Informational Writing What is it? Writing that presents factual information about a subject. Writing that provides information to the reader (your audience)!
Examples of Informational Writing Reports How to articles (instructions) Non-fiction picture books Newspaper articles Recipes Biographies
Purpose of Informational Writing The purpose is to inform, clarify, explain, define, or instruct by giving information, explaining why or how, clarifying a process, or defining a concept.
In your writing you must… Capture the readers interest- You are writing for an audience (the reader). Focus on the subject of your paper Write appropriate length Include facts and details Organize your facts by topic (chronological order, similarities/differences, questions and answers, cause and effect) Use graphics (charts, tables, graphs, diagrams) Use resources for research Close/conclude your writing Pre-write (rough draft) Revise and edit Publish
Getting Started Choose a subject to research that you find interesting. Locate books or resources about your subject. Write down facts about the subject. Organize the facts so that you can form paragraphs. After that you are ready to write your rough draft.
Choosing a Subject There are unlimited subjects from which to choose. Think about something you are interested in, would like to learn about, or that you already know about. Examples: ~Choose an animal (bats, tigers, dogs, horses…) ~Choose a place (New York, Niagara Falls, the desert, the Arctic, the moon…) ~Choose a person (George Washington, the President, Michael Jordan…) ~Choose a “how to” subject (how to take care of a pet, how to fish, how to clean your room…)
Choosing Books or Resources for Research Choose books/resources that are on your reading level. Read a few pages to make sure. Be sure that the information is about your subject, not just related to the subject. Ask an adult if you are not sure about a resource. Choose the amount of resources specified. Too many resources can be confusing. Be sure that the resources you choose are nonfiction books and other factual information sources.
Research Read through your resources carefully. As you read begin to think about the information you want to include in your paper and how you can organize the information. Label your graphic organizer to be able to organize your notes with like information together under specific topics to make it easier to write your paper. Now reread. Take notes on your graphic organizer. Remember: When taking notes you do not need complete sentences! IMPORTANT! You may not copy information exactly as written straight from a resource and then write it in your paper. This is not allowed. Your writing must be in your own words.
Sample Graphic Organizer Subject: Tigers Physical traits Largest cat Up to 700 pounds 6 feet long Orange + Black stripes Habitat Some live in cold north and some in topical areas Always live near water Food Deer Antelope Buffalo Turtles, frogs Habits Hunt at night Good swimmer Lay in water to cool off Life Cycle Female has 1 to 6 cubs Cubs stay with mother for 2 years May live 25 years Enemies Humans – kill them and destroy habitats Interesting Facts Endangered Live alone except for cubs with mother Fun Facts No two tigers’ stripes are alike Roar heard for 2 miles
Ready to write? NOT YET! After you finish collecting and organizing your facts ask your teacher to check to see if you have enough information to begin writing your paper! It is important to have enough information before you start to write.
Ready to Write: Introduction Grab your readers attention: *Begin by asking a question or riddle. “What is orange and black, weighs up to 700 pounds and can be heard from two miles away?” *Begin with an amazing or surprising fact. “Your fingerprints and a tiger’s stripes have something in common. They are unique. There are no two alike!” *Begin with a funny or interesting comment. “The biggest cat in the world is not Grumpy Cat! The world’s biggest cats are tigers!”
Introduction - Continued In the introduction tell the reader what you are going to be writing about. Give a short “preview” of the rest of your paper. You will need 3 to 5 sentences. Make sure you only “introduce” your subject. Do not begin giving details yet!
NEXT: Body Paragraphs Choose the first set of facts and details from your graphic organizer and form a paragraph about those facts. You need 3 to 5 sentences in each paragraph. Write as many paragraphs as you need to cover your subject and present the facts. Use charts, diagrams, graphs, etc., if needed. Choose a format that fits your topic. For example: use a question/answer format, headings or subheadings followed by facts, chronological order… Be sure the facts in each paragraph fit together and are not just random facts. (A paragraph about tiger habitats would not include the size and weight of the tiger.)
Closing Paragraph/Conclusion Your introduction is a preview of the paper. The conclusion is a review of all you have written. Summarize the facts you covered in the paper. There will be nothing new in this paragraph. Close your paper so that the reader can tell that you are ending the paper not just stopping. You will need 3 to 5 sentences in this paragraph.
Now what? Go back and review your paper. Revise and edit. Check spelling and punctuation Let a friend read your paper and give comments. Make changes to make your paper the best it can be. Add a diagram, drawing, chart, graph, etc. if you have not used one in your paper. Add a bibliography to tell where you found the information used in your paper.
Are you finished? Now you will have a conference with your teacher about this paper. When you are happy with your paper you will write your final draft. Share your paper with someone! Good job!
Informational Sample Paper Tigers What is orange and black, can weigh up to 700 pounds, and can be heard from two miles away? You will be amazed to learn that it is a tiger! There are many interesting facts about their habits, physical traits, and their habitats. Tigers are not just pretty cats. They are amazing animals. What are the physical traits of tigers? Tigers are the largest cats on earth. They can grow up to six feet long and weigh up to 700 pounds. Most of the time they have orange and black stripes. An amazing fact about their stripes is that no two tigers have the same pattern. Each one is unique just like fingerprints. What are tigers’ habitats like? Tigers live in a variety of habitats. There are also different types of tigers that live in the various habitats. Some tigers live in cold areas in the north while some live in warm tropical areas. The thing they have in common is that tigers always live near water. Tigers enjoy water and they are able to find food near water. What do tigers eat? Tigers will eat most any kind of meat. Some tigers eat deer, antelope or buffalo. There are other tigers that eat turtles and frogs. It depends on where the tiger lives.
What are tigers’ habits? Tigers enjoy water because they are very good swimmers. Sometimes they like to lie down in water to cool off if they live in warm areas. At night tigers usually hunt for their food. They usually sleep during the day. What is the life cycle for tigers? Female tigers can have from one to six cubs. The cubs will stay with the mother tiger for 2 years while they are growing into adults. Except for this time tigers live alone. Tigers can live up to 25 years. Are tigers endangered? Sadly, tigers are an endangered species. Some types of tigers are already extinct. Their main enemy is humans. Humans kill them for their fur and also destroy their habitats. In conclusion, tigers are very fascinating and beautiful animals. Their habits, physical traits, and way of living make them very interesting animals to study and learn about. Since they are endangered, it is important to learn more about them and ways to help the tiger population. It would be unfortunate for them to become extinct because they are truly amazing creatures! Bibliography: National Geographic Kids: Creature Features. Tigers Tigers: Continued