A Perfect Essay Outline Writing Guide

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A Perfect Essay Outline Writing Guide
Table of Contents
  1. A Perfect Essay Outline Writing Guide
  2. What Is the Definition and Purpose of an Essay Outline?
  3. How to Write an Essay Outline?
  4. What to Do Before Creating an Outline?
  5. Choose an Essay Outline Structure and the Main Idea
  6. Gather All Materials You May Use to Support Your Outline
  7. Organize Your Outline
  8. Essay Outline Examples
  9. Persuasive Essay Outline Example
  10. Narrative Essay Outline Example
  11. Expository Essay Outline Example
  12. Research Essay Outline Example
  13. Summary

Before you start writing an essay, it is essential to know your goal and what thoughts you want to deliver to your reader. An essay outline serves as a skeleton of the paper you are going to write. It can be a bit more complicated to develop a well-written essay if you have no structure to follow. Your writing will flow more naturally and quickly with an outline.

If you want to write an essay, you should know how to deal with an essay outline no matter what type it would be. This article will describe some of the most critical steps you should follow during the outline writing process.

What Is the Definition and Purpose of an Essay Outline?

An essay outline is an organized plan for your academic assignment. It is where you structurize the essay key-points into sections or bullet points and make something similar to a table of contents for your paper. Every section of an outline involves writing summary phrases or key sentences for every issue you will describe in each of your paragraphs.

The purpose of an essay outline is to remind you to cover all the points you intend to cover. It assists you to put them in a logical order not to confuse your reader. It also allows your audience to perceive your writing in a corresponding sequence.

Furthermore, an outline lets you focus on one part of the work at a time. It helps you avoid mixing your key-points and allows you to ignore distracting information. 

How to Write an Essay Outline?

The easiest way to write an outline that will serve you as a reliable guide through the whole essay writing process is to start composing it when doing research. Sort out all the findings you obtain by their importance and topic relevance. Write them down briefly as long as you proceed with the analysis. But if you find it difficult, you can delegate this task to a true professional expertized in delivering great papers upon 'do my essay for cheap' plea.

Usually, an outline looks like an extended plan, arranged in sections. Each section stands for the name of the chapter. All-in-all there are as many sections as there are chapters in an essay. However, you can make your outline even more detailed by expanding sections with subsections. This way, you can arrange your main idea or research results more precisely. Read how to write a five paragraph essay, it will help you to find out how to structure your work.

What to Do Before Creating an Outline?

The primary thing is that you need to read your writing assignment requirements very carefully. Then make sure to come up with a topic that corresponds to the specified instructions. Keep in mind the essay type you need to write, what arguments to use, and how long should a college essay be

After that, ask yourself about the purpose of your paper. Do you need to entertain, convince or educate the reader? Depending on the goal, you will understand how to structure your essay and what writing technique to use. Then you should identify your audience. It will help you realize what arguments you should use and what sources to refer to when you answer this question. 

Choose an Essay Outline Structure and the Main Idea

Check out the typical essay outline structure:

01. Introduction

  • Introductory statements
  • Thesis statement
  • Introduce supporting ideas (optional)

02. Body

03. Conclusion

  • Transition, a statement reflecting on the thesis
  • Restated key points
  • Ending statement that provokes thought (optional)

Determine and state the main goal and a clear purpose of your paper. It will give you the right topic direction, help you come up with background information, and help you get some logical structure in your writing. You should write down your thesis statement if you are writing a formal essay. It will help you fulfill the message and purpose.

In the essay body, your task is to show that something happened and identify its causes. It would be best if you also did some research in several ways. Also, you can get a smooth cause-and-effect presentation. Try to develop, analyze and explain every concept and term you are giving in your essay.

There must be at least one part of an argument in at least one paragraph, but, for the better effect, you should also provide some claim – a counter-argument. And make sure not to forget to get evidence and examples to make your conclusion. It is a must for you to give backups (and sources) for your findings, statements, and facts.

Gather All Materials You May Use to Support Your Outline

What might those be? Your best-supporting subjects are different information, like images, quotes, theories, statistics, points, and your personal experience. All these things should reflect your opinion and be related to what you are writing in your essay.

You need to identify and then disable all spaces (real and potential) in your outline to prevent any troubles with your paper writing in the future. You may write not only an essay but even a novel. You should have information about the period, fashion, food, and habits you are writing about for this type of work.

