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- College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines
College Essay Format & Structure | Example Outlines
Published on September 24, 2021 by Meredith Testa . Revised on July 22, 2022.
There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay, but you should carefully plan and outline to make sure your essay flows smoothly and logically.
Typical structural choices include
- a series of vignettes with a common theme
- a single story that demonstrates your positive qualities
Table of contents
Formatting your essay, outlining the essay, structures that work: two example outlines, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
You should keep the formatting as simple as possible. Admissions officers need to work very quickly, so fancy formatting, unnecessary flourishes, and unique fonts will come off as more distracting than individual. Keep in mind that, if you’re pasting your essay into a text box, formatting like italics may not transfer.
Your essay will be easier for admissions officers to read if it is 1.5- or double-spaced. If you choose to attach a file, ensure that it is a PDF.
You don’t need a title for your essay, but you can include one, especially if you think it will add something important.
Most importantly, ensure that you stick to the word count. Most successful essays are 500–600 words. Because you’re limited in length, make sure that you write concisely . Say everything that you need to express to get your point across, but don’t use more words than necessary, and don’t repeat yourself.
Once you’ve finished brainstorming topics but before you start writing, think about your writing’s trajectory: how you’ll start the essay , develop it, and end it .
Do you want to organize it chronologically? Would you prefer to make a “sandwich” structure by introducing a topic or idea, moving away from it, and then coming back to it at the end? There’s a variety of options (and a pair of strong examples below), but make sure you consider how you’d like to structure the essay before you start writing.
Although you should organize your thoughts in an outline, you don’t have to stick to it strictly. Once you begin writing, you may find that the structure you’d originally chosen doesn’t quite work. In that case, it’s fine to try something else. Multiple drafts of the same essay are key to a good final product.
Whatever structure you choose, it should be clear and easy to follow, and it should be feasible to keep it within the word count . Never write in a way that could confuse the reader. Remember, your audience will not be reading your essay closely!
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Vignettes with a common theme.
The vignette structure discusses several experiences that may seem unrelated, but the author weaves them together and unites them with a common theme.
For example, a student could write an essay exploring various instances of their ability to make the best of bad situations. A rough outline for that essay might look like this:
- In a rehearsal for a school play when a lighting fixture malfunctioned and the set caught fire, I helped extinguish it.
- To help the situation, I improvised fixes for the set and talked with the director about adding lines referencing the “disaster.”
- I didn’t get into my first-choice high school, but I became class president at the school where I ended up.
- When I had ACL surgery, I used the downtime to work on my upper body strength and challenged my friends to pull-up contests.
- How these qualities will serve me in college and in my career
Single story that demonstrates traits
The narrative structure focuses on a single overarching story that shows many aspects of a student’s character.
Some such essays focus on a relatively short event that the author details moment by moment, while others discuss the story of a longer journey, one that may cover months or years.
For example, a student might discuss trying out for a sports team as a middle schooler, high school freshman, and high school senior, using each of those instances to describe an aspect of their personality. A rough outline for that essay might look like this:
- Confident, there to have fun
- Very passionate and in love with the sport
- Little sister was born that day, so I had to go alone with a friend’s parents
- Learned to be independent and less self-centered
- Realized that as much as I love gymnastics, there are more important things
- Gave up first homecoming of high school, had to quit other activities, lost countless hours with friends
- I had to repeat level 9 and didn’t progress quickly
- I had a terrible beam routine at one competition the previous year and still had a mental block
- I got stuck on some skills, and it took over a year to learn them
- Passion from age 7, perspective from age 11, diligence from age 15
There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:
- A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
- A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.
Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.
Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:
- Use a standard, readable font
- Use 1.5 or double spacing
- If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
- Stick to the word count
- Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches
You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.
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How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline
An argumentative essay is a piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince readers of a particular position on a topic. Because of its reliance on structure and planning, the first step in writing one is often drafting a solid argumentative essay outline.
Of course, drafting an argumentative essay outline can be just as daunting as actually writing one. Choosing topics is one thing, but organizing your thesis , research, reasoning, and conclusion is a whole other endeavor—and that’s all before beginning the first draft!
So in this quick guide, we explain how to make an effective argumentative essay outline, covering all three major formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin. We’ll also include argumentative essay outline examples and templates to help you understand what works.
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How is an argumentative essay structured?
An argumentative essay uses facts, data, and logical reasoning to substantiate a specific stance on any given topic. They are typically structured to “build an argument,” with a clear thesis statement , unambiguous conclusion, and as much evidential support as needed.
While all seven types of essays follow the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, argumentative essays tend to be more complex to fit all the necessary components of a convincing argument. For example, you may want to dissect opposing points of view to strengthen your own argument, but where would you put that section? Before your argument? After? Intermingled throughout the essay with each new piece of evidence?
There’s no one right way to structure an argumentative essay; it depends on your topic, opposing viewpoints, and the readers, among other things. In fact, to accommodate different types of argumentative essay styles, three methods have emerged as the go-to formats: Classical (Aristotelian), Rogerian, and Toulmin, explained below.
No matter the format or topic, a strong argumentative essay outline makes it easier to organize your thoughts and present your case in the best possible way. So before you get down to the actual essay writing , take a little time to prepare what you want to say in an outline.
How to create an argumentative essay outline
Knowing how to write an outline is just half the battle. Because an argumentative essay outline requires extra structure and organization, it often requires more extensive planning than the standard essay outline . After all, the goal is to present the best argument for your topic, so you need to make sure each section is in the optimal place.
As mentioned, there are three main options for how to structure an argumentative essay. Before we dive into the details, let’s look at an overview of each so you can decide which one best fits your essay.
When to use it: straightforward and direct arguments
The most forthright approach, the Classical or Aristotelian format is closest to traditional essay structures. It follows a simple layout: explain your argument, explain your opposition’s argument, and then present your evidence, all the while relying on credibility ( ethos ), emotion ( pathos ), and reasoning ( logos ) to influence the reader.
When to use it: both sides make valid arguments; your readers are sympathetic to the opposing position
The Rogerian format gives ample respect to opposing stances, making it a great “middle-ground” approach for representing both sides. This method is ideal if your thesis is a compromise between conflicting positions or an attempt to unify them.
Likewise, this format is best if you’re writing for readers who are already biased toward an opposing position, such as if you’re arguing against societal norms.
When to use it: complicated arguments with multiple facets; rebuttals and counterarguments
The Toulmin method is a deep analysis of a single argument. Given its methodical and detailed nature, it works best for breaking down a complicated thesis into digestible portions.
The Toulmin method is rather nitpicky in a very systematic way. That makes it an ideal format if your essay is a rebuttal or counterargument to another essay—you’re able to dissect and disprove your opposition point by point while offering a more reasonable alternative.
Classical argumentative essay outline template
Aristotle had a gift for explaining things clearly and logically, and the Aristotelian argumentative essay structure leans into that. Also known as Classical or Classic, the Aristotelian format is the most straightforward: the writer presents their argument first and then refutes the opposing argument.
Let’s look at the details in this argumentative essay outline example for the Classical or Aristotelian format.
A. Open with a hook, something to keep the reader interested enough to read until the conclusion (known as exordium ) B. Give any background information or context necessary to understand the topic (known as narratio ) C. Provide a thesis statement explaining your stance and why you feel that way (known as proposito and partitio )
II. First reason
A. Start with the least controversial reason to support your argument, explaining your point clearly as an overview 1. First evidential support of your reason (known as confirmatio )
2. Second evidential support of your reason, then third, and so on
B. Summarize your first reason again and tie it together with evidential support
III. Second reason, etc.
A. Continue to list your reasons in the same format as the first. List your reasons from least to most controversial
IV. First opposing point of view
A. Explain the reasoning of the opposing side. Point out their defenses and evidence—what would they say if they were writing the essay? 1. Point out weaknesses and inconsistencies in their argument
2. Refute their points with evidential support (known as refutatio )
3. Reinforce your position as the more reasonable position
V. Second opposing point of view, etc.
A. Continue to present and refute opposing points of view in the same format as the first
A. Reiterate your position and thesis statement, drawing on your strongest evidential support and rebuttals of opposing points (known as peroratio ) B. Wrap everything up with a thought-provoking ending or call to action (a suggestion you want the reader to take)
Rogerian argumentative essay outline template
Of all formats, Rogerian gives the most attention to opposing arguments. Its goal is to create a middle ground between two arguments, pointing out the validity of each and finding a way to unify them as one. If positions on a particular topic are too polarized or unable to coexist, this format won’t work.
