How to Write an Essay Outline: A Perfect Guide

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What is the first thing you do when planning a summer vacation? Do you decide to go for a trek and then spend the remaining days near a beach? Or do you not plan and let things happen themselves?

In both ways, there are adventures, but there will be no guarantee of a successful vacation in the latter option. You may have decided your destination as the Grand Canyon, but if you don’t have a schedule for your trip there, you will waste a lot of time and money!

Similarly, an outline is important for writing your essay. You might have the creative skill to write great pieces and impress your professor. But you must also be able to arrange your creative ideas in order. In fact, one of the top public research institutions, Rutgers Learning Centers, states that the success of your paper depends on the essay outline itself.

It’s where you decide your paper objective before doing detailed research on the topic.

Hence, read this article and know how an outline is arranged and how to work on that –

The Two Types of Essay Outline

Topic Outline –

For this type of online, you need each paragraph with a topic as a headline. For instance, if you are writing an essay about whether educational institutions should open in the middle of a global pandemic, here is the topic outline –

➔ Main Idea: ‘Schools re-open and allow the tradition form, i.e., in-person teaching.’

➔ Supporting Idea 1: Vaccine is here to overcome the pandemic fear

➔ Supporting Idea 2: In every way, in-person learning is most effective

➔ Supporting Idea 3: Possible precautions that can make the in-person teaching safety

➔ Conclusion: Schools should be re-open for in-person education again

Sentence Outline –

With a sentence outline, you’ll maintain the same order as in the example above but ensure that each heading is followed by a complete sentence expressing your point in full.

➔ Main Idea: Schools should re-open to allow for in-person teaching.

 Supporting Idea 1: It is time that schools re-open as vaccines are here to ensure everyone is safe in school premises like before.

➔ Supporting Idea 2: In-person teaching is more effective than any online learning system, so if schools re-open, students are likely to catch up on any learning loss they suffered during the lockdown.

➔ Supporting Idea 3: It’s understandable how Covid19 spreads wide, but schools can prepare and take all the approved precautions needed to ensure a safe environment for students to return to physical classes.

➔ Conclusion: It is safe and time for schools to open for in-person education, like before the pandemic.

What Information Should an Outline Include?

The outline above has shown you how to arrange the order of information. Now, it’s time to learn how you will stitch each segment with detailing and combine it into one frame, i.e., your essay.

Hence, follow the instructions below –

What’s in an introduction?

The introduction of your essay must present the topic with background information and the literal sense of the case. This is important to comprehend your argument; hence, briefly describe the supporting details and establish your thesis statement. Note that the introduction is vague without a thesis; after all, it provides the agenda of the essay.

What’s in the first body paragraph?

The first body paragraph will introduce a different concept or piece of evidence that supports your thesis.

So, start the paragraph with a topic sentence. In the first body paragraph, you should provide evidence for your ideas through arguments, illustrations, research, statistics, studies, and text citations. This will give the base of the discussion because, in the later part, you might provide some contrasting details to provide an analysis of the topic.

What’s in the second body paragraph?

The second body paragraph should follow the same pattern as the first. Still, it should center on a different piece of information. Here, you can bring a different aspect of the topic to raise an argument. But make sure once more that the first line of this paragraph serves as a topic sentence and connects to the essay’s overall theme.

What’s in the third body paragraph?

Use the third paragraph of the body to acknowledge any points of view that might conflict with your thesis. Here briefly presents any opposing arguments before highlighting the advantages of your viewpoint.

What’s in the conclusion paragraph?

In the last section of the body paragraph, which is the conclusion, restate your thesis in a concluding paragraph that summarizes the points you made in your body paragraphs.

Here, do not provide any new information but provide your overview or any additional thought for the topic.

A Ready Checklist when Outlining the Topic

  • Knowing the Subject

Get a firm grasp on the core of your essay topic before starting.

Identify the primary points you want to make and break them into their constituent parts.

  • Brainstorming and Idea Gathering

Let your imagination run free as you develop ideas for your subject.

You must also note important facts, ideas, and examples that can help your essay’s overall thesis be strengthened.

  • Organize your ideas

It’s time to organize your thoughts into an ascending layout.

Bring everything together into different paragraphs and end with a tentative final thought. To make the transitions between sections seamless, keep in mind to employ transitional phrases.

  • Increase in sub-points

Include supporting details under each primary argument in your essay to give it more depth and clarity.

These sub-points offer more precise information, proof, or instances to bolster your major points. They support your points and increase the persuasiveness of your essay.

Final Words,

To make an impressive writing piece, your job is to plan it well. That is precisely why outlining is essential whether in high school, college, or university. Hence, save the above post and refer to it when you need an idea to form an outline.

Author Bio: Joseph Morgan is an online educator based in New York. He is also associated with the academic brand where he offers help with essay outline. In his free time, you will find Joseph playing baseball.

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