How to write an outline is one of the many questions aspiring essayists constantly face. For any
writer, writing a paper, essay, or even book involves planning. To write an essay requires
planning, organizing ideas, knowing where to go and what to get, researching, choosing a topic,
researching the appropriate literature, and of course, writing the body. Clearly, there are many
details involved in how to write an outline. The following are just some of the basics that need to
be covered in order to write a quality outline.
Plan out your essay Outline
It s a wrapping! No need to stress out about the details, just plan it
out and relax. When done correctly, outlining can help you write better and faster, even while
missing anything important in the initial planning stages of your writing.
Choose a topic sentence Make sure your topic sentence is clear. This will make it easier to
organize your ideas and generate ideas that you would not otherwise. It is also imperative to
choose a thesis statement. However, be aware that many thesis statements can be overly
complex and intricate for certain essays. If your topic sentence is too simple, your essay outline
may suffer because you would not be able to build on it.
Research the topic Once you have a general idea for your essay, research the topic thoroughly.
You should consult several sources that pertain to the topic. Additionally, read the many essay
examples c to get a feel for how to outline an essay. Be sure to note the general format
(preferably numbered starts with the first number, the article begins with lowercase letters, etc.)
of the essay, as well as its structure (discussed in more detail later).
Structure the essay
Once you have the general topic and your thesis statement(s) decided, you
can move on to the actual outline structure. There are two basic outline structures: loose and
tight. A loose outline is considered the “standard” and usually gives more room for creativity and
personal opinions; however, this does not mean the process stops. You should always have
room for interpretation, as the end goal is to have a well-developed essay.
A tight essay outline tends to be very structured, almost to the point of being rigid. This is
generally what most students want, especially when they are studying for a test. The main
problem with this type of outlining is there are often missed anything, or things being left out. If
you are going to be using a tight outline, make sure you check your facts, and make sure there
is a missing part or parts.
How to write an essay outline for a thesis You may find yourself needing to conduct research
and facts before writing your introduction, discussion, and conclusion. One of the best ways to
organize this is to break the essay down into a specific topic (thesis), title, body, and conclusion.
This allows the author to simply “talk” about the topic at hand. If you need some additional help
with how to write an outline for an essay, consult a tutor or professor.
Writing the essay is only half the battle. The introduction is just the first part and most students
skip over it. To learn how to write an outline for an essay, a student must first be prepared to do
the research and analysis required for the writing. Although the introduction has many parts to it,
the fact that there is no clear beginning, middle, and end makes the essay very disorganized.Therefore, if you have a clear direction on how to organize your essay outline the first time
around, you will be able to focus your attention and become more efficient in your essay outline