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Understanding Informative Writing

Juliann Canterbury, Ryan Hultzman
  • Author
    Juliann Canterbury

    Juliann has been a classroom English Language Arts teacher for eight years. She is certified in English education grades 7-12 and she obtained her degree from Southern Connecticut State University.

  • Instructor
    Ryan Hultzman
Explore the style of informational writing. See the informative writing definition and understand its characteristics. Discover various informative writing examples. Updated: 08/01/2022

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What Is Informative Writing?

The definition of informative writing is nonfiction writing that occurs when facts and information are used to communicate knowledge and insight about a specific topic. Anything that is written to explain a topic to a reader can be considered a form of informative writing. This type of writing should always be supported by sources, and the writer needs to give credit to the source in which the information was found. Informative writing can go by a few other names. Explanatory writing, expository writing, and exposition are all other names for informative writing. However, all of these descriptions aim to inform the reader, and they are each considered informative writing.

Informative writing is considered exposition, which is any writing that describes, explains, or informs. Informative writing can be found everywhere and is used in daily life. Some examples of informative writing are newspapers, scholarly journals, and encyclopedias. Newspapers are meant to inform readers about current events, social and political issues, and all worldly conditions. Although a newspaper can have other purposes, its main purpose is to inform and educate readers on important topics. Scholarly journals are written by experts who want to inform readers about a topic they have researched. These journals are always evidence-based and give important information about a specific topic. Encyclopedias contain informative writing as well. Encyclopedias teach readers about specific subjects, and the information is also authentic and accurate.

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Informative Writing Purpose

The primary purpose of informative writing is to give the reader correct, detailed, and proper information about a topic. When writing an informative piece, the author answers the how and why about a topic to make the reader more knowledgeable. The information present in an informative writing piece should not be written in a persuasive manner. The goal is not to persuade or change the mind of the reader, but rather to share straightforward and concise information. Some goals informative writing tends to serve are sharing new information with readers, describing a process, clarifying a concept, and giving an explanation as to either why or how something works. Informative writing helps readers to grasp a clear idea about a subject and gain more knowledge and awareness about that topic.

Informative Writing Characteristics

Below is a list of characteristics informative writing pieces typically have.

  • An introduction that introduces the topic to the reader: Most informative writing pieces have an introduction that gives a general overview of the topic and grabs the reader's attention before going into further detail on the subject.
  • Clear delivery of information about a topic or subject: The information given in informative writing should be clear and concise. To do this, definitions, data, facts, examples, quotations, and charts may be used. Accurate and objective information is used.
  • Has a formal style and tone: Precise language and vocabulary are used in informative writing to maintain a formal and professional tone. Transition words and phrases are used to join ideas together and the conventions of Standard English are used. Informative writing should be professional and effective.

Informational Writing Styles

Informational writing is used to educate readers, and it is not writing that tends to entertain or reach an individualized or personal goal. Some pieces of informative writing are meant for specific groups of people, but most is geared to a general audience, so the writing itself needs to be appropriate for all types of individuals and readers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of informative writing?

Informative writing can come in many forms, some of which the average reader comes across on a daily basis. Some examples of informative writing are essays, newspapers, textbooks, and scholarly journals.

What are three characteristics of informative writing?

There are certain characteristics that all informative writing pieces should have. All informational writing should be concise, accurate, and should have a formal/professional tone.

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