Outline

By: Jeff Stats

Outline is wonderful tool in composing a good essay or paper of any kind. It is your guide showing you in which direction you should proceed with your writing. Many time writers get lost in their thoughts and forget the initial point and outline helps them find the way back to the “main road", keeping your thesis in sight.

Do not consider your outline as a set plan that cannot be changed. If you decide that some points can be omitted you can easily modify your outline if it is necessary.

Outline is supposed to consist of all the main points you want to reveal in your essay. Each idea should be discussed in a new paragraph, in such a way it is easy to identify every point being made. Your outline should begin with the introduction, followed by the body which consists of a few main points. After those part comes conclusion, which should be a logical continuation of the entire essay.

Your outline should represent a logical chain of interrelated ideas and topics. It is easy to identify parts that do not belong to the rest of the essay just by looking on the outline thus it is so important to include this step in your writing.

The following is a structure of a generic outline:

I. Introduction

Introductory/opening sentences

Thesis (main idea of the paper)

Connecting sentence with the body

II. Body

First idea supporting thesis

Transition, topic sentence (introduces the topic of the paragraph)

Discussion of the idea

Evidence

Analysis

Concluding sentence (not compulsory)

Second idea supporting thesis

Transition, topic sentence (introduces the topic of the paragraph)

Discussion

Evidence

Analysis

Conclusion (not compulsory)

Third supporting idea

Transition, topic sentence (introduces the topic of the paragraph)

Discussion

Evidence

Analysis

Conclusion (not compulsory)

III. Conclusion

Transition from the body part

Summary of the main points

Final statement proving thesis introduced in the very beginning of the paper

Writing
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