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How to Write Informative Short Essays


Even though there are many essays that demand that you either argue a particular stance or formulate an opinion and defend it, an informative essay isn’t concerned with proving an argument. The objective of an informative essay is to enlighten your reader about a particular topic. By analyzing various ways to construct an informative essay it will become evident how to write one successfully.

Research

An effective way of informing your reader about a particular topic is to present the most up-to-date research that’s available. For example, if you’re informative short essay’s focus is declining standardized text scores in America’s high schools, the most recent and credible data available will be an invaluable tool. It’s important to present various different sources to make sure your reader is getting a well-rounded view of a particular topic.

Compare and Contrast

Most relevant and important topics don’t have just one way to be interpreted or analyzed. For example, if your informative short essay’s focus is the issue of U.S. immigration, there are a great number of possible opinions and viewpoints. An effective way to adequately inform your reader about a topic like this is to present opposing opinions and points of view. The reader can then take all the relevant information and facts and form their own opinion.

Definitions

Many informative essay topics are complex, and in order for your reader to fully grasp the topic’s significance it’s important to define important terms and ideas. For example, if your essay’s focus is on cases heard in civil court, there are a great number of terms that taken out of context may be confusing. The more your readers understand each element, the better they will be able to follow the overall flow of the essay; offering specific definitions can help keep them on track.

Economy

A short informative essay doesn’t have the volume that a thesis or a longer-length essay does. Economy, conveying important information in as few words as possible, is paramount in a short informative essay. You should not spend pages on a single topic, subject or idea that can be communicated in a paragraph or a few sentences. The objective of a short informative essay is to relay a great deal of information in a short amount of time, and this means choosing your words wisely.

References
  • The KU Handbook for Writers: Writing an Informative Essay; Kara VanDam
  • Axelrod & Cooper's Concise Guide to Writing: Informative Essay; Rise Axelrod & Charles Cooper
About the Author

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.

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