Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples
How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples
Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 6, 2021.
An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.
Table of contents
Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.
At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.
Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.
Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.
Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.
As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.
Order of information
When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.
Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.
Consider these questions to order your material:
- Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
- Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
- Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?
Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.
In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.
The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.
- Thesis statement
- First piece of evidence
- Second piece of evidence
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.
Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting
Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:
- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency
See an example
Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.
Argumentative essay outline
This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.
Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.
- Importance of the internet
- Concerns about internet use
- Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
- Data exploring this effect
- Analysis indicating it is overstated
- Students’ reading levels over time
- Why this data is questionable
- Video media
- Interactive media
- Speed and simplicity of online research
- Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
- Evidence indicating its ubiquity
- Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
- Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
- Argument that it introduces students to citation
- Summary of key points
- Value of digital education for students
- Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet
Expository essay outline
This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.
The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
- Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
- Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
- Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
- Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
- Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
- Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
- Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
- Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
- Link to the Reformation.
- Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
- Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
- Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
- Summarize the history described.
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.
Literary analysis essay outline
The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .
The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.
- Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
- Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
- Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
- Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
- Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
- Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
- Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
- Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
- Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
- Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
- Answer the research question
- Indicate areas for further study
You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.
Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.
If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.
When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2021, December 06). How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-outline/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to create a structured research paper outline | example, a step-by-step guide to the writing process, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips, what is your plagiarism score.
How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps
An essay outline is essentially an essay’s skeleton. It’s a text representation of an essay’s thesis and key supporting points.
An essay outline serves multiple purposes, including helping its writer organize their thoughts before they start writing, giving readers a quick synopsis of the essay, and acting as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they work through their supporting paragraphs. Writing an essay outline is a fairly straightforward process, and in this blog post, we’ll walk you through it.
Give your essays extra polish Grammarly helps you write with confidence Write with Grammarly
What is an essay outline?
As we mentioned above, an essay outline is a visual representation of an essay. 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 isn’t 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.
Outlining is an important early stage in the writing process . It’s 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.
It’s not uncommon for professors to require their students to submit essay outlines before getting started on their essays. Usually, this is so the professor can make sure each student is on the right track in terms of choosing an essay topic that has a sufficient amount of sources to reference, that it fits the parameters of the assignment, and that the student understands the assignment.
Basic parts of an essay
Although every essay is unique, they all adhere to the same basic essay structure . Every essay starts with an introduction section, follows it with at least one body paragraph that supports the points made in the introduction, then wraps up with a conclusion section that reiterates the author’s thesis and summarizes the body paragraphs.
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.
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.
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.
4 steps for writing an essay outline
So you’re sitting at your desk, ready to write your outline. Great!
…how do you get started?
Just follow these four steps to craft an outline that makes the rest of the writing process simple.
Determine your objective
Think about your thesis statement. You might not have the exact wording at this point, but you should have a general idea of the point you’ll make and defend in your essay. Having a clear objective enables you to work through your brainstorming notes and craft an outline that hits all the necessary points you need to support that objective.
Filter out the fluff
When you brainstormed, you explored every possible avenue to go down in your writing and every potential piece of information to include.
Now it’s time to go through your brainstorming notes and pick out the points that will most effectively achieve your goal for your essay. For each piece of information you jotted down, ask yourself “how does this prove my point?” If you can answer that question with a clear, thoughtful response, add it to your list of points to make in your essay.
Identify the points you’ll make in each paragraph
Using the list of points you wrote down, identify the key arguments you’ll make in your essay. These will be your body sections. For example, in an argumentative essay about why your campus needs to install more water fountains, you might make points like:
- Providing water fountains helps students save money
- Fountains reduce plastic waste
- Readily available water can cut down heat exhaustion incidents
Jot down the facts, anecdotes, and statistics that support each of these arguments. For example, you might cite the number of disposable water bottles recovered from campus grounds last year in your section on how water fountains reduce plastic waste. These supporting points are part of your essay outline.
Write your outline using a standard template
With your key topics and supporting points clearly defined, it’s time to actually write your outline. Using a template for the type of essay you’re writing (more on that in the next section), format your key points into a clear, organized frame that you’ll flesh out with content when you write your first draft.
Essay outline examples
Although every outline follows the same general structure, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when you’re outlining different kinds of essays. Take a look at how these example outlines for various essay types are similar as well as where they differ:
Here is an example outline argumentative essay :
Title: Italian Ice is a Superior Dessert to Ice Cream
- Introduce the differences between Italian ice and ice cream, touch on how popular each is.
- Thesis: Italian ice is a healthier, more refreshing, more environmentally friendly dessert than ice cream.
- Cite the average amount of calories in a serving of Italian ice vs. ice cream
- Cite how Italian ice thus fits more easily into most consumers’ daily caloric allotment
- Discuss the benefits of consuming vegan vs. animal-sourced products
- Discuss how Italian ice is vegan, making it accessible to both vegans and non-vegans and a healthier, more environmentally conscious choice for all
- Because of the lack of dairy, Italian ice is a more refreshing treat than ice cream on a hot day
- Discuss anecdotes about dairy making consumers feel hotter and not refreshed
- Reiterate why Italian ice is a better dessert than ice cream and summarize supporting points.
Take a look at this admissions essay outline:
Title: Arigato, Sato Sensei
- My Japanese teacher was the most influential teacher I had in high school because she taught me more than just a language—she taught me how language shapes perspective.
- Thesis: Choosing to study Japanese in high school changed my perspective on myself, my community, and my role in society
- Discuss how I struggled in Japanese class and wanted to give up
- State how Sato Sensei encouraged me to keep trying instead of changing to another language
- Learning Japanese was more than memorizing vocabulary and copying hiragana and katakana; it’s understanding Japanese cultural perspectives and concepts versus Western ones
- How Japanese language skills enabled me to succeed during my summer abroad
- How I understood cultural nuances through my understanding of the language
- With the perspective I developed as an American student who studied Japanese, I’m well-equipped to succeed as an international business major.
