Informational Essays

imgres.jpgAs we review informational writing, please copy the resources below into your Class Notebook.

Ms. Ellis’ Notes on Informational Essay Writing



Any information that is grade specific will be highlighted in the appropriate color below.

10th Grade Specific

11th Grade Specific



Introductory Paragraphs

  • Expectations:

    1. Intriguing Hook (lead) that is unbiased. (1-2 sentences)

    2. Substantial background information that tells your audience about your topic. What is it? What is important to know prior to hearing your reasons? (2-3 sentences)

    3. Clear and concise thesis Statement (using the umbrella or list method). (1 sentence)

  • Resources:

Student Examples:imgres-1.jpg

Click below to see images of student examples and the in-class activities completed w/ Ms. Ellis.


(Yes, I do realize this picture contains a grammatical error. Live a little.)

Body Paragraphs


  1. Clear topic sentence or transitional sentence at the beginning of each paragraph including reason. (1 sentence)

  2. Explanation of reason.

  3. Evidence #1 to back up reason.

  4. Explanation of evidence #1.

  5. Evidence #2 to back up reason.

  6. Explanation of evidence #2.

  7. Evidence #3 to back up reason.

  8. Explanation of evidence #3.

  9. Clear and concise closing statement or transitional sentence that leads into next reason. (1 sentence)

  10. You must use 6-7 pieces of evidence in your entire essay. (Includes intro and conclusion). NOTE: 11th grade = 7-8 pieces

    • i.e.- You may have a quote for your hook (1), five pieces of evidence in your body paragraphs (5), end your conclusion with a notable quote (1) = 7 total pieces of textual evidence utilized in your essay.

  11. Vary the ways you integrate quotations in your essay.

    Essay Requirements

    (10th Grade= 6-7 pieces of textual evidence)

    Reg.- Use 3 types of quotation integration strategies & 1 paraphrased piece of evidence.

    -paraphrase (1)

    -explanatory phrase + comma (1)

    -complete sentence + colon (1)

    -make quotation part of  your sentence (1)

    Hon.- Use all types of quotation integration strategies & at least 1 paraphrased piece of evidence.

    (11th Grade= 7-8 pieces of textual evidence)

    1. Paraphrasing (2)

    2. Complete sentence w/ a colon (1)

    3. Explanatory phrase w/ comma (1)

    4. Make quote part of own sentence (2)

    5. Short quotations part of own sentence (2)


  • Cite Evidence Notes
  • Integrating Quotations

    • Reminders:

    • Thoreau ends his essay with a metaphor: “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” Note the location of the period.

    • Thoreau ends his essay with a metaphor: “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in” (paragraph 3). Note the location change of the period after citation.

    • Vary your tags! (Do not repeat “said”). i.e.- gasped, replied, stated, explained, informed, proclaimed, rebutted, suggested, etc.

    • Paraphrasing: Rule #1: Do NOT repeat the same keywords as the original author. Rule #2: Do NOT look at the quotation more than twice. If you stare at the author’s words too long, you will be unable to come up with your own original synonyms.

    • Know the difference:

      • Comma= ,

         (Use an introductory dependent clause prior to the comma)

        • If you use the word “that” you DO NOT use a comma.

      • Colon= :

           (Must be preceded by a complete sentence)

      • Semicolon= ;

        (May NOT be used to introduce a quotation)

    • When quoting poems, include the line break. i.e.- “Roses are red,/ Violets are blue…”

    • Only use an ellipsis (…) when it won’t change the meaning of the quotation.

    • In- Class Practice: (10th Grade)

  • Transition Words and Clauses

  • Transition Words List #2

  • Transition Sentences and Words- Student Copy


Concluding Paragraph


  1. Mirror your introduction’s hook. (optional)

  2. Restatement of your thesis. (1 sentence)

    • You must REWORD your thesis. Do not write your thesis statement in the exact same way!

  3. Recap major points in body paragraphs. (2-3 sentences)

    • DO NOT mention new information. This is a summary section.

  4. Discuss controlling idea and set it in a larger context. How will others be affected? OR Redefine key terms to help audience better understand your topic.


  • Types of Conclusions

  • Look in the Student Examples section to see conclusions from your own peers.


  1. Do you have clear and concise Sentences?

  2. Writing Checklist


Directions: Revising your Fall Writing Interim


  1. Rewrite your essay based on the notes you received.

  2. I will review each portion of the essay and then you will rewrite just that piece.

  3. The following class I will check your rewrites and review the next section.

    • i.e.- I will teach introductory paragraphs; you will rewrite your introduction; I will check your revised introductory paragraph.

  4. By the end of the workshop, you will have revised your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

  5. Type up the revised paragraphs into a final draft. Please use the following set up when typing.

    • Font= Times New Roman

    • Size of Font= 12 points

    • Line Spacing= Double Spaced

    • Header in Left- Hand Corner= Name, Teacher, Date, Period

    • Title of Essay= Centered in the Middle

    • Use this template for assistance: Student Essay Template

  6. Legend



Let’s Take It Digital!

  1. Upload your final essay onto your Digital Portfolio under “Informational Writing.”

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