What Does An Essay Outline Look Like?

A sample of what a standard outline for an essay looks like:

The first section of your outline should introduce your main topic.

Use one word, a brief phrase, or a topic sentence as the headliners and sub-headliners for each category.

These smaller sections of your category, should provide brief explanations of the material to be covered.

  • You can break down the smaller sub-categories even further if you need to.

Each main headline and sub-headline should have at least two sections underneath it

  • This is to ensure that you have enough information about each category.

The first section of your outline will be the information used in the introduction of your essay.

Along with introducing your main topic, it should present an abstract of material you will be covering.

Keep your outline sentences brief and to the point.

  • You are brainstorming and creating a map of your essay, not writing your actual essay just yet.

The second section of your outline should map out the body of your essay.

The headlines for this section should be things like “background” or “historical context.”

Again, remember to keep your topic headlines brief.

  • It will help keep your focus on the key points of your topic

This information will be supporting your thesis and providing relevant information about your topic.

  • A breakdown of your arguments should also be included in this section.
  • This section also helps you to decide the key factors you will be discussing in your paper, weeding out any irrelevant details. 

The final section of your outline should contain information for your conclusion. 

Some final tips for creating an outline.

  • You can have more than one main headline section to cover the information you will be providing for the body of your essay.
  • Divide your topic into as many sections as needed.
  • The sections with information regarding the body of your essay can be put in whatever order you want.
  • Follow some sort of order of importance to keep things more organized.
  • Your outline should always begin with your introduction information and end with your conclusion statements and information.

As with your actual conclusion, you should have certain information in the last part of your outline.

This usually includes information concerning outcomes or results found while researching your topic.

  • This is the standard format for an essay outline
  • Following this format should create an organized plan of which to follow when writing your essay.

Posted by January 26th, 2013