Here’s an example of a persuasive essay outline:
Title: We Need More Security Cameras in the Student Parking Deck
- Vehicle break-ins are far too common on campus
- Thesis: The current level of parking deck security is insufficient
- State car break-in statistics and any related stats, like the average cost of repairs to broken-into vehicles and value of goods stolen
- Discuss the intangible value of increased security with quotes and anecdotes
- Cite statistics on how other campuses reduced break-ins by installing more security cameras
- State the actual cost of installing sufficient security
- Summarize the points made and emphasize how community safety should be a top priority for campus administration. Then, reiterate how more security cameras in the parking deck would improve safety.
Here is an outline example for a personal essay :
Title: The Two Best Birthdays of my Life
- Introducing your feelings about birthdays and how you like to celebrate yours
- Thesis: The two best birthdays of my life were my 17th and 22nd
- I got my driver’s license and drove to my first concert with my best friends
- I still have the ticket stub and wristband from that night
- At first, I thought everybody had forgotten my birthday. I was devastated
- Then, my siblings surprised me by traveling six hours to pick me up and take me to the art exhibit I’d been wanting to see
- My 17th and 22nd birthdays were particularly meaningful because of the points cited above.
- Perhaps finish with a parting thought on looking forward to more great birthday celebrations
Outlining is just one step to great writing
Once you’re finished writing your outline, follow the rest of the writing process steps to complete your essay.
When it’s time to edit your work, Grammarly can help you polish your draft into a perfectly publishable piece of writing. Grammarly catches spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and gives you feedback on all the tones present in your writing to help you make any necessary adjustments to strike a clear, consistent tone that accurately communicates exactly what you need to say.
- Graphic Designers
- Editing Services
- Academic Editing Services
- Admissions Editing Services
- Admissions Essay Editing Services
- APA Style Editing Services
- Application Essay Editing Services
- Book Editing Services
- Business Editing Services
- Capstone Paper Editing Services
- Children's Book Editing Services
- College Application Editing Services
- Comprehensive Editing Services
- Content Editing Services
- Copy Editing Services
- Cover Letter Editing Services
- Developmental Editing Services
- Dissertation Editing Services
- eBook Editing Services
- English Editing Services
- Essay Editing Services
- Fiction Editing Services
- Journal Article Editing Services
- Legal Editing Services
- Letter Editing Services
- Line Editing Services
- Literary Editing Services
- Manuscript Editing Services
- Medical Editing Services
- MLA Style Editing Services
- Nonfiction Editing Services
- Novel Editing Services
- Paper Editing Services
- Personal Statement Editing Services
- Proposal Editing Services
- Report Editing Services
- Research Paper Editing Services
- Résumé Editing Services
- Scientific Editing Services
- Short Story Editing Services
- Statement of Purpose Editing Services
- Story Editing Services
- Structural Editing Services
- Substantive Editing Services
- Technical Editing Services
- Thesis Editing Services
- Website Content Editing Services
- Proofreading Services
- Academic Proofreading Services
- Admissions Proofreading Services
- Admissions Essay Proofreading Services
- APA Style Proofreading Services
- Application Essay Proofreading Services
- Book Proofreading Services
- Business Proofreading Services
- Children's Book Proofreading Services
- College Application Proofreading Services
- Dissertation Proofreading Services
- eBook Proofreading Services
- English Proofreading Services
- Essay Proofreading Services
- Fiction Proofreading Services
- Legal Proofreading Services
- Letter Proofreading Services
- Literary Proofreading Services
- Manuscript Proofreading Services
- Nonfiction Proofreading Services
- Novel Proofreading Services
- Paper Proofreading Services
- Personal Statement Proofreading Services
- Proposal Proofreading Services
- Statement of Purpose Proofreading Services
- Thesis Proofreading Services
- Website Content Proofreading Services
- Translation Services
- Chinese Translation Services
- French Translation Services
- Italian Translation Services
- Spanish Translation Services
- Graphic Design Services
- Writing Services
- Blog Writing Services
- Content Writing Services
- Copy Writing Services
- Cover Letter Writing Services
- Curriculum Vitae Writing Services
- Dating Profile Writing Services
- LinkedIn® Profile Writing Services
- Match.com® Profile Writing Services
- Résumé Writing Services
- SEO Writing Services
- Website Content Writing Services
Please enter the email address you used for your account. Your sign in information will be sent to your email address after it has been verified.
4 Essay Outline Templates That Will Simplify Your Writing Process
Have you ever put together a piece of furniture (or maybe stood by and watched someone else do it)? The task was made a lot easier thanks to the instructions that came in the box. The piece of furniture didn't exactly build itself just because it came with instructions, but without these instructions the task would be nearly impossible to complete.
You can think of an outline for your essay kind of like a set of instructions. Although you still have to put in quite a bit of effort while you're building/writing it, the instructions will help guide you through the entire process so that you don't have to go in there completely blind.
An essay outline is especially helpful for those who are novice writers, but even the old pros use outlines. The prolific William Faulkner was known to use an outline, and he wrote a timeline out for his novel A Fable on his office walls , which can be still seen on display at his home Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi. Now we're not advocating for anyone to write on their walls (sorry to all the moms out there!), but his method was effective because he was able to visualize his timeline and organize his writing around it.
When you are assigned an essay, you might be tempted to wait until the last minute and just write something out really quickly. But without a concrete plan or knowing what it is that you're going to say, you might find yourself hovering over a computer with a blank page and a blinking cursor in the middle of the night. Nobody wants to be in that position, so let's aim to plan ahead, shall we?
Why you should use an outline for everything you write
Have you ever heard the phrase "great ideas take time"? No amazing writer in the history of the universe just started typing one day and then had his or her writing magically turned into a book. Great writing requires great planning. Even if a writer didn't physically write down her timeline, she had a general idea of what she was going to write about before she started typing. Of course, there is such a thing as being inspired and acting on that inspiration (but let's be honest, your history essay isn't probably going to spark that kind of creativity in you).
So, because we are writing a very structured piece with a somewhat predictable layout, it's always best to use an outline. After you do your required research for your topic, an outline will help you to keep all of the points you want to make organized so that you don't skip any important pieces of information and so you can stay on track.
