The best guide to writing an essay outline

You cannot write down an essay without creating an outline of how the final piece will be. If you do so, you will only attract a shallow grade. The best writer and those who get the best grades have been able to use essays the outline in organizing their thoughts together in a great piece. We are going to discuss what is the outline, how to write the best outline in this article.

What is an outline?

It is a very brief plan showing how the final part of the essay will be, a skeletal of the final draft. You note down the thoughts and arguments running in your head about the topic. You can write an essay without an outline, but it will be very challenging to you as you may fail to organize your thoughts and idea into specific paragraphs that will make the essay flow very well. You may omit some of the key concepts when writing an essay without an outline.

Some of the best authors have recommended the use of outlines in writing an essay.

Why do you need an essay outline?

Assist you in organizing your thoughts – when looking for the ideas of your topic, you will get plenty of information about the same, and you need to write them down first on how you want them to appear in the final draft.
Create an excellent flow of the essay that you will be able to scrutinize it accordingly.

Helps you not to omit any detail while writing the essay since you will have to involve the manuscript of the paper.

How to write an essay outline?

A five-paragraph paper is the most common type of essay written in schools and colleges. Every essay has a similar structure that involves an introduction, body and conclusion. When writing your outline, you need to have the three parts in your mind to avoid missing arguments, ideas and examples when writing.

Parts of an essay

  • Introduction. Here you need to write down the topic of your essay and the thesis statement. An essay cannot miss a thesis statement. Each thesis statement will help you support each argument in the paragraphs of the essay.
  • Body. In a simple essay, there is a minimum of three paragraphs in the body of the essay, so each should be added in the outline. Write down a topic sentence for each paragraph with arguments that can be referred back to the thesis statement. All the data, facts, numbers and all the relevant statistics are outlined here. Ensure that they are very credible.
  • Conclusion. Here is the end of your essay. You summarize the main aim of the essay and reinstate the thesis statement.

The outline format

Students are required to use the linear style when formatting the essay outlines. It refers that students arrange their points according to their importance. Put in mind that an outline does not necessarily need to include complete sentences. It is an outline hence you are free to format arguments and pieces of evidence that back up your arguments anywhere that you will be able to understand.

Ensure they are visually apparent and allows you to see if you have repeated some sections or they do not make sense at all.
You may be very familiar with the topic of a particular essay, but the readers are not. So the outline should be formatted accordingly; assume that the readers don’t know anything about the topic when writing down arguments and arranging them in a very logical order.

Process of creating an outline

Like everything else, an outline requires steps in order to write an effective one. While writing an outline, you need to put into consideration that the outline must specify the main points of the essay; however, they find it challenging to create.

Provide your essay outline to your professor to ensure that what you are writing is okay, also if you use the best essay writing service. The skills of how your paper will become in hand here. You must understand the capabilities of an effective outline structure that will help you select for your work. You also need to organize the outline to make it as informative as possible.

Things to do before outlining

  1. Read the assignment first. Go through the instructions first understanding carefully what you are asked to do. You also need to know the kind of essay you are being asked to write on, the length of the essay and how many arguments it requires.
  2. Answer the question. You need to answer the question, that is, what is the purpose of the essay. Are you required to inform, persuade or entertain the readers? You will answer this question with your main goal in mind and create a thesis that is relevant to the purposes, the techniques you used for writing and visualizing the essay.
  3. Find out the audience. Your biggest audience is your teacher or the professor; they are the ones that mark and grade your essay, but which o else do you want to read your article? Do you want your classmates, friends, and teachers, do they agree with the thesis statement, how will they react to your essay? Are they okay with your thesis statement? After going through and understanding all this, you will know which arguments will work okay for the essay.
  4. Choose the outline structure. The best structure to use is a standard alphanumeric structure there, but a decimal one can also be used. Alphanumerical is the most used and the best one. You will choose the complete sentences or just brief points.

Organize the outline

  • Outline the introduction. Write the sentences that fall under the introduction. it is very suitable if you start with a great hook.
  • Utilize the body. Note down topic sentences for each paragraph backing them up with pieces of evidence that you will use to write the essay. Ensure you use transition words for a good flow from one paragraph to another.
  • Conclusion. Write the final statement reinstating the thesis statement and summarizing all the arguments.


An outline is an essential aspect of your essay writing. I am glad you have read this article to the end and all the points discussed will help you write an excellent outline for your essay.

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