How to Write an Essay Outline: Brilliant Writing Prompts

The success of any academic paper or literary work depends not only on grammar and the sources used, the author’s research and writing skills, his or her knowledge of academic standards, but also on the organization of the content. So, if a student doesn’t know how to write an essay outline when starting working on the paper, the piece of writing will not meet high academic standards. Good strategies on writing help authors arrange clear and proper structures of the ideas they want to talk about in further pieces of writing. Therefore, the knowledge of how to outline an essay is extremely important to any student who wants to hand in a brilliant paper. Organizing an essay outline is what writing an outstanding paper starts with. You should remember that writing an outline for your essay is as vital as writing a strong thesis statement. It will help you find gaps in your argument, give structure to your paper, as well as help you with time management. However, if the outline writing process is complicated for you for some reason, you can use our outline writing service to organize your academic works perfectly. You are about to discover marvelous tips on writing an academic paper outline like an expert. Are you excited about it? Well, you should be because after reading this article you will know where to look for professional assistance if you need an essay outline. In fact, you can forget about frustration associated with academic writing because our experts are ready to lend you a helping hand, once you come to us and say “write my essay outline for me”.

What Is an Essay Outline?

As it was mentioned above, an outline is a visual representation of a paper. It boils the essay’s paragraphs down to key points, allowing readers to get a gist of your essay with a quick skim. But an essay outline is not written just for your readers’ benefit – it also helps you visualize your finished essay before you begin writing it. This can make it easier for you to determine the most effective way to transition between paragraphs and the ideal order in which to present your supporting paragraphs. Paper outlining is a crucial early stage of the writing process. It is where you organize all the thoughts and insights you brainstormed into a neat roadmap to follow as you write. If you get stuck as you’re writing your essay, your outline is there to help you get back on track.

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Types of Outlines and When You Should Use Them

Although outlines can be different in a format, there are short and extended outlines in alphanumeric or decimal styles. In this case, students should define styles that they want to use. Firstly, short essay outlines mean a situation when writers use a form of topics to organize academic papers. For example, it can be from one to three words that cover key aspects in topic forms. Moreover, extended outlines differ from the short one in a word count. Because topic outlines consist of a few words, extended structures may include short or long sentences. In this case, such an outline is more clear in comparison to topic structures because of expanded information. Hence, students use topic and sentence outlines when organizing essay works or other writing assignments properly.

Type of Outlining Details
Alphanumeric outlines An alphanumeric outline style uses symbols to indicate a hierarchy of discussed points. For instance, using alphanumeric forms allows writers to consider dividing essay sections into short and logical parts.
Decimal outlines A decimal outline is another style where writers implement numbers to indicate a hierarchy of discussed points. For example, decimal forms of representing headings and subheadings serve as hierarchical representations of discussed points.
Short (or Topic) outlines Short or topic outlines are useful in organizing short essays from 1 to 5 pages for about 250-1500 words. Since final papers must not be long or complex, topic outlines can help to start writing or defining points of the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Moreover, during writing essays, unnecessary points may be replaced by others, depending on the researched information.
Extended (or Full Sentence) outlines Using extended sentence outlines are useful in writing essays with a detailed structure or papers from 5 pages. Basically, long papers require a detailed analysis and a lot of information with evidence. In this case, during the analysis and organizing essays or other types of papers, students use sentence structures, not missing the gained information.

Knowing how to write an outline for an essay, research or term paper makes the writing task so much easier to complete.

Outlining Your Story: What Are the Basic Parts of an Essay?

Despite that fact that every essay is original, they all have the same basic structure. Any essay would start with an introduction section, which is followed by at least one body paragraph that supports the points presented in the introduction, and finally, it wraps up with a conclusion that repeats an author’s thesis statement and provides the summary of the body paragraphs.

  • Introduction

The first section of your essay is called the introduction. As this name implies, this is where you introduce the topics you’ll be covering in your essay. It’s also where you state your thesis, the definitive sentence where you make your argument clear. Your essay’s introduction should be concise and quickly hook the reader.

  • Body sections

Your essay might only need two supporting paragraphs, or it could need four or five (or more). Unless your professor assigned a specific number of body paragraphs for your essay, how many of these you write is your call. If you’re supporting your thesis with multiple sources, a general rule to follow is one body paragraph per source cited. However, the type of essay you’re writing might require you to deviate from this. For example, in a compare-and-contrast essay, you’ll write one section (at least one paragraph long) for each comparison and contrast you make. In an analytical essay, you’ll write one body section for each point you make to support your thesis.

  • Conclusion

Once you reach your conclusion, you’re almost there! This is the part of your essay where you wrap it up and summarize the points you made in your body paragraphs. If you have any final thoughts or perspectives you want to impress on your reader before they finish reading your essay, this is where you make them.

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A Typical 5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure

Outlining is an essential part of the writing process, since it helps the author keep in mind all the important details and focus on a paper’s objectives. Below you can see a general 5 paragraph essay outline example. It comprises:

  • Introduction
  1. Statement of the topic.
  2. Thesis statement writing.
  • Body Paragraph 1
  1. Introduction.
  2. Examples.
  3. Explanation.
  4. A conclusion that is connected with the thesis.
  • Body Paragraph 2
  1. Introduction.
  2. Examples.
  3. Explanation.
  4. A conclusion that is connected with the thesis.
  • Body Paragraph 3
  1. Introduction.
  2. Examples.
  3. Explanation.
  4. A conclusion that is connected with the thesis.
  • Conclusion
  1. Summary of the paper.
  2. Restatement of the thesis statement.

How to Write an Essay Outline: The Checklist for an Effective Paper

You can use the following checklist to see if you have got an effective and useful outline:

  1. Does my outline have a structure – main idea, supporting points, conclusion?
  2. Do my supporting points relate back to my main idea?
  3. Do my supporting points have relevant evidence listed (for longer essays or research papers)?
  4. Does my one line explanation for each piece of evidence make sense (for longer essays or research papers)?
  5. Is my outline organised using one order (chronological, spatial, or order of importance)?
  6. Is my outline clear for someone else to read and understand?

Remember, when you’re given an assignment that requires you to write an essay, it’s good to form a habit of writing an outline first. You can write a quick writing prompt outline first and then build it out slowly as you do more research but make sure you hit all the relevant points in the checklist and you’re good to go! However, this task can be difficult to do due to various reasons. In this case, you can always turn to our skilled and talented writers and ask for their assistance.

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A paper outline is what you need to arrange all the information and not miss anything while preparing your piece of writing. Therefore, when you know how to write an essay outline, you compose your papers quicker and better. Outlines help you keep in mind all components of your papers, and become a better writer. There are many essays, and you cannot avoid writing all of them in college or school. Narrative, expository, analytical, persuasive, descriptive essays – the structure is the same but with slight differences, which denote their specifications as well as your knowledge and skills in academic writing. Moreover, being able to write an outline of any academic paper (research paper, term paper, coursework, article, etc.) you enhance your chances of getting a top grade.

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