Organizing An Informative Essay: Basic Guidelines

The idea of an informative essay is that it should educate your reader on something. Generally, you should write on something you know a great deal about, but you can do quite well by thoroughly conducting research, taking excellent notes, and properly organizing your information. Here are some basic guidelines for you to follow:

  • Understanding the Assignment
  • The first step lies in simply reviewing and understanding what is being asked of you in the assignment. Look for specifics like the required paper length, whether you need to compare and contrast two items or if you need to define a subject. If you need any more information or are unclear ask your instructor.

  • Selecting a Subject
  • Check with your instructor to see if you can choose a subject of your own or if you are limited to an assigned list. If you have the chance to select your own, be sure that it is neither too broad nor too narrow. Remember that you will have to conduct some research so you want to be sure there is enough content for you to use.

  • Taking Good Research Notes
  • No matter what kind of assignment you work on, great research and note taking are extremely important. Make sure the information you gather comes from good resources. You should first look towards academic resources like books and journals but some websites might provide great background info for you to use as well.

  • Brainstorming Ideas
  • When you think you have gathered enough content for your informative essay you’re ready to brainstorm and organize your content into related ideas. Some people like using a mind map or a list, just be sure you group items so that you can present a clear paper.

  • Creating an Outline
  • Create your outline so that you order your topics effectively. This means considering an introduction and ordering your paragraphs so that your subject unfurls in a manner that your reader won’t be confused. You might want to create and consider one or two different versions for your informative essay.

  • Using a Single Topic per Paragraph
  • These kinds of papers can get confusing very quickly, so it’s important you stick with using a single topic for each paragraph. The number of details you present will depend on the paper’s length requirements; however, you should try your best to use only the best possible topics and examples, as well as make sure that they are all distinct from one another.


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