Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Learn How to Create an Essay Outline With Examples

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Published on: Jun 10, 2020

Last updated on: Mar 21, 2023

Essay Outline

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Essay writing is the most common form of academic writing assignment. Yet it is considered to be a really difficult task. This is due to the fact that it requires proper writing, researching, and organizing skills.

Students belonging to different academic levels are asked to create essays to assess their abilities to analyze topics and issues. This analysis helps them in shaping their thinking and evaluating things according to their understanding.

If you have been assigned to write an essay , the first step is to think of the essay outline that it demands. This outline will allow you to draft very comprehensive and structured content. Moreover, an accurately outlined essay will let you impress your instructors and score well.

Continue reading the blog to learn how an essay outline is drafted for various essay types.

What Is An Essay Outline?

Before moving on to the process of drafting an outline, it is essential to understand the essay outline definition. An essay outline is a plan or an arrangement of your paper where you structure your ideas into different paragraphs.

An outlining of the essay is done to make the content readable and understandable for the readers. When you gather any piece of information on the chosen topic of your essay, it can not be presented in raw form. The information needs to be organized and shaped in a manner that provides meaning and sense to the content

In a nutshell, an outline checks for logic and completeness in the text. It identifies any gaps present in the content and makes sure that no repetitive information exists.

Developing an essay outline does wonders for the writer as well. It will help the writer manage the time efficiently and will provide a checklist according to which he/she will work.

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How To Start An Essay Outline Process?

Creating an outline involves a process. The first and foremost step in creating an outline is to understand the assignment type, how many arguments you will use, and its length. Once you have an image of the essay, it will be easier for you to draft an effective outline.

The pre outlining process includes the following steps:

1. Identify the purpose - Determine the purpose of your essay. Understand why you are writing that specific essay. Are you trying to inform the readers, persuade them, or just entertain them? The purpose will help you decide on the thesis statement, research type, and writing technique.

2. Identify the audience - Identify who you are writing your essay for. This will help you structure your arguments and choose tone and wording accordingly. Moreover, it will help you select resources and supporting evidence.

3. Choose an essay outline structure - Choose whether to structure your outline through an alphanumeric structure or decimal structure.

Following is an example outline for you to get a better idea.

How To Write An Essay Outline?

There are several types of essays. But they all are written using the basic essay outline known as the 5 paragraph structure. This structure includes the following sections.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

When drafting an outline, keep in mind these sections as all of your information will be divided among them. We shall now discuss each of the sections in detail.


An introduction is the first section of your academic paper or essay. This section is designed to introduce the topic or subject on which you will draft your essay. Introductory paragraphs not only open up a topic for their readers but also strive to catch their attention. It motivates them to read the entire essay so it should be compelling.

In order to make sure that your introduction is interesting, add the following information in it:

  • A catchy hook statement
  • The purpose of the essay
  • A brief background and relevant information on the topic
  • Main thesis statement

An introduction begins using a catchy hook related to the essay theme to grab the audience’s interest. After that, a brief introduction of the topic is provided without giving away the important findings or conclusions.

At the end of an introductory paragraph comes the thesis statement. It is the major argument of the essay and presents the writer’s stance. Make sure to develop a strong and arguable thesis statement in order to make your essay charming.

Body Paragraphs

The body of the essay is drafted to prove the main thesis statement made earlier in the introduction section. All the gathered information is presented in this part of the essay in the form of paragraphs.

Each paragraph in the body of an essay contains the following elements:

  • A topic sentence
  • Supporting information
  • Explain how it relates to your main thesis

According to the basic outline, there are three paragraphs in the body section. Each paragraph has a topic sentence that presents the point that is to be discussed in that specific paragraph. After this, comes an explanation that includes supporting facts and examples.

This information backs the point mentioned in the topic sentence. Depending on the essay type, the explanation in the paragraph may contain an analysis as well. Moreover, present examples to prove your point and bring logic to your stance.

At the end of each paragraph, state how the point relates and supports the main thesis statement. This is an extremely important step as it will bring cohesiveness and logical flow in the content.


The conclusion is the last section of your essay. In this section, the writer is required to sum up his discussion on the topic. The conclusion paragraph includes the following points:

  • Summary of all the significant points
  • Restated thesis statement
  • Call to action

The concluding statement is as important as the introduction of the essay. Giving a good closure to your essay will help the readers remember the purpose and message better.

In order to make sure that your conclusion is strong, provide a summary of the major points made in the body section. Along with the brief summary, restate the thesis statement to make sure that the readers have not forgotten the major claim.

In the end, if the essay requires, provide a call to action. This is to offer a course of action to the readers to make them behave in a certain way.

Organize all the researched information in this pattern, then move on to the part of the writing process. Once you have this outline in hand, you will know exactly how to write.

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Different Essay Outline Templates

When writing an essay, students often need templates to help them understand how an outline is drafted for a specific essay type. It helps the writer organize their thoughts and general ideas in a more structural manner.

In order to assist the students in writing an outline for their essays, expert writers have provided templates.

Persuasive Essay Outline

A persuasive essay is a form of argumentative writing. In this, a writer makes an argument and proves it with the help of giving strong evidence and logical facts. The purpose of the essay is to persuade the audience to agree with the argument made.

A persuasive essay is written using the general essay outline.

Expository Essay Outline

An expository essay is an essay type in which the writer investigates or looks into the topic in detail. The purpose of this essay is to inform the readers about a chosen topic or subject by evaluating the information.

Narrative Essay Outline

Narrative essay writing is a personal form of writing where a writer shares a story and his opinions on the topic. Unlike an argumentative essay, a narrative essay does not aim to persuade the audience.

Drafting a narrative essay requires a writer to use sensory details and a basic essay outline.

Synthesis Essay Outline

A synthesis essay is another academic writing type. Here the writer makes a unique point of view on the central theme of the essay and supports it using multiple sources. This essay is written using the 5 paragraph structure.

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

compare and contrast essay is a form of writing where the similarities and differences of the chosen subjects are provided. Two or more objects or subjects of the same category are selected to draw a comparison essay.

Draft your compare and contrast essay using the outline provided.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Just as the name suggests, a rhetorical analysis essay looks into the work of other authors and how successful they were in persuading the audience with their message. The writer can analyze different forms of work including books, articles, movies, artwork, etc.

Creating an outline for your assignments is as important as gathering information for the content. It contributes to the overall success of the essay. If you succeed in creating a strong outline, you are halfway through.

Students who lack skills in writing and organizing data, should not feel low for themselves. They can always take professional help to score well in academics.

There are a number of trusted writing companies that provide quality services in assisting students to draft their papers and essays. When choosing an essay writing service, make sure that it provides legit and quality services.

If you have poor writing skills or you just can’t manage to do your assignment in time. Consult our best essay writing service at EssayWriter.college and hire an expert essay writer now.

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Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Marketing, Literature)

Cathy has been one of our most reliable authors for more than five years. With extensive knowledge in mass communication gained from her Master's degree, she always produces high-quality work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about her craft.

Cathy has been one of our most reliable authors for more than five years. With extensive knowledge in mass communication gained from her Master's degree, she always produces high-quality work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about her craft.

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