How to Write An Informative “How To” Essay

Often, teachers will assign a topic that is very popular in freshmen and sophomore composition classes—an informative essay on how to do something you know how to do very well. These can be some of the easiest, most rewarding, fun essays to write especially if you follow my handy “how to write a great how to essay below.

What to Write About In an Informative, How-To Essay

One great topic to pick for a how-to essays is something you love to do, or something only you know how to do that is really interesting. For example, how to decorate a fancy birthday cake, how to knit a scarf with ease, making your own tissue box, or something that shows off your own uniqueness like “how to raise a wolf pup” (this is one of the more interesting essays I received as a teacher.” Other fun ones include cooking essays and how to do something that turned out to be harder than you thought it would, like a “laying your own laminate flooring, laying your own roof, changing your own oil kind of essay.

Use a Step Structure and Finish Your Essay Quickly

You can move through this kind of essay very quickly with a how-to essay because the entire essay can be visualized as each paragraph covering a different step of the how to process. For example, in the how to decorate the perfect cake above, you can spend a paragraph on gathering and or buying all the tools you need for really decorating a fancy cake. Then, you can spend the next paragraph on getting the cake ready for decorating, for example, evening up the edges, letting it cool properly, dusting off crumbs from the coat. Next, you can discuss the art of the crumb layer of icing (the first layer). Then spend a paragraph on cake decorating proper—little roses, finishing touches, adding color and adding swirls and whatnot.

Use Descriptive Details in Excess

How to essays really come alive when you add lots of descriptive details to your paper. Any kinds of details that involve your senses really engage your reader. Involving the senses is always crucial in descriptive essays of any kind.

How to Write a Closing for an Informative Essay

This is best shown through example. What you do not want to do is write a very predictable “so this is how to do that, bye” kind of paragraph. Instead, perhaps say how fun it will be decorating new cakes, or how if the first effort at anything is not a complete success, the next attempt will surely result in a better product.