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Writing An Informative Essay Outline

Informative Essay Outline

An outline helps with the writing of any essay. It generally serves as a guide for a student-writer who is to complete a writing assignment of this sort.


The same applies to writing an Informative Essay, which literally (objectively) informs the reader about a particular subject because it is void of the writer's own opinion or point of view of the subject; in this particular kind of essay, the student-writer is not to argue for or against anything. An outline helps them organize their thoughts into the form of paragraphs.


Creating an outline before writing the first draft helps the student-writer narrow the focus of their informative essay. Since the student-writer is generally limited in word count, they are not able to write an informative essay that includes every possible factoid that pertains to or explains the subject being examined. This means that the student-writer must be brief as well as fair as they possibly can in how they select which information to include into their Informative Essay. They are to inform the reader about a subject without being overly broad; but they still should present their subject in a manageable, focused manner.


Below is a basic outline for an informative essay. Because it illustrates each of the five main paragraphs of the informative essay, it should be followed, with the student-writer covering each paragraph’s main points.


Outline for an Informative Essay

Introduction Paragraph


A. Topic Sentence – organizes the essay’s first paragraph and introduces the essay’s thesis, acting as a signpost for the essay’s overall argument.

B. Thesis Statement – the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained in the essay, generally a sentence or two explaining the meaning of a certain text and the criteria that can be used to analyze it and defend it.


Body Paragraphs 


The informative essay’s body paragraphs directly follow the introduction paragraph and defend the Thesis and Thesis Statement. For this particular essay, each of the three main points that are to defend the essay’s argument are illustrated in each body paragraph one at a time; each body paragraph (each main, supporting point) marks the various criteria that the student-writer utilized to logically evidence their case for the text's meaning, purpose, etc.


Each body paragraph should begin with a transitional phrase (Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, Lastly, Next, Subsequently, Furthermore, etc.) indicating to the reader that a new point is being examined or put forth.


Also, before each body paragraph's main point is being expounded on and put forth, the student-writer must remember to restate their essay’s thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the introduction paragraph – in order to keep the reader focused and reminded of the essay’s original argument.

Body Paragraph 2


A. Transitional Phrase – First of all, Firstly, To start off with, To begin with.


B. Restate Thesis.


C. Point No. 1 (The first reason why the student’s thesis is true).


Body Paragraph 3


A. Transitional Phrase – Secondly, Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover.


B. Restate Thesis.


C. Point No. 2 (The second reason why the student’s thesis is true).


Body Paragraph 4


A. Transitional Phrase – Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover, Thirdly, Lastly.


B. Restate Thesis.


C. Point No. 3 (The third and final reason why the student’s thesis is true).


More paragraphs can be added to the body paragraph section if another point needs or warrants further illustrating.


Conclusion Paragraph 


Conclusion ties the essay together to better the reader’s understanding of its argument and to announce the essay has come to a close and the point has been made.

A. Transitional Phrase – Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, Ultimately.


B. A Summary of the essay, from the original Thesis Statement to its three main points of support that are illustrated in the body paragraphs.

If you are assigned to write an informative essay, here are more useful articles:


Informative Essay Example

Informative Essay Example Infographics

15 Informative Essay Topics



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Could you tell me what level is a "University level, Bachelor's" i.e. is it equivalent to a 2:1?

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Informative Essay Outline

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Often we find ourselves having to write an informative essay on some subject. We have to provide the readers with information on an event, a process or even a person. Informative essays pass on valuable data without being argumentative, persuasive, opinionated or biased. Their fundamental role is to educate. Informative essays contain well-researched facts on a topic and relay it to the reader in terms that they can understand. Writing an informative essay is an art. An informative essay has a particular outline upon which it is structured. An informative essay outline enables the writer to put in only the relevant data, while making it easier to read.

An informative essay outline consists of four major parts. They are:

1. Introduction

This is where you introduce your topic and agenda. In a few lines, it should provide a background of your informative essay topic and its relevance. It should articulate your point of view and give a brief overview of what the audience expects to learn after reading your informative essay.

Useful tips

  • Narrow the scope of your informative essay.
  • Ensure there is cohesion between your introduction and thesis statement.
  • Strive to hook your audience.

2. Thesis

Write a thesis statement that will give your audience the direction your informative essay is going to take. The thesis statement must be brief, concise, and written in simple language. It is prudent to conduct proper research before writing it down.

Useful tips

  • Narrow down the scope of the thesis statement to your agenda only.
  • The thesis should be interesting and capture the attention of the reader. Remember it must persuade the audience to read your work.
  • Avoid cliché phrases or wording.

