3 Tips for Developing A Defining Academic Essay Outline

What Is An Essay Outline?

The basic structure of an essay is the outline. It aims to give a reader an idea of what a paper is about from the introduction to the conclusion. It should flow logically. It should also have a hook and a thesis statement.

A great outline should provide a comprehensive structure that will enable a writer to:

  • Describe the topic comprehensively.
  • Help the reader quickly understand what the paper entails.
  • Help the writer show the different points of view.

As a student, it is inevitable that you will be required to craft an essay at one point in your academic journey. An essay is a report or a student’s account of a subject. Hence the theme should come first and the introduction is usually the second part to go into.

An essay outline outlines the various parts of the essay and the thesis statement should start on a new page. The points should be introduced in a paragraph with a topic sentence. It should be pointed out in such a way that it is clear what the essay is about and why it is important. However, there are no specific instructions on what to include in the outline; it is more about showing the writer’s contentions, i.e., what an author wants to address.

How to Compose an Outline

A great outline should have the following sections:

  1. Title Page

This section is crucial for students, and all of them should pick the right format. It should include your name, course, email address, course code, and institution. The format must be consistent, i.e., use the top-center on the front page, center in the headers, and leave just a single space on either side. The title page should also make a concise summary of your work.

  1. Abstract

This section offers a summary of the paper that is 300 words or less. It provides a perspective of what you will be discussing, who you will be discussing it with, and the topic. However, you need to follow the required structure to ensure the essay’s complexity does not overwhelm the reader.

  1. Introduction

This is where you get to introduce the topic of the essay. Provide enough information about your work and show how you got to it. You should be specific as to how you went about reaching your goal. The reader should be able to form an opinion of your essay based on the information you provide.

  1. Body

The body of the essay should be about thirty-five to sixty words. This section comprises the primary points and why they are important. Make sure to have brief quotes to show your understanding on the matter. It should also convince the reader of your stance on the subject. Lastly, refute the opposing views to show your trust in the topic and how you know the subject well.

  1. Conclusion

It should be about three to four sentences long, finishing off with a thesis statement. Remind the reader why they should keep reading your essay. Also, give a reason for concluding your essay by listing all the key points and agreeing with the thesis. As we have seen, you should have a smart way of developing your outline. To make it effective and easier, it is best to discuss your work with your professor. It will make your writing more organized and concise.

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