The essay outline provides its writer with a guide through the drafting processes. If you want to include the content you found and planned in an organized essay, you need an outline to keep your writing on track.
Step 1: Read the Guidelines
Every essay task has guidelines. Whether it is word count, writing format, or title suggestions, you surely have something your professor gave you when he/ she assigned the task.
Before you start working on the outline or the first draft, read the guidelines carefully. Make sure you understand everything. If something seems confusing, ask for clarification.
Step 2: Find the Purpose
What is the purpose of your essay and topic? Are you trying to persuade, argument, or entertain the readers? Consider the essay type you are planning to write, and find the purpose of your essay.
Step 3: Develop a Thesis Statement
Write a thesis statement that expresses the purpose you just discovered and states the claims you are about to present in writing.
Step 4: Choose the Structure
Most essays have the same general structure: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Check the requirements again and plan the structure for your outline.
The first section of the outline should be focused on the introduction. Plan the opening of the essay, and note down the background you will provide in this essay part. Think of several ideas for the essay hook.
The second section of an outline is focused on the biggest part of the essay – the body paragraphs. Devote a minimum of three subsections to this part of your outline.
Take notes of the supporting evidence you will use for every point, and write down the source for the data. In this way, you won’t have to spend hours searching for the source when actually writing the paragraphs.
The conclusion is the last part of your essay, but also the last section of your outline. This section should contain the information you will use to conclude your writing.
Think of ideas that would help you re-write the thesis statement in other words, and summarize the main ideas explored in the previous sections of your outline.
Step 5: Create Sections and Subsections
Give titles to your sections, and create subsections that contain the less important information you may decide not to include in the actual writing. In this way, you will know which information is essential for the essay, and which information can be excluded.
An outline is an additional skill a student must possess, but it actually applies to every assignment you have to write. Therefore, it is time to learn how to create a powerful outline that will aid you in the writing process, and make your academic tasks much simpler.