3. Body paragraphs

The body of the informative essay is composed of three main arguments. Thus three paragraphs. There are two main points to consider while writing the body. One is the target point and secondly, the supporting facts. Ideally, the first sentence of each paragraph in the body of your informative essay should provide the idea on which the whole paragraph has been centered. This statement must blend with the main thesis statement (target point). Then, you must provide credible evidence that supports your idea. The evidence should be irreproachable and relevant to your target point. Detail supporting facts. Quote sources and provide proper citations to avoid plagiarism. Lastly is the conclusion. For each paragraph summarize your points and explain relevance of the evidence in relation to the main thesis statement.  In summary, a well-written body primarily depends on three building blocks. These are: making a claim, providing evidence to substantiating the claim and lastly, providing an explanation.

Important tips to remember

  • Never include your opinion on the subject matter. Deal entirely on facts and research.
  • Start the paragraph with your strongest point.
  • Always phrase your points interestingly that they maintain the reader’s attention.
  • Use transition words. They create flow in your paragraphs.

4. Conclusion

This part wraps up your informative essay. Start by restating your main thesis statement albeit with more sophistication. Explain each of your major arguments and their purpose in advancing the agenda of your work. The primary function of this paragraph is to explain the reason for your informative paper and its value in the real world. It describes the purpose of your work. What it means for your audience and why it is important. Briefly, summarize your arguments. Include a strong closing statement that will summarize all your points and ideas with great distinction.

Useful tips

  • Highlight the main points of your argument.
  • Restate the thesis statement or paraphrase in other similar terms.


Ineffectiveness of Incarceration


Attention Getter:  The United States of America has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. However, statistics indicate there is a rise in criminal activity despite the high rate of incarceration. Where did the rain start beating us?

Purpose: there is a need to inform the public on how a criminal justice system that is heavily reliant on incarceration is failing us.

Importance to Audience: Incarceration is expensive to the tax paying population. Prisons are not the only viable way to deal with criminals.

Thesis Statement: Why reliance of incarceration is failing the criminal justice system.  

Preview: I will discuss incarceration, indicators of its failure and other viable options that are available to reduce the incidence of crime.


 I.   First Main Point: What are the main ways the criminal justice system deals with criminals?

       A. Sub-point: Define the meaning of incarceration.

       B. Sub-point: Why do they rely on this particular method?

            1. Cite relevant statistics.

            2. Compare it with other methods of dealing with individuals.

            3. Capacities within the available facilities.

       C. Sub-point: types of incarceration facilities.

            1. Jails

            2. Prisons

  II. Second Main Point: Incarceration hasn’t reduced the incidence of crime on the streets.

      A. Sub-point:  there are high rates of recidivism.

  • It costs  $ 87.61 on average to maintain a prisoner in jail. Prisoners go back to prison as they are assured of meals and basic comforts that are not guaranteed back at home.
  • Interaction of hardcore criminals with first time offenders may result in the first time offender engaging in more crime.
  • Proliferation of gangs within the prisons.
  • Inadequate policies to deal with prisoners.
  • Mentally ill patients being in prions rather than asylums.

 III. Third Main Point: What methods can make prisons and jails more effective in prisoner rehabilitation?

      A. Sub-point: Policy change in the criminal justice system.

  • Segregate criminals by the nature of their crimes.
  • Reduce the use of harsh treatment on prisoners such as solitary confinement.
  • Remove mentally challenged individuals from prisons and jails or provide them with proper medical care.
  • Create programs that equip inmates with skills to survive upon reintegration with society.

     B. Sub-point: Use other methods within the law to deal with criminals rather than taking them to jail.

     C. Sub-point: Changing the social perception of incarceration.

  • Many people view incarceration as the most effective tool.
  • Stigma associated with ex-convicts push offenders back to crime.


Summary Statement: Incarceration is the most relied upon method to deal with offenders within the criminal justice system. However, it has not reduced crime rates indicating its ineffectiveness. Policy change and use of alternative methods to deal with offenders have the potential to reduce the rate of crime.

Concluding Remarks: It is possible for anyone to find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Therefore, it is necessary to create a system that is deterrent and effective in dealing with offenders and rehabilitating them.

In order to write a good informative essay, the writer must understand the topic, his audience, format, and technique involved in that particular essay. However, just as in all forms of writing, continuous practice is the best way to ensure you become a pro in informative essay writing.

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