How To Write An Informative Essay Outline

Informative Essay Outline

Are you skilled in writing informative essays?

You should be because such essays are very common in middle school through to college.

In an informative essay, you are required to inform and educate your reader on a given topic.

These essays focus on providing factual information on a topic, as opposed to providing your personal opinion around the topic.

An excellent informative essay provides a reader with new information on the topic of discussion.

In some cases, your instructor will provide the topic, while in other cases, you are supposed to pick your topic.

Either way, it is always advisable to write about something you are familiar with.

Even with a good topic, you need to think before you write, which means creating an essay outline.

That is the focus of this article: How to create an outline for an informative essay.

Informative Essay Structure

You will not create a good essay outline if you do not know the structure.

Like most other essays, the structure of an informative essay includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

So, your outline, which basically is a rough draft of the essay you will write, should have these three sections.

Tips On Writing The Introduction

The introduction should capture the attention of the reader enough to make them want to read the rest of the paper.

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In an informative essay, start your introduction with a lead-in, then write your thesis, which should be followed by a summary of the main points in your paper.

  • Lead-in

A good lead-in serves two purposes:

  • It introduces the topic of discussion
  • It captures the attention of the reader.

In other quarters, a lead-in is referred to as the hook.

It could be a rhetorical question, a lesser-known fact, a piece of statistic, or a quote that is related to the topic.

Whatever you choose as your lead-in, make sure it perfectly paves the way for you to state your thesis.

The thesis is the main argument your paper focuses on.

In an informative paper, the thesis statement is what you are going to explain and educate your reader about.

A good thesis statement is clear and concise – avoid vagueness and ambiguity.

  • Proof points

The proof points are the arguments or ideas that you are going to use to support your thesis.

Briefly highlight them after the thesis so that the reader can know what to expect in your paper.

Emphasis on briefly – you do not want to spill everything in the introduction.

Just state your proof points in a way that will inspire the reader to read the rest of your paper.

Tips On how to Write An Informative Essay Outline Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs, which in most cases are the three paragraphs following the introduction, should support the thesis statement.

So, you should have three points or arguments to support your thesis, where each point is in its own paragraph.

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You should begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.

The purpose of a topic sentence is to provide a summary of the main idea in the paragraph.

You should organize your point from strongest to weakest.

Validate your points using references from books, journals, and other authoritative sources.

References make your work credible and show your readers you took your time to research your work.

Finish each paragraph with a statement that gives a general idea of the argument you have just presented.

The purpose of this concluding sentence is to remind your reader what your point was and to show that your argument is the correct one.

Tips On Writing The Conclusion

In your informative essay conclusion, restate the thesis statement (do not repeat it exactly the way it is in the introduction).

Then, restate your main points in a way that they perfectly blend together with the thesis statement.

You should also explain to the reader the significance of your argument and how it relates to the real world.

Informative essay outline Example

The following is a sample of an informative essay outline on the topic of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse

  • Introduction
  • Start by giving starts on the prevalence of alcohol abuse or the effects of alcohol.
  • Write your thesis statement – focus on the effects of alcohol on one’s health.
  • Body paragraphs
  • Paragraph 1 (Point #1): Alcohol and liver damage
  • Paragraph 2 (Point #2): Alcohol causes heart disease
  • Paragraph 3 (Point #3): Alcohol affects the central nervous system, including the brain.
  • Conclusion
  • Rephrase the thesis, and relate it to the main points. Then explain the significance of your research.
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Things to Avoid When Writing An Informative Essay Outline

  • Starting an essay without a defined topic. It leaves readers in doubt concerning the actual content of the matter that you are going to discuss. Make sure your positions is crystal clear.
  • Giving overly detailed information in the Introduction section exceeding the length of a single paragraph allocated to this part of an essay. Keep it short and simple.
  • Formulating the thesis statement too broadly, failing to narrow down the scope of the essay.
  • Listing a multitude of reasons to back the thesis statement instead of opting to choose only the most pertinent ones and to discuss them in more detail.
  • Introducing new evidence in the conclusion of the essay. This should be decisively discouraged. The conclusion serves the purpose of restating the thesis statement and reformulating some of the essential information given on the topic to provide closure.


Final thoughts

An informative essay outline helps you be better prepared before you start writing.

With an outline, you know which point comes first, the reference for each of your points, and the supporting ideas for each of your points.

Therefore, you will not get stuck or have to start rereading your sources for more insight.

An outline in an informative essay is especially important because you are not supposed to write your personal opinions – every assertion you make should be objective and backed up with facts.

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