Informative Essay Example for College Composition I

Instructor: Shelby Stewart
This is a sample essay on the pros and cons of video games with references and explanations that will help you write a great informative essay.

Writing an Expository Essay

Often we need to write simply to relate facts. If we cannot properly express the facts, then it makes it harder for the reader to understand. An expository essay is an essay that relates facts and information. We will look at an example of an expository essay answering the following prompt 'How do video games affect children?'.

The Pros and Cons of Video Games

With the development and rise of video games, parents and society worry about how it will affect their children. When video games were first developed there hadn't been enough time for science to accurately determine how video games affect children. So instead we had to rely on hypotheses and parental fears. Now that video games are common, and we have a large base to focus scientific studies on, we are getting a better idea about how video games affect children. But there is still much to learn.

Several studies have shown that violent games lead to additional aggressive behavior (Gentile et al. 2016). It increases their fight or flight hormones (Gentile et al. 2016) leading to the brain feeling as though it needs to be in a state of aggression. Yet this has not been shown to translate to social disorders or higher rates of extreme violence (Lobel et al. 2017). Extreme violence meaning something that would get you in trouble with the law. So, violent games do lead to more aggression in children, such as angry outbursts and bullying, but this does not lead to becoming a mass murderer.

Playing several hours of video games a week (more than 8 hours a week) did lead to a decrease in prosocial behaviors (Lobel et al. 2017). But only when it was competitive gaming, not cooperative gaming.

There has been some evidence showing that constant, short-term, reward games could lead to hyperactivity and inattention. While games that vary reward schedules tend to be beneficial (Lobel et al. 2017).

Several studies have shown that it is the type of video game being played, not playing video game themselves, that lead to problems. Several studies have been aimed at determining if some video games can have a positive influence on children's development. Particularly research has been focused on connecting exercise and gaming. There are several recent video games that require participants to get up and go. These kinds of video games have been shown to increase light-to-moderate physical activity in children (Biddis et al. 2010).

By using varying reward schedules, cooperative, and non-violent games many video games could help children learn. In particular video games have been used to help more girls become interested in STEM careers (Hughes 2017).

There are some concerns associated with video games. Some video games could cause detrimental effects on children's attention and increase aggression. But other video games do not see these same issues. By selecting good video games for children to play video games can help increase learning and physical activity.


Biddiss, Elaine, Irwin, Jennifer. 'Active Video Games to Promote Physical Activity in Children and Youth'. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Vol. 167, no 7, 2010, pp 664-672.

Gentile, Douglas A, Bender, Patrick K, Anderson, Craig A. 'Violent video game effects on salivary cortisol, arousal, and aggressive thoughts in children'. Computers in Human Behaviors. Vol. 70, 2017, pp 39-43.

Hughes, Leigh A. 'Video games help to prepare girls for a competitive future in STEM'. Thesis, Kent State University. 2017.

Lobel, Adam, Engel, Rutger CME, Stone, Lisanne L, Burk, William J, and Granic, Isabela. 'Video Gaming and Children's Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Study'. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Vol. 46, no. 4, 2017, pp. 884-897.

Looking Things Over

So, now let's look at what makes this a good expository essay.

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