How to make an outline for an essay

How to make an outline for an essay

The present essay is going to explore how to write an outline for an essay or a topic. The outline is a form of guidance that summarizes the ideas that will be included in the essay and shows the linear way in which the pieces of information are stated and the ideas are related to each other. The outline is a form of map that presents a logical organization and coherence to the writing process. Before writing the outline, it is important to have preliminary research, determine the thesis statement, and identify different supporting points that can illustrate the thesis.

In the process of outline creation, the writer is expected to use different writing strategies such as cause- and- effect, comparison-contrast, chronological order and to make transition from specific to general. An example of a thesis statement is the following (based on academic samples):

Thesis: it is a moral duty to work.

This thesis statement states the general idea that should be supported with details and evidence. As supporting ideas to this thesis, one may state:

  • Work offers human beings worthwhile tasks to do.
  • Having a profession can be materially beneficial. It allows us to gain a lot of money.
  • Work offers the chance to support other people in need.
  • Undertaking a specific job is a moral value in itself.

These supporting ideas are samples of subtopics that should add a significant value to the main topic sentence stated at the beginning of each body paragraph. Thus, these ideas, which belong to the main topics of the written paper, can be further fleshed out by details of safeguarding logical order and thematic coherence. Such details bestow the outline with more explanatory examples and illustrations.

An essay outline is a valuable strategy, or a map, that guides the writer through the writing process. If the outline is well-constructed and organized, the rest of the process will be uncomplicated and enjoyable.

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