ENGL 101 English Composition 1

Informative & Persuasive Essays - Writing for a Purpose

Conducting Research for a Purpose

During the quarter you will be asked to write different kinds of essays. Your assignments may include:

  • personal statements that require no outside research
  • informative essays, in which your task is to inform, or educate, your reader on the facts of a topic
  • peruasive essays, in which you take an informed stand on a topic and support your argument with evidence

Informative and persuasive essays take research.

Informative Essay

post it notes

  • An informative essay aims to educate an audience rather than persuade.
  • Be sure to define, explain, and support your ideas. 
  • An informative essay may address debates and opinions on the topic, but it will not take a stand on those debates. 
  • Use strong sources to help establish your own reliability as a source of information.

Persuasive or Argument Essay

sign reading"i can be persuaded by a logical argument"

"An argument without evidence is only a set of assertions."

The purpose of an argumentative essay is to persuade an audience to think or act in a particular way.

A strong argument will reflect your own thoughtful research on the topic. It will...

  • Present a fair and accurate discussion of the issue.
  • Take a clear position.
  • Be supported with credible evidence.
  • Consider other possible points of view.

Making an Argument and Counter-Argument

Image source: "I Can Be Persuaded" by Martha Soukup is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Quote source: Parsons, M. A., R. Duerr, and J.-B. Minster. "Data Citation and Peer Review." Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 91.34  (2010): 297-298. Print.