A Complete Essay Outline - Guidelines and Format
To write an effective essay, you need to create a clear and well-organized essay outline. An essay outline will shape the essay’s entire content and determine how successful the essay will be.
In this blog post, we'll be going over the basics of essay outlines and provide a template for you to follow. We will also include a few examples so that you can get an idea about how these outlines look when they are put into practice.
Essay writing is not easy, but it becomes much easier with time, practice, and a detailed essay writing guide. Once you have developed your outline, everything else will come together more smoothly.
The key to success in any area is preparation - take the time now to develop a solid outline and then write your essays!
To know how to craft an essay outline quickly, give this article a thorough read.
What is an Essay Outline?
An essay outline is your essay plan and a roadmap to essay writing. It is the structure of an essay you are about to write. It includes all the main points you have to discuss in each section along with the thesis statement.
Like every house has a map before it is constructed, the same is the importance of an essay outline. You can write an essay without crafting an outline, but you may miss essential information, and it is more time-consuming.
Once the outline is created, there is no chance of missing any important information. Also, it will help you to:
- Organize your thoughts and ideas.
- Understand the information flow.
- Never miss any crucial information or reference.
- Finish your work faster.
These are the reasons if someone asks you why an essay outline is needed. Now there are some points that must be kept in mind before proceeding to craft an essay outline.
Prewriting Process of Essay Outline
Your teacher may ask you to submit your essay outline before your essay. Therefore, you must know the preliminary guidelines that are necessary before writing an essay outline.
Here are the guidelines:
- You must go through your assignments’ guidelines carefully.
- Understand the purpose of your assignment.
- Know your audience.
- Mark the important point while researching your topic data.
- Select the structure of your essay outline; whether you are going to use a decimal point bullet or a simple one.
How to Write an Essay Outline?
‘How to write an outline for an essay?’
Is essay writing a demanding task for you? Are you one of those students who find an essay a tedious, boring, or even daunting task?
Read our helpful guide and make your essay writing phase easier.
Before you start writing an essay, the first step is to create an effective outline. It is the most crucial step when it comes to essay writing. The more time you spend on creating an outline for your essay, the less you will spend writing it.
An outline helps you write your college essay and academic papers. Also, it helps to organize your ideas and information logically.
When you start writing the outline, you should follow some steps. Here are:
- Pick a topic according to your interest.
- Research on the topic as much as possible.
- Understand the target audience.
- Determine the type of the essay.
- Look at each piece of information that you have collected.
- Group your ideas in different paragraphs.
Follow these steps to create a perfect outline for your academic essay.
Essay Outline Format
It is an easy way for you to write your thoughts in an organized manner. It may seem unnecessary and unimportant, but it is not.
It is one of the most crucial steps for essay writing as it shapes your entire essay and aids the writing process.
An essay outline consists of three main parts:
- 1. Introduction
The introduction body of your essay should be attention-grabbing. It should be written in such a manner that it attracts the reader’s interest. It should also provide background information about the topic for the readers.
You can use a dramatic tone to grab readers’ attention, but it should connect the audience to your thesis statement.
Here are some points without which your introduction paragraph is incomplete.
- Hook Statement
To attract the reader with the first few opening lines, we use a hook statement. It helps engage the reader and motivates them to read further. There are different types of hook sentences ranging from quotes, rhetorical questions to anecdotes and statistics, and much more.
To learn more about them, here is a detailed blog on hook examples.
- Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is stated at the end of your introduction. It is the most important statement of your entire essay. It summarizes the purpose of the essay into one sentence.
The thesis statement tells the readers about the main theme of the essay, and it must be strong and clear. It holds the entire crux of your essay.
- Hook Statement
- 2. Body Paragraphs
The thesis statement is written in the introduction but justified in the body of an essay. Body paragraphs include all the important information about your essay. Also, explain the topic with supporting evidence and write full sentences.
If you are writing a persuasive essay, the content mentioned in your body paragraphs will persuade your audience. In the same way, if you are writing an argumentative essay, the body paragraphs of your essay will convince your audience towards your point of view.
Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and no more than one idea. A topic sentence is the crux of the contents of your paragraph. It is essential to keep your reader interested in the essay.
The topic sentence is followed by the supporting points and opinions, which are then justified with strong evidence.
- 3. Conclusion
Always end your essay with a strong conclusion. Your conclusion should be influential enough to give closure to your topic. The essay’s conclusion is as important as the introduction, and body paragraphs are. A clear flow of information from the introduction to the body and then to conclusion paragraphs makes a coherent paper.
Summarize all the points of your essay discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs. The conclusion must be based on the facts discussed earlier in these paragraphs.
The conclusion should not be lengthy. It should restate the thesis statement of an essay and its supporting points. Keep the conclusion sentences short but powerful. It is always better to end the essay by suggesting some course of action.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure
An outline is an essential part of the writing as it helps the writer stay focused. A typical 5 paragraph essay outline example is shown here. This includes:
- State the topic
- Thesis statement
Body Paragraph 1
- A conclusion that ties to the thesis
Body Paragraph 2
- A conclusion that ties to the thesis
Body Paragraph 3
- A conclusion that ties to the thesis
- Summary of the essay
- Restate the thesis statement
Essay Outline Template
The outline of the essay is the skeleton that you will fill out with the content. Both outline and relevant content are important for a good essay. The content you will add to flesh out the outline should be credible, relevant, and interesting.
