An essay is one of the most common types of academic papers that requires a serious approach. To compile an effective text and ensure that all supporting details are present, students should make up a clear essay outline. In a nutshell, this is a brief summary of what one should highlight in an essay.
If one does not use planning, then the chances are high that they will get an incoherent paper with semantic gaps. Therefore, in this guide you will learn how to write a high-quality outline for essay. Keep reading and find out what information it should include to help you structure a paper properly.
What Is an Outline for an Essay
Before we discuss the writing process, let’s make sure an essay outline definition is clear. Outline is an approximate and extremely brief contents of research. Sometimes, an outline may become an essay section. But more often it just acts as a further guidance for research paper writing service.
Often, this summary is drafted together with a research advisor. First, you should work out the semantic contents. Then, continue working in accordance with this outlined plan.
A paper outline is extremely useful since it helps achieve a number of goals:
- Helping with self-organization – you will highlight the most important things and omit the insignificant ones.
- Structuring a smooth information flow – it will be way easier to analyze main points according to a well-prepared
- Ensuring that you don’t miss anything – by referring to your plan, you will focus on critical information.
Now that we have made it clear about what is an essay outline, let’s have a look at the principles of writing it. So get ready to compile the first part of the work.
How to Write an Essay Outline
Before you get to writing an essay outline, make sure your arguments are fully shaped. By this time, you should have an engaging topic and have searched for relevant sources in the field. All you are left to do is organize your main arguments.
Let’s see how to outline an essay in 3 simple steps:
- Create a thesis statement. Look through your material and decide on the overall argument you want to make. This will be a basis of your entire essay.
- Define and group main points. Identify critical points related to your statement and arrange them. These groups will be your main arguments that will go in the body.
- Remove unnecessary points. Do all arguments resonate with your thesis statement? If no, consider deleting redundant ideas or merging them together.
- Arrange your ideas in a logical order. Introduction and conclusion aside, come up with an order your central points should follow in the main body.
But what does an essay outline look like? Below, you will learn more about structuring a general plan. This will be especially useful if you are interested in organizing your writing.
Essay Outline Structure
Generally, students follow a basic 5-paragraph essay outline structure. Here’s a typical structure that will help you arrange central points in a logical order:
- Introduction. This is an opening paragraph, where you should specify a topic of your essay. Think on how you will hook your reader. Then briefly outline a topic’s context (background details. Finish an introduction with a thesis statement that has been prepared before.
- Main body. The essay will consist of several sections – typically 3 paragraphs. Come up with a topic sentence to cover each of your critical points. Mention all supporting facts, examples, and references to other researchers – this will make your plan more informative.
- Conclusion. A concluding paragraph should wrap up all points covered in your paper and provide some food for thought. If it’s a part of research, consider telling how your arguments will add to further topic development. Alternatively, you can finish with a call to action.
Use this example of an essay outline template to keep your critical arguments organized.
- Engaging hook
- Context of the topic
- Thesis statement
Body (repeat for each paragraph)
- Topic sentence containing your argument
- Point 1 backed up by evidence
- Point 2 backed up by examples
- Summary of main arguments
- Significance of topic
- Compelling closing statement
Below, we will discuss each section in detail.
Essay Introduction Outline
When you start to write a plan, begin with making an introduction outline for essay. This is a section that readers will see before getting down to some basic information described below. Here, you should outline the main idea of your work, that is, to define the essay topic. Usually, it is dedicated to a particular section of your essay. All you need is to fit its idea into a short topic.
Also, you should state your main argument, otherwise known as a thesis. In the opening paragraph, it would do well to include a very brief prehistory of the topic and to back up its importance.
Thus, the first part of your plan should gradually bring the readers to your main points. But don’t reveal them in this section – save these ideas for your body paragraphs.
Essay Body Paragraph Outline
Next, write an essay body paragraph outline, which should present your main arguments. We suggest outlining the problem that is covered in the essay. If you find this task difficult, divide it into its constituent components. For example, if you are writing an essay on artistic culture, and your piece deals with the Renaissance, try to define philosophy, science, and art as the main themes.
