How To Write A Good Outline Of An Academic Essay

It’s no secret that writing an essay can be a very strenuous process. It takes a lot of time and effort, two things a student can find their selves in short supply of while in school. However, there’s one tool that many people overlook completely—the outline. Using an outline is a fantastic way to organize any thoughts or research you have gathered in support of the topic you’ll be writing about. To write a solid, helpful outline, use these following guidelines.

  1. Determine your topic.
  2. You need to decide what you’ll be writing about and what kind of paper this will be. Is it going to be persuasive or informative? Is it a research paper? Or, maybe it’s a combination of all these things.

  3. Decide what the purpose of your paper is.
  4. Figure out what you’ll be writing for—what is the paper’s purpose, or end goal? This will help you give the essay direction and also help you decide how you wish to structure it. This is a fairly important step because it will help you understand how the paper will unfold.

  5. Do your research.
  6. This is where you gather all of the supporting evidence you’ll be using in your essay. This ranges from quotes to images and personal reflections. All of the information you do decide to use should be logical and factual. Never use unconfirmed or false data.

  7. Organize your supporting evidence.
  8. Make categories and subheadings for your supporting evidence (group like information together). From there, you can determine how you will incorporate that information into your essay. Determine what your stronger points are and what your weaker ones are. Be sure to use the most critical and important pieces of evidence first.

  9. Decide what kind of outline you want to use.
  10. There are two main types of outlines: topic and sentence. Topic outlines use general phrases and promote great flexibility (immediate and abrupt changes). Sentence outlines are far more complex as it pays attention on the details of your work.

  11. Use categories, points, and subpoints.
  12. This is a great way for you to see your paper unfold without actually writing it. Your categories should be the main point of each paragraph. Each point and subpoint should be the supporting evidence you intend to use in order to prove your stance.

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