Informative Writing: Prewriting and Outline

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  • OverviewDevelop a one-page informative essay, addressing a concept or subject that drives your academic and career interests within your field.
    Assessment 3 Introduction IllustrationYour quest continues as you apply your knowledge of the writing stages to the assessments for the second theme of the course: writing to inform. The purpose of writing an informative essay is to provide information and explain a concept. The purpose is not to give a personal opinion or tell a story.
    SHOW LESSYou will start at the initial stage of writing again and complete the prewriting and outlining for this essay. Draw on the wisdom and experience you have acquired to further develop your academic writing skills.
    Here are more heroes who use their experience for good:
    • Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, successfully led the response to the H5N1 flu outbreak in 1997 and SARS outbreak of 2003 in Hong Kong.
    • Bono, leader singer of the band U2, is also an activist who used his platform to create the organizations ONE (organization committed to end extreme poverty) and RED (organization committed to raising awareness of about the AIDS crisis).
    • By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
    • Competency 2: Integrate into text the appropriate use of scholarly sources and evidence.
      • Select a scholarly library article relevant to a chosen informative essay topic.
    • Competency 3: Apply prewriting, planning, drafting, and revision skills.
      • Apply in text the standard writing conventions for the discipline, including structure, voice, person, tone, and citation formatting.
    • Competency 4: Apply accepted style conventions and written expression skills.
      • Apply proper formatting, including a title page, correct margins, font, and spacing.
      • Produce text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.
    • Competency Map
      CHECK YOUR PROGRESSUse this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
  • Toggle DrawerResourcesInformative Writing
    All writing assessments have a purpose. The purpose of this theme's assessment is writing to inform. The Capella resource Q: What is the difference between informative and persuasive writing? explains the purpose of informative writing. As you move through your academic career, you will learn how to support your beliefs and ideas with accurate research from your discipline. You will become a researcher.
    Audience, Focus, and Context
    Consider your audience. Who you choose to write for influences how you write. Your instructor is, of course, part of the audience for your paper; however, you do not need to write exclusively for your instructor. Think of this: who needs to hear what you want to say?
    • Audience.
      • Understanding your audience will help you to focus your writing. Effective writing is focused writing.
    • Focus.
      • Focused writing is easier to accomplish within the appropriate context.
    • Context.
      • In this assessment, the context is to write an informative paper about an area within your discipline, for example.
    • ePortfolio
      Use the Pathbrite ePortfolio resources available on Campus to help with establishing and building your ePortfolio.
  • Asssessment InstructionsThe purpose of your essay is to inform the reader about a topic within your discipline. Identify and explain how a concept, a subject, or an experience within your discipline drives your academic and career interests. You can choose from the following disciplines: nursing, public health, business, information technology, or psychology. For this assessment, compose your outline for the informative essay. Find one peer-reviewed, academic article from the Capella library to use as support.
    Preparation
    Begin your library research by going to the Capella University Library and searching using the Summon search tool. Locate one article in the library that contains information about your selected topic. Remember: You will write both your informative and persuasive essays on this topic.
    1. Go to the Capella University Library and locate the Summon search box.
    2. Click Advanced Search.
    3. Enter your search term in the box. Check Items with full text online and Scholarly materials, including peer-reviewed under the "Limit to" filter. This way, you will know that your results are both in full text (so you will be able to read the entire article online), and that they meet the important requirement of being scholarly and peer reviewed by other experts in the field.
    4. Remember that research is a skill set that, like writing, takes ongoing practice. For search word guidance, see the video Choosing and Using Keywords from the General Education Information Research Skills Guide. Also, feel free to Ask a Librarian for help.
      Remember: The purpose of an informative essay is to provide information and explain a concept. In this assessment, you are not persuading or trying to convince your reader of something. Ask yourself: What does my reader need to know?
      Assessment Instructions
      Complete the following:
    • Create an outline for your informative essay.
    • Select a scholarly library article relevant to a chosen informative essay topic.
    • List the article at the end of your outline on a separate reference page.
    • Credit the author of the article within the outline.
    • Apply in text the standard writing conventions for the discipline, including structure, voice, person, tone, and citation formatting.
    • Apply proper formatting, including a title page, correct margins, font, and spacing.
    • Produce text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.
    • Use the Developing an Outline [PDF] to guide you as you develop your outline.
      Use the Paper Formatting Example [DOCX] to guide your writing and formatting.
      Additional Requirements
      Your assessment should also meet the following requirements:
    • Written communication: Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
    • Standard formatting: Include one-inch margins, appropriate headers, and a title page.
    • Length: Submit one double-spaced page.
    • Font and font size: Use Times New Roman, 12-point font.
    • Note: In addition to the scoring guide, your faculty member may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide you with feedback on your assessment related to writing.
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