APPROACHES to Educational or Informative Writing

ABOUT: If you’re most interested in helping your audience better understand particular issues or concepts, these approaches might be of interest.

These approaches typically fall under one or both of these genres & purposes:

  • educational (to inform, educate, or raise awareness)
  • analysis (to explain or clarify)

Concept in Brief

Formats: any visual format, but videos and presentations are most common
Length: under 5 minutes

A good starting place for this approach is to do a survey or poll of a specific population, in order to identify a belief or concept that tends to be a bit confusing or unclear to this population. You can then design your project to provide clarification for this audience.

For example, you might put together a “Concept in 60 Seconds” video using visuals, text, and audio clips or voiceover. Or you might use a presentation app to convey the concept through carefully chosen words and images.

If the concept is best explained chronologically, a timeline might be a good option.

For concepts that could benefit from mapping out, try a mind map, flow chart, or infographic.


Formats: typically produced in video format but composed with any appropriate audio and visual media
Length: between 5-10 minutes

A mini-documentary is a research project composed in video format that follows the conventions of documentary filmmaking but on a much smaller scale. Mini-docs typically fall under the genre of “educational,” but some may be better classified as “viewpoint.”

Mini-docs are composed in video editing apps and exported in video format, but they may contain images, audio clips, voiceover, screencasts, “found” video footage, and animations, as well as live video (such as interviews).

Research Report

Formats: educational web site or presentation
Length: varies depending on scope of research

A research presentation conveys the results of your own primary research as well as evidence from secondary sources, if applicable.

Here are a few common ways to put research presentations together: linear slide layout (i.e., PowerPoint), zooming slides (Prezi), branching tree layout of mind maps, or multi-section web sites.