How to Write an Essay Outline?

Need help with drafting an outline for your essay? This blog post will lead you through the simple process of creating an essay outline.

An outline is a blueprint for your essay. It is important to organize your essay's structure before you write.

It helps you organize your thoughts and arguments so that you can present them to your reader coherently. It entails creating concise summaries, sentences, or phrases that guide the body of each paragraph of your essay.

Creating an outline is one of the most tedious phases in writing an essay. You must not only make sure that your ideas are cohesive and well-ordered but that they are also properly organized and supported by evidence. Once this hurdle has been crossed, writing and completing your essay becomes easier.

Starting an essay can be daunting, but an outline can help to reduce the stress and give you a good headway in writing your essay. 

The first step in creating an essay outline is to brainstorm the information you want to include in your essay. It requires a lot of research to help understand your essay topic. Then sort all the acquired information into groups. This will help you organize each paragraph. 

After grouping your points, it is important to arrange them in precedence. This gives a clear picture of the progression of your essay, making it easy to develop each paragraph.

Students must understand how to write an essay outline because you may be asked to submit one before your essay. However, if you are not required to turn in an outline, it is still a good idea to do so as part of your writing process. 

Are you having issues drafting an outline for your essay writings, or do you have issues learning how to write an essay?

This article explains how to begin an essay, what an outline is, and how to use samples to create one.

What Is an Essay Outline?

An essay outline summarizes your research work. It helps you know how to start an essay and end it.

In drafting your outline, you highlight your essay's main ideas and break down each concept into supporting points to ensure you forget nothing when writing.

All writers use an outline as a crucial component of their writing processes, not just to make their work easier but also to make it stand out to readers. An essay outline is important in many ways that cannot be overemphasized. 

  • Helps You Gather Ideas and Remember Your Points

Having ready-made text for your essay will assist you in organizing your thoughts. Writing an essay requires a lot of research and can get confusing if not properly organized. Using an outline will make your essay writing more effective and faster.

  • Improves Organization and Structure 

An outline is a tool for organization, and organization determines the structure of an essay. Outlining an essay before it is written can help you decide what topics to cover, identify supporting evidence for your claims, and logically organize your thoughts.

  • For Order and Information Flow

Regarding an essay's flow, teachers throughout the world have varying opinions. Many have concluded that it is advisable to provide your strongest case before moving on to less emotional remarks. You can use your outline to determine if you have presented your data in the best impact sequence.

For example, an expository essay is possibly the most systematic of the many different kinds of essays. Writers are tasked with exploring a topic, analyzing the supporting details, elaborating on the core point, and articulating their case coherently. This kind of essay needs to adhere to a strict, logical arrangement.

What Are the Parts of an Essay?


Every essay needs a strong introduction that grabs the reader's attention and draws them into the rest of your essay. Your introduction must provide a concise summary of the arguments you will make in the following paragraphs.

Here are a few details that your introduction should not lack.

1. Hook Statement

We employ a hook statement in the first couple of lines to grab the reader's attention. It encourages readers to keep reading by keeping them interested. Various hook statements include quotes, rhetorical questions, anecdotes, statistics, and more.

2. Defining Thesis

Your introduction should contain your thesis statement. Essays are incomplete without a thesis because it expresses the argument you are trying to make. It must adopt a strong position and not include qualifiers like "seems to" or "maybe" that undercut that position.

The Body 

The body of your essay should have at least three paragraphs and be listed in the outline. Write out a topic sentence for each paragraph that makes an argument in support of your thesis and lists all the evidence you will use to support it, including relevant information, data, facts, examples, events, and other supporting details.

In doubt about whether to include a particular point or detail in a body paragraph? Review your thesis statement. Your essay should only include important information that helps to prove your thesis. 


You should restate your thesis statement and bring your argument to a logical conclusion in the last paragraph of your essay. Your conclusion paragraph's summary can be more direct and definitive than your introduction paragraph because your reader is already familiar with your argument. Finish your essay here, restate your argument and briefly describe the purpose of your essay.

Main Steps of Writing an Essay Outline

Your ideas are probably still not fully developed in the essay writing process. You ought to be familiar with the subject and have already conducted some prior research to identify relevant references and sources. The next step is to organize your thoughts into a coherent argument.

Select a Topic and Clarify Your Objective. 

Before answering how to write an essay, it is essential to get a topic and know what you aim to achieve with your essay. It is challenging to choose a topic from a list of options, but it is crucial to understand the overall goal of your essay. You can establish rules and restrictions on what is acceptable content for your essay by keeping a goal or target in mind. 

What do you hope your readers will discover after reading your essay? What are you hoping they will learn about the subject of discussion? These are essential steps at the beginning of an essay outline process. Use these questions to narrow your thoughts to the clear takeaways you want to convey to your audience. 

Make a List of Main Points in Your Essay

This is the brainstorming stage of writing. The objective is to list the key concepts you intend to discuss in your article or essay. This step could consist of a list of resources or arguments to address, and it allows you to express all of your thoughts and create a list of potential essay themes.

Organizing Your Points 

Review any facts, quotations, and ideas you have jotted down during your research, and then decide what point you want to make in the essay. This will serve as the foundation for your thesis statement. Once you have a general notion, you can start arranging your information to support your argument.

Consider categorizing your sources into groups connected to various parts of your case. For instance, if you are writing a history essay, you might consider a few significant trends or turning points from the era you are discussing. If you are writing about a literary text, you might organize your ideas into themes.

Take a close look at your categories and points as you develop the outline. Rule out unnecessary and irrelevant information and ensure that each point you discuss has a direct connection to your thesis statement.

Arrange Your Information 

Once you have organized your points into various categories of what order information appears and how it should be structured, the next thing is to arrange your material. This will help you know what information is important or unnecessary. 

Review and Modify. 

You would assume that your outline is finished after the previous step, but not yet. Writing is a repetitive process, and all excellent writers review their essays until they have an outstanding essay. 

The same is true for an outline; it ought to serve as a road map that you follow to steer your essay in the direction you intend. Confirm the links between your primary points and ensure you have included all your ideas.

Essay Outline Example

How to start a good essay outline has been a common source of worry for many students. This article explains how to write your essay outline from start to finish. 

Below is an example template of what an essay outline should look like.


  • Emphasis on the topic
  • Thesis statement

Body Paragraph 1 

  • Introduction
  • Examples
  • Explanation
  • Conclude the paragraph linking it to the thesis

Body Paragraph 2 

  • Introduction
  • Explanation
  • Illustrations/Examples
  • Conclude the paragraph linking it to the thesis

Body Paragraph 3 

  • Introduction
  • Explanation
  • Examples
  • Conclude the paragraph linking it to the thesis


  • Summarize the essay
  • Reiterate the thesis statement

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