The Informative Essay


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Informative and Process Essays

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The Informative Essay

  1. 1. The Informative Essay<br />ENG 111<br />
  2. 2. Informative Writing<br />The genre demands that the writer anticipate any possible misunderstandings on the reader’s part<br />Newspapers, textbooks, etc.<br />Sometimes we even assume we are reading informative writing when in fact we are reading persuasive writing.<br />Much of what we usually call “research” writing in college is informative. <br />Though informative writing usually requires hypothesizing, analysis, and interpretation, it strives to remain objective and logical, avoiding direct appeals to the audience.<br />
  3. 3. Elements of Informative Writing<br /><ul><li> Its purpose is to share information with the reader.
  4. 4. It often includes facts about real people and events.
  5. 5. The information is usually presented in a straightforward way.
  6. 6. The events are often presented in the order in which they happened (chronologically).
  7. 7. It may be organized by topics and sometimes includes headers.
  8. 8. It may include diagrams, photographs, maps, graphs or illustrations to hope the reader understand the subject better.
  9. 9. The factual information can be checked by referring to other sources.</li></ul>*Modified<br />
  10. 10. The Process Essay:A Type of Informative Essay<br />PROCESS is about HOW something happens<br />It’s about listing the steps of an event.<br />Steps can be given as bullet points or as a simple list – do this – do that – do that.<br />However, a list is NOT an essay; therefore, a process ESSAY explains: <br /> – why the steps need to happen, <br /> – the order in which they need to happen, <br /> – the way they need to be done<br />
  11. 11. Two Types of Process Essays<br />• “How to do Something” – Instructional<br /> – Reader could duplicate if so desires<br /> – How to embalm a corpse<br /> – How to write an essay<br />• “How Something Happens” - Informational<br /> – Usually things too big or too small to be <br /> duplicated by the reader<br /> – How a star is formed<br /> – How O2 and H2 combine to form water<br />
  12. 12. The Writer Must…<br />be able to IDENTIFY the steps, and <br />be able to EXPLAIN the steps. <br />
  13. 13. Thoughts<br />• Do you know how to read?<br />• Do you know how to walk?<br />• Can you identify or explain the steps required to read or walk?<br />• Writer must pay attention to the process<br />• Allow the reader to understand the process<br />
  14. 14. • This is an ESSAY, not just instructions<br />• Recipes are instructions, not essays<br />• Do you know why you add each ingredient?<br />• Do you know why they are done in that order?<br />• Can you explain the process or just tell us the steps?<br />• The more complete the explanation, the more the audience will trust the process<br />
  15. 15. • There should be a reason WHY we are doing THIS process, not another version<br />– Quality<br />– Price<br />– Speed<br />- etc.<br />• Different purposes will cause writer to explain steps differently<br />• Emphasize the steps that specifically reinforce your purpose<br />
  16. 16. • Author should identify potential problems or easily made mistakes<br />• You are not there to answer questions, so you have to anticipate them<br />• The more questions you anticipate, the more authoritative you appear<br />• Anybody can repeat orders, but only somebody who’s done the process understands what can go wrong<br />
  17. 17. What to consider when writing a process essay…<br />A process paper either tells the reader how to do something or describes how something is done. As you write your process essay, consider the following:<br /><ul><li>What process are you trying to explain? Why is it important?
  18. 18. Who or what does the process affect?
  19. 19. Are there different ways of doing the process? If so, what are they?
  20. 20. Who are the readers? What knowledge do they need to understand this process?
  21. 21. What skills/equipment are needed for this?
  22. 22. How long does the process take? Is the outcome always the same?
  23. 23. How many steps are there in the process?
  24. 24. Why is each step important?
  25. 25. What difficulties are involved in each step? How can they be overcome?
  26. 26. Do any cautions need to be given?
  27. 27. Does the process have definitions that need to be clarified?
  28. 28. Are there other processes that are similar and could help illustrate the process that you are writing about?
  29. 29. If needed, tell what should not be done or why something should be done.
  30. 30. Process papers are often written in the second person (you), but some teacher prefer that you avoid this. Check with your teacher.
  31. 31. Your responses to these questions and statements should enable you to write an effective process essay.</li></li></ul><li>Beginning the Process<br />• Successful people are often asked to share methods<br />• What do you add to common method?<br />• That becomes the focus/purpose of essay<br />• Identify exactly what steps exist<br />• Introduction should set up purpose and task<br />• Paragraphs go step by step <br />• Conclusion emphasizes reason for this method<br />
  32. 32. Body Paragraphs<br />• Details, Details, Details<br />• Don’t just tell what to do, explain WHY<br />• Anticipate problems, offer solutions<br />• Explain necessary equipment early<br />• Define any new terms when first used<br />• Make new paragraph for each new main step<br />• Don’t overdo the amount of information in each paragraph<br />
  33. 33. How to Make Mac & Cheese<br />• What are your steps?<br />• The WHY is as important as the HOW<br />• Emphasize speed, quality, taste, whatever you decide you have to offer<br />• Each step should also help emphasize the focus and purpose<br />• It should be YOUR method, not THE method<br />
  34. 34. Let’s look at an example…<br />
  35. 35. Thanks for Watching!<br />