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How to Write an Essay Outline in 5 Basic Steps

Writing an essay outline can help you achieve a well-organized essay. An essay outline is designed to assist in organizing information so you have a visual aid of what your essay will look like. In 5 basic steps you can accomplish an organized outline for your paper.

Five Basic Steps to an Essay Outline

  • Thesis statement
  • Personal experience
  • Reasoning
  • Statistics
  • Conclusion
  • Designing your outline

    An outline always starts with a thesis statement. The thesis statement catches the audience’s attention and gives them an idea of what the essay is about. This will be your starting point, only write the thesis statement then go to a sublevel and pick three reasons you will elaborate.

    Example:

    • Thesis statement (introduction)
    • Personal experience
    • Reasoning
    • Statistics

    This is what the first part of an outline looks like; it gives the audience an idea of what the essay will cover.

    Step two involves using a personal experience to elaborate on your point of view.

    Example:

    • Personal Experience
    • Example
    • Argument or counter argument
    • What you lack in personal experience

    This is just elaborating on your personal experiences.

    Step three asks and answers what is your reasoning for your point of view. It will be the number three bullet point with example A, example B and example C. You will do this for step four, which gives you the opportunity to show the statistics regarding your point of view.

    The last step is the conclusion. This is a basic summary of what you covered in your essay. You can visually see where your essay is going. Once the outline is done, your essay just needs the filler information to be finished. Your outline should look organized now if you have followed the five basic steps.

    Example outline:

    Introduction

  • A
  • B
  • C

Personal Experience

  • A
  • B
  • C

Reasoning

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • Statistics

    • A
    • B
    • C

    Conclusion

    • A
    • B
    • C

    Using an outline for your essay can prove beneficial to every student. The outline is designed to organize information so you can clearly create an organized paper, or essay. This basic outline can be expanded for longer essays if necessary by adding more paragraphs, or numbered points on your outline.