The outline structure for the essay is not complex or difficult. No matter which type of essay you write, you either use an alphanumeric structure or decimal structure for outline.
Below is an outline sample that you can easily follow for your essay.
Essay Outline Examples
An essay outline template should follow when you start writing the essay. Every writer should learn how to write an outline for every type of essay and research paper.
The essay outline is the same for all essays. However, it can differ according to the parameters set forth by your instructor.
Given below are essay outline examples for different types of essay writing.
Argumentative Essay Outline
An argumentative essay is a type of essay that shows both sides of the topic that you are exploring. The argument that presents the basis of the essay should be created by providing evidence and supporting details.
Take a look at this argumentative essay outline, get an idea, and write a perfect outline.
Persuasive Essay Outline
A persuasive essay is similar to an argumentative essay. Your job is to provide facts and details to create the argument. In a persuasive essay, you convince your readers of your point of view.
However, if you don’t know how to write a persuasive essay outline, take help from this sample.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
A compare and contrast essay explains the similarities and differences between two things. While comparing, you should focus on the differences between two seemingly similar objects. While contrasting, you should focus on the similarities between two different objects.
Here is a compare and contrast essay outline sample for your help.
Narrative Essay Outline
A narrative essay is written to share a story. Normally, a narrative essay is written from a personal point of view in an essay. The basic purpose of the narrative essay is to describe something creatively.
Therefore, create the outline for the narrative essay with the help of the below-mentioned sample.
Expository Essay Outline
An expository essay is a type of essay that explains, analyzes, and illustrates something for the readers. An expository essay should be unbiased and entirely based on facts. Be sure to use academic resources for your research and cite your sources.
For an expository essay outline, you can easily take help from the below-mentioned sample.
Analytical Essay Outline
An analytical essay is written to analyze the topic from a critical point of view. An analytical essay breaks down the content into different parts and explains the topic bit by bit.
Check this analytical essay outline sample and get help from them.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
A rhetorical essay is written to examine the writer or artist’s work and develop a great essay. It also includes the discussion.
We collected a rhetorical analysis essay outline sample that you should follow for your essay.
Cause and Effect Essay Outline
A cause and effect essay describes why something happens and examines the consequences of an occurrence or phenomenon. It is also a type of expository essay.
For your help, we gathered a sample that will help you in writing the great outline.
Informative Essay Outline
An informative essay is written to inform the audience about different objects, concepts, people, issues, etc.
The main purpose is to respond to the question with a detailed explanation and inform the target audience about the topic.
Check this sample outline and write a perfect one for your informative essay.
Synthesis Essay Outline
A synthesis essay requires the writer to describe a certain unique viewpoint about the issue or topic. Create a claim about the topic and use different sources and information to prove it.
Here is an outline sample for your ease.
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
A literary analysis essay is written to analyze and examine a novel, book, play, or any other piece of literature. The writer analyzes the different devices such as the ideas, characters, plot, theme, tone, etc., to deliver his message.
Look at this sample and get an idea of the perfect essay outline.
Definition Essay Outline
A definition essay requires students to pick a particular concept, term, or idea and define it in their own words and according to their understanding.
Below is an outline sample that helps in your writing phase.
Descriptive Essay Outline
A descriptive essay is a type of essay written to describe a person, place, object, or event. The writer must describe the topic so that the reader can visualize it using their five senses.
Take help from the below-mentioned sample and write a great descriptive essay.
Evaluation Essay Outline
Evaluation essay is written to judge a specific topic according to the critiques provided. Here's an evaluation essay outline to craft a better essay.
Problem Solution Essay Outline
In a problem-solution essay, you are given a problem as a topic and you have to suggest multiple solutions on it.
Check out this problem solution essay outline example.
Scholarship Essay Outline
A scholarship essay is required at the time of admission when you are applying for a scholarship. Scholarship essays must be written in a way that should stand alone to help you get a scholarship.
Here's a scholarship essay outline for your consideration.
Reflective Essay Outline
A Reflective essay is written to express your own thoughts and point of view regarding a specific topic.
Below is a reflective essay outline to craft an amazing essay.
With this complete guide, now you understand how to create an outline for your essay successfully. However, if you still can’t write an effective essay, then the best option is to consult a professional academic writing service.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three types of outlines?
Here are the three types of essay outline;
- Working outline
- Speaking outline
- Full-sentence outline
All three types are different from each other and are used for different purposes.
What does a full-sentence outline look like?
A full sentence outline contains full sentences at each level of the essay’s outline. It is similar to an alphanumeric outline and it is a commonly used essay outline.
What is a traditional outline format?
A traditional essay outline begins with writing down all the important points in one place and listing them down and adding sub-topics to them. Besides, it will also include evidence and proof that you will use to back your arguments.
What is the benefit of using a traditional outline format and an informal outline format?
A traditional outline format helps the students in listing down all the important details in one palace while an informal outline will help you in coming up with new ideas and highlighting important points.