How to write an essay outline

How to write an essay outline?

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One of the most important steps in the process of essay writing is preparing the outline. It may not be as important as writing the essay itself but it will greatly help you a lot in writing the essay comprehensively. An essay outline is an effective tool to help you save time. Writing with guidance keeps you away from countless revisions due to unorganized writing thus it is necessary to carefully plan your essay outline before you start writing anything.Preparing a detailed outline before you start writing your essay ensures that your ideas for your essay are clear and in logical order. 

5 Factors Affecting the Overall Quality of an Essay

There are several factors that may affect the overall quality of your essay namely:

  • Subject’s nature, scope and limitation 

Generally, an impressive essay tackles a unique and interesting subject or topic of discussion. However, a writer may find it difficult to come up with an outstanding essay if he has only little knowledge about the nature of the subject, its scope as well as its limitation. On the other hand, this can be resolved by conducting a thorough research or background check on your essay subject.

  • Time constraints

It is imperative that you are more knowledgeable on your topic than your readers which is why you need to conduct thorough research about it but due to time constraints, your researching activity can be hindered or limited. You must manage your time carefully for you still have to devote ample enough of time writing the essay itself. A friendly advice tho, stick with your deadlines to avoid deduction on marks or getting penalties.

  • Availability of resources

The availability of resources can also affect the quality of an essay. Needless to say, if there is an abundant source of information pertaining to the essay topic, it will be easier for the writer to write an comprehensive and informative essay backed up with reliable and factual information from genuine references.

  • The assignment requirements

Oftentimes writing assignments comes along with a specific set of writing requirements which you as the writer should follow. For instance, you’re asked to write an essay using APA format, then you must write using 12 pt Times New Roman, set 1 in. page margins, apply double line spacing, insert a running head on every page and indent every new paragraph ½ inch. These are but basic and common writing requirements only however, your teacher may or may not give you more assignment requirements based on his discretions.

  • The writing skills of the writer

The likelihood of coming up with an amazing essay is high when you have strong writing skills. Unfortunately, not everyone excels in writing, some even find it challenging to express their thoughts in writing properly. This article comes up with a better explanation as to why students write poor composition. On the bright side, this dilemma can simply be aided by professional essay writing services. Their expert essay writers provide essay help online. From the most tiresome writing process up to the final essay revisions, essay writing services such as Cheapest Essay may come so handy.Now that you become well aware of these factors, you may use it to assess yourself as a writer. Whatever realization you may come up with after doing so, utilize it to improve your writing skills so you too can confidently write an A+ quality essay.It’s no secret that essay writing is not an easy task which is why most students find it challenging and stressful to accomplish their writing assignments on time. At times like this, writing an essay outline can really come in handy. 

How to Write an Essay Outline: A Step-by-step Process

Prior to writing your essay outline, you must first brainstorm about your topic. Decide which side of the argument would you be taking or argue about. From your initial analysis of information from your close readings of your primary and secondary sources, you should be able to take some notes, ideas and possible quotes to cite as supporting evidence.At this point, you may have written your notes incoherently and most probably, your ideas are still in order in which they occured to you. Your goal now is to rearrange them in order that best supports your thesis statement or argument. To be able to do this, you must group your notes into categories and arrange them in a logical manner.

Step one: Generalizing Notes

The first step in writing an essay outline is generalizing — identifying every information you’ve gathered and assigning them to their respective general categories. It’s like arranging files properly on a database. Remember to limit your categories and try to reuse them whenever possible you go through your notes because your goal is to reduce your notes to at least one page of category listings.

After reducing your notes into a category listings, examine each category headings you have created. Check if there are categories that seem repetitive and if possible—merge them. You  also need to keep an eye out for categories that no longer seem to relate to your thesis statement or argument. Individual pieces of information that at first seemed important can begin to appear irrelevant when grouped into a general category.

Before jumping onto the next step, generalize your listing once again. This time, examine all of your categories and find common themes. You can assign a larger or more general category for all sub categories with similar themes so you can only have 3-4 general categories for a 7-10 page essay.

Step two: Ordering Categories

The next step in writing your essay outline is ordering and since you’ve already grouped your notes into several general categories, this process should be easy for you.

Visualize your thesis statement in mind and then arrange all your general categories accordingly using appropriate labels. Write each label in a sentence or two and make sure that it supports your argument. 

Once you’re done arranging your general categories in order, assign each category with smaller secondary subcategories. Use a sentence structure too in writing your subcategories and remember that it must support your general categories.

The last and final step in outlining categories is simply to repeat the process down to the very least detail using your notes. Remember, if you want your categories and subcategories in proper order, bear in mind that you only need a sentence or two to support your general argument or thesis statement. 

Step three: Putting It All Together

Finally, the last step in writing an essay outline is putting it all together. With the sentences you’ve constructed in the previous steps, you can now create your essay outline. Generally, we use a deductive method in essay writing — starting from the most general concept down to the very specific one. However, you can also use inductive method if you want. You start discussing specific concepts to the most general one. 

Use your general categories as your essay sections. Now, remember to follow your category orders so you can write your essay with coherence of ideas and information. Finally, the most important part of writing your essay outline is utilizing it by following it religiously when you’re writing the essay itself.

For a takeaway, you may use this outline as a general guide in writing your own essay outline.

  1. General Category 1 (Essay Introduction)
  2. General Category 2 (Essay Body Paragraph)

III.  General Category 3 (Essay Body Paragraph)

  1. Subcategory A for General Category 3
  2. Supporting category 1 for Subcategory A 
  3. Supporting category 2 for Subcategory A 
  4. Supporting category 3 for Subcategory A 
  5. Subcategory B for General Category 3
  6. Subcategory C for General Category 3

IV.   General Category 4 (Conclusion/Summary)

Do my essay: Essay Writing Services to the Rescue


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