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How to Write an Essay Outline Easily

13 Jul 2018

Essay writing might seem like an easy. Sometimes it is difficult to come up with unique stuff and follow protocol at the same time. However, being familiar with a paper outline makes the writing process easier with school/universities assignments.

On the other side, written assignments form an important portion of the school/university curriculum. They form like 70-80% of the grade, and if you fail to submit a paper on time and according to the rules, there are chances you will be forced to repeat the course.

Experienced writers do not need an outline because they have been using the outline for years. But when you use a legit outline for essay, the process of essay writing becomes smoother, easier and better organized. Students often ask “how to write an outline for an essay?”. If you are also facing the same problem, keep reading!

The Basic Aspects On How to write an essay outline

If you are asking “What is an essay outline?” you are on the right path. Knowing the basics is crucial to get things right. An essay outline is a concise summary of the essay consisting of necessary details and information.

A student is required to start the essay by outlining the aim of the assignment and the approach that the student will use. Later on, you will expand the thesis statement that you provided in the thesis outline in paragraphs ahead.


An assignment synopsis tells you the main points to be covered in an orderly fashion. It outlines the method you should use while writing the introduction, body, and conclusion. Other important factors of this kind of assignment are:

  • It collocates your thoughts in a systematic manner;
  • The outline will bring out the best writing talents within you;
  • It assists you while fighting for higher grades at school;
  • The flow of the essay becomes more natural and easy to follow;
  • Your thoughts are arranged logically with a good plan;
  • Your hypothesis or thesis that you suggested will have a clear result;
  • The professor will prefer your paper over others (even if your content is not enough).

essay outline writing

How To Compose A Proper Outline: Stepwise Tutorial

Mostly, essays are written at school, college or university level. If a business level assignment is given, it has to be written precisely. It will help in all conditions irrespective of the level and topic.

Basically the outlining must include all the necessary details of your whole essay in a short and coherent manner. It should be comprehensive while remaining brief. Students and writers must acquire this skill with practice and knowledge. We will take you through a small journey of this process!

Step 1: Research and preparation. The first step in any assignment must be researched. You should go through the guidelines carefully and strictly follow them. Find the right resources for your essay and bookmark them. Some other key points are:

  • Highlight or jot down the main points of your essay;
  • If you do not understand something, add comments;
  • Clear your doubts with the instructor;
  • If you need to do a survey, field research or ask the person directly, make sure you do that beforehand;
  • Check the word limit, essay format, number of resources, and citation style.

Step 2: Think about the topic. You will be provided with the topic, or you might have to choose within the options provided. The research will give your bright ideas that you would like to use. But you need to select the best one to work on.

Experienced writers have come up with several exercises that might work:

  • Trial and error. This method requires you to jot down all the ideas that you get about the topic in the form of a list. Make sure you cover all the ideas. Then review the list and cut out the ideas that you think are unnecessary.
  • Endless writing. This is for those who love writing craft. Here you need to write freely and endlessly about the topic. Do not stop in between to correct any grammatical errors. Make brief notes of your thoughts and expressions that appear spontaneously in your head– it helps to generate ideas that further can be reviewed and incorporated into the complete story. After 8-10 minutes, stop writing and edit it. Go through the parts your like, the portions your dislike, and the mistakes you made. Do this exercise again with the ideas you’ve liked.
  • Connecting. The third method is also called the clustering method. First, the main topic has to be written in the middle of the paper. Draw several lines (3-5) from the centerpiece and jot down the main connecting points. Again draw lines from those connecting points to get other ideas. Keep developing this algorithm until you do not find more connections.
  • Asking. Also known as the questioning method: here you need to write down all the possible questions that you are asked to answer. Even better just note all the questioning words. Then answer the questions briefly (about 10-20 sentences). If you feel stuck or you cannot find an answer, ask your professor or get help from Google.

Step 3: Find the purpose. Usually, you would know the purpose of writing this article, but sometimes we forget that in the flow. You must figure out the purpose beforehand like are you trying to prove something or prepare a report. How to remain within the purpose? Let's see:

  • Get your keywords right (include the ones provided in your essay guidelines);
  • Make sure your keywords are spread across the assignment and not clustered (try not to put 2 keywords in one sentence);
  • If the purpose is to report, follow a neutral outlook;
  • On the other hand, go for a stronger pro/against outlook if you are proving something;
  • Maintain professional writing which will go with all purposes.

what is an essay outline

Step 4: Know your audience. The audience plays an important role in your outline essay. We would suggest you to recognize the purpose of an assignment intended for (business professionals, colleagues, classmates, general population). The reason knowing the audience will have an effect on your writing.

Sometimes the guidelines mention for whom the essay should be written for. You must be aware of what the audience is looking for while reading your thesis. You must also think about what is well-known about the topic and what needs to be told. For example, compose a report for the "stakeholders" to get funding from them. Audience's involvement will have an effect on:

  • The kind of terminology you use;
  • Good titles for essays;
  • The style and essay structure;
  • The kind of resources you do research from;
  • If you need to convince or not your readers;
  • The reaction that you will receive after they read your paper

Step 5: Compile your thesis/hypothesis If you carefully comply with all the steps given above, it means you are ready to complete a paper that will get you the highest grade. Once the ideas, manner of writing, and sources are ready, it is time to get down to work. Your thesis statement should be written in a separate paragraph. It basically tells everybody what the paper is going to talk about and the purpose of it. 

In a debatable topic, you must also mention your stand along with the main reason behind it. For a productive thesis statement you should:

  • Avoid facts and well-known statements
  • You must present your own argument with a unique standpoint
  • Keep it brief but fill it with accurate information
  • Also, add the significant details that you think readers should know
  • Make sure you answer your own argument in conclusion. The introduction and conclusion must complement each other.

how to write an essay outline

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Essay outlines of any type (e.g. informative essay outline) form an integral part of any assignment. Some professors might not even read the whole essay and judge your writing through the outline. Consequently, the college essay outline has been a point of focus and will remain crucial. Practice your way through the given methods to get the perfect dissertation.

If you need assistance or have any questions regarding your assignment, feel free to contact us. We will make sure you get the best and updated information. If you feel stuck while writing an essay outline or having a writer's block (yes that's a real thing) we can help you from scratch and clear the clouds of doubts.

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