said to occur. This paper also presents criticisms of Locard’s principle which may cast doubt on its use in criminal investigations. It concludes with the author’s commentary on Locard’s principle with regard to public perception.
Locard’s Exchange Principle
In a day and age in which it seems that most major televisions networks offer some kind of police procedural or crime scene investigation type show, it is unsurprising that the public which makes up juries have developed certain expectations regarding the validity, reliability, and alacrity of forensic science. The author of this paper readily admits to being something of a fan of such shows; however, the author of this paper also readily laughs and bemoans the ways in which forensic science is often presented in these shows. However, one forensic technique which has actually been used and referred to by name is Locard’s Exchange Principle, or Locard’s Principle of Exchange.
Usually in these forensic shows, some well-dressed, well-groomed forensic technician will describe Locard’s Principle as “you almost always take something with you, and you almost always leave something behind.” This is not entirely inaccurate, nor exactly a poor definition. But more accurately, Locard’s ‘exchange theory’ suggests that “every contact between two surfaces leaves trace evidence” which could theoretically be recovered (Cyr, 2013, p. 101). Locard’s work, including the exchange theory, was some of the earliest connections between scientific lab work “with knowledge of criminal phenomenon and criminals and of criminal situations to diagnose and understand the potential meaning of traces” (Margot, 2011, p. 99). In other words, Locard’s principle was a means of bridging the gap between what may be termed police science and applied science. Scientists could use scientific method in order to support and sustain theories regarding crime and criminal behavior.
Returning to the definition of Locard’s principle, there are different ways in which transfer occurs and in different contexts. Chan, Tan, & Wong (2012) note that transfer can be accomplished through adhesion – that is, two surfaces come in contact and something from one surface sticks to the other. Chan, Tan, & Wong (2012) also observed that transfer can occur between two unrelated surfaces or objects; for example, “flying objects such as fiber, hair and body scent” can easily be left behind and easily adhere to other objects in the environment without ever making surface-to-surface contact. This, those authors note, “makes ‘every contact leaves traces’ valid” (Chan, Tan, & Wong, 2012, p. 229).
Despite this support for the validity of Locard’s principle, there are several criticisms of it. Chan, Tan, & Wong (2012) observe that such adhesions and contacts can be inadvertent and meaningless; in other words, the connections between two different surfaces or objects may not be forensically significant. Those adhesions and contacts may be incidental and therefore useless as evidence since they may muddy the waters or be otherwise suspect or circumstantial. Cyr (2013) refers to Locard’s principle as “a totalizing fantasy implicit in forensic practice” (p. 101). In other words, all physical evidence, particularly trace evidence, could be recovered, if the proper forensic technique existed. At this Cyr (2013) scoffs: “as though forensics were the technique that could bring us closer to the ultimate witness, the one who could see and recover everything” (p. 101). Crispino, Ribaux, Houck, & Margot (2011) note that though Locard’s principle may be often cited or utilized, the theory itself has not been meaningfully peer-reviewed or otherwise tested in a way which supports or refutes it.
The author of this paper found it rather disturbing to find out that Locard’s principle has so little been tested, especially given Locard’s own fervor for meaningfully testing and using science in criminal investigations. It underlines the need for more accountability in forensic practice. Unfortunately, it signals yet another forensic principle which the public will absorb and expect to see unfailingly applied in criminal cases. It is therefore crucial to educate the public and juries in particular on forensic practice and how it is utilized and differs from TV portrayals.
In conclusion, an informative essay explains a complicated subject in an uncomplicated way. Even though the topic is of particular interest, you want to back up each claim with real statistics and facts. Don’t be compelling or biased in your writing; let your essay do all the convincing.