• Awards Season
  • Big Stories
  • Pop Culture
  • Video Games
  • Celebrities

What Is Essay Bot? AIs Writing an Essay for You Might Not Be Safe

parts of an essay outline

Writing essays isn’t many people’s favorite part of studying for a qualification, but it’s necessary. Or is it? If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer and felt like you didn’t know where to start, you might have been tempted to get Essay Bot to do the work for you. Before you search for it, here is what you should be aware of.

What is Essay Bot?

Essay Bot is just one of many AI services which are on the increase. The Essay Bot website claims to have an inbuilt plagiarism checker, so you might think this is a positive aspect. However, the unlimited search database is basically information already available on the internet. The site states that the bot searches millions of websites and provides the most relevant information. This all sounds good, perhaps too good.

Is Essay Bot Safe?

Essay Bot might be okay if you just want to create a piece of writing which isn’t related to college work, or for some offline material that isn’t going to be published online and get you into trouble. However, it’s too risky for college work. The software just seems to rewrite content that is already online, and it doesn’t always do this well.

Of course, you could rewrite the text in a way that makes more sense to your essay and addresses the points you want to make, but there are several downsides to this.

You could spend more time rewriting than you would if you simply wrote the complete essay yourself. You may also end up plagiarizing someone else’s work during the rewrites. It’s likely that the words Essay Bot provides are a rearrangement of content already available, and in an attempt to make more sense, you accidentally rewrite some of the text it was taken from.

You could invest in high-quality plagiarism software to prevent this, but is it really worth the cost and the extra time of tweaking and rewriting until the essay becomes completely unique?

Probably not.

Can You Get in Trouble for Using Essay Bot?

parts of an essay outline

Yes, you could get in trouble for using Essay Bot if your tutor or anyone else at your college found out.

Most colleges will use a plagiarism checker and if your essay fails this, you will put your place at risk. Each college or university will have different rules, but you could fail the essay, be made to redo the module or lose your place on the course. Education is not cheap, so it doesn’t seem worth the risk.

Even if you manage to craft your bot-written essay into something unique that also makes sense, getting someone to write your essay for you is still cheating. The writer being a bot doesn’t change that.

The easy way to determine if something is wrong is if you ask yourself whether you would admit to your tutor how you crafted your essay. If you wouldn’t tell them, you’re probably breaking the rules and could get into serious trouble if found out.


parts of an essay outline

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples

How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

Table of contents

Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic  and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

  • Thesis statement
  • First piece of evidence
  • Second piece of evidence
  • Summary/synthesis
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.

  • Importance of the internet
  • Concerns about internet use
  • Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  • Data exploring this effect
  • Analysis indicating it is overstated
  • Students’ reading levels over time
  • Why this data is questionable
  • Video media
  • Interactive media
  • Speed and simplicity of online research
  • Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  • Evidence indicating its ubiquity
  • Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
  • Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
  • Argument that it introduces students to citation
  • Summary of key points
  • Value of digital education for students
  • Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
  • Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  • Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
  • Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
  • Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  • Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
  • Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Link to the Reformation.
  • Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
  • Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
  • Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  • Summarize the history described.
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .

The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

  • Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
  • Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
  • Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
  • Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
  • Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  • Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
  • Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  • Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
  • Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  • Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
  • Answer the research question
  • Indicate areas for further study

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

A faster, more affordable way to improve your paper

Scribbr’s new AI Proofreader checks your document and corrects spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes with near-human accuracy and the efficiency of AI!

parts of an essay outline

Proofread my paper

You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-outline/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, how to create a structured research paper outline | example, a step-by-step guide to the writing process, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips, what is your plagiarism score.

How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

Lindsay Kramer

An essay outline is essentially an essay’s skeleton. It’s a text representation of an essay’s thesis and key supporting points. 

An essay outline serves multiple purposes, including helping its writer organize their thoughts before they start writing, giving readers a quick synopsis of the essay, and acting as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they work through their supporting paragraphs. Writing an essay outline is a fairly straightforward process, and in this blog post, we’ll walk you through it. 

Give your essays extra polish Grammarly helps you write with confidence Write with Grammarly

What is an essay outline?

An essay outline is an informal document that lists and orders the parts of an essay so the writer can stay on track and make sure they don’t miss anything. Because it’s informal, an outline is usually written in incomplete sentences, similar to notes. This can make it easier for you to determine the most effective way to transition between paragraphs and the ideal order in which to present your supporting paragraphs. 