Let’s take a closer look at the Rogerian argumentative essay outline example below and notice the concessions for opposing points of view.
A. State the problem that needs to be solved and any context necessary for understanding it B. Explain the ideal solutions from your position as well as the ideal solutions from opposing positions (and point out any overlap) C. Make your thesis statement
II. Summarize the opposing position
A. Summarize the opposition’s point of view respectfully; consider their defense and reasoning 1. Present evidential support for the opposing position
2. Comment on or refute their support
B. Follow the same format for additional opposing points of view
III. Validate the opposing position
A. Show that you understand and/or sympathize with the opposing position 1. Explain the context and reasoning behind your opposition’s perspective
2. Elaborate on the evidence and data from opposing positions
B. Affirm the areas in which you agree with the opposition
IV. Present your position
A. Summarize your first reason for holding your position 1. Present your first piece of evidential support
2. Present your second piece of evidential support, and so on
B. Summarize your second reason for holding your position, and so on
V. Bring both sides together (compromise)
A. Consider which aspects from each argument are most reasonable B. Propose a compromise that combines the best elements from each position
A. Reaffirm your respect for the opposing point of view B. Reiterate the areas in which the opposition can benefit from your argument and vice versa C. Summarize the earlier compromise and, if possible, end on a positive note
Toulmin argumentative essay outline template
Stephen Toulmin’s original purpose was to analyze the nature of arguments, but the application of his teachings has evolved into an argumentative essay format, especially for challenging existing arguments. It focuses on the six elements that make up a good argument: claim (thesis), grounds (data and reasons), warrants, backings, qualifiers, and rebuttals.
The argumentative essay outline example below shows the recommended order in which to put these elements:
A. Open with a hook, if you can, to garner interest B. Explain the topic and its necessary context C. Make your thesis statement
II. Present the grounds (hard evidence) to validate your thesis
A. Present your first evidential support of data or logical reasons B. Present your second evidential support of data or logical reasons, and so on
III. Explain your first warrant (justification for your thesis)
A. Explain how the warrant relates back to your thesis B. Provide backing to support your warrant (could be more evidence or data or just logical reasoning) C. List any qualifiers that undermine or limit your warrant—the idea is to acknowledge any weaknesses in your own argument
IV. Explain your second warrant, and so on
A. Continue to explain your individual warrants as above
V. Discuss opposition
A. Explain the first opposing point of view 1. Discuss the opposition fairly and transparently
2. Explain your rebuttal to defend your thesis
B. Explain the second opposing point of view, and so on
A. Connect all your warrants and data together B. Reiterate the opposing position and your rebuttals C. Draw a conclusion to make your final claim and reaffirm your thesis
Argumentative essay FAQs
What is an argumentative essay?
An argumentative essay is a short, nonfiction piece of writing that uses logical evidence and empirical data to convince the reader of a certain point of view.
Argumentative essays typically include an explanation of the writer’s position (thesis), evidence supporting that thesis, opposing points of view, and rebuttals against that opposition. The order in which these sections are presented, however, depends on the format.
What are some common ways to organize an argumentative essay outline?
The most straightforward approach to an argumentative essay outline is to first present your position, including the evidence and reasoning to back it up, and then address the opposing points of view. However, the more complex the topic, the more layers must be added to the outline.
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How to use ChatGPT to help you write essays
ChatGPT's advanced capabilities have created a huge demand , with the 'app' accumulating over 100 million users within two months of launching. One of the biggest standout features has been its ability to compose all sorts of text within seconds, including songs, poems, bedtime stories, and essays.
Also: What is ChatGPT and why does it matter? Here's everything you need to know
Contrary to popular opinion, ChatGPT can do a lot more than just write an essay for you (which could be called plagiarism). What is more useful is how it can help guide your writing process. If you are a looking for ways to use ChatGPT to support your writing, here are five different ways to explore.
How to improve your writing process with ChatGPT
1. use chatgpt to generate essay ideas.
Before you can even get started writing an essay, you need to flesh out the idea. When professors assign essays, they generally give students a prompt that gives them leeway for their own self-expression and analysis. As a result, students have the task of finding the angle to approach the essay on their own.
If you have written an essay recently, you know this step is often the trickiest part -- and this is where ChatGPT can help.
Also: I wish I had ChatGPT when I was in college. But not for the reason you might expect
All you need to do is input the assignment topic, include as much detail as you'd like -- such as what you're thinking about covering -- and let ChatGPT do the rest. For example, based on a paper prompt I had in college, I asked:
Can you help me come up with a topic idea for this assignment, "You will write a research paper or case study on a leadership topic of your choice." I would like it to include Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid and possibly a historical figure.
Within seconds, the chatbot produced a response that provided me with the title of the essay, options of historical figures I could focus my article on, and insight on what information I could include in my paper, with specific examples of a case study I could use.
2. Use the chatbot to create an outline
Once you have a solid topic, it's time to start brainstorming what you actually want to include in the essay. To facilitate the writing process, I always create an outline, including all the different points I want to touch upon in my essay. However, the outline writing process is usually tedious.
With ChatGPT, all you have to do is ask it to write it for you.
Also : ChatGPT productivity hacks: Five ways to use chatbots to make your life easier
Using the topic that ChatGPT helped me generate in step one, I asked the chatbot to write me an outline by saying:
Can you create an outline for a paper, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid"
After a couple of seconds, the chatbot outputted a holistic outline divided into seven different sections, with three different points under each section.
This outline is thorough and can be condensed for a shorter essay, or elaborated on for a longer paper. If you don't like something or want to tweak it further, you can do so either manually or with more instructions to ChatGPT.
3. Use ChatGPT to find sources
Now that you know exactly what you want to write, it's time to find reputable sources to get your information from. If you don't know where to start, like with all of the previous steps, you can just ask ChatGPT.
All you need to do is ask it to find sources for your essay topic. For example, I asked it the following:
Can you help me find sources for a paper, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid."
Also : The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other interesting alternatives to try
The chatbot output seven sources, with a bullet point for each that explained what the source was and why it could be useful.
The one caveat you will want to be aware of when using ChatGPT for sources is that it does not have access to information before 2021, so it will not be able to suggest the freshest sources. However, it is a start.
4. Use ChatGPT to write a sample essay
It is worth noting that if you take the text directly from the chatbot and submit it, your work could be considered a form of plagiarism, since it is not your original work. As with any information taken from another source, text generated by any AI should be clearly identified and credited in your work.
In most educational institutions, the penalties for plagiarism are severe, ranging from a failing grade to expulsion from the school.
Also : ChatGPT is changing everything. But it still has its limits
If you want ChatGPT generate a sample piece of text, put in the topic, the desired length, and watch for what it generates. For example, I input the following text:
Can you write a five-paragraph essay on the topic, "Examining the Leadership Style of Winston Churchill through Blake and Mouton's Managerial Leadership Grid."
Within seconds, the chatbot output exactly what I asked for: A coherent, five-paragraph essay on the topic which can help you to guide you in your own writing.
At this point it's worth remembering how tools like ChatGPT work: They put words together in a form that they think is statistically valid but they don't know if what they are saying is true or accurate. That means you might find invented facts or details or other oddities. It won't be able to create original work because it is simply aggregating everything it has already absorbed. It might be a useful starting point for your own work, but don't expect it to be inspired or accurate.
5. Use ChatGPT to co-edit your essay
Once you've written your own essay, you can use ChatGPT's advanced writing capabilities to edit it for you.
You can simply tell the chatbot what you specifically want it to edit. For example, I asked it to edit for essay structure and grammar, but other options could have included flow, tone, and more.
Once you ask it to edit your essay, it will prompt you to paste your text into the chatbot. Once you do, it will output your essay with corrections made. This could be the most useful tool as it can edit your essay more thoroughly than a basic proofreading tool could, going beyond spelling.
You could also co-edit with the chatbot, asking it to take a look at a specific paragraph or sentence and asking it to rewrite or fix it for clarity.
For a better document collaboration experience, try these tips
How to use ChatGPT: Everything you need to know
The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other interesting alternatives to try
Essay Writing Outline Sample
How do I make a essay writing outline? Get this sample template for an essay writing that has already a written sample text as guide in creating your own essay.
