How to Write an Essay Outline

 

how do you do an outline for an essay

One way to do this is to prepare a perfect outline that reflects the theme of the essay topic. This article will help you to learn basic information about how to make an outline for any essay. Preparing an outline is very important for any essay as it gives value and meaning to the paper. An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words. Writing an essay outline can be as easy as you want to make it.


How to Outline an Essay | Examples


Essay outlines provide structure and guidance for writers as they begin the drafting process. An outline should briefly summarize the intended content of your essay and organize that content in a sensible, coherent manner.

Knowing how to outline is an important skill for students, since some instructors require students to turn in outlines before submitting their papers. Keep reading to learn more about how to develop an effective outline for your paper. To write an essay outline, start with a section about your introduction that includes an introductory sentence and your thesis statement, how do you do an outline for an essay.

Then, make a section about the body of your essay that has subsections for each paragraph you'll be writing. Within each subsection, include the main point of the paragraph and any evidence you'll be presenting to support it. Finally, create a section about your essay's conclusion that includes a final sentence. For help choosing between a numeric or decimal outline structure, keep reading! This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann.

Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. Categories: Essay Planning. How to Write an Essay Outline. There are 29 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Method 1.

Read the assignment guidelines carefully. Highlight or underline important words and phrases in the instructions, how do you do an outline for an essay. Make sure that you fully understand what the instructor is asking you to do before you begin your outline. Ask for clarification if anything seems vague or confusing.

Develop a topic. Although outlining a paper can help you to develop and organize your ideas, you may need to do some other prewriting exercises to get started. List all the ideas that come to mind good or bad and then look over the list you have made and group similar ideas together.

Expand those lists by adding onto the list or by using another prewriting activity. Write nonstop for about minutes. When you are done, review what you have written and highlight or underline the most useful information. Repeat the freewriting exercise using this information as a starting point. You can repeat this exercise multiple times to continue to refine and develop your ideas. Write your subject down on the center of a piece of paper and circle it.

Then draw three or more lines extending from the circle. At the end of each of the lines you have drawn, write down a new idea that corresponds to your main idea. Then draw three or more lines from each of those new ideas, and write ideas that corresponds to those ideas.

Continue developing your cluster until you feel that you have explored as many connections as you can. Respond to each questions in as much detail as you can. This exercise will help develop your ideas and identify areas of how do you do an outline for an essay topic that you need to learn more about, how do you do an outline for an essay.

Identify your purpose. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your paper. Are you writing this paper in order to persuade, entertain, enlighten, or something else? Just make sure that your purpose is in line with what the assignment asks you to do. Look for keywords in the assignment guidelines to help you figure out what your purpose should be. Identify your audience, how do you do an outline for an essay. Think about who will read your paper. Your instructor?

Identify the needs and how do you do an outline for an essay of your audience by considering what they do and do not know about your topic. Anticipate their reactions as well. How they might react to the information that you will be sharing with them?

Will they be angry, sad, amused, or something else? Develop your thesis. Once you have developed your ideas and considered your purpose and audience, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact.

Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective.

Method 2. Choose a standard alphanumeric structure for an easy outline structure. An alphanumeric outline is the most common, easily recognized outline type, and each subdivision is identified by Roman numerals, capitalized letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters, in that order.

You will typically have three for an essay outline: one for your introduction, one for your body, and one for your conclusion.

Choose a decimal outline structure to show how your ideas are related. A decimal outline is similar in structure to an alphanumeric outline, but it only uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. Some people prefer this structure because it shows how each section contributes to the essay as a whole. Therefore, the first section would read "1. For instance, under the "1.

Further subsections can be added by adding another decimal, followed by a number that corresponds to the new information. For instance, under the first "1. Determine whether to use full sentences or brief phrases in your outline. For most outline essays, full sentences will prove more useful because they allow you to provide more thorough information. Use parallel structures for outline sections. For example, if one section of your outline begins with a verb that uses the present tense, then the next section should also begin with a verb that uses present tense.

Coordinate section titles and subordinate subsections. Each section title should feature information that is equally important to other section titles and subsections should contain information that is less important than your main section titles. These outline section titles feature information that is as important as the first section title. Divide each heading into two or more parts. In order to provide adequate information for each section, you will need to divide each section into two or more parts.

Method 3. Provide your introduction in the first section of your outline. This section should include an attention getting opening and general information about your topic. The information you provide in your introduction outline should gradually become more specific as you progress through its subsections.

A shocking fact or anecdote is a great way to start. Keep this section brief, but include the information that your readers will need to know in order to understand your paper. State the idea or argument that you plan to discuss in your essay. Provide essay body information in the second section of your outline. The body of your essay should be the largest part of your essay, so you will want to devote at least three subsections to this portion of your outline.

Do not label each point as "main point. Under each main point, you should write supporting evidence to back the point up.

Give each piece of supporting evidence its own line and sub-section. Then, write out an explanation analyzing the evidence and showing how it supports your claims.

If desired, you could also include a sentence that transitions into your next major point at the end of each "main idea" section. This is not strictly necessary, though. Provide your conclusion information in the last section of your essay outline. This section should return the reader to the general discussion brought up in the "introduction" portion. Restate your thesis first. Do not copy your original thesis statement word-for-word. Instead, restate the idea, but rephrase it in a new way.

Make a concluding statement. A concluding statement will usually discuss the implications of the thesis, propose solutions to problems addressed in the essay, or explain the importance of the thesis to something outside of the range of the essay. Check your work against your how do you do an outline for an essay sheet, if applicable.

If you're writing your outline to fulfill an assignment, you should always go back over your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you fulfilled all of the requirements. Double check that your work completely satisfies your instructor's expectations so you'll get full credit! Emily Listmann MA, Education.

 

3 Easy Ways to Write an Essay Outline - wikiHow

 

how do you do an outline for an essay

 

One way to do this is to prepare a perfect outline that reflects the theme of the essay topic. This article will help you to learn basic information about how to make an outline for any essay. Preparing an outline is very important for any essay as it gives value and meaning to the paper. An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words. Writing an essay outline can be as easy as you want to make it.