How to Write a Factual Essay

Written by nicole ramage
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How to Write a Factual Essay
When writing your first factual essay, select a topic you know something about. (paper image by max blain from Fotolia.com)

Writing a fictional essay is easier than it looks. It is important in high school and college that you know how to do this. It shows that you know how to research, organise your thoughts and put them into words. When writing a factual essay, it gives you somewhere to go, unlike when you write a freestyle essay that can sometimes leave you rambling.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select a topic to write about. If this is your first factual essay, select a topic you know something about. That way, you will stay interested in what you are writing and will be less likely to stray from the topic.

  2. 2

    Prepare a thesis statement. A thesis statement tells the reader what your whole paper is going to be about. It should be specific and to the point. The thesis statement is not a time to use filler. For instance, if you were going to write about horses, this is the time to say exactly what about horses your factual essay is going to be about.

  3. 3

    Start researching your topic thoroughly. You can use any resource you can think of such as the Internet, books, articles, or even by interviewing a horse breeder or a stable owner. Make sure to make notes of anything you intend to directly quote.

  4. 4

    Create an outline for your paper. This will keep you organised so you don't get sidetracked. By using an outline, you have a guide as to where you want your paper to go. It should always be written in chronological order of some kind. Keeping with the horse topic, if you were to write about them, this means you would include your introduction first--with your thesis statement--then point No. 1, selecting a horse, point No. 2, choosing to purchase another horse or stud service, so on and so forth.

  5. 5

    Write your first draft of your factual essay. Be sure to follow your outline so you stay on course and do not stray. Use your notes and your references so your paper is credible. This is the time to write everything that comes to mind.

  6. 6

    Edit your paper. Take out anything that is not necessary. If you don't need the funny story about stepping in horse leavings while interviewing the stable hand, then take it out. Make sure that your paper is just the facts.

  7. 7

    Cite your sources. This lends credibility to your paper. If someone wants to look up more information on something you only touched on in your paper, then it makes you look more factual if there is a credible source they can go to.

Tips and warnings

  • If you use the Internet for research, make sure that you use credible websites and not something that anyone can make a comment on or leave an opinion about. This doesn't lend credibility or make it a good source.
  • In a factual paper, don't include too much humour or asides because they are distracting.

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