Essay Outline Guide: How to Write a Perfect One

essay outline

Using an essay outline is the best idea for any student especially a beginner in this field. Writing is a combination of creativity and logic. Any writer should be creative enough to evoke interest in readers. Also, narration should be structured and provide a logic flow of events so readers can understand reasons and consequences clearly. So, outline is a crucial tool for any writer and serves as a guide for an essay. Besides, it helps save time spent on writing because you already know which main ideas should reflect in an essay. But writing an outline may also take time. You can find a couple of tips for writing an outline to complete well-structured essays. Also, we offer some tips on structuring outline for essay which will be useful for students from any US university. At the same time, if you need professional assistance, just say "write my essay" and get top-quality content.


In basics, an outline is kind of writing plan that helps for better organization of a paper. By using a short summary, you can easily and logically structure your narration. An outline helps writers understand which content they should place in each paper section.

Basic Guidance for Creating an Outline Quickly

There are many approaches on how to outline an essay. We will share some tips to give you an idea of essay writing process. The process of writing an essay outline required by any US university involves several simple steps:

  • Conduct Research on the Topic

To write the best essay, one should know the topic very well. So, some preliminary research and consideration of this topic are required. Google search by keywords may help find articles and other publications on this topic. If you’re writing a research paper, create a list of recommended literature as well. This will help form your own opinion regarding this matter.

  • Identify Essay Objective

When you've developed your opinion, write down main research objective. It can be a thesis statement or a question that can help start a conversation with readers. Your discussion should support main objective with detailed evidence. Objective helps to stay focused and stick to the main point.

  • List Main Research Points

On this stage, you should make a sketch of your future paper. List all points to disclose in a paper, but don’t go into much detail. A quick brainstorming will help find several main points of your essay to further use these points as an essay frame. You can polish your ideas in a process of writing. It’s not necessary to disclose all points that were outlined in the beginning as new information may help expand or shrink the topic or change some points.

  • Organize Ideas

By organizing all points to be disclosed in your paper, you will polish the structure of essay outline. Just put them into order and summarize each point not to forget what you wanted to dwell on in each section.

  • Revise and Remove Redundant Paragraphs

Revise all points and check each for relevance to objectives of your essay. This will help better disclose the key idea of your essay and stick to the main points. Remove all redundant paragraphs that don’t help disclose your idea and paraphrase those which seem to be irrelevant. If this task is complicated for you, then use our help when it comes to "edit my essay"!

Essay Outline Structure Template

The major goal of essay plan is to frame your future work and maintain proper flow. As a rule, essay outline consists of three parts which are typical for any paper: introduction, body and conclusion. Aiming to give you an idea of how to write an outline for an essay, we created a template, which is in line with the requirements in most US universities:

  • Introduction. Catchy sentence or question to attract readers’ attention

Thesis statement should be an arguable claim which you will discuss in your paper and support with evidence

  • Body

Main Point №1:

  1. Topic sentence — brief intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from outside source
  4. Concluding sentence — summarize paragraph

Main Point №2:

  1. Topic sentence — brief intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from outside source
  4. Concluding sentence — summarize paragraph

Main Point №3:

  1. Topic sentence — brief intro of paragraph
  2. Argument to support thesis
  3. Evidence from outside source
  4. Concluding sentence — summarize paragraph
  • Conclusion. Restate your thesis. Summarize the main ideas mentioned in the body of an essay. Do not introduce new information.

A catchy intro is a must because many readers will decide whether to proceed reading or not by having a quick look at the first lines of an essay. You may use more key points in the body section if needed. In this way, you can provide more evidence to support main statement. Strong conclusion helps to make your essay memorable by restating its main ideas in short. There's no need to add any new information in this section, so the essay conclusion generator will help to finish your writing faster.

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Basic Aspects On How to Write an Outline

If you are want to know what is an essay outline then you are on the right path. It is crucial to get things right. In its general meaning, an essay outline is a concise summary of a work that presents its structure with description of some details. The extended version of it provides more information about your paper and can consist of full sentences.

A student is required to start the essay by thinking of the aim for your assignment and approach that will be used. Later on, one should expand the thesis statement provided in an outline in paragraphs ahead.