How do you write an outline?
The beauty of an outline is that no one will be seeing your outline — unless, of course, your teacher is making you turn it in beforehand so that he or she can review it before you turn in your paper. However, even if your teacher is reviewing the outline before you turn in your essay, it's doubtful that he or she will grade too harshly on how you organize your thoughts. The main idea is that your teacher wants to see that you're putting in some thought before you write the essay.
Because there's not as much pressure to make an outline sound "nice" and be grammatically correct, you can get out your thoughts quicker and easier. You can use a piece of scratch paper for an outline and just jot down a few points or you can get really intricate by creating a writing outline on the computer. Whatever way you want to write your outline is fine — just make sure you're doing it. Generally, in an outline you will need to have an idea of what your thesis statement will be, how your body paragraphs will support your thesis statement, and how you are going to wrap everything up in a conclusion at the end.
Still a little unsure of how to start? We've provided some examples below of what an outline will look like for a few different types of essays. Remember that these outlines are just samples. They aren't necessarily something set in stone that you can't adapt for your particular assignment or idea.
The argumentative essay
The argumentative essay is as old as writing is. The idea of an argumentative is — you guessed it — to establish an argument and provide evidence of why your claim is correct . You will collect evidence in defense of your argument and evaluate it.
Here is a sample of what an argumentative essay outline might look like:
- General background information about your topic
- Thesis statement
- Supporting fact
- Your response to this claim
- Reiterate arguments made in thesis statement
- Why this essay matters (ideas for future research, why it's especially relevant now, possible applications, etc.)
Expository essay outline
Expository essays often get confused with argumentative essays, but the main difference is that the writer's opinions and emotions are completely left out of an expository essay. The objective of an expository essay is to investigate a topic and present an argument in an unbiased way, but to still arrive at a conclusion. Because of this subtle difference, it's important to have a solid outline to get you started on your writing.
- The presentation of the topic
- Your thesis statement
- Supporting evidence
- Transition sentence
- Reiterate the points with an overview of the main points you discussed throughout the paper.
- Offer solutions, insight into why this topic matters, and what future topics could be expanded upon in a future paper.
Reflective essay outline
Reflective papers are a fun exercise where you get to write about a particular experience in your life and to discuss what lessons you learned from it. First-person essays are a really popular genre right now and are designed to make people from all different backgrounds reflect on a common human experience like receiving your first kiss, failing at something, or triumphing over obstacles. Because reflective essays are a little bit less rigid writing than a traditional classroom essay, the structure is definitely not set in stone. Feel free to play around with what makes sense for your particular story and experience.
- A really great hook that will have the audience want to keep reading on (an example from the great writer David Sedaris , I always told myself that when I hit fifty I was going to discover opera, not just casually but full force: studying the composers, learning Italian, maybe even buying a cape.
- A brief little tease of what the story is going to be about. You'll probably need one to two sentences tops.
- What happened initially?
- Who were the key players?
- What obstacle did you have to overcome?
- Describe the obstacle/problem in more detail
- What role did the key players have?
- What happened at the end?
- Was everything tied up neatly or not?
- Summary of the events
- What lesson did you learn? Or, maybe, what was the lesson you learned much later on in life?
Compare and contrast essay outline
We compare and contrast things all the time in "real" life. We analyze what kind of healthcare plan we want, what major to pick, what phone we want, what career we want to pursue, etc. Having the skills to analyze two (or more) items and discovering what the facts are about them so that you can make an educated decision on which to pick are pretty crucial.
A compare and contrast essay gives us the building blocks to understand how to make these decisions with real-life applications — and they can be pretty fun too. Although these compare and contrast essays don't have as complicated of a structure as an expository or an argumentative essay, it's still important to plan out how you're going to tackle this type of essay. Here's an idea of what a compare and contrast outline might look like:
- A brief introduction to the topic and what Point A and Point B are
- Your thesis statement (which will contain some sort of equivalence or dissonance between Point A and Point B)
- Claim 1 about Point A
- Claim 2 about Point A
- Claim 3 about Point A
- Claim 1 about Point B
- Claim 2 about Point B
- Claim 3 about Point B
- What is similar between these two points?
- What is dissimilar?
- What comparisons can be made?
- What conclusions can we draw about comparing these two points?
- Any further research required or suggested for the future?
- Is there a third thing that we should be comparing these two points to?
Need help with your outline?
If after reviewing these guidelines or examining these sample outlines you're still a little bit unsure about how to incorporate an outline into your particular essay, be sure to ask your instructor for more guidance.
And, if you need another pair of eyes to look over your paper after it's been written, be sure to check out the services of our professional editors. Our expert editors can help you to polish up your paper, ensure that all of your citations have been made according to the style guide, and give you direction if the essay needs to be revised or rearranged in any way.
Everything You Need To Know About Footnotes
Writing Effective Research Paper Titles: Advice and Examples
- Academic Writing Advice
- All Blog Posts
- Writing Advice
- Admissions Writing Advice
- Book Writing Advice
- Short Story Advice
- Employment Writing Advice
- Business Writing Advice
- Web Content Advice
- Article Writing Advice
- Magazine Writing Advice
- Grammar Advice
- Dialect Advice
- Editing Advice
- Freelance Advice
- Legal Writing Advice
- Poetry Advice
- Graphic Design Advice
- Logo Design Advice
- Translation Advice
- Blog Reviews
- Short Story Award Winners
- Scholarship Winners
Need an academic editor before submitting your work?
English Composition 1
Creating an outline for an essay.
Most analytical, interpretive, or persuasive essays tend to follow the same basic pattern. This page should help you formulate effective outlines for most of the essays that you will write.
1. Sentence to get the attention of your readers:
2. One-sentence thesis statement:
1. First main idea:
a. Supporting evidence for the first idea:
b. Supporting evidence for the first idea:
c. Supporting evidence for the first idea:
2. Second main idea:
a. Supporting evidence for second main idea:
b. Supporting evidence for second main idea:
c. Supporting evidence for second main idea:
3. Third main idea:
a. Supporting evidence for third main idea:
b. Supporting evidence for third main idea:
c. Supporting evidence for third main idea:
1. Restatement of your thesis:
2. Insightful sentence to end your essay:
Copyright Randy Rambo , 2019.
