We know for sure that most of students face the same issue: they get the topic for an essay, take a piece of paper and stare at the blank page, write a few sentences and then do not know how to move forward. They get stuck though they have pretty many ideas in their head. If you experience the same difficulties, working on the essay outline is the best way out. It will help you properly organize ideas and you will not waste your time, thinking “what should I write?”
Make Up a Good Essay Outline
As you can see, it is important to know how to make up an outline of your future paper. Please check our writing tips that will help you cope with outline writing.
- Decide on the purpose of writing. You have to check professor’s instructions if your essay has to be informative, argumentative, descriptive, expository, etc. This will help you handle the outline writing and guide you in the right direction.
- Check the topic and what it implies. Carry out research and collect as much relevant data on the topic as possible. Then you will have to systematize information and decide what facts directly pertain to the topic. You can arrange your information logically: from the least important to the most important data, arrange in the chronological order, by process, etc.
- If you have to create an argumentative essay outline, you will have to divide the topic into different sub-points. Check what information you have and how it can be divided into various subsections. In addition, find out which points will be discussed in each main body paragraph.
- Create a sketch of your future introduction. Mention the points that your introductory paragraph will include and think about a thesis statement.
- Your persuasive essay outline should clearly state which ideas will be explored in detail in the main body. All your thoughts can be written in bullet points.
- The last section should be a conclusion, where you have to summarize the key points. Your conclusion should present a sense of closure and the reader should have a clear opinion about your discussion of the problem.
- Check your outline for possible logical mistakes. Make sure that all ideas refer to the topic. Do not hesitate to find an essay outline template on the Internet to see how to organize ideas in your plan.
The Choice of Topic
This step means much since topic defines the future structure of the paper, its outline, etc. In many cases, teachers assign specific topics to see if students are able to act within the limits. However, if the topic is up to you, you should think if you would like to inform the reader, persuade him/her to accept your views, present an analysis of the problem, describe an event or object, compare and contrast objects, etc. In any academic paper, creating an outline is important since it will help you plan what will be said in the essay. You can find an essay outline example on different websites to see how this sketch should look like.
Pay Attention to the Following Rules
- If you do not know how to write an essay outline, please do not get upset. It is an easy task that every student can handle. You will have to think which information you want to present in your paper and write down the key points. Then you will need to cross out irrelevant points and identify the most important ones.
- You can write your outline in 2 ways: create a sentence outline or phrases outline. The first way implies writing full sentences to each aspect, whereas the latter presumes creating bullet points. Students usually choose phrases outline in their writing (in other words, bullet points) since it is pretty hard to write full sentences at once.
Do not take an essay outline for granted. If you put enough efforts in this task, then you will be able to save much time during writing the essay itself. You will deal with the key concepts and will not stuck with idea “I do not know what to write.”