Informative essays are similar to research essays, however, they simply present facts and educate readers on a matter. Here you do not get to say what you think, rather you simply discuss your topic and inform your reader about it. Here are some good essay topics:
- Civil War and its significance in American history
- History of slavery in the United States
- The civil rights movement
- The causes and long-term consequences of stress
- Why we procrastinate and how to avoid it
- Racism in the US
- Child obesity
- Cybercrime and how not to be its victim
- The Solar System and its components
- The Milky Way and how to find it in the night sky
- How recycling can save our planet
- Hitler and his military strategies
- The causes of the Vietnam War
- The judiciary system in the United States
- What is ADHD and how does it change lives?
- The consequences of WWII
- Is a college degree necessary to be successful?
- Child abuse and its influence on character development
- Expressionism and its role in art history
- Overpopulation in prisons
Defining an Informative Essay
It’s Sunday night and you’re finding any way possible to procrastinate on your English homework assignment: to write an informative essay. ‘It’s gotta be easy enough,’ you say to yourself, remembering your English teacher’s simple explanation of an informative essay – to educate your reader on a topic. The only problem is, with a definition that broad, you’re having a really hard time narrowing down what exactly you’d like to inform your audience about.
Flipping channels, you come across a music awards show. You hear the announcer say one of your favorite stars growing up, Smiley Virus, is set to perform next. As Smiley takes the stage, you’re completely shocked. She comes out half-dressed in some kind of stuffed animal costume, and just keeps doing the same spastic dance moves over and over again. It just keeps getting more and more bizarre. It’s obvious she’s trying to be ‘edgy,’ but she just looks like a lunatic. As the camera pans the crowd, no one is sure how to react toward her ‘cutting edge’ performance.
As it all ends, you immediately start thinking of a way you can turn this into an informative essay – it’s just too good not to write about. Your mind begins to fill with the different options your English teacher gave you.
‘Informative essays come in many forms,’ she said. ‘They can define a term, compare and contrast something, analyze data, or provide a how-to.’ ‘No matter what form you choose, remember that an informative essay does not give the writer’s opinion on the topic or attempt to persuade their reader to change their beliefs,’ she said. Finally excited about writing your informative essay, you begin to brainstorm your options.
Informative Essays: Definition
The definition essay is the most basic form of an informative essay. Its goal is to simply provide an explanation. Informative essays that define provide their explanation using one of three methods: They can use synonyms to explain what the new term is similar to, categories to help the reader see where the term fits in compared to others, or negation to allow the reader to understand the term by seeing what it isn’t.
In addition to the three methods, there are several ways you can organize an informative essay that provides a definition. The most important thing is to present them in a logical order that makes sense, and there’s not one method that’s best in every case. Some organization schemes you might consider include presenting examples from most important to least or presenting them chronologically.
In your case, a definition essay might simply tell about who Smiley Virus is. You begin to work on a rough draft for a definition-focused informative essay. You know the introduction should contain a thesis along with a compelling way to draw the reader in.
‘As the lights dim, the crowd waits in anticipation. Slowly a beat emerges, then, as if rising from the ashes of her child star persona, a shadowy figure appears in a cloud of smoke on stage, ready to give an infamous performance no one will soon forget. As she makes her way across the stage, the spotlight shines down, showing off a new woman. No longer a little girl, this is the new Smiley Virus, the adult pop sensation.’
‘Not bad,’ you think. You begin with a compelling description of what you just saw and tell your reader what you’ll be defining: the new adult pop sensation, Smiley Virus. You also note how you’ve already started to provide your explanation, through negation – letting your reader know that Smiley is not a little girl or child star anymore – and categorizing – classifying her as an ‘adult pop sensation.’