How do I make an essay writing outline?
- For some people, writing an essay is as easy as sitting in front of a computer and starting to type. But to successfully write an essay requires more planning. If you've never written a paper, are struggling with writing, and want to improve your skills, or you're tasked with writing a paper quickly, it's a good idea to follow a few key steps in the paper writing process.
- If you need to write a dissertation, first gather information from reputable sources, such as library books or online scholarly journals. Take detailed notes and keep track of which facts come from which sources.
- When taking notes, look for a central theme to write your essay. Then organize your notes into an outline to support and explain your thesis. Based on your outline, write an introduction and follow-up paragraphs to address each critical point.
- Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that briefly describes the main point of the paragraph. Finally, end your work with a strong conclusion that summarizes the main points.
- Adding examples - If you want to make your essay stronger, look for places where you've used an example to make a point. In most cases, you can add more examples that will show your understanding of the topic while also increasing the word count. This will make your essay much more persuasive and impressive!
- Different viewpoints to address - If you're writing an essay with a page minimum instead of a word minimum, the following suggestions will help you reach your goal while still allowing for some flexibility. You can make slight adjustments to the font and font size.
- Confirming the statements - If you find that your writing is unclear or could be improved with some examples, then, by all means, add them in! This will help to clarify your original statements and make them more persuasive.
- Search for additional sources - If you want to make your essay stronger and increase your word count, look for additional sources that support the statements and conclusions you've made. The more sources you have, the better off your essay will be in most cases.
- Using quotations - If you want to add weight to your essay and make it more persuasive, using expert quotations can be a great way to do so. By finding supporting statements from respected sources in your field, you can give your argument more credibility and make it more likely to win over readers.
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7 Essay Outline Templates to Get Your Essay Going
Aiming for the big ‘A’ on that next essay? Well guess what— winging it without an essay outline is just not an option!
By now, you’ve probably made plans in one form or another. You’ve marked quizzes and paper due dates on a calendar. Maybe you’ve put together a surprise birthday party for your friend. Thinking about setting a wedding date with your significant other? Now you’re really talking about planning.
But why do we plan? What makes us set a schedule for a series of events ahead of time? In this post, I’ll answer these questions and focus on why outlining your papers is a vital part of the writing process.
Then you’ll get the chance to access some awesome essay outline templates to help you start writing a well-planned and strongly organized paper that wows your professor.
Planning Saves Lives … or Grades
Okay, so your freshman analysis paper on gender roles in 50 Shades of Grey may not win a Pulitzer or change anybody’s life. But if you don’t outline your paper, you’re probably heading for a crash.
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Speaking of crashes, think about something you probably do on a daily basis, driving—or riding in—a car. A lot of planning went into that machine to make it work and get you safely from point A to point B.
If the engineers hadn’t carefully blueprinted all the working parts and how they fit together, then that car wouldn’t run at all. Essays are similar. An unplanned essay that isn’t outlined usually won’t pass your professor’s inspection and just gets you nowhere.
An essay outline denotes how you’ll structure your paper . You can (and should!) make changes along the way. But you want to get everything written down so that you can refer to the outline while you’re writing your rough draft.
If you start out with a good idea of how your paper will function and transition between ideas and paragraphs, then you’ll stay on track and avoid writing yourself into a corner.
Beware the corners— this is what happens when you get to a point in your paper and feel like you have run out of ideas or have no place else to go. Don’t let this happen to you—plan ahead!
Got It–But How Do I Start?
Good time management skills definitely don’t hurt. But just like your paper won’t write itself, your essay is going nowhere if you don’t sit down and start working on that outline.
But maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve composed an outline, and some forms are better than others. No worries—instead of starting from scratch, we’ve got you covered with these templates. You just have to fill in the blanks and keep moving forward!
That said, it’s a good idea to think about the process behind writing a paper before moving forward with your outline. Most papers—like most cars—have the same basic working parts.
You usually need a thesis statement in your introductory paragraph, body paragraphs that follow a logical order and support that thesis, and a conclusion that wraps it all up.
And though most essay have those same working parts, there are different types of essays. Each one requires a different approach to outlining. So without further ado …
7 Super-Awesome Essay Outline Templates
1. Analytical essay outline
Download the template!
This outline template can help you pick apart a topic and support your thesis so well that your professor’s jaw will drop. An analytical essay isn’t a summary — it requires you to concentrate on how a book or poem was written, why a song was composed, what themes are prevalent in a movie, and why that matters .
You come up with an answer and then explain why you’re right. This template covers the basics and narrows the focus, so you can write a killer thesis statement and use strong evidence to support your claim.
2. Argumentative essay outline
Nearly all college students will write an argumentative essay, so steel yourself and get ready to create a powerful outline. In this type of essay, you’ll try to persuade your readers that your thoughts on a given topic are the right ones.
But unlike a persuasive essay, you’ll have to do some solid research and back up your ideas with hard facts. This is a great template to guide you through writing your intro, developing your argument, refuting your opponent’s arguments, and bringing your essay over the finish line with the conclusion.
In an argument essay, you must consider the opposing side(s). This handy template will also show you how to tackle the best of them.
3. Compare and contrast essay outline
A compare and contrast essay takes two subjects and focuses on their similarities and differences. Sounds easy, right? Wait—there’s more!
Like all good essays, this one also serves a larger purpose—maybe you’re trying to state something unknown, clear up a misunderstanding, or show that one topic is better than another.
This template can help you reach these goals using the point-by-point comparison method. Check it out.
4. Expository essay outline
Do you like helpful advice? Me too. That’s what you get with this awesome expository essay template. An expository essay is kind of like a book report. Your teacher makes you write one of these to show that you’ve aptly researched a topic.
Though there are many ways to organize this type of essay, start with this outline, and you’ll be in good shape. It will help you explain your topic using facts, evidence, and analysis—all of which will help you showcase the larger significance at hand.
5. Persuasive essay outline
Prove it to me . A persuasive essay’s goal is to convince your readers that your viewpoint is the right one. It’s kind of like an argument essay, except that you don’t have to use well-researched facts in order to support your thesis. You can focus on emotional anecdotes and stories to convince your reader that you’re 100% correct.
This is a great outline template that really delivers from intro to conclusion. Need to define your audience and lay down your best hook ? Look no further than this stellar template.
6. Reflective essay outline
In a reflective essay, you get to recall an event, object, or person that helped you become who you are today. This is a fun essay to write because all the material for it exists in your own head. You don’t have to research or argue. You simply offer the reader a meaningful glimpse into your life.
These essays don’t have to be serious— just ask David Sedaris — but there are good and bad ways to write them. Never fear—this template is here to guide you in setting up your hook, descriptive body paragraphs, and an impactful conclusion.
7. Research essay outline
Research essays are beastly—they’re longer than most papers to start. They also typically require more effort because you’re gathering sources and revealing what experts are saying about your topic. But this type of essay is cool because it helps you sharpen both your writing skills and knowledge about a topic.
So learn something, and slay that research essay beast by starting with the best weapon. This template will help you put a framework to your ideas—covering the thesis, context, and history behind your topic, the existing arguments, and why the topic/research matters.
From Outline to Essay
Outlining your essay before you begin writing it has so many advantages. It’s easier to change and reorganize a few points on a page than doing the same for large paragraphs in a rough draft.
Outlines save you time and provide peace of mind when it comes to writing papers. Even when you’re putting words to the page, you can always refer back to an outline to keep you on the right track and avoid getting stuck in one of those scary corners we talked about.
Want to win the essay-writing race? Then make a habit of outlining your essays from now on.
Sometimes it just helps to see how others have tackled essays in the past. Check out some of these great example essays from the Kibin database to inspire your next trip down essay-writing lane.
- Analytical essay examples
- Argumentative essay examples
- Compare and contrast essay examples
- Expository essay examples
- Persuasive essay examples
- Research essay examples
- Reflective essay examples
Now you’re ready to rev your outline-writing engine. Kick your typing into gear, and drive that paper from point A to point B with a well-organized structure that’ll show your professor you know what’s what.
And don’t forget—your Kibin pit crew is standing by to proofread that next paper to make sure it runs like a dream when you’re ready to turn it in.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .
About the Author
Ryan G. has an MFA in Fiction Writing from a literature-based program. He teaches English composition courses, tutors a diverse student body in a writing center, and designs online learning modules for comp and business writing. He is also a Kibin editor .
- analytical essay
- argumentative essays
- compare and contrast essay
- expository essay
- persuasive essays
- reflective essay
- research paper
Create an Outline
Use this outline template for Word to create a professional-looking report or paper. This outline template includes preformatted text for the title, headings, and more. Every great paper or report starts with an outline. Easily start yours today with this free Word outline template. This is an accessible template.
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How to Write a College Essay Outline: A Full Guide for Student + Template
15 Nov 2021
❔What is a College Essay Outline?
✍️Write an Essay Outline for College
📑College Essay Outline Template
✒️Format for a College Essay
To many students, a college essay is a different breed. It requires more thought and effort than papers that students wrote in the past. Because of this, learning the process of writing a college essay outline can be a massive learning tool. Not only does it save time in the long run, but it helps students to better organize thoughts and paper as a whole. Moreover, you can always use our college admission essay service to ease the assignment for you.
What is a College Essay Outline and Why is it Important?
A college essay outline is a basic guide to follow so that the structure of the paper makes sense. Even when students are concerned with what should a college essay be about, an outline helps the process. In writing a college admissions essay, it is important that all thoughts and ideas are presented in a logical manner. Without that logic, it is possible that those in admissions will not see the value of having the student at their university. Understanding how to outline a college essay is the beginning of presenting a student’s best self.
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How to Write an Outline for College Essay?
The perfect college essay outline exists, and it is as easy to follow as any other. By following the guidelines of a college essay template, a student can complete the task without the need to buy custom college essays . A basic essay outline has all the capabilities of working for a university admissions paper as well. The basics include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. After that, you can read our college essay outline example.
How Should an Introduction be Structured?
A college application essay should start with a wonderfully written introduction. While the topic may vary from school to school, an introduction is important no matter what the subject matter is. Whether it is a personal statement for college or a response to a modern social issue, one thing remains true. Writing a college essay outline starts with the first aspect: the introduction.
The first part of the introduction is responsible for getting the attention of the reader. This is known as the hook or attention grabber. In the middle of the introductory paragraph, the writer should inform of the main points in the body paragraphs. The last sentence is typically the thesis statement – the single sentence that summarizes the purpose of the paper.
What is Included in the Body Paragraphs?
The body of a paper is the most important part, as it contains the details of the topic. Most usually, the body paragraphs are split up into three sections. Each section has its own main idea that is explained and analyzed throughout the paragraphs. The best of body paragraphs in a college essay begins with a topic sentence that identifies what that section is about. That sentence is then expanded upon to build up the section.
What Information Belongs in a Conclusion?
A conclusion is often the easiest part of a college paper because it simply revises the wording surrounding the body. It typically starts with re-explaining the thesis statement, which reminds readers of the overall takeaway of the piece of writing. Then, the conclusion branches out into a brief explanation of the body paragraphs. The last sentence should wrap things up nicely and make it clear that the document has come to its end.
Stuck with finding the right title?
Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.
What is a Good College Essay Outline Template?
There are a couple of versions of a college essay outline template that can come in handy for an aspiring college student. The basic essay outline is a simple template that can help with any number of topics.
First college essay outline example:
The above is the most basic essay outline.
Second college essay outline example:
The second style of the outline has a way of working just as well, but also includes a level of creativity.
By using one of the two outline examples from above, a college essay is sure to include all of the relevant data and thought processes. In a multi-faceted paper, using an outline to construct a logical document is key.
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What is the Proper Format for a College Paper?
Choosing between the multiple formats and styles for citations can be difficult if the basics are not understood. However, if the prompt fails to notify the writer of a preferred format, there is a standard. MLA and APA are most common for this kind of writing, but it varies depending on the specific topic. Keep in mind the list of topics to avoid in college essays . APA citations are generally used in Psychology and the Sciences and MLA is preferred by Humanities topics. Chicago is most commonly used for business.
Creating an outline to follow prior to drafting the actual college essay is huge in finding success as a student. A basic essay outline can shine a light on any gaps in thought and also save time within the writing process. When writing a college admissions essay, it is smartest to put an outline to use. Acceptance into a quality college may depend on it. If you have any difficulties with writing college essays, you can always ask us " write my college essay " and we will help you!
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How to Write an Outline
Last Updated: September 11, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 3,906,215 times.
An outline is a great way to organize ideas and information for a speech, an essay, a novel, or a study guide based on your class notes. At first, writing an outline might seem complicated, but learning how to do it will give you an essential organizational skill! Start by planning your outline and choosing a structure for it. Then, you can organize your ideas into an easy to understand outline.
Quick Outline Slideshow
Planning Your Outline
- Some people process their ideas better when they write them down. Additionally, you can easily draw diagrams or examples, which might help you conceptualize the subject. However, it might take longer to write out your outline, and it won't be as neat.
- Typing your outline might be easier if your notes are already typed on the computer, as you can just copy and paste them into your outline. Copying and pasting also allows you to easily rearrange your sections, if necessary. Also, it will be easier to copy and paste information from your outline into your paper if you type your outline. On the other hand, it's harder to jot down notes in the margins or draw out organizational diagrams.
- If you’re working on a creative project, such as a novel, identify your concept, genre, or premise. Then, allow the outlining process to help you structure your work.
- It’s okay if your topic is somewhat broad when you first start, but you should have a direction. For example, your history paper topic could be French life during the German occupation of France in World War II. As you write your outline, you might narrow this down to the resistance fighters called maquisards .
- For a school assignment, review the assignment sheet or talk to your instructor. If the outline is for work, use an existing outline as a model for yours.
- If you are the only person who will see the outline, you can choose formatting that works for you. For example, you might write your outline in shorthand.
- Paraphrased ideas
- Historical facts
- Freewrite as ideas come to you.
- Create a mind map .
- Write your thoughts on index cards.
- For example, you may be writing a paper about policy change. Your thesis might read, “Policy makers should take an incremental approach when making policy changes to reduce conflict, allow adjustments, and foster compromise.” Each of the 3 reasons listed in your thesis will become its own main point in your outline.
Structuring Your Outline
- Roman Numerals - I, II, III, IV, V
- Capitalized Letters - A, B, C
- Arabic Numerals - 1, 2, 3
- Lowercase Letters - a, b, c
- Arabic Numerals in Parentheses - (1), (2), (3)
- 1.1.1 - Each side presents a case before the vote
- 1.1.2 - Citizens voice their opinion
- 1.2 - Neither side gets everything they want
- You might use short phrases to quickly organize your ideas, to outline a speech, or to create an outline that’s just for you.
- You might use full sentences to make it easier to write a final paper, to make a good study guide, or to fulfill the requirements of an assignment.
Organizing Your Ideas
- If you jotted down your ideas or made a mind map, use different colored highlighters to identify ideas that belong in the same group.
- Sort your index cards, if you used them to brainstorm. Put cards with related ideas together. For example, you can put them in stacks, or you can line your cards out in rows to make them easier to read.
- For example, your main point might be that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein champions emotion over reason. Your subpoints might be that Victor Frankenstein is restored by nature and that his scientific efforts create a monster. As supporting details, you might include quotes from the book.
- If you're writing a story or presenting a historical argument, a chronological order makes sense. For an essay or speech, pick the subtopic with the most supporting materials, and lead with this argument. From there, order your major subtopics so each one naturally flows into the next.
- Your broad ideas should connect back to your thesis or controlling idea. If they don’t, rewrite your thesis to reflect the main ideas you’re putting into your outline.
- Hook to grab the audience
- 1-2 general statements about your topic
- Phrase outline: II. Frankenstein champions emotion over reason
- Full sentence outline: II. In Frankenstein , Mary Shelley champions the use of emotion over reason.
- Depending on the purpose of your outline, you might have more subpoints. For example, a novel may have many subpoints. Similarly, a study guide will likely have several subpoints, as well.
- In an essay, this is often where you “prove” your argument.
- For a creative work, you might include essential details you must include in that scene, such as an internal conflict in your main character.
- Similar to subpoints, you may have more supporting details, depending on your purpose. A novel or study guide will likely have more supporting details.
- Roman Numeral
- Capital Letter
- Arabic Numeral
- Lowercase Letter
- Arabic Numeral in Parentheses
- Restate your thesis.
