How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

An try outline is a direction of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing promptly compendious sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold .
You ’ ll sometimes be asked to submit an test outline as a separate assignment before you start writing an essay—but evening if you don ’ t have to hand one in, it ’ s a good theme to create an delineate as separate of your writing serve.

Organizing your material

At the stagecoach where you ’ re writing an try outline, your ideas are credibly still not in full formed. You should know your subject and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources, but immediately you need to shape your ideas into a integrated argumentation.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you ’ ve noted down from your research and consider the cardinal point you want to make in the essay—this will be the footing of your dissertation instruction. once you have an estimate of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a room that serves that argumentation .
Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you ’ re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes ; in a history try, it might be respective key trends or turning points from the period you ’ rhenium hash out .
Three chief themes or subjects is a park structure for essays. Depending on the duration of the try, you could split the themes into three body paragraph, or three longer sections with respective paragraphs covering each theme .
As you create the sketch, look critically at your categories and points : Are any of them irrelevant or redundant ? Make sure every subject you cover is distinctly related to your thesis argument .

Order of information

When you have your substantial organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in .
Your essay will always begin and end with an insertion and decision, but the organization of the body is up to you .
Consider these questions to order your material :

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

Presentation of the outline

Within each paragraph, you ’ ll hash out a one mind related to your overall subject or argument, using respective points of evidence or psychoanalysis to do so .
In your sketch, you present these points as a few short total sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph try .
Essay outline template

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook
    2. Background
    3. Thesis statement
  2. Topic one
    1. First point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
    2. Second point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
  3. Topic two
    1. First point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
    2. Second point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
  4. Topic three
    1. First point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
    2. Second point
      1. First piece of evidence
      2. Second piece of evidence
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summary/synthesis
    2. Importance of topic
    3. Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your sketch in full sentences or shortstop phrases. Be reproducible in your option ; don ’ thymine randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases .

Receive feedback on language, structure and formatting

professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on :

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Grammar
  • Style consistency

See an example

Examples of essay outlines

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below : an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis test .

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet ’ s impact on education. It uses inadequate phrases to summarize each point .
Its consistency is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a unlike view of the internet ’ randomness effects on education .
Argumentative essay outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Importance of the internet
    2. Concerns about internet use
    3. Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  2. The internet’s harmful effects on attention
    1. Smartphone as classroom distraction
      1. Data exploring this effect
      2. Analysis indicating it is overstated
    2. Impatience with reading
      1. Students’ reading levels over time
      2. Why this data is questionable
  3. Flexibility the internet allows for
    1. Variety of media to engage different learners
      1. Video media
      2. Interactive media
    2. Accessible means of independent research
      1. Speed and simplicity of online research
      2. Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  4. Students’ use of Wikipedia
    1. Negatives of Wikipedia
      1. Evidence indicating its ubiquity
      2. Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
    2. Positives of Wikipedia
      1. Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
      2. Argument that it introduces students to citation
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summary of key points
    2. Value of digital education for students
    3. Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository test describing how the invention of the printing crusade affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraph are inactive summarized in short phrases hera, but person points are described with wide sentences .
Expository essay outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
    2. Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
    3. Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  2. Situation before the printing press
    1. Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
    2. Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
    3. Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  3. Invention and spread of the printing press
    1. Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
    2. Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
    3. Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
    4. Link to the Reformation.
  4. Printing press’s influence on the Reformation
    1. Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
    2. Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
    3. Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summarize the history described.
    2. Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the character of field in Jane Austen ’ s novel Mansfield Park .
The body of the essay is divided into three unlike themes, each of which is explored through examples from the bible .
Literary analysis essay outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
    2. Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
    3. Introduce the research question: How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park?
  2. The frivolous acting scheme
    1. Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
    2. Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  3. Stage directions
    1. Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
    2. Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  4. The performance of morals
    1. Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
    2. Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  5. Conclusion
    1. Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
    2. Answer the research question
    3. Indicate areas for further study

Frequently asked questions about essay outlines

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.