Good Essay Outline Example & Tips for All Students

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by Will Martins / Updated January 31, 2022

Life is closely related to the constant acquisition of new knowledge. So this is why students always need to be prepared for complex assignments. However, there are even basic things that may seem difficult for beginners. For example, one of the most frequently asked questions on the Internet is, "What is an essay outline?" Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand the basic terminology. That is why let's take a look at the information you need to know.

What Is an Essay Outline?

First, let's take a look at the basic aspects. An outline is like a map containing your steps and the topics you are going to cover. This part of your paper shows how you will find answers to questions to support your statements or judgments. As a rule, any essay outline example is divided into separate parts and paragraphs so that anyone can skip to the most important part of the paper. That is why your outline is needed to organize all the data and show the general structure.

General Outline Format

One of the most positive aspects is that you don't have to spend a lot of time on your assignment. So forget about questions like, "How to make an outline for an essay?" Instead, you need to look at the basic format to understand which direction you need to go. There are three main parts to keep in mind.

  1. Intro. Your introduction is the perfect place for attention grabbers, issues, key terminology, and background information. And don't forget about the thesis statement!
  2. Body paragraphs. And here is the place where you need to specify all the main points of the paper. Then, again, give strong examples, important details, and arguments, or provide authoritative sources to support any facts.
  3. Conclusion. And here is the final part where you can restate your thesis and briefly summarize each main point. Plus, you can end it with a strong clincher statement.

This general outline essay example will save you time searching for information on the web. All you need to understand is that the general structure for any such paper is almost the same. The main difference lies in the type of essay and the goals you are pursuing.

Examples of Essay Outlines

1. Argumentative Essay Outline

Such a task awaits all freshmen and aims to ensure that students create solid arguments and learn to defend their point of view or research results. But first, you need to find examples of essay outlines so as not to make common mistakes.

  1. An introduction.
  2. Background of the subject.
  3. Main arguments.
  4. Refutation.
  5. Conclusion.

As you can see, the general structure is very similar to the classic one, except for the paragraph with your arguments. However, now you will not make common mistakes and will cope with your assignment quickly.

2. Expository Essay Outline

This type of paper can be compared to a real investigation because you have to analyze your topic, provide the results and confirm your position. This assignment requires a lot of time and effort since you need to operate exclusively on facts. So this is why you need examples of an essay outline. First, take a look at the basic structure.

  1. An introduction.
  2. Body paragraphs with points/arguments and supporting evidence.
  3. Conclusion with a concise summary.

The structure is generally similar to the classic one, except that all your points and arguments should be based on your research and hard data. So now you know where to start and what mistakes to avoid.

3. Literary Analysis Essay Outline

Newbies mistakenly think that such a paper is very simple. However, first impressions can be deceiving because you have to carefully examine a work of literature or concentrate on certain stylistic aspects and literary tricks. So first, take a look at the basic structure.

  1. Intro with a hook and literary question.
  2. Three-body paragraphs with questions, literature analysis, and explanation of important aspects.
  3. Conclusion to summarize and extend your arguments.

Voila! Everything you need can fit into three main parts. However, it would help if you did not forget that your task is to analyze the source and explain how the author expressed certain thoughts and judgments. Consider these aspects in every paper.

4. Narrative Essay Outline

This assignment can be a real nightmare for many because your main task is to tell a story. As a rule, students need to choose some topic, event, book, or something else and show the ability to describe anything interestingly. So check the basic structure.

  1. An introduction to place a hook statement and set the scene.
  2. Body part with vivid description, dialogues, characters, and climax.
  3. Conclusion (The moral of the story, or the lesson that you have learned).

As you can see, the general structure is well suited to describe a story or book. Regardless of your topic, the outlining essay example is your top priority. Having created a plan will make it easier for you to go forward.

5. Persuasive Essay Outline

And here is another type of assignment that causes headaches for millions of students around the world. Such a paper aims to persuade anyone by providing solid arguments, facts, and irrefutable evidence. Here's what you should pay attention to.

  1. Intro to define your topic and position, and grab the reader's attention.
  2. The main body to focus on ideas with supporting evidence.
  3. Conclusion with a summary and some food for thought.

As you can see, the process for creating such an assignment is fairly straightforward. Now you won't have any questions like, "How to write an essay outline?" Follow the clear instructions, and you can expect excellent results.

6. Descriptive Essay Outline

And here is one of the simplest and most understandable types of assignments. Your task is to compose a description of any person, object, event, emotion, or situation in which you find yourself. Start with this example.

  1. An introduction with a hook and context/background info.
  2. Body paragraphs with sensory and actual details.
  3. A conclusion with a summary and clincher statement.

As a rule, you will not have to change the overall structure. All you need to remember is a clear sequence of actions. Then you can create an outline of an essay. Take your time and take a look at how someone else handled a similar assignment. Then you won't have a problem.

Tips for Writing Outlines for Essay

Understand the Purpose of Your Essay

And here is the main advice that you should adhere to. What is the purpose of your writing? What are your goals, and what is your audience? What aspects should you disclose? If you find it difficult to understand all the questions, how about the "outline example for essay" search query? Find a good sample, and you will know where to start.

Choose an Order

The second tip will help you organize your thoughts. Perhaps you should choose a chronological order to organize all the data. Or do you want to focus on the most relevant and important aspects in the first paragraphs? In any case, you should consider the type of assignment and your ultimate goals.

Create the Structure

Creating the right structure will be easier for you to organize the main ideas and thesis statements you want to present. First, start with a rough draft and write down all the important aspects without which your paper will be incomplete. Then it will be easier for you to create the structure.

Make It Clear

Take a look at any good essay outline examples. What do you see? You will most likely find concise and clear sentences that will give you an idea of what is written in each paragraph. Brevity is the soul of wit. Try to keep every part of your paper as clear as possible.

Common Mistakes

Too Many Arguments

Typically, you should use one argument for each paragraph. Don't add too much information, or your paper will be overwhelmed with facts. Also, you shouldn't forget that your professor probably gave you clear instructions.

Confusing Introduction/Conclusion

If your first and final paragraphs are blurry and confusing, then you should forget about high grades. The point is that these two parts are extremely important to show your goals, methods, and results obtained. So try to be as consistent as possible.

Skipping the Post Essay Writing Stages

Many newbies think the job is complete as soon as they write the final proposal. But what about editing and proofreading? You will be surprised, but even professors can make grammar and spelling mistakes. So this is why you should start with a draft and carefully analyze everything you write.

Summing Up

Now you know all about how to write a great outline. Follow general rules and tips to avoid common mistakes. Now assignments will no longer have nightmares for you. All you need is a little practice and a desire to get better.


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