Short essay outline
Create an outline for a five-paragraph essay using this short essay outline template. This example of a short essay outline includes sections for introduction, three main points, and a conclusion. This is an accessible essay outline template for Word.
More templates like this
Find inspiration for your next project with thousands of ideas to choose from
Animation and 3D
Back to school
Bids and quotes
Blank and general
Food and nutrition
Fun and games
Health and fitness
Papers and reports
Planners and trackers
Profit and loss
Resumes and cover letters
Essay Writing Guide
Last updated on: Feb 8, 2023
A Complete Essay Outline - Guidelines and Format
By: Nova A.
11 min read
Reviewed By: Melisa C.
Published on: Jan 15, 2019
To write an effective essay, you need to create a clear and well-organized essay outline. An essay outline will shape the essay’s entire content and determine how successful the essay will be.
In this blog post, we'll be going over the basics of essay outlines and provide a template for you to follow. We will also include a few examples so that you can get an idea about how these outlines look when they are put into practice.
Essay writing is not easy, but it becomes much easier with time, practice, and a detailed essay writing guide. Once you have developed your outline, everything else will come together more smoothly.
The key to success in any area is preparation - take the time now to develop a solid outline and then write your essays!
To know how to craft an essay outline quickly, give this article a thorough read.
On this Page
What is an Essay Outline?
An essay outline is your essay plan and a roadmap to essay writing. It is the structure of an essay you are about to write. It includes all the main points you have to discuss in each section along with the thesis statement.
Like every house has a map before it is constructed, the same is the importance of an essay outline. You can write an essay without crafting an outline, but you may miss essential information, and it is more time-consuming.
Once the outline is created, there is no chance of missing any important information. Also, it will help you to:
- Organize your thoughts and ideas.
- Understand the information flow.
- Never miss any crucial information or reference.
- Finish your work faster.
These are the reasons if someone asks you why an essay outline is needed. Now there are some points that must be kept in mind before proceeding to craft an essay outline.
Prewriting Process of Essay Outline
Your teacher may ask you to submit your essay outline before your essay. Therefore, you must know the preliminary guidelines that are necessary before writing an essay outline.
Here are the guidelines:
- You must go through your assignments’ guidelines carefully.
- Understand the purpose of your assignment.
- Know your audience.
- Mark the important point while researching your topic data.
- Select the structure of your essay outline; whether you are going to use a decimal point bullet or a simple one.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
Essay Outline Format
It is an easy way for you to write your thoughts in an organized manner. It may seem unnecessary and unimportant, but it is not.
It is one of the most crucial steps for essay writing as it shapes your entire essay and aids the writing process.
An essay outline consists of three main parts:
The introduction body of your essay should be attention-grabbing. It should be written in such a manner that it attracts the reader’s interest. It should also provide background information about the topic for the readers.
You can use a dramatic tone to grab readers’ attention, but it should connect the audience to your thesis statement.
Here are some points without which your introduction paragraph is incomplete.
To attract the reader with the first few opening lines, we use a hook statement. It helps engage the reader and motivates them to read further. There are different types of hook sentences ranging from quotes, rhetorical questions to anecdotes and statistics, and much more.
To learn more about them, here is a detailed blog on hook examples .
A thesis statement is stated at the end of your introduction. It is the most important statement of your entire essay. It summarizes the purpose of the essay into one sentence.
The thesis statement tells the readers about the main theme of the essay, and it must be strong and clear. It holds the entire crux of your essay.
2. Body Paragraphs
The thesis statement is written in the introduction but justified in the body of an essay. Body paragraphs include all the important information about your essay. Also, explain the topic with supporting evidence and write full sentences.
If you are writing a persuasive essay, the content mentioned in your body paragraphs will persuade your audience. In the same way, if you are writing an argumentative essay, the body paragraphs of your essay will convince your audience towards your point of view.
Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and no more than one idea. A topic sentence is the crux of the contents of your paragraph. It is essential to keep your reader interested in the essay.
The topic sentence is followed by the supporting points and opinions, which are then justified with strong evidence.
Always end your essay with a strong conclusion. Your conclusion should be influential enough to give closure to your topic. The essay’s conclusion is as important as the introduction, and body paragraphs are. A clear flow of information from the introduction to the body and then to the conclusion paragraphs makes a coherent paper.
Summarize all the points of your essay discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs. The conclusion must be based on the facts discussed earlier in these paragraphs.
The conclusion should not be lengthy. It should restate the thesis statement of an essay and its supporting points. Keep the conclusion sentences short but powerful. It is always better to end the essay by suggesting some course of action.
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure
An outline is an essential part of the writing as it helps the writer stay focused. A typical 5 paragraph essay outline example is shown here. This includes:
- State the topic
- Thesis statement
- A conclusion that ties to the thesis
- Summary of the essay
- Restate the thesis statement
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
Essay Outline Template
The outline of the essay is the skeleton that you will fill out with the content. Both outline and relevant content are important for a good essay. The content you will add to flesh out the outline should be credible, relevant, and interesting.
The outline structure for the essay is not complex or difficult. No matter which type of essay you write, you either use an alphanumeric structure or decimal structure for outline.
Below is an outline sample that you can easily follow for your essay.
Essay Outline Sample
Essay Outline Examples
An essay outline template should follow when you start writing the essay. Every writer should learn how to write an outline for every type of essay and research paper.
The essay outline is the same for all essays. However, it can differ according to the parameters set forth by your instructor.
Given below are essay outline examples for different types of essay writing.
Argumentative Essay Outline
An argumentative essay is a type of essay that shows both sides of the topic that you are exploring. The argument that presents the basis of the essay should be created by providing evidence and supporting details.
Take a look at this argumentative essay outline, get an idea, and write a perfect outline.
Persuasive Essay Outline
A persuasive essay is similar to an argumentative essay. Your job is to provide facts and details to create the argument. In a persuasive essay, you convince your readers of your point of view.
