By: Nova A.
5 min read
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Sep 4, 2022
An essay outline is a pre-writing process that makes your essay look refined, coherent, and well-structured. Create an outline for your essay by crafting a rough draft of your paper that includes all the points that you will cover in your essay.
You may even be asked to hand in your essay outline before submitting the actual assignment. Teachers often judge a student’s writing and critical thinking skills by reading the outline to understand how the essay will unfold.
Keep reading this article to know how to start your essay outline and end with an excellent essay, guaranteed to get you an A-grade.
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An outline is a more concise version of your final piece of writing. You have to write in points about the essay topics that you will cover. Including an outline in your writing process is a good practice if you are aiming to get good scores.
Your teacher will be able to understand what you are talking about in your essay as your outline acts as a direct map. The writer creates an outline to understand the points that they should add in support of their thesis statement. Usually, an outline is written in bullet points or in the form of several paragraphs.
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Essay outlining involves creating a rough picture of what your essay will look like. An outline will help you to connect the dots and explain your thesis statement and carry your stance forward in the essay. It is imperative to have a thesis statement and a general idea of your essay before writing the outline. Outlining allows you to be flexible with your writing style, so they can filter out the best strategy.
Keep in mind that writing an outline is time-consuming. The very first step of writing an outline is to develop a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will help you understand the information that should be included and remove the remaining information.
Follow these steps to write an essay outline:
Step One: Choose the Format of your Essay
The format of your essay means selecting whether you want to include the information in the form of bullets, points, or paragraphs. After you have decided how to include the information, read your thesis statement to understand the direction of your essay.
You can create a structure for your essay depending on your thesis statement. Each paragraph will then have its own point in the outline. The outline at this point would look something like this:
Step Two: Supporting Information to Develop Paragraphs
Now start adding information in each of your topic sentences. The details you add in this section of your essay must explain your thesis statement and should not go off-topic. Once you start writing paragraphs, think about the transitioning words to generate a flow between your paragraphs.
Transition sentences will fit into your paragraph and help the reader understand what your next paragraph will talk about. In short, an outline gives a general view of the essay to the writer.
Step Three: Include Supporting Information and Essay Details
Until step three, your outline has solid paragraphs that can be improved. For example, if you are working on an argumentative essay or research paper, you can include counterarguments to improve your stance.
Similarly, if you are assigned to do persuasive essay writing, including the facts that you will use to convince the audience. In an opinion essay, include opinions that are relevant to your point.
Step Four: Decide your Essay’s Concluding Paragraph
The concluding statement of your essay joins the facts and claims that you mentioned in your essay. You also need to reiterate the main point of your argument in your concluding paragraph.
Your outline will be finished when you feel ready to start working on your essay. It could be just after a few lines or full paragraphs later. Your conclusion is complete when you have added the relevant information in your outline that makes you feel confident to start your essay.
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There is more than one type of outline that you can use to write an English paper or an assignment. You can find an outline that works for you and start working on your assignment.
1. Alphanumeric Outline
This alphanumeric structure is the most standard format used in high school to write essays or assignments. Roman numerals are used to number the headings. This type of outline has four subheadings, with a little explanation.
2. Full Sentence Outline
The full sentence outline is similar to alphanumeric with one main difference, this one has full sentences. A benefit of this outline is that the full sentences can be used in the essay as it is.
3. Decimal Outline
As the name suggests, a decimal outline has points between the numbers. This type of outline is beneficial because the decimals can be traced back to the main heading. You will find a decimal outline structure below.
To help understand what an essay outline looks like, here are some essay outline sample that you can go through with different essay types as well. Crafting an outline is important to write an A-grade paper. This essay outline pdf will be beneficial for your next assignment.
There are different types of essays, and you will need to write an outline before starting one. This practice of writing an outline will benefit you and improve your writing skills. An effective outline maps out the whole essay for you before you start writing it.
Outlining should make the process easier, not complicated. So make sure that your outline is easy for you to understand. Select the type of outline before writing the essay in order to have all of the information organized.
Still can’t wrap your head around how to write an essay outline?
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The 5 parts of an essay are:
To make an outline fast, read these tips:
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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