If you need to share some historical data, statistics, or trends in your essay, don't hesitate to put it into your paper. It will only make your writing more powerful. Note down everything as you may need to refer to this information again.

Organize Your Outline

It would help if you also decided on your essay outline type. For this purpose, you can use some short phrases of simple words to make your outline more general.

Or you can consider using full sentences or even topics for another outline type. The main difference between these two is that you can use complete sentences from the second option later in your article's body.

You must deal with ordering your supporting information. To do it effectively, make sure you start with the most vital points and gradually move on to secondary details. It is the simplest way to ensure that all the pieces of evidence are related and organized, flowing from one into another. 

Alternatively, it may be the chronological order, especially when it is some historically themed essay. You also may order your evidence by theme for some literature interpretation, for example. If you want to show both sides of the story before taking your way, you must present evidence from your side for a better effect and to hook a reader in general.

Essay Outline Examples

Having all the theoretical aspects in mind might not be enough to understand the outline concept in full. Even if you performed outstanding research on your topic, it would be challenging to develop a perfect outline. Therefore, it will be wise to review some examples of outlines before writing an essay. Check out a couple of examples that our writing experts have prepared for you.  

Persuasive Essay Outline Example 

01. Introduction (3-5 sentences)

  • Hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a quote, scenario, question, vivid description, etc. Must be related to your topic
  • Thesis statement: Simply and clearly state your position on the issue
  • Three arguments. Choose three arguments you can use to convince your reader of your position. Briefly state these arguments here

02. Body Paragraph 1 (5-8 sentences)

  • Go back to paragraph one and find your first argument. Then write a paragraph about it
  • Use specific examples to support your argument
  • Write a transition sentence

03. Body Paragraph 2 (5-8 sentences)

  • Repeat the same process

04. Body Paragraph 3 (5-8 sentences)

  • Repeat the same process

05. Conclusion (3-5 sentences)

  • Summarize—restate your thesis statement and three arguments in different words
  • Make a closing statement. Tie your closing statement back to your opening hook

Narrative Essay Outline Example

01. Introduction (Exposition)

  • Hook in essay
  • Setting (Time and Place)
  • Character (Who is in the story?)
  • Situation (The situation the main character experiences at the beginning of the story)

02. Inciting Incident

  • Something happens or some situation changes that causes a problem for the main character

03. Conflict

  • It seems to the main character that the problem cannot be solved

04. Climax

  • Something happens that changes everything and the problem is on its way to a resolution

05. Resolution: The problem is solved

06. Denouement

  • Tying up of loose ends
  • How things will be different
  • What the main character has learned from the experience

Expository Essay Outline Example

01. Introduction Paragraph

  • Attention-grabbing sentence
  • Detail – something to add to or support your hook
  • Strong thesis statement

02. Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence
  • Supporting detail 1: Give an explanation that supports your topic sentence
  • Supporting detail 2: Give an example that supports your topic sentence and explanation
  • Statement that analytically summarizes your topic sentence and details

03. Body Paragraph 2

  • Repeat the same process as above

04. Body Paragraph 3

  • Repeat the same process as above

05. Conclusion

  • Restate the thesis ideas without repeating the thesis word for word
  • Summarize and connect the main points of your essay with a universal idea/theme 

Research Essay Outline Example

01. Introductory Paragraph

  • The first few sentences that give the reader a clear idea of what the research paper is going to be about
  • Thesis statement – a claim you are trying to prove
  • Main ideas of your paper that will be further explored

02. Supporting Paragraphs

  • Each paragraph should develop one of the main ideas

03. Concluding Paragraph

  • Restates the thesis using different words
  • Leaves the reader with something to consider

Not sure how to write research paper? It is crucial to follow a step-by-step guide if you do it for the first time. That's why we prepared a whole blog for this purpose.


To sum things up – we hope this info will help you create a reliable and robust outline for your essay. Making an essay is not an easy task. You have to make sure that you can deliver a message rather than get the readers confused. 
But why is the essay outline critical? It is essential to have an outline to produce a well-organized paper. An essay outline will help you write a good essay even if you are not a professional writer. In case you are still facing some issues and need help, our experts will be glad to assist you.