How to Make an Outline for an Essay

Making an Outline for an Essay: A Systematic Approach

Writing an academic paper is typically a process that follows a particular course. At the start, you probably have an idea of what you want to write about. After all, you must have come across several academic papers before you embark on this project.

However, writing an essay follows a distinctively different process from the other schoolwork you have completed. The primary reason for this is the involvement of numerous strategies that include generating ideas, outlining, and writing the essay.

Differentiating the Types of Outlining Process in an Essay

Before you begin the writing process, you must develop a theoretical model. This helps you to determine how the different parts of your essay will connect, leading to the final piece. It also shows your instructor what you have learned about the topic, and how you have understood the information presented. A framework for an essay follows the standard five-stage process.

  • You must have a clearly-defined topic related to your area of study. The topic should not be too broad or technical for your level of understanding. It should also not be too narrow to be intriguing but not too broad to lack depth.
  • Provide a background for your topic through literature review and research. You must demonstrate your understanding of the subject through meticulous research through the use of reference materials.
  • Outline the key ideas related to your topic. All your ideas should fall under the heading of thesis statements. It is at this stage that you put your ideas into writing. The process involves structuring the ideas into paragraphs that make up the essay. It also includes providing supportive information that links your ideas to the thesis.
  • Write your essay following the outline you developed in the previous stage. The process includes expounding on the ideas in the main body section. Additionally, you can start with the conclusion and moving to the introduction if it fits your writing style.

Parts of an Outline for an Essay

There are several ideas writing outline you need to include in your essay. However, the outline must be written as one part of the writing process. Therefore, you must first begin with the introduction and conclusion before you move to the other parts. For an essay to be complete, it should contain the following central sections.

  1. The introduction: You start the essay with a hook that helps to capture the attention of the reader. Furthermore, the hook must be in a manner that provides direction to the rest of the paper.
  2. The body paragraphs: Here, you illustrate your points through different topics related to your main topic. Each topic should have its paragraph to make sense. Each section should contain an introductory sentence that gives context to the reader.
  3. Conclusion section: This is a summary of all your arguments. The conclusion helps to provide a final thought about the topic. You can also provide recommendations in this section.

The various steps in the outline help to structure your essay logically. Additionally, it helps you save time when you start the writing process. Moreover, it helps to ensure you have all the relevant ideas to support your topic in the essay. Take the time to comprehend the topic and come up with a thesis statement. After all, it is the central focus of the paper.

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