Importance of Essay Outlining

An assignment synopsis tells you all main points to be covered in a particular order. It provides the method you should use while writing an introduction, body, and conclusion. The advantages of writing the outline are:

  • Systematic collection of thoughts;
  • Flow of an essay becomes more natural and easy to follow;
  • Thoughts are arranged logically with a good plan;
  • Hypothesis or thesis that you suggested will have a clear result;
  • Professor will consider a higher grade for assignment.

Guidance in Writing an Outline

Outlines are easy to create if you’re an experienced writer. Otherwise, this process may take much time. Here we offer some guidance regarding core points in writing an outline:

  • Make Notes

When examining literature relevant to a chosen topic, make sure you assemble notes as it helps to remember your ideas arising from materials analyzed. Further, this will aid develop evidence and provide readers with supportive facts. On this stage, you may paraphrase the ideas that caught your attention, write down quotes you liked, memorize historical facts that are important when developing evidence or statistics to prove a certain statement. This is a good approach to making your final draft more informative.

  • Examine Intended Audience

Any student or writer can use outline to further complete a college assignment or an article. If you’re writing high school essays or academic papers, you just need use briefs sent by your teacher. You should observe language and style because academic papers require a more formal style if compared to blog posts or articles. Formal language and clear structure are also used in research articles or other publications. You can use more informal language when writing articles or blog posts.

  • Identify Main Argument

Write down ideas and other important moments related to research topic. In a word, you should outline all materials you would like to include in your paper or ask questions to be answered in the course of narration. You can prepare a mind map and then jot down thoughts or ideas as soon as they come to your mind.

  • Divide All Ideas into Groups

On the first stage while preparing an outline, it’s good if you collected much information. Do not worry, as you may remove unnecessary material later on if you don’t need everything. These groups will form the framework of your future essay. Often writers develop three main sections in the body part of essay. Sometimes, the number of sections may be four, five, even ten sections depending on the volume of your work.

  • Develop Broad Ideas with Specific Details

Main ideas serve as main arguments. The objective of specific details is to support your ideas. It’s optimal to create one, two or three ideas in one essay and divide them into the respective sections. Each section will contain an argument, evidence and supportive facts.

How To Compose A Proper Outline: Stepwise Tutorial

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 on a small journey of this process!

  • Step 1: Research and preparation.

The first step in any assignment must be your research. You should go through your guidelines carefully and strictly follow them. Find the right resources for your paper, do a survey, field research or lab experiment, check word limit, essay format, number of resources, and citation style.

  • Step 2: Think about the topic.

You will be provided with a topic, or ability to choose among some options. Research may give some bright ideas that you would like to use. Try to select the best one to work on.

  • Step 3: Find the purpose.

Usually, you know the purpose of your assignment, but it is easy to forget that in the flow. Figure out your purpose beforehand — prove something or prepare a report.

  • Step 4: Know your audience. 

Audience plays an important role in outline essay. We would suggest you recognize a purpose of an assignment intended for business professionals, colleagues, classmates or general population. Being aware the audience helps to create a needed effect, choose correct terminology, appropriate title for an essay etc.

  • 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.

  If you understand all these steps above, it means you are ready to complete a paper that will get you the highest grade. It is time to get down to work. Start with a thesis statement. It should be written in a separate paragraph. It basically tells everybody what your paper is going to be about and its purpose.

Essay Outline Writing Advice from Our Professional Team

The final point in completing your essay outline is edition. If composed properly, it will make a significant part of your paper. Double-checking your outline for grammar errors, formatting, style, structure and typos is also important. You may check examples of similar essays on the internet to compare structure and writing style. Each grammatical error and typo can be checked with the help of free online tools. Also, revise format in accordance with MLA, APA or Harvard citation styles. Proofreading necessary as you may make mistakes when developing your ideas. So, double-check your outline and eliminate errors. Some students undervalue this step, but proper style, structure, format and grammar can improve your grades significantly.

That is Everything You Need to Know About Outline

Essay outline is a big helper in writing various types of papers including argumentative, persuasive, analytical and descriptive essays. Sometimes teachers ask students to compose an essay plan before starting to work on the initial essay. This way, they check whether students are on the right track of completing a perfect essay. We hope that this ultimate guide will make writing an outline clearer. Essay outlines of any type (e.g. outline for informative essay) form an integral part of any assignment. Some professors might not even read the whole essay and judge your writing. 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.

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