However, if you don’t know how to write a persuasive essay outline, take help from this sample.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
A compare and contrast essay explains the similarities and differences between two things. While comparing, you should focus on the differences between two seemingly similar objects. While contrasting, you should focus on the similarities between two different objects.
Here is a compare and contrast essay outline sample for your help.
Narrative Essay Outline
A narrative essay is written to share a story. Normally, a narrative essay is written from a personal point of view in an essay. The basic purpose of the narrative essay is to describe something creatively.
Therefore, create the outline for the narrative essay with the help of the below-mentioned sample.
Expository Essay Outline
An expository essay is a type of essay that explains, analyzes, and illustrates something for the readers. An expository essay should be unbiased and entirely based on facts. Be sure to use academic resources for your research and cite your sources.
For an expository essay outline, you can easily take help from the below-mentioned sample.
Analytical Essay Outline
An analytical essay is written to analyze the topic from a critical point of view. An analytical essay breaks down the content into different parts and explains the topic bit by bit.
Check this analytical essay outline sample and get help from them.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
A rhetorical essay is written to examine the writer or artist’s work and develop a great essay. It also includes the discussion.
We collected a rhetorical analysis essay outline sample that you should follow for your essay.
Cause and Effect Essay Outline
A cause and effect essay describes why something happens and examines the consequences of an occurrence or phenomenon. It is also a type of expository essay.
For your help, we gathered a sample that will help you in writing the great outline.
Informative Essay Outline
An informative essay is written to inform the audience about different objects, concepts, people, issues, etc.
The main purpose is to respond to the question with a detailed explanation and inform the target audience about the topic.
Check this sample outline and write a perfect one for your informative essay.
Synthesis Essay Outline
A synthesis essay requires the writer to describe a certain unique viewpoint about the issue or topic. Create a claim about the topic and use different sources and information to prove it.
Here is an outline sample for your ease.
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
A literary analysis essay is written to analyze and examine a novel, book, play, or any other piece of literature. The writer analyzes the different devices such as the ideas, characters, plot, theme, tone, etc., to deliver his message.
Look at this sample and get an idea of the perfect essay outline.
Definition Essay Outline
A definition essay requires students to pick a particular concept, term, or idea and define it in their own words and according to their understanding.
Below is an outline sample that helps in your writing phase.
Descriptive Essay Outline
A descriptive essay is a type of essay written to describe a person, place, object, or event. The writer must describe the topic so that the reader can visualize it using their five senses.
Take help from the below-mentioned sample and write a great descriptive essay.
Evaluation Essay Outline
Evaluation essay is written to judge a specific topic according to the critiques provided. Here's an evaluation essay outline to craft a better essay.
Problem Solution Essay Outline
In a problem-solution essay, you are given a problem as a topic and you have to suggest multiple solutions on it.
Check out this problem solution essay outline example.
Scholarship Essay Outline
A scholarship essay is required at the time of admission when you are applying for a scholarship. Scholarship essays must be written in a way that should stand alone to help you get a scholarship.
Here's a scholarship essay outline for your consideration.
Reflective Essay Outline
A Reflective essay is written to express your own thoughts and point of view regarding a specific topic.
Below is a reflective essay outline to craft an amazing essay.
With this complete guide, now you understand how to create an outline for your essay successfully. However, if you still can’t write an effective essay, then the best option is to consult a professional academic writing service.
Essay writing is a dull and boring task for some people. So why not get some help instead of wasting your time and effort? 5StarEssays.com is here to help you. All your do my essay for me? requests are managed by professional essay writers.
Place your order now , and our team of expert academic writers will help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three types of outlines.
Here are the three types of essay outline;
- Working outline
- Speaking outline
- Full-sentence outline
All three types are different from each other and are used for different purposes.
What does a full-sentence outline look like?
A full sentence outline contains full sentences at each level of the essay’s outline. It is similar to an alphanumeric outline and it is a commonly used essay outline.
What is a traditional outline format?
A traditional essay outline begins with writing down all the important points in one place and listing them down and adding sub-topics to them. Besides, it will also include evidence and proof that you will use to back your arguments.
What is the benefit of using a traditional outline format and an informal outline format?
A traditional outline format helps the students in listing down all the important details in one palace while an informal outline will help you coming up with new ideas and highlighting important points
As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.
Was This Blog Helpful?
- How to Write an Essay - A Complete Guide with Examples
- Interesting Thesis Statement Examples for Your Essay
- Writing a 500 Word Essay - Easy Guide
- What is a Topic Sentence – Easy Guide with Examples
- 100 Best Transition Words for Essays
- Essay Format: Detailed Writing Tips & Examples
- How to Write a Conclusion - Examples & Tips
- Essay Topics: 100+ Best Essay Topics for your Guidance
- How to Title An Essay in 5 Minutes
- How to Write a Perfect 1000 Word Essay
- How To Make An Essay Longer - Easy Guide For Beginners
- Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively with Easy Guidelines
- Types of Sentences With Examples
- Hook Examples: How to Start Your Essay Effectively
- Essay Writing Tips - 10+ Essential Tips and Techniques
- Thesis Statement - A Detailed Writing Guide & Examples
- Art Topics - Brilliant Ideas to Begin With
- Writing Conventions and Tips for College Students
People Also Read
- definition essay topics
- illustration essay writing
- descriptive essay outline
- graduation essay
- argumentative essay characteristics
Burdened With Assignments?
© 2023 - All rights reserved
2000+ SATISFIED STUDENTS
95% Satisfaction RATE
30 Days Money-back GUARANTEE
95% Success RATE
© 2022 5StarEssays.com. All rights reserved.
LOGIN TO YOUR ACCOUNT
SIGN UP TO YOUR ACCOUNT
- Your phone no.
- Password Password must be minimum 8 characters.
- Confirm Password
- SEND PASSWORD
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
How to Write a Perfect Essay Outline
You can’t write an essay without outlining. Fine, you can do that if a low grade is okay for you to get. But those willing to craft a paper that’s worth A+ will need to create an essay outline and organize their research in one place before writing.