- 1-2 summarizing sentences.
- Write a concluding statement.
Finalizing Your Outline
- This also gives you a chance to look for missing parts or ideas that aren’t fully fleshed. If you see areas that leave questions unanswered, it’s best to fill in those gaps in information.
- If you are making an outline for yourself, you might not worry about this.
- It’s a good idea to have someone else check it for errors, as it’s often hard to recognize errors in your own work.
- While you edit your outline, refer back to your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you've completely fulfilled the assignment. If not, go back and correct the areas that are lacking.
- You can use more layers if you want to include more information.
- You might also include additional layers for a long creative work or a detailed study guide.
- Be concise and straightforward in your outline. This doesn't have to be perfectly polished writing; it just has to get your point across. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- Don't be afraid to eliminate irrelevant information as you conduct more research about your topic and narrow your focus. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- You can use outlines as a memorization tool . Choose concise words to trigger a concept. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Generally, you should avoid only having one point or sub-point on any outline level. If there is an A, either come up with a B or fold A's idea into the next level up. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 2
- Your outline should not be your essay in a different form. Only write down the major assertions, not every single detail. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.iup.edu/writingcenter/writing-resources/organization-and-structure/creating-an-outline.html
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/outlining
- ↑ https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~cinichol/271/OutlinesHowTo.htm
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/02/
- ↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/7-steps-to-creating-a-flexible-outline-for-any-story
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/03/
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/outline.html
About This Article
The easiest way to write an outline is to gather all of your supporting materials, like quotes, statistics, or ideas, before getting started. Next, go over your materials and take notes, grouping similar ideas together. Then, organize your ideas into subtopics and use your materials to provide at least two supporting points per subtopic. Be sure to keep your outline concise and clear, since you’ll have to refer to it later! For more help on how to plan and organize your outline, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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34+ Sample Essay Outlines in PDF | DOC
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- Choose a topic you want to discuss in your essay. If this is an argument, choose where you stand on that.
- With the main topic, create three or more arguments for that and label them with Roman numerals.
- To dig much deeper, research and build three or more supporting statements with each argument.
- Make a summary writing that wraps up the whole topic
1. Choose and research.
2. craft a thesis statement and topic sentences., 3. write the introduction section., 4. write the body section., 5. write a conclusion..
- First point
- Second point
- Third point
Time management, determine weaknesses in arguments, develop ideas more clearly.
Know where you stand, organize thoughts, more design, 21+ essay writing examples, 5+ persuasive essay examples, samples, 7+ personal essay examples, samples, what are the parts of an essay, 8+ scholarship essay examples, samples, 10+ analysis essay examples, samples, 10+ essay writing examples, samples, how to start an essay, related articles.
- 16+ Essay Examples in Doc
- 34+ Outline Examples in Word
How to Write an Essay Outline?
28 August, 2020
8 minutes read
Author: Tomas White
Now that the school year has begun, you will start to receive many essay assignments. One way to organize your thoughts before writing is to create an essay outline. What is an essay outline? It's a tool that helps you organize your ideas and write a better essay. In this article, we will discuss why writing an outline for your essay is helpful, how it will improve your writing, and how to go about creating one.
What is an Essay Outline?
An outline is a tool that you can use for organizing your ideas and structuring your essay in a proper manner. It should summarize your essay and help you organize your content in a logical order. An outline can guide you throughout the writing process and remind you of what you should be writing about. Most commonly, an essay is written following a 5-paragraph structure, addressing the key points that you have laid out in the outline. Below, you will find more about the proper structure of your essay outline and what these 5 paragraphs should include.
Why Do You Need It?
Sitting down to write an essay can be overwhelming. Writing an outline helps alleviate some of that frustration. Furthermore, it will help you organize thoughts, present ideas logically and with a natural flow, as well as clarify your thesis and conclusion.
Find out the basic essay information with this article: What is an Essay?
Overall, an outline will help you communicate your point in a clear and organized format. The structure of your essay will rely on the outline you compose.
Preparing Your Outline
Before you begin writing an outline for the essay, make sure you understand the assignment. Namely, what exactly is the instructor looking for? Our essay writer recommends you to follow these simple steps:
1. Develop a Topic
The first step in your outline is to identify your topic. Once you have a clear understanding of the instructor’s expectations, begin brainstorming topics that fit within the assignment. Make a list of ideas and pick the ones that are of your interest. If you are stuck between a few ideas, begin free writing. Give yourself 5 minutes for each idea and just write everything that first comes to mind without editing or stopping. The idea that inspires you the most may just be the perfect essay topic for this assignment. In fact, essays are easier to write and read if the author is passionate about what he/she is writing.
Related Posts: Argumentative essay topics | Compare&Contrast essay topics
2. Identify the purpose, audience, and argument/ideas
Once you have developed a topic, you will need to define the purpose (or the reason) for writing this essay as well as who you are writing for. By having a clear understanding of the purpose, the audience, and the necessary arguments/ideas that need to be addressed, you will be better prepared to write an influential essay.
Take a second to look back over the instructions for the assignment and ask yourself the following questions.
- What are the objectives of the assignment?
- Are there keywords that stand out in the instructions?
- Are you being asked to persuade, entertain, enlighten, or educate your audience?
- Who is your audience? Is it the teacher, the other students, or someone else?
- What arguments or counter ideas might the audience have for your topic/idea?
- What emotions might these ideas bring up and how can you counterbalance them with facts?
3. Develop a thesis statement
Now that you know your topic, purpose, audience and have developed your main arguments/ideas – it is time to write your thesis statement . A thesis is only one to two sentences long and highlights the question your essay will be answering. It does not state your opinion or list facts though, but rather identifies what you will be arguing for or against within the body of your essay. Keep in mind that thesis statements must be accurate, clear, and relevant to the topic.
Structuring Your Outline
Now that you have read the above information, the question is: how to write an essay outline?
First, decide on what structure to use. There are two main essay outline formats to choose from: alphanumeric and decimal .
The alphanumeric format uses Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, etc), capital letters (A, B, C, D, etc.), Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), and lowercase letters (a, b, c, d, etc.). This one is more common than the other.
On the contrary, the decimal format only uses numbers. It begins with 1.0. Subsections add a decimal. The most important points under 1.0 would be 1.1, 1.2, etc. The subsections beneath 1.1 would be 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, etc. For a visual example of an essay outline scroll to the bottom of this article.
For the visual examples of the stated outline formats, scroll down to the bottom of this article.
Apply sub-section structure. The more detailed content of your essay will be found within the sub-sections, while the main sections are your fundamental ideas and arguments. Therefore, the sub-sections are the facts that support main sections. Think of the section title as the topic sentence for your paragraph and the sub-section as the tiny details that explain the idea of the topic. Notably, your sub-sections need to flow naturally from one to another.
Integrate paragraphs into your outline. Start fleshing out your section and subsection notes. Your introduction will need to include your topic and thesis statement. For a short essay, this only needs to be one paragraph long. Then, refer to your assignment instructions to clarify the length. Next is the body part – a ‘skeleton’ on which the entire essay is based. This section will consist of several paragraphs, each playing a supportive role in the filling of your thesis. The final section of your outline is the conclusion. This is a summary of everything you have stated in your essay. In this part, paraphrase your thesis statement and highlight the arguments made within the essay to support it. Remember that presenting new ideas and concepts in the concluding sentences is a big academic mistake. Rather, your final words should only emphasize the points you’ve indicated earlier and focus on the already-highlighted ideas.
Essay Outline Examples
Now, it’s time to showcase the most common essay outline types. For you to get the right idea of what an outline actually is, we have transformed the content of the article you are currently reading into an outline.
Alphanumeric format essay outline sample:
Decimal format essay outline sample:
Drawing the Line
Now that you know how to use an essay outline, you are well on your way to writing clear, persuasive essays. This tool will help you improve your writing and earn a higher grade for your essay. Now it’s time for you to get started and make use of this tool.
In case you have any questions, you are free to skim through our essay writing guide where you can find helpful information on how to plan, structure and write different types of essays.
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30+ Essay Outline Templates – (Free Samples, Examples and Formats)
When writing an essay, an outline isn’t strictly required for completing an essay. However an effective essay outline can make the task of writing an essay much easier than it would be without the outline. The essay outline organizes the main points, and their supporting content. This process prevents needless repetition of information, and highlights areas that need special attention.