Outlining is an important early stage in the writing process . It’s where you organize all the thoughts and insights you brainstormed into a neat roadmap to follow as you write. If you get stuck as you’re writing your essay, your outline is there to help you get back on track. 

It’s not uncommon for professors to require their students to submit essay outlines before getting started on their essays. Usually, this is so the professor can make sure each student is on the right track in terms of choosing an essay topic that has a sufficient amount of sources to reference, that it fits the parameters of the assignment, and that the student understands the assignment. 

Basic parts of an essay

Although every essay is unique, they all adhere to the same basic essay structure . Every essay starts with an introduction section, follows it with at least one body paragraph that supports the points made in the introduction, then wraps up with a conclusion section that reiterates the author’s thesis and summarizes the body paragraphs. 


The first section of your essay is called the introduction. As this name implies, this is where you introduce the topics you’ll be covering in your essay. It’s also where you state your thesis , the definitive sentence where you make your argument clear. 

Body sections

Your essay might only need two supporting paragraphs, or it could need four or five (or more). Unless your professor assigned a specific number of body paragraphs for your essay, how many of these you write is your call. 

If you’re supporting your thesis with multiple sources, a general rule to follow is one body paragraph per source cited. However, the type of essay you’re writing might require you to deviate from this. For example, in a compare-and-contrast essay, you’ll write one section (at least one paragraph long) for each comparison and contrast you make. In an analytical essay, you’ll write one body section for each point you make to support your thesis. 

Once you reach your conclusion , you’re almost there! This is the part of your essay where you wrap it up and summarize the points you made in your body paragraphs. If you have any final thoughts or perspectives you want to impress on your reader before they finish reading your essay, this is where you make them. 

4 steps for writing an essay outline

So you’re sitting at your desk, ready to write your outline. Great!

…how do you get started?

Just follow these four steps to craft an outline that makes the rest of the writing process simple. 

1 Determine your objective

Think about your thesis statement. You might not have the exact wording at this point, but you should have a general idea of the point you’ll make and defend in your essay. Having a clear objective enables you to work through your brainstorming notes and craft an outline that hits all the necessary points you need to support that objective. 

2 Filter out the fluff

When you brainstormed, you explored every possible avenue to go down in your writing and every potential piece of information to include. 

Now it’s time to go through your brainstorming notes and pick out the points that will most effectively achieve your goal for your essay. For each piece of information you jotted down, ask yourself “how does this prove my point?” If you can answer that question with a clear, thoughtful response, add it to your list of points to make in your essay. 

3 Identify the points you’ll make in each paragraph

Using the list of points you wrote down, identify the key arguments you’ll make in your essay. These will be your body sections. For example, in an argumentative essay about why your campus needs to install more water fountains, you might make points like: 

  • Providing water fountains helps students save money
  • Fountains reduce plastic waste
  • Readily available water can cut down heat exhaustion incidents

Jot down the facts, anecdotes, and statistics that support each of these arguments. For example, you might cite the number of disposable water bottles recovered from campus grounds last year in your section on how water fountains reduce plastic waste. These supporting points are part of your essay outline. 

4 Write your outline using a standard template

With your key topics and supporting points clearly defined, it’s time to actually write your outline. Using a template for the type of essay you’re writing (more on that in the next section), format your key points into a clear, organized frame that you’ll flesh out with content when you write your first draft. 

Essay outline examples

Although every outline follows the same general structure, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when you’re outlining different kinds of essays. Take a look at how these example outlines for various essay types are similar as well as where they differ: 

Argumentative essays

Here is an example outline argumentative essay :

Title: Italian Ice is a Superior Dessert to Ice Cream

  • Introduce the differences between Italian ice and ice cream, touch on how popular each is.
  • Thesis: Italian ice is a healthier, more refreshing, more environmentally friendly dessert than ice cream. 
  • Cite the average amount of calories in a serving of Italian ice vs. ice cream
  • Cite how Italian ice thus fits more easily into most consumers’ daily caloric allotment
  • Discuss the benefits of consuming vegan vs. animal-sourced products
  • Discuss how Italian ice is vegan, making it accessible to both vegans and non-vegans and a healthier, more environmentally conscious choice for all
  • Because of the lack of dairy, Italian ice is a more refreshing treat than ice cream on a hot day
  • Discuss anecdotes about dairy making consumers feel hotter and not refreshed
  • Reiterate why Italian ice is a better dessert than ice cream and summarize supporting points.

