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How to Outline an Essay

Essay Outline

❶Provide only at least three main ideas or topic in your essay to avoid overwhelming your readers with too much information. Eating fresh produce helps people control weight a.

The Purpose of Writing an Essay

What Does It Mean to Outline an Essay?
Creating an Outline for an Essay

Then draw three or more lines from each of those new ideas, and write ideas that corresponds to those ideas. Continue developing your cluster until you feel that you have explored as many connections as you can. Respond to each questions in as much detail as you can. This exercise will help develop your ideas and identify areas of your topic that you need to learn more about.

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your paper. Are you writing this paper in order to persuade, entertain, enlighten, or something else? Just make sure that your purpose is in line with what the assignment asks you to do. Look for keywords in the assignment guidelines to help you figure out what your purpose should be.

Think about who will read your paper. Identify the needs and expectations of your audience by considering what they do and do not know about your topic. Anticipate their reactions as well. How they might react to the information that you will be sharing with them?

Will they be angry, sad, amused, or something else? Once you have developed your ideas and considered your purpose and audience, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact.

Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective. Choose a standard alphanumeric structure for an easy outline structure. An alphanumeric outline is the most common, easily recognized outline type, and each subdivision is identified by Roman numerals, capitalized letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters, in that order.

You will typically have three for an essay outline: Choose a decimal outline structure to show how your ideas are related. A decimal outline is similar in structure to an alphanumeric outline, but it only uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. Some people prefer this structure because it shows how each section contributes to the essay as a whole. Therefore, the first section would read "1. For instance, under the "1. Further subsections can be added by adding another decimal, followed by a number that corresponds to the new information.

For instance, under the first "1. Determine whether to use full sentences or brief phrases in your outline. For most outline essays, full sentences will prove more useful because they allow you to provide more thorough information.

Use parallel structures for outline sections. For example, if one section of your outline begins with a verb that uses the present tense, then the next section should also begin with a verb that uses present tense. Coordinate section titles and subordinate subsections. Each section title should feature information that is equally important to other section titles and subsections should contain information that is less important than your main section titles.

These outline section titles feature information that is as important as the first section title. Divide each heading into two or more parts. In order to provide adequate information for each section, you will need to divide each section into two or more parts. Provide your introduction in the first section of your outline.

This section should include an attention getting opening and general information about your topic. The information you provide in your introduction outline should gradually become more specific as you progress through its subsections. A shocking fact or anecdote is a great way to start. Keep this section brief, but include the information that your readers will need to know in order to understand your paper.

State the idea or argument that you plan to discuss in your essay. Provide essay body information in the second section of your outline. The body of your essay should be the largest part of your essay, so you will want to devote at least three subsections to this portion of your outline. Do not label each point as "main point. Under each main point, you should write supporting evidence to back the point up. Give each piece of supporting evidence its own line and sub-section. Then, write out an explanation analyzing the evidence and showing how it supports your claims.

If desired, you could also include a sentence that transitions into your next major point at the end of each "main idea" section. This is not strictly necessary, though. Provide your conclusion information in the last section of your essay outline. This section should return the reader to the general discussion brought up in the "introduction" portion.

Restate your thesis first. Do not copy your original thesis statement word-for-word. Instead, restate the idea, but rephrase it in a new way. Make a concluding statement. A concluding statement will usually discuss the implications of the thesis, propose solutions to problems addressed in the essay, or explain the importance of the thesis to something outside of the range of the essay. Check your work against your assignment sheet, if applicable.

If you're writing your outline to fulfill an assignment, you should always go back over your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you fulfilled all of the requirements. Double check that your work completely satisfies your instructor's expectations so you'll get full credit. Outlines are a great way to organize your ideas! They are essential when you're writing an essay or other written assignment.

They help you plan out your ideas and research prior to writing your final paper. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. The structure is the frame on which to build your outline: In this example, we'll use the example of writing an outline for an essay about eating healthy.

Fruits and veggies make for holistic health 1. Include statistic about how much food one person eats in their lifetime 2.

Why I am writing paper: To show that eating lots of fresh produce is important for health 3. To maintain a healthy diet a person should eat lots of fresh produce because fresh products contain vitamins, you can avoid many negative additives and it will help you control your weight.

To begin, it is important to examine the vitamin content of produce and its effect on the body. Body paragraph 1 1. Fresh veggies and fruits include vitamins a. Explain why vitamins are important to the body 1. Vitamins help the body function sub point a 2. Without vitamins, the body gets ill sub point b 3. Vitamins help a person grow and thrive sub point c b.

Veggies are a high sources of vitamins 1. Some vitamins can only be absorbed from fresh produce 1. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, but what they do not contain are additives. Body paragraph 2 2. By eating fresh produce you can avoid additives a. Additives can be harmful to the 1. Additives are very common in prepared foods 1. By eating fresh, your body can digest easier 1.

While produce can help people avoid additives, it can also help them avoid having a spare tire around their waist. Body paragraph 3 3.


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An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words.

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Text only | Back. English Composition 1 Creating an Outline for an Essay. Most analytical, interpretive, or persuasive essays tend to follow the same basic pattern.

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It simply means that an essay must have or follows an outline to properly arrange the ideas and or topics of an essay. Outlining an essay also guides the writer logically to create a clear, well-structured and well-written essay. Introduction - including something to get the reader's interest. 2. thesis statement- usually a statement that has three points you're going to talk about in your essay. 3. Body of the essay or paper. 4. Point 1, with 2 or 3 examples to back-up what you are talking about.

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outline. Following this format will help you keep your thoughts organized and get your essay underway. Elements of an Essay Introduction: Usually an introduction starts broad and narrows down to your specific topic, ending in the thesis. This is your opportunity to establish why ESSAY OUTLINE Author: alpha Putting together an argumentative essay outline is the perfect way to get started on your argumentative essay assignment—just fill in the blanks!