There is no hard-fast rule in essay outline design, but there is a general consensus on the overall idea. Typically, an essay has five paragraphs. The first paragraph is the introduction which includes the hook, and the thesis or main argument. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs are the three arguments, and their supporting facts or opinions. The fifth paragraph is the conclusion.
Basically this breaks down into three main parts:
- Main points and supporting content
Here are 30+ plus blank outline templates , samples and formats to help you with your essay.
Table of Contents
5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template
Blank Essay Outline Template
Essay Outline Template for Compare and Contrast
Essay Outline Template for Middle School
Essay Outline Template for High School
Essay Outline Template for College
Essay Outline Template for Word
Essay Outline Worksheet
Research Essay Outline Template
Analytical Essay Outline Template
Argumentative Essay Outline Template
Expository Essay Outline Template
Persuasive Essay Outline Template
Reflective Essay Outline Template
Sample Essay Outline Template for Word
Blank Informative Essay Outline Template
Expository Essay Outline Sample for Word
Sample College Essay Outline Template
Argumentative Essay Outline Example
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template for PDF
Essay Outline Example for PDF
Essay Outline Worksheet for PDF
Expository Essay Outline
Literacy Essay Analysis Outline Example
Narrative Essay Outline Format for PDF
Persuasive Essay Outline Example
Research Proposal Essay Outline for PDF
Sample Argumentative Essay Outline for PDF
Sample Essay Writing Outline
Sample Narrative Essay Outline for PDF
Sample Persuasive Essay Outline for PDF
Simple Essay Outline
Thesis Essay Format Example
Tips for writing an essay outline:
- The hook should be in the first sentence- While addressing the content of your essay is important, a reader won’t get there if they’re not interested in your work
- There are three types of essays- There are three basic types of essays: Expository, Informative, and Argumentative. The type of essay you write will dictate your introduction. In informative essays, the introduction will be a general summary of the information to follow. In argumentative essays the introduction will be your main argument in the discussion, and expository essays will lead with an introduction that may state facts or statistics.
- Outlining is a time saver and an organizer- Assembling an essay outline allows the writer to see what work has been done and what work remains. It also organizes otherwise chaotic thought processes in a sensible manner. Essay outlines take time, but they save more time and frustration later in the process. You wouldn’t go on vacation without first knowing where you’re going, and how you’re getting there. This same concept applies to writing.
- There is no right or wrong way- There is no right or wrong way to make an essay outline- The components of an essay outline can be written out in proper sentence structure or paraphrased. The essay structure doesn’t necessarily have to consist of five paragraphs, and there is no set way of organizing the main points as long as the structure is organized for your purpose.
Why you should make an outline for essay?
Writing an outline essay is important because mastering the skill of writing essay outlines allows the writer to master their writing structure for future projects. Also, essay outlines allow the writer to organize their thoughts so readers don’t get lost in, or frustrated with what they’re reading. You might also like to check book outline templates .
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Example essay outlines
Below are two examples of essay outlines that were written in response to the essay question: ‘Explain the relationship between police culture and police accountability’.
Version 1 reflects the sort of plans that many students produce. While it works as a starting point, it needs to be further developed. It’s very descriptive, and requires a stronger argument and deeper analysis. Version 2, on the other hand, presents a clear argument. It states the contention in the introduction, followed by a series of supporting points that are based on evidence.
- Doesn’t answer the essay question in the introduction.
- The contention is stated in the conclusion, but needs to be stated in the introduction, and then developed throughout the entire essay.
- Paragraphs describe particular theories/ideas but don’t analyse them or say how they help to answer the essay question.
- States the contention in the introduction.
- Claims are presented in response to the essay question (in the topic sentences), and are supported by analysed evidence.
- Conclusion sums up the argument and reflects on implications.
The essay examples linked below can provide you with more context on how to write an essay in your discipline.
Art History and Theory essay
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How to Write an Essay Outline: MLA and APA Styles
Outlining is a form of organization which is used among authors of all writing styles. The common organizational method allows writers to list all of their research and ideas in one place before the writing process starts. Understanding the general college essay outline can go a long way in getting your thoughts structured, as well as positive feedback from your professor. Take a look at this guide from our coursework writing services team to learn how to write an outline.
What Is an Outline?
An essay outline is one of the main planning methods when it comes to writing academic papers, scholarly articles, informative guides, novels, and encyclopedias. The everyday paper outline contains the headings: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Every source is organized by relevance to strengthen the writing process. There are various formats when it comes to outlining, but the main formats required for a college essay outline is MLA and APA.
Regardless of whether you’re writing an MLA or APA outline, the organizational process remains the same with some minor differences. The main difference being APA uses abstracts, as it requires one or two sentences per line. APA is used for humanities, as MLA is used more for social studies. Other than that, the simple outline remains the same for any kind of academic paper structure.
How to Write an Outline?
The most common college essay is 5 paragraphs. Thus, an easy way to remember the general format of a writing plan is to think of it as planning a 5 paragraph essay outline where students would write an Introduction, Thesis, Body, and Conclusion. Then, fit a total of 5 paragraphs within the basic structure. The same practice can be done with planning, except rather than paragraphs, it’s notes. The exact same method would apply to an argumentative essay outline and any other kind of paper structure throughout and beyond college.
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The Key-Elements to Outlining
- Research & Notes: Before the writing process, it is essential to find credible sources and note them down. Search across credible websites, as well as academic search engines, Google Scholar or Oxford Academic, to find reliable references to include in an academic paper.
- Prioritize Your Thesis: As the thesis statement is a summary of the entire paper, start prioritizing it before working on the other sections of the outline. The thesis can guide you along the planning and writing process.
- Write Your Ideas: Assuming you have already written out the basic headings of an outline, write down all of the key points from your found sources in the Thesis and Body sections.
- Where to Include References: For cause and effect, AP English examinations, SAT essays, admission essays, along with other formal writing styles, all of the references are included in the body section. Excluding reflection paper and analytical papers, where it’s acceptable to include a citation within the introductory paragraph.
- Introduction: For most academic styles, the introduction is the opening line to the paper. Thus, it is essential to plan something catchy within the outline. As mentioned, writing styles, for example, reflection essay or analytical paper, allow for the use of citation as an opening.
- The Conclusion: The entire paper should be summarized in the final paragraph, restating the thesis in the first sentence, adding suggestions, predictions, and/or opinions in the sentences that follow. As for the final sentence, it should summarize the goal of the paper.
General Outline Format
Here is an outline format from our business essay writing services professionals:
- Essay Title:
- Student Name:
- Professor’s Name:
- Class (Optional)
- Opening Paragraph.
- Brief Description of the Entire Paper.
- Link Sentence to the First Body Paragraph.
Body Paragraph 1
- Explanation (Related to the Thesis).
- Link Sentence to the Second Body Paragraph.
Body Paragraph 2
- Link Sentence to the Third Body Paragraph.
Body Paragraph 3
- Link Sentence to the Conclusion.
- Summary of the Entire Paper.
- A Conclusive Sentence.
- Footnotes or Bibliography
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We understand that it may be difficult to differentiate between an MLA & APA Outline. The methods both depend on the referencing styles. APA outlining makes the use of abstracts, as MLA uses sentence citations. In an MLA outline, a title page is not necessary. As the APA referencing style requires it, include it on the outline. Take a look at an outline example below to get a better idea.
MLA Outline Example
- Introductory Sentence: Stonehenge is a vast hub for ancient history.
- Link Sentence to the Thesis: Standing 13 feet high, it is one of the oldest structures in the UK.
- Description of the Paper: The paper describes how Stonehenge was built and its purpose.
- First Argument/Claim: Stonehenge was built in 3001BC.
- Second Argument/Claim: Stonehenge is known to be a place for religious worship.
- Third Argument/Claim: Other Stonehenge-like structures exist around Europe.
- Reference: The circulation ditch around Stonehenge is believed to have been constructed around the year 3000BC, according to studies.
- Explanation/Claim: Around the end of stone-age, pagans got together and built the first segment to what has become stone-henge.
- Link Sentence: Which brings up the matter of belief.
- Reference: During the late Tudor era, most people believed that ancient Britons placed the stones for the sole purpose of religious practice.
- Explanation/Claim: From the late 2nd millennium AD to modern day, the practice of Paganism is the common explanation for the reason why stone-henge was built.
