How to Write an Instructional Essay

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How to Write an Instructional Essay

An instructional essay gives you a sense of how to carry out a particular task or perform some kind of job.  The instructional essay can be on practically any kind of topic.  However, there are some basic rules that you can follow to make sure that an instructional essay carries out its purpose, and helps people to better perform the given task.

First of all, use a clear writing style.  Avoid any kind of terms which are too advanced for the topic and unnecessary.  Have a good sense of what kind of readers will be using your instructional essay to learn, and assume that the reader will not have any more information about the topic already than you know for sure that they will have.  If your instructional essay is meant to be read by people who already have received certain training, then you can use examples from that training in your instructional essay; however if you do not know the backgrounds of your readers, or if your readers come from a range of backgrounds, you should explain everything that may be unclear to the layman.  If it is necessary for you to give explanations of terms in order to keep the instructional essay moving forward, then you should explain those terms first, and it may be best to provide an opening section in which any special language used for the instructional essay will be defined so that everyone is able to proceed at their own pace; people who already know everything that they need to in order to understand your instructional essay will be able to scan the opening and move forward, while people coming to the topic fresh will be able to study the basics ahead of time.

Now explain the main topic of your instructional essay, giving steps from start to finish on what the reader is supposed to do.  If there are various possible problems which may be encountered during the course of what the instructional essay describes, talk about the ways in which said problems may be overcome.  Give the reader some common examples of what the process entails, as well as the most common issues and how to take care of them.  You should also try to instill a sense in the reader of how to adapt to problems in general, so that the reader will be able to come up with new solutions if problems not explicitly defined in your instructional essays present themselves.

Once you reach the end of the instructional essay, give a summary of what has come before so that the reader is reminded of everything that has been learned.  Remember—the keys to writing a good instructional essay are first, to use a style which is clear for the reader to understand, explaining any specialized terms that may be involved and giving any necessary background information, and then to go through the topic step by step, giving a full outline of what is involved and how to adapt to changing situations.  If you follow these rules, your instructional report should achieve its goal.

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