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Essay Outline: Creating and Example

09 Feb 2018Essay Writing Guides

Any text, whether it is a thesis, novel, article, coursework or essay, should have a clear structure. Compared to other student academic papers, the essay differs by "freedom of creativity". Alas, we all understand, more freedom – more responsibility. Receiving this very freedom, you must think about the structure of the  essay yourself. The outline format largely depends on the goals, the form, the type, and the amount of work.

What is an outline?

As for the outline of a research paper, there is nothing complicated here. It is necessary to read a couple of paragraphs and determine the main idea, then describe it in the body of the plan using several words. The essay plan is designed to discipline your thoughts. If you pay attention to any article, then you’ll see that it is broken into paragraphs and might even have several sub-headings. The same format can be used in an essay, but instead of the headings of the article, the name of the outline items should be used. In the process of writing, an outline for an essay can be very useful to consistently express one's thinking and not to confuse concepts with each other, especially if the topic is not well known.

How to write an outline?

The structure can be easily thought through. Although, it's better to take a sheet of paper and sketch out a rough outline sample. The essay outline is the "skeleton" of the text, to which you will subsequently fasten the "flesh". The structure is important and necessary just as the title is needed for any text. Any written work, each text has the following sections:


With "introduction" and "conclusion" we mean the beginning and last paragraph. The student should not treat these elements of the text formally. The opening paragraph or the first part of the text introduces the reader to the course of the topic, brings him or her to the question the essay is devoted to. The introduction shouldn't be too long - one or two paragraphs is sufficient.

The body

This is the main part requires the most attention, especially with writing research papers. It can have a different structure:

  • Thesis-argumentation structure. In this case, first we establish the thought of the essay, then prove it.
  • Reverse structure (facts-inference). We describe the situation or give facts then,draw a conclusion. Repeat this action several times.
  • Thesis and several arguments (facts). One idea is confirmed by several illustrations. The thesis can be both before, and after these illustrations.

By "thesis" we mean a short finished thought which the author wants to convey to the reader of the essay. In other words, proof of the thesis. It can be a situation from life, news, a scientific opinion, a scientific theory or a fact proven by science.

Ideally, one argument should be confirmed by two others. Only one statement may seem unconvincing to the reader, and three will overload the text. However, you are free to develop your thesis any number of arguments - much depends on the very thought, the logic of the narrative, the volume, and the plan of the text. It is important to maintain consistency, laconism, and imagery of the text.


In summary, as a rule, the conclusion summarizes everything that was said in the essay. The author sums up the results together with the reader. It is important that the conclusions are not contrived and do not arise "out of nowhere". A conclusion is characterized by only what the reader should come to understand, having familiarized himself with the main part of the writing.

Outline example

I. Introduction

  1. Sentence attract the attention of your readers
  2. One-sentence statement to be proved

II. Body

  1. First main idea:
    1. Corroborative evidence for the main idea
    2. One or two more supporting shreds of evidence
  2. Second main idea:
    1. Corroborative evidence for second main idea
    2. One or two more supporting shreds of evidence
  3. Third main idea:
    1. Corroborative evidence for third main idea
    2. One or two more supporting shreds of evidence       

III. Conclusion

  1. Revision of your thesis
  2. Insightful sentence to end your essay.

Where to begin?

The best place to start is with the body of the text. The introduction and conclusion are easier to complete after you ensure that the basis of your essay is logical and understandable to the reader. If you took care to think of a detailed plan, it would be easy. If it occurs that you are too idle and can't find the motivation for writing an essay, you can use an essay writing service. In as little as a few hours everything will be ready.

Structure of the main body of the text. Be aware to build the main part according to the laws of logic. You can move from simple to complex, you can conduct analysis or synthesis, use the method of deduction and induction. In order to build a logical text:
- record the abstract;
- choose several arguments for each thesis;
- line up the theses in a logical sequence: one thought must flow from the other.
After these operations, you will have to expand the text - and your essay will be almost ready. But before you start working on the text, check whether the theses are arranged in a logical sequence and whether the evidence is convincing enough.

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