This guide is here to help you:
- understand what is a paper outline,
- learn how to write an essay outline,
- get outline examples and templates to use when crafting yours.
So, let’s a research essay outline journey begin!
Table of Contents:
- What is an essay outline?
- Key parts of an essay
- Outline format
- Persuasive essay outline example
- Narrative essay outline example
- Expository essay outline example
- Research essay outline example
- What to do before outlining
- Choose an essay outline structure
- Organize your outline
- It’s a wrap!
What is an Essay Outline?
As you’ve already guessed it, an essay outline is a short plan of your research paper. Here you write down the main idea of your essay and structurize all arguments into paragraphs to make sure you won’t miss anything while writing.
Sure enough, you can write an essay without outlining it. But it will be challenging to do. Outlining is an essential part of the writing process, and all authors do it for their works to impress readers.
Here’s why you need an essay outline :
- It will help you organize thoughts: when you research the data for your essay, you get tons of information that’s hard to remember.
- You’ll understand the information flow and will be able to structurize it accordingly.
- It will help you not to miss anything while writing your essay because you’ll have a ready manuscript of your paper.
That said, an outline will help you write academic works better and faster. And while our writers are always here to help to write my essay , it can’t hurt to learn how to write an outline for an essay by your own, right?
How to Write an Essay Outline
While college essay types are many, the common structure for most of them is five-paragraph. Each essay needs Introduction, Body (paragraphs with arguments), and Conclusion; so, a general format of your essay outline will include all these components.
Outlining your essay, keep write my term paper in mind so you wouldn’t miss any arguments, evidence, and examples while writing.
So, let’s do this!
Key Parts of an Essay
Put them all into your essay outline:
- Introduction. Here you’ll mention the topic of your essay and its thesis. As you know, essays can’t live without a thesis; so, a thesis statement in your outline will help you support it in each paragraph of your essay body.
- Body paragraphs. There will be a minimum three paragraphs in your essay’s body, so make sure to include each one in the outline. For each paragraph, write down a topic sentence with an argument relating to your thesis and mention all the support: data, facts, examples, and other evidence you’ll use to prove the topic sentence of this paragraph.
- Conclusion. Wrap up your essay here. Restate your thesis and summarize the goal of your paper.
In general, your essay outline will look like this:
Essay Outline: General
a) Introduce a topic b) State a thesis
II. Body. Paragraph-1
a) Write a topic sentence (the argument for your thesis) b) Support this argument: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis
III. Body. Paragraph-2
a) Write a topic sentence (another argument for your thesis) b) Support this argument: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis
IV. Body. Paragraph-3
a) Write a topic sentence (another argument for your thesis, or a counterargument) b) Support this argument, or explain why the counterargument doesn’t work: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis
a) Summarize all main points b) Restate your thesis c) Add a call to action: what you want readers to do after reading your essay
As a rule, students use the linear style when formatting their essay outlines. It means they rank arguments in order of their importance – from major to minor ones.
Remember: your research essay outline doesn’t have to include the complete sentences. It’s only an outline, so feel free to format arguments and evidence the way it seems most comfortable and understandable for you. Just make sure it’s visually clear and allows you to see if some sections are repetitive or redundant. It will help to avoid duplications in your essay maker .
Another point to consider:
While you are familiar with a given essay topic, it doesn’t mean your readers are. So format your outline accordingly: assume that some people know nothing about it when preparing arguments and arranging them in a logical order.
Essay Outline Template
Templates can help you get a better idea of essay outlining. It’s a great way to organize thoughts and determine the order in which you’ll represent them to readers. So, make a list of the sections in your paper and fill in the corresponding example, depending on your essay type.
Persuasive Essay Outline Example
To create an outline for such an essay, consider the following example:
Taken from: TeacherVision.com
Narrative Essay Outline Example
For narrative essays, outlines like this one will work well:
Expository Essay Outline Example
What about this example for your essay outline?
Research Essay Outline Example
Taken from: Austincc.edu
How to Make an Outline: the Process
As a rule, the only detail bothering those asking how to make an outline for an essay is the process itself. Students understand that an essay outline needs to specify all the main points and arguments of their future paper, but they still find it challenging to create.
More than that, professors may ask you to submit an essay outline for their review. That’s why the skills of planning your papers will come in handy anyway. To learn the secrets of effective outline writing, you’ll need to know what to do before outlining, what essay outline structure to choose for your work, and how to organize your outline so it would be as informative as possible.
Here’s how to outline an essay:
What to Do Before Outlining
First and foremost, read your writing assignment carefully. Make sure you understand what essay type you need to write, how many arguments to use (except as noted), and how long your essay needs to be.
Answer the question , “What’s the purpose of your essay?” Do you want to inform readers, persuade, or just entertain them? Depending on the goal, you’ll know what thesis to consider, what writing techniques to use, and how to visualize research in your paper.
Identify the audience. Yes, it’s a teacher who reads and evaluates your work; but whom do you want to read your essay ? Do you write for classmates? Strangers? What do they know about your topic? Would they agree with your thesis? How might they react to your information?
Depending on that, you’ll understand what arguments might work for your essay. It will also help you decide on resources to use for research and evidence to choose for your arguments. Consider credible sources such as Google Scholar or Oxford Academic to find references for your essay; take notes of them to use in your outline.
State your thesis so you could see what topic sentences to outline for your essay. A thesis needs to be arguable and provide enough details to hook readers so they would get them emotionally involved in your writing.
Once a thesis is ready, start structuring your essay outline.
Choose an Essay Outline Structure
From the above templates and examples, you’ve got a general idea of the basic structure for your essay outline. We used a standard alphanumeric structure there, but you can also use a decimal one for your outline to show how your ideas are related. Just compare:
An alphanumeric outline is the most common one, but you are welcome to use a decimal outline structure if it seems clearer and more comfortable for you. Also, feel free to use complete sentences or just brief phrases for each section of your essay outline.
However, if you need to submit it to a professor for a review, use sentences. It will help him understand the arguments and evidence you are going to use in your essay.
