Informational and informative can be easily confused with each other. They sound and look so similar, but how similar are they when compared to each other? What is the difference between the two and how can you tell which one you need to use?
To get a better understanding, let’s take a look at what each word means and how each word is used.
Informational is referring to or characterized by facts about something in a way that provides information. For example, a brochure is considered informational. Nonfiction texts like a history book or autobiographies are also considered informational.
Informational text has a primary purpose of informing about something in the natural or social world. There are a few ways that you can determine whether or not something is informational.
First, check the accuracy. Is the information accurate, direct, and timely with the ability to enhance a young child’s knowledge? Next, check the authority of the author. What credentials and qualifications does the author have on the topic?
Some of the features to look for in a text that is considered informational are a table of contents, a glossary, an index, bold words, headings, pictures with captions, and labeled diagrams.
Some topics considered informational are:
A college campus brochure
Cost of college
A family binder contains all of the informational details for each member.
The brochure for the college contained information data on the courses available.
In the mailbox, there were informational flyers and pamphlets about nearby activities.
Along with a map, you will also get an informational page about the exhibit you are visiting in the museum.
Informative is providing information that is useful or interesting. For example, reading an article on a subject is considered informative. A lecture that teaches you a lot of information is also considered to be informative.
Text can also be considered informative when in the form of an essay. The purpose of an informative essay is educating others on a topic. An informative essay will usually answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.
An informative essay will never contain an opinion or try to convince others to take action. The structure will have a beginning, middle, and end in the form of an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Some topics that are considered informative are:
How to open up a new bank account
Poverty in the world
The effects of procrastination
Pollution of the air and water
The lecture was very informative and well worth the trip.
When writing an informative article, avoid negative words.
I read a very informative article about diabetes the other day.
Debates are usually highly informative and bring attention to different arguments.
What is the Difference?
The terms are very similar to each other and it can be really difficult to determine which one you are supposed to use and when. The main difference between the two words is that informative is providing you information that is specifically useful or interesting and informational is more geared towards making information known with or without specifics.
Informative also has a positive meaning like “I learned something today” For example, you could hear it after attending a lecture.
That lecture on first aid was very informative.
Informational has more of a neutral meaning, the text has information but it is more functional information like where the fire escapes are.
The informational brochures about the school can be found at reception.
Can They Be Used in Place of Each Other?
Informational and informative can absolutely be used in place of each other. They are synonyms(both adjectives) for each other, meaning that the definitions are similar enough to each other that they can be used interchangeably. The definitions of the two words are so close to each other that it will not cause any kind of confusion with the statement. A text that is informational can also be referred to as informative.