- Link Sentence: More evidence emerges regarding the mysterious structure.
- Reference: Around 1100 BC, Stonehenge-like stones emerged.
- Explanation/Claim : The structure is believed to have been built by migrants.
- Link Sentence:
- Summary of the Paper: Overall, the ancient stones have caused great interest throughout human history with science and assumptions.
- Conclusive Sentence: No one knows for sure how they were built.
- “History of Stonehenge” https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history-and-stories/history/
- “Why Was Stonehenge Built?” https://www.history.com/news/why-was-stonehenge-built
- “Stonehenge Is Not Alone: 7 Ancient Megaliths You've Never Seen.” https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/travel/stonehenge-not-alone-7-ancient-megaliths-youve-never-seen
APA Outline Example
- Title: The Dangers of Using Cell-Phones
- Student Name: Jake Smith
- Professor’s Name: Dr. Stephen Miller
- Class (Optional): Class of 2019
- Introductory Sentence: Mobile phones have taken a drastic effect on our daily lives in the worst possible way.
- Link Sentence to the Thesis: The everyday use of mobile technology has gone out of control.
- Description: The paper describes the regular dangers and negative effects on humans regarding cell-phone usage. The ordeal can be life-threatening, or simply socially depriving.
- First argument: High amounts of cell-phone usage results in negative health consequences.
- Second Argument: Cell-phone usage has a negative effect on human interaction.
- Third Argument: Texting while driving is worse than drinking and driving.
- Evidence/Reference: “Mobile phones communicate with base stations using radiofrequency (RF) radiation. If RF radiation is high enough, it has a ‘thermal’ effect, which means it raises body temperature. There are concerns that the low levels of RF radiation emitted by mobile phones could cause health problems such as headaches or brain tumors.” (“Mobile phones and your health”)
- Explanation/Claim: The radiation from phones possesses cancerous elements after long-term usage. In other words, one’s long-term cell-phone usage can put him or herself at risk of terminal illness, or worse. There is still a lack of evidence to this claim as cell-phones have not been around for very long.
- Link Sentence: Which brings us to how cell-phones are destroying human interaction.
- Evidence/Reference: “Sherry Turkle argues that the use of cell phones while in social situations affects the quality of human conversation. Turkle says that it makes people less open and honest in conversation. She also says it makes people less empathetic. She uses a school of children as an example, stating that the children do not seem to be able to understand each other or show empathy toward each other.” (“Cell-Phones and Human Interaction.”)
- Explanation/Claim: Mobile phone usage has gotten to the extent that humans are no longer communicating. Families go out to restaurants, cafes, and parks without interacting with each other due to their addiction to cell-phones. Humans have also possessed far less empathy compared with 15 years ago due to the missing interaction that could have been obtained during this time period. This shows mostly in school children who have been born into this way of life.
- Link Sentence: Apart from that, cell-phone usage while driving also comes with life-threatening risks.
- Evidence/Reference: “The Transport Research Laboratory found that motorists who use their mobile phone to send text messages (...) the research found, with steering control by texters 91 percent poorer than that of drivers devoting their full concentration to the road.” (“Texting while driving is more dangerous than drink-driving.” )
- Explanation/Claim: Using a mobile device while driving a motor vehicle has more of a drastic effect than drink-driving. On record, there have been more deaths around the world from text-driving and drink-driving.
- Link Sentence to the Conclusion: Humans are completely addicted to mobile phones, to the extent of dangerous driving, health-risks, and a lack of interaction.
- Summary of the Entire Paper: Restate the Thesis.
- Conclusive Sentence: The continuation of excessive usage of mobile phones is becoming a major threat to mankind in every aspect possible.
- “Mobile Phones and Your Health” https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/mobile-phones-and-your-health
- “Cell Phones and Human Interaction.” https://www.theodysseyonline.com/cell-phones-and-human-interaction
- “Texting While Driving Is More Dangerous Than Drink-Driving,” http://www.amta.org.au/articles/amta/Texting.while.driving.is.more.dangerous.than.drinkdriving
We also recommend reading The Divine Comedy Summary , our readers like it a lot, and it may also be helpful in writing essays.
Video Guide: How to Write an Essay Outline
Regardless of the writing style, the main essay format acts as a helping hand in multiple ways to any kind of author. Knowing the general plan of an essay can highly benefit those writing their everyday college paper or dissertation by having all of the ideas and references on a writing plan. For example, a persuasive essay outline does not differentiate from a research paper plan. Thus, knowing the general outline format can make producing academic papers far easier by simplifying the entire writing process. Sometimes when you start writing an essay, you may encounter various difficulties like not understanding the topic, lack of time, too tired. You may ask yourself "I want to pay someone to write my paper . Can anyone help me?" Sure! On EssayPro we can give you a hand! Just leave us a request and we'll help asap.
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Are you still having difficulty outlining? Our writers are here to give you a hand to create a well-structured essay outline with references and unique ideas included. Regardless of the subject, academic level, or outline format required, we have got you covered. Click on the button below if you have the " write research paper for me " request or need any other help.
Argumentative Essay Writing
Argumentative Essay Outline
Learn How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline
Published on: Jun 23, 2020
Last updated on: Feb 14, 2023
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It's the night before the essay is due, and you haven't even started. Your mind is blank, and you have no idea what words will persuade your teacher.
The good news is that some tips and tricks can make the process of writing an argumentative essay much easier.
In this blog, we'll break down the components of an argumentative essay and provide helpful tips and examples along the way. By the end, you should have all the guidelines to create a winning essay that will persuade your readers.
Let's take a closer look at all these steps.
How to Write an Argumentative Essay Outline?
An argumentative essay outline is a plan through which the writer works and organizes the raw data. An outline provides a track to follow for your papers and essays.
The outline helps you stick to the critical things making sure that you did not miss important information in the content.
Outlining might confuse you if you have never developed one before. However, once you know how to create one, it will be a lot easier to draft a perfect argumentative essay.
An argumentative essay consists of several equally important parts. These sections individually state the topic, arguments, evidence and supporting statements, etc.
The significant parts of an argumentative essay outline are:
- Body Paragraphs
Creating each section systematically is a fundamental requirement of an outline. Learn how to make each part of the outline professionally in the following area.
Argumentative Essay Introduction
Just like any other academic writing, you need a foundation on which to build your essay. An introduction is the foundation of your essay.
A proper and perfect essay introduction will make your paper flawless and vice-versa.
An introduction of an argumentative essay includes a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.
A hook is an opening statement of the essay’s introduction. It serves the purpose of grabbing the reader’s attention toward the content.
A hook can be a quotation, anecdote, question, funny/sarcastic statement, fact, statistic, etc.
For example, the major cause of obesity in the United States is fast food.
- Background Information
Here you present some background information about the topic. The background information should answer the following questions:
- What is the issue you are going to talk about?
- Who is your audience?
- Where is the selected issue prevalent?
- Why is the issue important to be discussed?
- Thesis Statement
It is the last sentence of your introduction that is the focal point of your essay. It introduces the readers to the topic’s main argument. Then, it states the writer’s position and stands in the essay.
Support your thesis statement in the body paragraphs of an essay to persuade the audience. Argumentative Essay Body Paragraphs -H3
After the introductory paragraphs are written, the next part is the body of the argumentative essay.
This part of the essay is essential to be structured well as it contains all the claims and pieces of evidence.
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For essays like an argumentative essay, it is imperative to make your claim in writing. A claim, or the core argument, is the basis of your entire essay. If you want your essay to be right in quality, make sure that the claims made are strong.
You can support your claim with strong evidence.
The purpose of making a claim is to define the:
- Support your request and the basic argument
In the main body, present your claim in the topic sentence . And let the audience know what the specific paragraph is about. However, also show your point of view.
Making a claim in an argumentative essay is not enough. Making people believe your stance is what the objective of the writer is.
For this purpose, you need to support your argument with evidence and supporting facts.
You have to clear your position as a writer by providing relevant stuff showing your claims’ validity and accuracy.
The reality of your claim entirely depends on the credibility and reliability of the facts you provide.
There are five types of evidence that are used to prove the preliminary thesis statement:
- Real-life examples
- Hypothetical situations
- Include an Opponent’s Argument
While collecting information for your essay, students often ignore the opposing arguments.