Organize Your Outline
Now it’s time to fill in each section of your essay outline. For those lazy to read, here goes a short video:
For all others, start with outlining your introduction . Write a sentence about your topic and introduce your thesis. You can also mention an essay hook here – a sentence you’ll use to make the audience interested in reading your work.
Outline your essay body : write down a topic sentence for each paragraph, provide supporting evidence you’ll use when writing, and mention how they’ll relate to the topic and your thesis. The more details you outline, the easier it will be to organize all the thoughts while writing.
Also, you can write a transition sentence for each paragraph so it would be faster to structure and band all arguments.
Finally, outline your essay conclusion . Restate your thesis and write a concluding statement, aka a sentence addressing the importance of your thesis and proposing solutions to the problem you addressed in the essay.
It’s a Wrap!
Essays are many, and you need to write all of them in school and college. Persuasive, expository, narrative – their basic structure is the same but with tiny differences identifying their specifications and your knowledge of academic writing. Understanding those differences and outlining your writings accordingly is your chance to craft perfect works that get high grades.
An essay outline is what you need to organize the information and not miss anything while writing. When you know how to write an essay outline, you create papers better and faster. You keep in mind all essay components. You develop critical thinking. And you become a better writer.
Our Writing Guides
21 thoughts on “ how to write a perfect essay outline ”.
No doubt, the essay outline is one of the most important things. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you very much
Please help me answer this question. What is the thesis statement in this sentence.”the characters I do not appreciate about my teachers”
What if you do research on a lot of things but you have all the same facts about them? Like I am doing an essay on 23 constellations. Do I write down the name of every constellation in the outline and add the facts underneath each of the 23? Or do I just write “Constellation” and add each fact that I will have written for each individual constellation? Example: I. Introduction A. Thesis Statement B. Next explanatory paragraph C. Extra paragraph II. Constellation A. Name 1. Translation 2. Pronunciation 3. Background story B. Description C. Rank in size D. The astronomer who introduced it E. Location F. Significant stars or star clusters
Do I need to do the second part for all 23 constellations (only adding the name of each constellation beforehand.) I feel like that would be a waste of time since I would mostly just be copying and pasting but I am getting graded on the outline so if anybody could help me that would be rad. I know my question is pretty hard to understand but I did my best. Thank you!
Thanks for your question, AJ!
As far as you write an essay outline for yourself (to make the process of essay writing easier), feel free to organize it accordingly. If you are going to describe all 23 constellations in detail (like you introduced in your comment), feel free to add each to your essay outline. If you are going to write about all 23 in general, with no details to each, there will be no need to add all those A, B, C, D, F… for every constellation to your essay outline.
I hope you’ve got the point 🙂
Thank you i think this will help me a lot
Helped me get through my essay correctly and lot faster!
I read your blog and got interesting facts about this topic, thank you!
This contained everything one needs to know when making an outline.
I find this really helpful Thanks 😊
Which of these outlines whould be the best for and SAT essay?
As far as the SAT essay is argumentative now and it asks you to analyze another essay (feel free to check our guide on SAT essays for more information), I think that the outline of a research essay could be the best option.
Thank you so much.I found this helpful.
Thank you for your helpful thought about how we can outline our essays.
thanks for sharing, with outlne everything will be easy to organize writing idea.
Thanks for sharing , I found this helpful. With the outline I learned how to organize writing idea.
I think these examples of essays outlines are good for students start to pay attention to because it will make essays easier. Your articles contain prompts and tips in writing essays and other kinds of papers, thanks!
That was a great outline that students should follow :))
how can I provide an outline to an argumentative essay (academic )for Tefl master (teaching English as a foreign language)?
First of all I would like to say that it’s a terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
- Sign Up Individual School
How to Write an Essay Outline with Examples
Why Write an Essay Outline?
An essay outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. In some cases, a decimal outline may allow you to organize your details better. Writing an outline with an alphanumeric structure is another very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay. It also helps you develop a strong argumentative essay.
Looking for a printable list of essay outline examples?
Our printable PDF features essay outline examples and templates that your students can use as examples when writing research papers, or as a supplement for an essay-writing unit.
Sample Outline - Persuasive Essay
Competitive Swimming, an Ideal Sport for Kids
Start your argumentative essay outline by stating your point of view and/or present your persuasive argument.
Thesis: Competitive swimming is a great alternative to other youth sports.
Body Paragraph 1
Introduce your primary persuasive argument and provide supporting details in your argumentative essay outline.
Topic Sentence: Competitive swimming provides the same benefits as other sports.
- Detail Sentence 1: It is good exercise and builds muscular strength.
- Detail Sentence 2: It promotes cooperation among team members, especially in relays.
Body Paragraph 2
Introduce a secondary argument and provide supporting details.
Topic Sentence: Competitive swimming provides some unique additional benefits.
- Detail Sentence 1: Swimming is an important skill that can be used forever.
- Detail Sentence 2: Swimming poses a reduced risk of injury.
- Detail Sentence 3: Each swimmer can easily chart his or her own progress.
Conclude your essay writing with a summary of the thesis and persuasive arguments. Brainstorming details that support your point-of-view is a great way to start before creating your outline and first draft.
Concluding Sentence: There are many reasons why competitive swimming is a great alternative to other youth sports, including...
Sample Outline - Narrative Essay
How Losing a Swim Meet Made Me a Better Swimmer
Introduce the subject of your narrative essay using a thesis statement and a plan of development (POD).
Thesis: The first time I participated in a competitive swim meet, I finished in last place. With more focused training and coaching, I was able to finish 2nd in the State Championship meet.
Plan of development: I was very disappointed in my results from the first meet, so I improved my training and fitness. This helped me swim better and faster, which helped me to greatly improve my results.
Set the scene and provide supporting details. Again, start by brainstorming different ways to begin; then go ahead and craft an outline and a first draft.
Topic Sentence: I was embarrassed at finishing last in my first competitive swim meet, so I began working on ways to improve my performance.
- Detail Sentence 1: I spent extra time with my coach and the team captains learning how to improve my technique.