Admissions essays

Take a look at this admissions essay outline: 

Title: Arigato, Sato Sensei

  • My Japanese teacher was the most influential teacher I had in high school because she taught me more than just a language—she taught me how language shapes perspective. 
  • Thesis: Choosing to study Japanese in high school changed my perspective on myself, my community, and my role in society 
  • Discuss how I struggled in Japanese class and wanted to give up
  • State how Sato Sensei encouraged me to keep trying instead of changing to another language
  • Learning Japanese was more than memorizing vocabulary and copying hiragana and katakana; it’s understanding Japanese cultural perspectives and concepts versus Western ones
  • How Japanese language skills enabled me to succeed during my summer abroad
  • How I understood cultural nuances through my understanding of the language
  • With the perspective I developed as an American student who studied Japanese, I’m well-equipped to succeed as an international business major. 

Persuasive essays

Here’s an example of a persuasive essay outline: 

Title: We Need More Security Cameras in the Student Parking Deck

  • Vehicle break-ins are far too common on campus
  • Thesis: The current level of parking deck security is insufficient
  • State car break-in statistics and any related stats, like the average cost of repairs to broken-into vehicles and value of goods stolen
  • Discuss the intangible value of increased security with quotes and anecdotes
  • Cite statistics on how other campuses reduced break-ins by installing more security cameras
  • State the actual cost of installing sufficient security
  • Summarize the points made and emphasize how community safety should be a top priority for campus administration. Then, reiterate how more security cameras in the parking deck would improve safety. 

Personal essays

Here is an outline example for a personal essay :

Title: The Two Best Birthdays of my Life

  • Introducing your feelings about birthdays and how you like to celebrate yours
  • Thesis: The two best birthdays of my life were my 17th and 22nd
  • I got my driver’s license and drove to my first concert with my best friends
  • I still have the ticket stub and wristband from that night
  • At first, I thought everybody had forgotten my birthday. I was devastated
  • Then, my siblings surprised me by traveling six hours to pick me up and take me to the art exhibit I’d been wanting to see
  • My 17th and 22nd birthdays were particularly meaningful because of the points cited above. 
  • Perhaps finish with a parting thought on looking forward to more great birthday celebrations

 Outlining is just one step to great writing

Once you’re finished writing your outline, follow the rest of the writing process steps to complete your essay. 

When it’s time to edit your work, Grammarly can help you polish your draft into a perfectly publishable piece of writing. Grammarly catches spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and gives you feedback on all the tones present in your writing to help you make any necessary adjustments to strike a clear, consistent tone that accurately communicates exactly what you need to say. 

parts of an essay outline

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

parts of an essay outline

How to Write a Perfect Essay Outline


You can’t write an essay without outlining. Fine, you can do that if a low grade is okay for you to get. But those willing to craft a paper that’s worth A+ will need to create an essay outline and organize their research in one place before writing. So in this article we will look at outline examples and top tips to improve your essay.

This guide is here to help you:

  • understand what is a paper outline,
  • learn how to write an essay outline,
  • get outline examples and templates to use when crafting yours.

So, let’s a research essay outline journey begin!

Table of Contents:

  • What is an essay outline?
  • Key parts of an essay
  • Outline format
  • Persuasive essay outline example
  • Narrative essay outline example
  • Expository essay outline example
  • Research essay outline example
  • What to do before outlining
  • Choose an essay outline structure
  • Organize your outline
  • It’s a wrap!

What is an Essay Outline?

As you’ve already guessed it, an essay outline is a short plan of your research paper. Here you write down the main idea of your essay and structurize all arguments into paragraphs to make sure you won’t miss anything while writing.

Sure enough, you can write an essay without outlining it. But it will be challenging to do. Outlining is an essential part of the writing process, and all authors do it for their works to impress readers.

Here’s why you need an essay outline :

  • It will help you organize thoughts: when you research the data for your essay, you get tons of information that’s hard to remember.
  • You’ll understand the information flow and will be able to structurize it accordingly.
  • It will help you not to miss anything while writing your essay because you’ll have a ready manuscript of your paper.

That said, an outline will help you write academic works better and faster. And while our writers are always here to help to write my essay , it can’t hurt to learn how to write an outline for an essay by your own, right?

How to Write an Essay Outline

While college essay types are many, the common structure for most of them is five-paragraph. Each essay needs Introduction , Body (paragraphs with arguments), and Conclusion; so, a general format of your essay outline will include all these components.