Besides, you should briefly mention the points of view. Additionally, provide evidence supporting your ideas. We suggest a slightly more complicated structure of body paragraphs, which will, however, convey your thoughts more precisely. Here’s an example:
- Your main theme
- First point
1.1. First supporting example
1.2. Second supporting example
- Second point
2.1. First supporting example
2.2. Second supporting example
Such body paragraph outline will be appropriate in case of longer essays. Short pieces can be structured more briefly.
Argumentative Essay Body Paragraph Outline
After defining the thesis statement in one sentence, write an argumentative essay body paragraph outline. To make your thought more solemn, present arguments that will prove your point. For example, to support a thesis that a person should have two cats, one can prepare such set of arguments.
Title: Example of main points of argumentative essay body
ALT: Example of main points of argumentative essay body: “1. Cats are social animals.
- A pair of cats won’t feel bored when the owner is away. 3. It will be more interesting to play with two cats ”
|Main points in the argumentative essay body |
Don’t forget to provide evidence. Keep in mind that you are to prove everything that has been said, so avoid controversial arguments that may cause problems.
There is no need to write a very detailed essay structure. But first of all, it should be clear to you what points must be covered in your argumentative writing.
Persuasive Essay Body Paragraph Outline
A persuasive essay body paragraph outline should completely provide points of your view and convince a reader to accept your arguments. To sound more convincing, provide the following proofs:
- Statistics and numbers
- Your own analysis
- Official data obtained from reliable sources
- Quotes and citations
If you have any references to relevant sources, be sure to mention them in your outline. A weighty opinion may arouse the readers’ trust and attribute additional weight to your arguments. Take your time to find and implement arguments. This way, you won’t forget to describe it in the essay.
Essay Conclusion Outline
Conclusion outline for essay is a final point of the plan that tells you what to include in the last part of your piece. First, summarize the previously mentioned arguments. No need to elaborate, writing them briefly will do. Readers should understand them, and you must be sure that you haven’t missed anything critical.
It would be good to mention the importance of your topic you have touched upon in the essay. This is a great technique that is widely used in research. Think why your topic matters and mention this in your outline.
Finally, make a strong statement for intellectual nourishment. Write a brief sentence that will remind you to leave some food for thought.
Be sure to outline essay to write your paper properly and clearly. Use it as support while structuring your thoughts. You can attach this plan to your paper or leave it only for your personal use.
You may also send a brief outline of your essay for approval. Feel free to get advice from academic assistants at https://studycrumb.com/ if you doubt that the direction you’ve chosen is correct. Likewise, you can share your outline with StudyCrumb and they will find the most talented professional to write an essay for you.
FAQ About Essay Outline
Why is it important to review an essay outline?
By compiling an essay outline, you will be able to make a review of your future work and detect its shortcomings. For example, by drafting an essay plan, you will check whether there are any logical errors and if the presentation is clear enough. You will also be able to structure ideas in order that is easy to understand. Finally, in a brief outline it will be easier to check the truthfulness and reliability of sources. This way, you can get rid of poor-quality information in the final paper.
Should I use full sentences in my essay outline?
You can write an essay outline in any form, focusing on short and clear sentences. Likewise, you can write more of a draft that reminds the final version. However, using full sentences is not obligatory. This structure should be clear for you in the first place. In most cases, this plan is not available to the general public. But you can use it for consulting with research advisors and testing your idea in certain scientific circles.
How long is an essay outline?
The length of an essay outline depends on the thesis you use and a number of arguments you want to cover in the main body. Usually, students need 3 points to prepare for both introduction and conclusion. The main body usually has 3 paragraphs, so you need a detailed plan of each one. But the essay outline rarely exceeds a 1.5 A4 sheet.
What is informal outline for essay?
In fact, any essay plan is the researcher’s personal document and can be written in an informal style. If you are not going to present information to other people, you can arrange it as you wish. The main thing is that the described statement should be clear for you. In this case, your paper plan can be called an effective one.