Essays help gauge a writer’s understanding of a topic, and many teachers require students to submit them as part of their academic curriculum. Essays can improve both written and communication skills, improving a person’s spelling and grammar.
In an academic setting, informative essays are usually the most likely to be assigned. However, they are often confused with descriptive essays; both communicate with their audience.
Read on to understand the difference between an informative essay and a descriptive essay:
This is a piece of writing that educates the reader about a specific topic. An informative essay takes a neutral stand, much like a journalism piece. It doesn’t present arguments or try to persuade the reader to change their opinions or beliefs. It presents facts.
A descriptive essay gives the readers a vivid depiction of a person, event, object, or place. A good descriptive essay is not necessarily based on statistics and facts, but on an artistic representation of a specific topic. The goal is to give the reader a well-rounded impression of what you are trying to convey.
How to Tell the Difference
While it may seem difficult to differentiate between an informative essay and a descriptive one, they each have distinctive features:
- An informative essay is focused on research-based facts and statistics, while a descriptive essay allows the writer more artistic freedom of expression.
- An informative essay is strictly objective, while a descriptive essay may depend on the perception of the writer.
For example, if you’re writing about about the history of Niagara Falls, it would be considered an informative essay. On the other hand, writing about the beauty of the Falls would be considered a descriptive piece.
Choose your topic
When considering your essay topic, choose a subject you find interesting. A topic that is either too broad or difficult to cover may not be a good choice. Instead, narrow your subject to address a specific question or issue. This also keeps readers engaged and helps them understand what you’re trying to convey.
Stay faithful to the essay type
Knowing the difference between an informative and descriptive essay will help you comply with the assignment, ensuring that you have a greater understanding of the essay’s ultimate goal.
When writing an informative essay, stick to well-researched facts. Review whether the sources you cite are reliable.
When writing a descriptive essay, be creative with the words you use. Be mindful that everything is written correctly: review grammar, spelling, and word usage. Incorporate the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) when writing your descriptive piece.
Edit your work more than once
Your first draft will not be perfect, and that’s okay. Reread your piece and determine how it can be improved. You may wish to ask a trusted friend, fellow student, or loved one to go over what you’ve written to help determine areas that need strengthening.
Some students find essay writing difficult, but when you’ve done your research and have chosen a topic that interests you, it can be enjoyable and informative.
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