How to write an outline for an essay: writing guidelines.

Usually you will find that making an outline is one of the essential steps in every writing process. The reason why specialists point out completing the outline before writing a draft is crucial: it is a tool that will let your writing be well-organized and provide a logical structure to it.  Moreover, by making an outline you will prepare yourself for reading: find out the core concepts, group your arguments in categories, link facts and evidence with judgments. In fact, writing an outline is a halfway to a ready paper. Our article will provide you with information about types of outline and methods of writing the successful outline.

Step 1. Choosing a type of the outline.

  • There are 2 possible types of outlines: the topic outline and the sentence outline.
  • If your essay deals with many various issues you should better choose topic outline, which consists of short phrases arranged in a relevant order.
  • In case your essay is concentrated on explaining the complex details we recommend you to use a sentence outline. It will be beneficial as sentences are able to include different details and you do not need to make a long list with short phrases.

Step 2. Selecting a topic for your essay.

  • The topic of the paper is a frame which you are going to work in. In is very important to determine the exact aspect from your subject and elaborate it in a coherent manner.
  • Do you best to summarize your main points in just one sentence or phrase. This will help you to stay concentrated on one issue and not to lose your focus.

Step 3. Identifying central categories.

  • Think about the main concepts and notions you are going to elaborate. All of them should be mentioned in the introductory part when you are presenting your topic and position.
  • Body paragraphs should develop and discuss this categories.

Step 4. Creating the main category.

  • Identify the first point you want to reveal in your essay. If it appears to be an unfamiliar term provide the reader with the definition.
  • In case your paper is centered on the particular category you should explain its background.

Step 5. Developing the subcategories.

  • Once you have stated your central point it is time to provide the supporting evidence represented in the subcategories.
  • The more information you provide to defend your position the more subcategories should be demonstrated.

Step 6. Keeping the outline flexible.

  • In fact, outlining is a pre-writing step but, nevertheless it should not stop the flow and development of your ideas. In case you get new points relevant to the topic of your essay while writing do not hesitate to include them. You are always able to modify your outline.
  • In case you add some sections, remove them or change their direction do not forget to change your outline as well so it corresponds actually to what you have written.
  • In spite of this, there is one more side of this point: if your paper differs from the outline in the large extent it may mean that you have lost your focus. Check all the point carefully before submitting.

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