4 Simple Tips for Writing an Essay Outline

Crafting a Good Essay Outline for Academic Use

Essays are one of the most common assignments in college, especially if one is taking humanities or social science courses. To craft a high-quality paper, you need to learn how to write an outline. An essay outline helps organize your ideas in a manner that makes it easier to write a cohesive and professional essay. With an essay outline in place, crafting the paper becomes much easier.

However, creating an essay outline can be challenging if students are not keen. That is, some students are focused on conveying information, and they end up writing an essay outline with no direction. On the other hand, some students might know the keywords to use, but they fail to include other essential elements that make an essay strong. This article explores how to make the process of writing your essay easier.

Go through the Prompts

The first step in creating a great essay outline is to go through the prompts. These are the instructions that come with the assignment, and they help you know the expectations for the essay. For instance, if the prompt asks you to craft an essay based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, you know that the paper must have relevance to the topic and tell a meaningful story.

As you go through the instructions, take note of the main elements that the lecturer expects from you. For instance, if the prompt asks you to come up with a solution to a problem, you can note down the main ideas that you want to discuss. This knowledge will help you when creating your essay outline since you will have ideas to support the prompt’s expectations.

Decide on a Topic

After making sense of the instructions and finding ideas to support them, choose a topic that you can easily write about. Go for an issue that is easily informative and illustrates what you are going to talk about. Remember that your topic choice should not be too obvious since you might find that it becomes challenging to craft the paper. After all, you should know that you have to prove that you understand the topic you chose, which means that you should be careful about coming up with a complex topic.

Research for Background Information

Once you have decided on a topic, the next step is to carry out extensive research on the subject. Find all the relevant resources to use as back up for your ideas. Go through them to determine whether you will need to include any of the following:

  • Quotes
  • Historical facts
  • Paraphrased ideas
  • Statistical information

While doing your research, you should take note of any biases that might affect your judgment of the topic. This information will come in handy when writing your essay since you will know what to include in your writing.