How to Do an Essay Outline: An Ultimate Guide

Writing can be difficult and time-consuming. That is why many strategies for simplifying this process were created. 

In fact, outlining is something you can’t write an essay without. It helps you build a plan to develop your paragraphs around and fill them with the right content. This short read will focus on outlining college essays and hopefully, this will help you get the best grades for your writing. 

What Is an Essay Outline and How to Create an Effective Outline

In simple words, an outline is a plan that you base your essay on. As a rule, it includes the central idea and arguments for every paragraph. Structuring the essay is much easier if you have such a plan, – in this case, you won’t miss important details and will stay relevant to the topic. 

Keep that in mind that for different types of essays your outlines will vary. Still, since most academic essays consist of 5 paragraphs, follow this structure of outline: 

  1. Introduction with a thesis statement. 
  2. Body paragraph 1 + topic sentence. 
  3. Body paragraph 2 + topic sentence. 
  4. Body paragraph 3 + topic sentence. 
  5. Conclusion with restating the thesis. 

But before jumping to writing the outline, it is best to think of a few things such as who your readers are, what the purpose of your essay is, and how you are going to prove the thesis.  

Relying on these, you will make research in the right direction and have a paper that suits all the goals and requirements. 

Steps to Create an Outline That Will Work for You 

Having figured out the main idea, now it is time to see what detailed steps you need to take on the journey toward a brilliant essay. 

Step 1. Choose a template.

Templates are super-convenient and time saving if you choose the right one. It is a visual structure of the future essay. 

There are lots of ways to organize paragraphs in templates including alphanumeric or decimal organization. When you pick one, make sure there is nothing that could distract you from the main writing task. 

Step 2. Outline the introduction part. 

Here you are supposed to present your thesis in a short but very clear way. An outline is also a good point to formulate the essay hook, with intentions to polish it later and include it in your essay when writing a draft already.

Step 3. Outline the body part. 

Pair up topic sentences with evidence here. Don’t be too picky about ideas for now; later you will be able to filer them. Just write down these ideas that seem the most supporting to topic sentences. Keep them fresh and up to date, – they will make better illustrations than something related to century-old events. 

Mention also how they concern topic sentences and the main thesis – let it be a mindmap or a visual representation of your thinking in this direction. 

A useful thing for outlining this part is noting down transitions from one paragraph to another. 

Step 4. Outline the conclusion paragraph. 

Think about how you can restate the thesis so that it remains believable and offers the solutions to the suggested issue without repeating the same words you used for the introduction. Mention how this solution can be implemented in real life and let society get benefits. 

When you wrapped it up, don’t hurry. Review the outline editing the areas where you don’t like it. Sometimes only after you finish the outline comes the understanding of which ideas are out of place in it. 

Tips to Add About Writing Successful Essays for College Be Purpose-Driven and Research

A few more words need to be said about the essay itself. Every academic paper including an essay is supposed to be based on evidence unless it is a descriptive or narrative essay which expect more creativity from a writer. 

To make the essay worthy of an A+ grade, make sure you do the following: 

  1. Read your writing task carefully. 

Understanding the task is crucial. What should the essay contain? Does it expect you to argue and stand your ground or find similarities and differences? 

Whenever you see the task words such as ‘assess’, ‘evaluate’, or ‘review’, this means you should present the reasons why something is worthy or unworthy and give examples. Verbs ‘advise’ or ‘recommend’ need you to work out a solution, whereas ‘explore’, ‘discuss’, and ‘determine’ prompt that there should be your own logical interpretation of concepts, ideas, and events. 

  1. Conduct research on the given topic. 

If you have one of such tasks, it will be easier to reach them by breaking down the work into parts, – first, formulating a good thesis corresponding to the topic, and next looking for reliable arguments. Use resources such as Google Scholar or the university library to find credible data. 

  1. Never neglect expert assistance. 

It is not a sign of weakness to have an essay done for you by someone more experienced. There is a rich choice of online services able to write unique academic essays and research papers. Still, beware of scams offering too cheap help. 

The company DoMyEssay is ready to give high-quality assistance with all types of student essays from compare and contrast to literature review. Experts on the team will gather all details about the task and after you specify them will start writing the paper from scratch. DoMyEsay is open to editing and reviewing all papers at your request to make them even better. 

Besides saving time when you’re busy and getting easy grades, this will give you an excellent experience. These essays ordered previously will also be models for you to follow when writing on your own. 

To conclude, writing and outlining a college essay is a very logical process and once you master it your skills will get better every time as you practice. Remember also that nobody is supposed to reach perfection from the first time and it is okay to ask for expert help in academic tasks. 

Put these tips into practice, write thoughtfully, and enjoy the process, as well as the result!

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