Information Writing: Definition, Style & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ryan Hultzman
Most of us encounter examples of information writing every day. Learn what information writing is, and see some examples to help ground your understanding of this writing genre.

What Is Information Writing?

The word 'information' comes from the Latin informare, meaning 'to shape or form an idea; to mold someone's mind.' This is a great way to understand information writing. A genre of nonfiction writing, information writing is that which seeks to inform or help the reader to mentally form ideas about a subject.

It's important to understand what makes information writing different from other genres of writing. Fiction, poetry, memoirs, and celebrity gossip columns generally have the goal of entertaining the reader. Conversely, the purpose of information writing is to inform readers about processes, procedures, topics, and research. Writers of this genre are expected to be experts on the subject, or else to have received their information from credible sources. Therefore, when writing informatively, the writer must focus on real information, and not just realistic information, because the readers of information writing assume that they are reading truth.

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Examples of Information Writing

Information writing is a very common genre of writing. It can be found in numerous everyday sources. Here is a list of places you can find examples of information writing:

A newspaper is a great example of information writing. The purpose of a newspaper is to inform readers of current social, political, and natural conditions. While a newspaper may try to be entertaining, its main goal is always to be accurate and informative.

A scholarly journal is another example of information writing. These are written by scholars or experts in a field in order to inform the readers of their research results. The articles and essays within a scholarly journal always strive to be accurate, with evidence to support the information.

A lesson plan is typically information writing. The purpose of the lesson plan is to educate the readers, or in this case, the students, about the lesson's subject. The lesson plan must be accurate and clear in order to educate the students. Study guides also incorporate information writing.

An encyclopedia also contains information writing. The purpose of encyclopedic entries is to inform readers about specific subjects. Each entry is direct and accurate, without any extravagant or excessively creative writing.

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