By: Nova A.
13 min read
Reviewed By: Melisa C.
Published on: Jan 15, 2019
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!
So, let’s get started!
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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:
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.
Easily Outline Your Essays In Seconds!
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:
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Creating an essay outline is a crucial step in crafting a well-structured and organized piece of writing. Follow these four simple steps to create an effective outline:
To begin, thoroughly grasp the essence of your essay topic.
Break it down into its key components and identify the main ideas you want to convey. This step ensures you have a clear direction and focus for your essay.
Let your creativity flow and brainstorm ideas related to your topic.
Jot down key pieces of information, arguments, and supporting evidence that will strengthen your essay's overall message. Consider different perspectives and potential counterarguments to make your essay well-rounded.
Now it's time to give structure to your ideas.
Arrange your main points in a logical order, starting with an attention-grabbing introduction, followed by body paragraphs that present your arguments.
Finally, tie everything together with a compelling conclusion. Remember to use transitional phrases to create smooth transitions between sections.
To add depth and clarity to your essay, incorporate subpoints under each main point.
These subpoints provide more specific details, evidence, or examples that support your main ideas. They help to further strengthen your arguments and make your essay more convincing.
By following these four steps - you'll be well on your way to creating a clear and compelling essay outline.
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:
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.
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.
Are you struggling to come up with an interesting hook? View these hook examples to get inspired!
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 in 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.
Need help creating a strong thesis statement? Check out this guide on thesis statements and learn to write a statement that perfectly captures your main argument!
2. Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs of an essay are where all the details and evidence come into play. This is where you dive deep into the argument, providing explanations and supporting your ideas with solid evidence.
If you're writing a persuasive essay, these paragraphs will be the powerhouse that convinces your readers. Similarly, in an argumentative essay, your body paragraphs will work their magic to sway your audience to your side.
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.
When it comes to wrapping up your essay, never underestimate the power of a strong conclusion. Just like the introduction and body paragraphs, the conclusion plays a vital role in providing a sense of closure to your topic.
To craft an impactful conclusion, it's crucial to summarize the key points discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs. You want to remind your readers of the important information you shared earlier. But keep it concise and to the point. Short, powerful sentences will leave a lasting impression.
Remember, your conclusion shouldn't drag on. Instead, restate your thesis statement and the supporting points you mentioned earlier. And here's a pro tip: go the extra mile and suggest a course of action. It leaves your readers with something to ponder or reflect on.
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:
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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 a decimal structure for the outline.
Below is an outline sample that you can easily follow for your essay.
II. Body Paragraph 1
III. Body Paragraph 2
IV. Body Paragraph 3
Here's a general essay outline sample that you can use for various topics:
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 your professor’s instructions and your grade level. Here are some examples of essay outlines for different grade levels.
Given below are essay outline examples for different types of essay writing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
An 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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting started on your essay? Give this comprehensive essay writing guide a read to make sure you write an effective 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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Here are the three types of essay outline;
All three types are different from each other and are used for different purposes.
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.
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.
A traditional outline format helps the students in listing down all the important details in one palace while an informal outline will help you coming up with new ideas and highlighting important points
As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.
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