Outlining your essay, keep write my term paper in mind so you wouldn’t miss any arguments, evidence, and examples while writing.

So, let’s do this!

Key Parts of an Essay

Put them all into your writing outline:

  • Introduction. Here you’ll mention the topic of your essay and its thesis. As you know, essays can’t live without a thesis; so, a thesis statement in your outline will help you support it in each paragraph of your essay body.
  • Body paragraphs. There will be a minimum three paragraphs in your essay’s body, so make sure to include each one in the outline. For each paragraph, write down a topic sentence with an argument relating to your thesis and mention all the support: data, facts, examples, and other evidence you’ll use to prove the topic sentence of this paragraph.
  • Conclusion. Wrap up your essay here. Restate your thesis and summarize the goal of your paper.

In general, your essay template will look like this:

Essay Outline: General

I. Introduction

a) Introduce a topic b) State a thesis

II. Body. Paragraph-1

a) Write a topic sentence (the argument for your thesis) b) Support this argument: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis

III. Body. Paragraph-2

a) Write a topic sentence (another argument for your thesis) b) Support this argument: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis

IV. Body. Paragraph-3

a) Write a topic sentence (another argument for your thesis, or a counterargument) b) Support this argument, or explain why the counterargument doesn’t work: data, facts, examples c) Explain how they relate to your thesis

V. Conclusion

a) Summarize all main points b) Restate your thesis c) Add a call to action: what you want readers to do after reading your essay

parts of an essay outline

Outline Format

As a rule, students use the linear style when formatting their writing outline. It means they rank arguments in order of their importance – from major to minor ones.

Remember: your research essay outline doesn’t have to include the complete sentences. It’s only an outline, so feel free to format arguments and evidence the way it seems most comfortable and understandable for you. Just make sure it’s visually clear and allows you to see if some sections are repetitive or redundant. It will help to avoid duplications in your essay maker .

Another point to consider:

While you are familiar with a given essay topic, it doesn’t mean your readers are. So format your outline accordingly: assume that some people know nothing about it when preparing arguments and arranging them in a logical order.

Essay Outline Template

Templates can help you get a better idea of essay outlining. It’s a great way to organize thoughts and determine the order in which you’ll represent them to readers. So, make a list of the sections in your paper and fill in the corresponding example, depending on your essay type.

Persuasive Essay Outline Example

To create an outline for such an essay, consider the following example:

parts of an essay outline

Taken from: TeacherVision.com

Narrative Essay Outline Example

For narrative essays, outlines like this one will work well:

parts of an essay outline

Expository Essay Outline Example

What about this example for your essay outline?

parts of an essay outline

Research Essay Outline Example

parts of an essay outline

Taken from: Austincc.edu

How to Make an Outline: the Process

As a rule, the only detail bothering those asking how to make an outline for an essay is the process itself. Students understand that an essay outline needs to specify all the main points and arguments of their future paper, but they still find it challenging to create.

More than that, professors may ask you to submit an essay outline for their review. That’s why the skills of planning your papers will come in handy anyway. To learn the secrets of effective outline writing, you’ll need to know what to do before outlining, what essay outline structure to choose for your work, and how to organize your outline so it would be as informative as possible.

Here’s how to outline an essay:

What to Do Before Outlining

First and foremost, read your writing assignment carefully. Make sure you understand what essay type you need to write, how many arguments to use (except as noted), and how long your essay needs to be.

Answer the question , “What’s the purpose of your essay?” Do you want to inform readers, persuade, or just entertain them? Depending on the goal, you’ll know what thesis to consider, what writing techniques to use, and how to visualize research in your paper.

Identify the audience. Yes, it’s a teacher who reads and evaluates your work; but whom do you want to read your essay ? Do you write for classmates? Strangers? What do they know about your topic? Would they agree with your thesis? How might they react to your information?

Depending on that, you’ll understand what arguments might work for your essay. It will also help you decide on resources to use for research and evidence to choose for your arguments. Consider credible sources such as Google Scholar or Oxford Academic to find references for your essay; take notes of them to use in your outline.

State your thesis so you could see what topic sentences to outline for your essay. A thesis needs to be arguable and provide enough details to hook readers so they would get them emotionally involved in your writing.

Once a thesis is ready, start structuring your essay outline.

