Vital strategies for writing an essay outline

Houses need plans and essays need outlines. Without them it’s easy to end up far off track with no easy way to return to your original intention. The writing of a good essay outline can come down to the following steps:

  • Treat Topic Selection Seriously
  • Picking the wrong topic makes every other step in the process much more difficult. Give yourself the time to pick the right topic. Treat it like a potential life partner and look for any quirks that might make you regret your decision down the road.

  • Do some research
  • Once you know your topic, start looking for the information that you can use to address it properly. If you’re low on time, don’t be stingy with research unless you already happen to be an expert on the topic. It’s too dangerous to risk your reader being an expert and calling you out for writing fiction.

  • Sketch your introduction
  • Put together a few ideas on how you will write your introduction. It will not be pretty at this stage and many aspects of it are likely to change but your outline should contain some version of it.

  • Divide your main points into paragraphs
  • The points that you came up with through your research should be divided into their paragraphs. Some points will be similar enough to be lumped together, others may cancel each other out resulting in you needing to chose one for exclusion.

  • Decide on an order for presentation
  • Once you know what paragraphs will be included in your essay you can decide how they should be ordered. This may not seem particularly important but the order of the paragraphs can lead to more impact in the essay. Points can build each other up and lead to a climax in the essay which can have a reader on the edge of their seat. Take advantage of this.

  • Sketch your conclusion
  • Having dealt with all the other issues you can start the sketching of the conclusion. Much like the introduction, it will only be a shadow of its true self so you don’t need to worry about it being perfect at first. It’s more of a place holder at this point and a way for you to think up ideas for what it will look like when you eventually finish it.

And that’s how you do an essay outline.

Posted by November 12th, 2021