When writing an argumentative essay, a writer shouldn’t just talk about his claim and support it with evidence.
After providing evidence for your claim, identify and include opposing views and counter-arguments and debunk them.
There is always another side to the argument. Use evidence to disprove these opposing sides and arguments.
Argumentative Essay Conclusion
The last part of the writing process of the outline is the conclusion . Now that you have adequately structured the introduction and the body paragraphs, it’s time to conclude your essay.
The power of a conclusion is often underestimated. If the ending is vague, abrupt, and not good, your whole essay will be a waste.
The following things conclude an argumentative essay:
- Restating your thesis statement.
- Summarizing basic arguments.
- Recommending a course of action to the readers.
Make sure that the length of the conclusion is the same as the introduction. Short and precise conclusions are effective.
In conclusion, a writer should never introduce new ideas and extra information.
A precise and direct conclusion will increase the quality of your essay to extremes.
For essays like these, personal knowledge is not enough. You always have to research the essay topic and subject chosen to make healthy and valid points. Gather facts and accurate information to make your essay effective and credible.
Types of Arguments
When it comes to constructing an argument for your essay, there are several types of arguments you can use. These include
The Rogerian argument is based on the assumption that two sides of an issue can both be right.
This type of argument encourages the writer to look at both sides of the issue.
Rogerian Argumentative Essay Outline Template
The Toulmin argument is one of the most popular types of arguments used in essay writing.
This type of argument follows a specific structure. It begins with an introduction, then presents evidence and draws conclusions based on that evidence.
Toulmin Argumentative Essay Outline Template
A classical argument is a traditional approach to constructing an argument.
This structure involves setting up your opinion, presenting opposing arguments, and refuting those arguments. After that, you can reiterate your point of view in a conclusion.
Classical Argumentative Essay Outline Template
Check out this amazing informative video to learn more!
Argumentative Essay Outline Examples
The outline used to write an argumentative essay can also be used for persuasive essay writing . A few outline examples of an argumentative essay outline are given below:
Argumentative Essay Outline PDF
Argumentative Essay Outline Example
Conclusion Argumentative Essay Outline
Vaccine Argumentative Essay Outline
Abortion Argumentative Essay Outline
Research Argumentative Essay Outline
Argumentative Essay Outline College
Argumentative Essay Outline Sample
Argumentative Essay Outline AP Lang
MLA Argumentative Essay Outline
5 Paragraph Argumentative Essay Outline
Summing it up, your whole argumentative essay depends on the outline you make for it. So the outline for your essay should be detailed and direct to make your essay persuasive and readable.
Our expert argumentative essay writer can help you with all your argumentative essays and papers in no time.
We deal with all kinds of academic essays and papers and provide clients with high-quality argumentative essay writing service .
Be it a straightforward college essay or a complicated research paper, our essay writer can help you always!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 parts of an argumentative essay.
The four main parts of an argumentative essay are:
- Thesis statement
- Main body paragraphs
What are good topics to write an argumentative essay?
Here are some good argumentative essay topics.
- Should self-driving cars be legal?
- Should video games be a sport?
- All students must wear a uniform in high school.
- Is the cost of college too high?
- Is globalization a good thing?
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How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield.Revised on December 6, 2021. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.
Essay Outline Template, Fall 2020. 1 of 2 Essay Outline Template What is an outline? When writing an academic essay, an outline can help you structure and plan your arguments and ideas, while creating a guide for how to organize your paragraphs. Almost all essays can follow
Essay outlines are excellent tools for organizing your writing. A strong outline can turn a meandering essay into a focused, persuasive piece of writing.
For example, a student might discuss trying out for a sports team as a middle schooler, high school freshman, and high school senior, using each of those instances to describe an aspect of their personality. A rough outline for that essay might look like this: Narrative structure. Intro/hook: Vivid description of me at age 7, trying out for my ...
Create an outline for a five-paragraph essay using this short essay outline template. This example of a short essay outline includes sections for introduction, three main points, and a conclusion. This is an accessible essay outline template for Word.
The argumentative essay outline example below shows the recommended order in which to put these elements: I. Introduction A. Open with a hook, if you can, to garner interest B. Explain the topic and its necessary context C. Make your thesis statement II. Present the grounds (hard evidence) to validate your thesis
How to write an essay outline. Read and understand your assignment: Before you start outlining your essay, it's essential to ensure you've read and understood what your assignment entails; there is no need to rush into outlining your essay only to find you're off topic. Thus before outlining your essay, know the purpose of your essay. Identify your audience: Although it's your ...
1. Use ChatGPT to generate essay ideas. Before you can even get started writing an essay, you need to flesh out the idea. When professors assign essays, they generally give students a prompt that ...
By finding supporting statements from respected sources in your field, you can give your argument more credibility and make it more likely to win over readers. Download this essay writing outline sample for free from our website. Make some changes to the document available in Microsoft Word format. If you like this letter, please give us a big ...
Then check out this essay template outline to help guide students through the planning process and put everything together into a full writing piece using this essay outline template pdf. It allows students to break apart the daunting tasking of writing a 5 paragraph essay into small, manageable steps and then provides the visual support needed ...
Step 1: Look for an Essay Outline Template (Option 1) Open your browser and log on to Template.net. View the landing page for essay outlines and you'll receive plenty of downloadable options such as a research paper essay outline template, an 8th-grade essay outline template, and many more. Step 2: Search for an Essay Outline Template (Option 2)
Argumentative essay outline Download the template! Nearly all college students will write an argumentative essay, so steel yourself and get ready to create a powerful outline. In this type of essay, you'll try to persuade your readers that your thoughts on a given topic are the right ones.
Use this outline template for Word to create a professional-looking report or paper. This outline template includes preformatted text for the title, headings, and more. Every great paper or report starts with an outline. Easily start yours today with this free Word outline template. This is an accessible template.
Free Essay Template, Outline, Download. With Template.net's Free Editable Essay Templates, you will be able to write great compelling essays for your academic requirements. Our template samples will help you with writing your research papers, theme statements, novels, argumentative essays, and university essays, all following proper essay ...
The basic essay outline is a simple template that can help with any number of topics. First college essay outline example: The above is the most basic essay outline. Second college essay outline example: The second style of the outline has a way of working just as well, but also includes a level of creativity. ...
6. Brainstorm to identify your argument or main ideas. Jot down your ideas, important bits of research, and any questions you might want answered. For a creative project, you might write down scene ideas or plot points. Write down everything you might include in your outline. You can always eliminate ideas later!
Blank essay outline template - were Of course, you should also think of how much to spend on writing the outline. Essay Outline Template for an Analytical Essay This outline template for essay helps one pick a topic and support it and have an excellent paper in the end. Thus before outlining your essay, know the purpose of your essay.
Essay Outline Template Details File Format MS Word Google Docs Size: 89 KB Download Essay Outline For Research Paper Template Details File Format MS Word Google Docs Size: 32 KB Download College Essay Outline Example library.vcc.ca Details File Format PDF Size: 91 KB Download Narrative Essay Outline Example thewritersalley.com Details File Format
Essay Outline Examples. Now, it's time to showcase the most common essay outline types. For you to get the right idea of what an outline actually is, we have transformed the content of the article you are currently reading into an outline. Alphanumeric format essay outline sample: Decimal format essay outline sample: Drawing the Line
Here are 30+ plus blank outline templates, samples and formats to help you with your essay. 5 Paragraph Essay Outline Template. Blank Essay Outline Template. Essay Outline Template for Compare and Contrast. Essay Outline Template for Middle School. Essay Outline Template for High School. Essay Outline Template for College.
Example essay outlines. Below are two examples of essay outlines that were written in response to the essay question: 'Explain the relationship between police culture and police accountability'. Version 1 reflects the sort of plans that many students produce. While it works as a starting point, it needs to be further developed.
Thus, an easy way to remember the general format of a writing plan is to think of it as planning a 5 paragraph essay outline where students would write an Introduction, Thesis, Body, and Conclusion. Then, fit a total of 5 paragraphs within the basic structure. The same practice can be done with planning, except rather than paragraphs, it's notes.
The outline used to write an argumentative essay can also be used for persuasive essay writing. A few outline examples of an argumentative essay outline are given below: Argumentative Essay Outline PDF. Argumentative Essay Outline Example. Conclusion Argumentative Essay Outline. Vaccine Argumentative Essay Outline.