Choose an Essay Outline Structure

From the above templates and examples, you’ve got a general idea of the basic structure for your essay outline. We used a standard alphanumeric structure there, but you can also use a decimal one for your outline to show how your ideas are related. Just compare:

Alphanumeric format:

parts of an essay outline

Decimal format:

parts of an essay outline

An alphanumeric outline is the most common one, but you are welcome to use a decimal outline structure if it seems clearer and more comfortable for you. Also, feel free to use complete sentences or just brief phrases for each section of your essay outline.

However, if you need to submit it to a professor for a review, use sentences. It will help him understand the arguments and evidence you are going to use in your essay.

Organize Your Outline

Now it’s time to fill in each section of your essay outline. For those lazy to read, here goes a short video:

For all others, start with outlining your introduction . Write a sentence about your topic and introduce your thesis. You can also mention an essay hook here – a sentence you’ll use to make the audience interested in reading your work.

Outline your essay body : write down a topic sentence for each paragraph, provide supporting evidence you’ll use when writing, and mention how they’ll relate to the topic and your thesis. The more details you outline, the easier it will be to organize all the thoughts while writing.

Also, you can write a transition sentence for each paragraph so it would be faster to structure and band all arguments.

Finally, outline your essay conclusion . Restate your thesis and write a concluding statement, aka a sentence addressing the importance of your thesis and proposing solutions to the problem you addressed in the essay.

It’s a Wrap!

Essays are many, and you need to write all of them in school and college. Persuasive, expository, narrative – their basic structure is the same but with tiny differences identifying their specifications and your knowledge of academic writing. Understanding those differences and outlining your writings accordingly is your chance to craft perfect works that get high grades.

An essay outline is what you need to organize the information and not miss anything while writing. When you know how to write an essay outline, you create papers better and faster. You keep in mind all essay components. You develop critical thinking. And you become a better writer.

Our Writing Guides

21 thoughts on “ how to write a perfect essay outline ”.

No doubt, the essay outline is one of the most important things. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you very much

Please help me answer this question. What is the thesis statement in this sentence.”the characters I do not appreciate about my teachers”

What if you do research on a lot of things but you have all the same facts about them? Like I am doing an essay on 23 constellations. Do I write down the name of every constellation in the outline and add the facts underneath each of the 23? Or do I just write “Constellation” and add each fact that I will have written for each individual constellation? Example: I. Introduction A. Thesis Statement B. Next explanatory paragraph C. Extra paragraph II. Constellation A. Name 1. Translation 2. Pronunciation 3. Background story B. Description C. Rank in size D. The astronomer who introduced it E. Location F. Significant stars or star clusters

Do I need to do the second part for all 23 constellations (only adding the name of each constellation beforehand.) I feel like that would be a waste of time since I would mostly just be copying and pasting but I am getting graded on the outline so if anybody could help me that would be rad. I know my question is pretty hard to understand but I did my best. Thank you!

Thanks for your question, AJ!

As far as you write an essay outline for yourself (to make the process of essay writing easier), feel free to organize it accordingly. If you are going to describe all 23 constellations in detail (like you introduced in your comment), feel free to add each to your essay outline. If you are going to write about all 23 in general, with no details to each, there will be no need to add all those A, B, C, D, F… for every constellation to your essay outline.

I hope you’ve got the point 🙂

Sincerely, Lesley

Thank you i think this will help me a lot

Helped me get through my essay correctly and lot faster!

I read your blog and got interesting facts about this topic, thank you!

This contained everything one needs to know when making an outline.

I find this really helpful Thanks 😊

Which of these outlines whould be the best for and SAT essay?

As far as the SAT essay is argumentative now and it asks you to analyze another essay (feel free to check our guide on SAT essays for more information), I think that the outline of a research essay could be the best option.

Cheers, Lesley

Thank you so much.I found this helpful.

Thank you for your helpful thought about how we can outline our essays.

thanks for sharing, with outlne everything will be easy to organize writing idea.

Thanks for sharing , I found this helpful. With the outline I learned how to organize writing idea.

I think these examples of essays outlines are good for students start to pay attention to because it will make essays easier. Your articles contain prompts and tips in writing essays and other kinds of papers, thanks!

That was a great outline that students should follow :))

how can I provide an outline to an argumentative essay (academic )for Tefl master (teaching English as a foreign language)?

Very enjoyable

First of all I would like to say that it’s a terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find Study Materials for

Business studies, combined science, computer science, english literature, environmental science, human geography, macroeconomics, microeconomics.