- Detail Sentence 2: I started running and lifting weights to increase my overall fitness level.
Provide additional supporting details, descriptions, and experiences to develop your general idea in your essay writing.
Topic Sentence: Over time, my results began to improve and I was able to qualify for the state championship meet.
- Detail Sentence 1: My technique and fitness level made me faster and able to swim longer distances.
- Detail Sentence 2: I steadily got better, and I began winning or placing in the top 3 at most of my meets.
- Detail Sentence 3: My results improved to the point that I was able to qualify for the state championship meet.
Body Paragraph 3
The next step in the writing process is to provide additional supporting details, descriptions, and experiences. You can then divide them up under different headings.
Topic Sentence: With my new confidence, techniques, and fitness level, I was able to finish 2nd at the state championship meet.
- Detail Sentence 1: I was able to swim well against a higher level of competition due to my training and technique.
- Detail Sentence 2: I was no longer embarrassed about my last-place finish, and was able to use it as motivation!
Conclude the narrative essay with a recap of the events described or a reflection on the lesson learned in the story. Briefly summarize the details you included under each heading.
Concluding Sentence: I used my last-place finish in my first competitive swim meet as motivation to improve my performance.
Sample Outline - Descriptive Essay
Visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame
Introduce the subject of your descriptive essay with a thesis statement covering the person, place, object, etc. you are writing about.
Thesis: The Hockey Hall of Fame is full of sights, sounds, and experiences that will delight hockey fans of all ages.
Set the scene and provide factual details.
Topic Sentence: The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in Toronto, Canada and features exhibits from amateur and professional hockey.
- Detail Sentence 1: The Hall is located in downtown Toronto and is visited by 1 million people every year.
- Detail Sentence 2: You can see exhibits ranging from the early beginnings of the sport to the modern NHL and Olympics.
Provide additional sensory details, descriptions, and experiences.
Topic Sentence: There are many types of exhibits and shows, including activities you can participate in.
- Detail Sentence 1: Player statues, plaques, and jerseys decorate the walls in every room of the Hall.
- Detail Sentence 2: Many of the exhibits have movies and multimedia activities that make you feel like you're part of the game.
- Detail Sentence 3: You can even practice shooting pucks on virtual versions of some of the game's greatest goalies!
Conclude the essay with a paragraph that restates the thesis and recaps the descriptive and sensory details.
Concluding Sentence: The Hockey Hall of Fame is an experience that combines the best sights, sounds and history of the game in Toronto.
Sample Outline - Expository Essay
Why The School Year Should be Shorter
Introduce the primary argument or main point of an expository essay, or other types of academic writing, using a thesis statement and context.
Thesis: The school year is too long, and should be shortened to benefit students and teachers, save districts money, and improve test scores and academic results. Other countries have shorter school years, and achieve better results.
Describe the primary argument and provide supporting details and evidence.
Topic Sentence: A shorter school year would benefit students and teachers by giving them more time off.
- Detail Sentence 1: Students and teachers would be able to spend more time with their families.
- Detail Sentence 2: Teachers would be refreshed and rejuvenated and able to teach more effectively.
Provide additional supporting details and evidence, as in this essay outline example.
Topic Sentence: A shorter school year would save school districts millions of dollars per year.
- Detail Sentence 1: Districts could save money on energy costs by keeping schools closed longer.
- Detail Sentence 2: A shorter school year means much lower supply and transportation costs.
- Detail Sentence 3: Well-rested and happy students would help improve test scores.
Provide additional or supplemental supporting details, evidence, and analysis, as in the essay outline example.
Topic Sentence: Shortening the school year would also provide many benefits for parents and caregivers.
- Detail Sentence 1: A shorter school year would mean less stress and running around for parents.
- Detail Sentence 2: Caregivers would have more balance in their lives with fewer days in the school year.
Conclude the essay with an overview of the main argument, and highlight the importance of your evidence and conclusion.
Concluding Sentence: Shortening the school year would be a great way to improve the quality of life for students, teachers, and parents while saving money for districts and improving academic results.
Sample Research Paper Outline
The Conquest of Mt. Everest
- Location of Mt. Everest
- Geography of the Surrounding Area
- Height of the mountain
- Jomolungma (Tibetan name)
- Sagarmatha (Nepalese name)
- The number of people who have climbed Everest to date
- First to reach the summit (1953)
- Led a team of experienced mountain climbers who worked together
- Norgay was an experienced climber and guide who accompanied Hillary
- Sherpas still used to guide expeditions
- Leader of the failed 1996 expedition
- Led group of (mainly) tourists with little mountain climbing experience
- Loss of trees due to high demand for wood for cooking and heating for tourists.
- Piles of trash left by climbing expeditions
- Expedition fees provide income for the country
- Expeditions provide work for the Sherpas, contributing to the local economy.
- Introduction of motor vehicles
- Introduction of electricity
The Everest essay outline template is based on a research paper submitted by Alexandra Ferber, grade 9.
An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or
4 steps for writing an essay outline · Determine your objective · Filter out the fluff · Identify the points you'll make in each paragraph · Write
Expository essay outline · Introduction. The presentation of the topic; Your thesis statement · Body paragraphs. Topic sentence 1. Supporting
Creating an Outline for an Essay · I. Introduction. 1. Sentence to get the attention of your readers: 2. One-sentence thesis statement: · II. Body. 1. First main
Create an outline for a five-paragraph essay using this short essay outline template. This example of a short essay outline includes sections for
What is an outline? When writing an academic essay, an outline can help you structure and plan your arguments and ideas, while creating a guide for how to
with a space to manipulate ideas easily without needing to write complete ... your format, look at your working thesis for the essay theme and body
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure ; Introduction. State the topic; Thesis statement ; Body Paragraph 1. Introduction; Examples; Explanation; A
Outline your essay body: write down a topic sentence for each paragraph, provide supporting evidence you'll use when writing, and mention how
Introduce the subject of your descriptive essay with a thesis statement covering the person, place, object, etc. you are writing about. Thesis: