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Constructive Guide to Draft an Essay Outline Effectively

Essay Outline

What is an Essay Outline?

An essay outline is a well-articulated frame of an essay, which allows you to give a definite form and shape to your essay writing. The outline acts as a backbone of your essay. It gives your essay a proper structure so that the writing is coherent, readable and understandable for the readers.

Outlining helps the writer to arrange and organize their thoughts before they begin to write the essay. An outline makes it easier to determine the ideal order of information and the most efficient way to transition between paragraphs. It involves jotting down summaries of the main idea, supporting points for every statement you will explore in each paragraph, and giving you a visual representation of how your argument will unfold. So, creating an outline is absolutely necessary in your essay writing process.

Why Do You Need an Essay Outline?

A good and effective outline paves the path to a successful and well-grounded essay. Based on the topic, you need to first understand what sources you should investigate, take notes on the important facts, and strategize on how you can reach the target point of your essay. Next, you have to decide on the statements you would most likely make and choose effective methods to influence your target audience. All these factors make up your outline. It includes the main idea, supporting points and a sketchy conclusion. An outline gives you a coherent and logical order to follow so as to keep your essay well organized. It provides you with a guideline to compose a perfect essay that will be cohesive, logical, and reasonable. 

Benefits of Creating an Essay Outline

It is recommended to draft an essay outline before composing an essay as it provides the following benefits:

  1. An outline lays down a proper structure for your essay.
  2. It allows you to organize your thoughts so that you can logically connect the ideas and information.
  3. You can integrate all the relevant information in the essay.
  4. You are able to estimate each paragraph’s length.
  5. It enables you to maintain the logical and natural flow of the essay.
  6. You avoid deviating from the theme of your essay by adhering to the essay outline.
  • I. Introduction
    • a) Brainstorm a topic
    • b) Develop a thesis statement
  • II. Body Paragraph-1
    • a) Develop a topic sentence
    • b) Give supporting facts and evidence
    • c) Show how they are relevant to your claim
  • III. Body Paragraph-2
    • a) Give another statement or claim
    • b) Provide supporting evidence and facts to prove your claim
    • c) Explain how they are relevant to your argument
  • IV. Body Paragraph-3
    • a) Give a strong and final statement- you can add a counter agreement
    • b) Provide supporting facts and evidence or demonstrate why the counterargument doesn’t work
    • c) Again, show their relevance with your argument
  • V. Conclusion
    • a) Write a synopsis of all the key points
    • b) Reiterate your thesis statement
    • c) Exhortation

How to Create an Essay Outline?

The steps to creating an excellent essay outline are as follows:

  1. Conducting research and collecting information: You start with researching a topic and once you finalise the topic, you get down with in-depth research to find an argument or an unproven statement that you will try to prove in your essay. Next, conduct a research on your topic and gather relevant information and evidence to support your argument.
  2. Organizing the material: Now comes the organization part where you start arranging and organizing the material you have collected according to different categories and aspects of your argument.
  3. Draft the outline according to the template/format: Create categories and headings according to the format of your essay.
  4. Presentation: Write down a summary of the information in each category, under each heading starting with the introduction, body paragraphs to the conclusion. Arrange the information according to the essay format.

Essay Outline Examples

Narrative Essay Outline Example

A narrative essay simply refers to an essay that narrates a story. A narrative essay is a perfect blend of the following things: an engaging plot, characters, vivid description, right atmosphere, and descriptive techniques that will help paint the picture in the readers’ minds. The following example should clarify the concept.

Topic: Encounter with a strange man in the bus

  • I. Introduction
    • Hook Line- Opening scene: I’m in a bus and a person is sitting right next to me talking about his atheist notions loudly and I’m feeling embarrassed about neighbours hearing it.
    • Info on background- I was 15 years old, and still contemplating about faith in God, and trying hard to ignore the opposing thoughts and avoiding picking one side.
    • Thesis statement- Its surprising how people who are the humblest can be the ones that can influence us to reconsider our attitudes.
  • II. Body paragraphs (can consist of small paragraphs that will include the following)
    • Setting- Where I was travelling in the bus, how was the weather, what was going on, when did this happen.
    • Introduce the characters- describe the stranger, a tall thin man unflattering and unremarkable appearance.
    • Action unfolding- how the stranger got on the bus and sat next to me; how we began conversation; how we started talking about my interests and school subjects to things like religion, faith, and eventually, God; describe how he started reasoning and explaining his claims coldly, loudly and undisturbed by neighbours; how I reacted to his beliefs and opinions; how we parted.
    • Backdrop – people in the US look at atheists as if they are worse than members of any religious minority, which led me react in a different way as I was nervous.
    • Climax- Despite his appearance and perspectives, this stranger left me thoughtful for some days, as he was not afraid to put out his beliefs out loud.
  • III. Conclusion
    • Reiteration- Being an absolute stranger and not the most pleasant company, he bluntly put forward his opinions on a matter that we could hardly speak of.
    • Key Lesson- many of us are confined within the social norms, taboos and stereotypes, we hide in our shells as we feel that way, we would be safe, but doing that we are only imposing ourselves.

Persuasive Essay Outline Example

A persuasive essay is where an author writes on a subject matter to develop a specific point of view and to convey the same to his readers by presenting them with factual evidence. In this essay, the writer persuades the readers about a specific point of view presented in an argument. Check out the following example.

Topic: Importance of Internet

  • I. Introduction
    • A. State a fact about how internet has changed our lives
    • B. Concerns circulating usage of internet
    • C. Thesis statement: Overall, Internet use is a necessity and an advantage for the humans
  • II. Body paragraph 1: negative effects of internet on attention
    • A. Using mobiles causes distraction
    • B. Students become inattentive and lose focus
  • III. Body paragraph 2: Pros of Internet
    • A. Students engage in interactive learning
    • B. Online searches make life easier
  • IV. Body paragraph 3: Effective platform
    • A. Talk about a few drawbacks
    • B. Then transition to positives
  • V. Conclusion
    • A. Synopsis of important points
    • B. Significance of digital education
    • C. We need to appreciate the advantages that comes from the internet

Synthesis Essay Outline Example

A synthesis essay is where an author gathers credible information from numerous sources to develop a new idea or question and tries to prove his point. Let’s look at the example below.

Topic- Poverty as a Social Curse for Humanity

  • I. Introduction
    • A. You can start by using some alarming statistical data depicting how many people are living below the poverty line.
    • B. Project the significance of the subject.
    • C. Your thesis statement: According to Global Multidimensional Poverty Index Report (2021), nearly 1.3 billion people are multidimensionally poor living across 109 countries. The data depicts a grim picture; about 644 million are children who are under 18 years of age, 20,000 of them die every day due to poverty. To alleviate poverty, measures should be taken: to raise consciousness and awareness, develop poverty alleviation strategies, create productive employment, promote micro-financing, and provide basic amenities to the poor.
  • II. Body
    • A. 1st Paragraph: Stress on the importance of this issue. Discuss the countries that have the highest poverty rate. Discuss what causes such poverty in those parts.
    • B. 2nd Paragraph: Discuss how to raise awareness among people suffering from poverty. Contemplate the disparities, the root cause of poverty and how it turns into a cycle.  Discuss how poverty-stricken people can change their lives on their own.
    • C. 3rd Paragraph: Emphasize the impact of poverty. Emphasize the measures that can be taken to eradicate poverty.
    • D. 4th Paragraph: Emphasize the strategies implemented and measures that have been taken and how they have worked. What can be done further to help end poverty in all its forms all over the world. 
  • V. Conclusion
    • A. Summarize your main perspectives concerning the topic.
    • B. Bring forth your opinion regarding the topic. You may conclude by asking an intriguing question (optional).

Expository Essay Outline Example

An expository essay is a type of essay that explores a subject matter and presents factual information and analysis. This kind of essay involves factual information about a particular topic. The writer is only allowed to represent his interpretation without making an argument. The following example will clear it up.

Topic: Invention of Printing Press

  • I. Introduction
    • A. State that the invention of printing press symbolizes the end of the Middle Ages.
    • B. State in short how literacy rates were low during the time.
    • C. Include the thesis: The invention of the printing press paved the way for information circulation in the European cities, leading the way for the Reformation.
  • II. Body para 1: Describe the situation before the printing press
    • A. Illustrate the very high rates of illiteracy in medieval era.
    • B. Discuss how religious and political elites has sources to knowledge and information.
    • C. Explain how this deterred religious and political reforms
  • II. Body para 2: Elaborately describe the invention and spread of the printing press
    • A. Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 invented the printing press.
    • B. Exhibit the effects of the new technology for literary production.
    • C. Elaborate the fast spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
    • D. How it led to the Reformation
  • II. Body para 3: Discussion of Printing press’s impact on the Reformation
    • A. Elaborate the craze for translating the Bible into vernacular languages
    • B. Luther’s own translation of the Bible
    • C. Draw out the effects on religion and politics due to the Reformation.
  • V. Conclusion
    • A. Summarize the history you brought forward
    • B. Emphasize the importance of the printing press till date.

Descriptive Essay Outline Example

A descriptive essay is a type of essay where you describe something in particular, be it a person, a place, an event, an occasion, etc, in a way that enables the readers to picture it. Check out the example below.

Title: My Favourite Place to Visit

  • I. Introduction
    • A. Hook: When I think of places I like to visit, there are so many places that come to mind. It’s hard for me to pick one as each place has its specialty.
    • B. Thesis Statement: But there is one place I look forward to visiting daily and that is my neighbourhood park because it gives me joy to be there.
  • II. Body Paragraph 1
    • A. Topic Sentence: The park has tons of beautiful things to offer
    • B. Support: There are a lot of trees and especially cherry blossom trees.
    • C. Support: The gardeners maintain the gardens and lawns so well.
    • D. Support: We could see the mountain Yoshino. And that looks incredible.
  • III. Body Paragraph 2
    • A. Topic Sentence: Serene space with breath-taking scenery
    • B. Support: There is a beautiful lake and just behind we can watch the beautiful mountains
    • C. Support: The park has several trails that lead up into the mountains and walking up through those trails is a great physical exercise.
    • D. Support: People go for walks and do exercises and children play on the green lawns. It’s serene and a sight for sore eyes.
  • IV. Body paragraph 3
    • A. Topic Sentence: It is a great place to unreel and have a good time
    • B. Support: Spending time around nature is healthy for the body, soul and mind.
    • C. Support: Exercising helps relieve stress and makes us stay healthy.
    • D. Support: Everyone can go to the park and simply have fun and enjoy and refresh their mind.
  • V. Conclusion
    • A. Restatement of thesis: When it comes to thinking about that one place that gives me peace, no other place comes to my mind other than my neighbourhood park. I can be around nature and have relaxed time. Taking a short walk in the nature can be so peaceful and magical.

Need Help with Your Essay Outlining?

The structural templates and examples should make your task easier for creating an outline for an essay. However, in case you are struggling with your college essay or don’t have time, then feel free to avail our professional academic assistance. PenMyPaper is a reliable professional essay writing service having a team of professional and adept academic writers who can help you with your essay assignments. With PenMyPaper, you will get the best quality academic services and get rid of all your academic worries.

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