  • Social Studies
  • Browse all subjects
  • Exam Revision
  • Career Advice for Students
  • Student Life
  • Study Guide
  • University Advice
  • Read our Magazine

Create Study Materials

Language Flag

Select your language

parts of an essay outline

Organizing your thoughts before writing an essay is always a good idea. One of the best ways to do this is to plan your essay with an outline . A strong essay outline helps you to solidify your Main Idea (s) and supporting details, plan your paragraphs, and build the framework for coherent sentences.

Mockup Schule

Explore our app and discover over 50 million learning materials for free.

  • Essay Outline
  • Explanations
  • StudySmarter AI
  • Textbook Solutions
  • A Hook for an Essay
  • Body Paragraph
  • Language Used in Academic Writing
  • MHRA Referencing
  • Opinion vs Fact
  • Works Cited
  • Emotional Arguments in Essays
  • Ethical Arguments in Essays
  • Logical Arguments in Essays
  • The Argument
  • Writing an Argumentative Essay
  • Image Caption
  • Microblogging
  • Personal Blog
  • Professional Blog
  • Syntactical
  • Anaphoric Reference
  • Backchannels
  • Cataphoric Reference
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Discourse Markers
  • Endophoric Reference
  • Exophoric Reference
  • Interruption
  • John Swales Discourse Communities
  • Metalinguistics
  • Paralinguistics
  • Turn-taking
  • Email Closings
  • Email Introduction
  • Email Salutation
  • Email Signature
  • Email Subject Lines
  • Formal Email
  • Informal Email
  • Active Voice
  • Adjective Phrase
  • Adverb Phrase
  • Adverbials For Time
  • Adverbials of Frequency
  • Auxilary Verbs
  • Complex Sentence
  • Compound Adjectives
  • Compound Sentence
  • Conditional Sentences
  • Conjugation
  • Conjunction
  • Coordinating Conjunctions
  • Copula Verbs
  • Correlative Conjunctions
  • Dangling Participle
  • Declaratives
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
  • Dependent Clause
  • Descriptive Adjectives
  • Distributives
  • Exclamatives
  • Finite Verbs
  • First Conditional
  • Functions of Language
  • Future Progressive Tense
  • Future Tense
  • Generative Grammar
  • Grammatical Mood
  • Grammatical Voices
  • Imperative Mood
  • Imperative Verbs
  • Imperatives
  • Indefinite Pronouns
  • Independent Clause
  • Indicative Mood
  • Infinitive Mood
  • Infinitive Phrases
  • Interjections
  • Interrogative Mood
  • Interrogatives
  • Irregular Verbs
  • Linking Verb
  • Misplaced Modifiers
  • Modal Verbs
  • Noun Phrase
  • Objective Case
  • Optative Mood
  • Passive Voice
  • Past Perfect Tense
  • Perfect Aspect
  • Personal Pronouns
  • Possessive Adjectives
  • Possessive Pronouns
  • Potential Mood
  • Preposition
  • Prepositional Phrase
  • Prepositions of Place
  • Prepositions of Time
  • Present Participle
  • Present Perfect Progressive
  • Present Perfect Tense
  • Present Tense
  • Progressive Aspect
  • Proper Adjectives
  • Quantifiers
  • Reflexive Pronouns
  • Relative Clause
  • Relative Pronouns
  • Second Conditional
  • Sentence Functions
  • Simple Future Tense
  • Simple Sentence
  • Subjunctive Mood
  • Subordinating Conjunctions
  • Superlative Adjectives
  • Third Conditional
  • Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
  • Types of Phrases
  • Types of Sentence
  • Verb Phrase
  • Vocative Case
  • Zero Conditional
  • Academic English
  • Anglo Saxon Roots and Prefixes
  • Bilingual Dictionaries
  • Contractions
  • English Dictionaries
  • English Vocabulary
  • Greek Roots, Suffixes and Prefixes
  • Latin Roots, Suffixes and Prefixes
  • Modern English
  • Object category
  • Parentheses
  • Possessives
  • Regional Dialects
  • Rhyming Dictionary
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Social Dialects
  • Subject Predicate Relationship
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Word Pronunciation
  • Essay Time Management
  • How To Take a Position in an Essay
  • Organize Your Prompt
  • Proofread Essay
  • Understanding the Prompt
  • Analytical Essay
  • Cause and Effect Essay
  • Chat GPT Prompts For Literature Essays
  • Claims and Evidence
  • Descriptive Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Narrative Essay
  • Persuasive Essay
  • The Best Chat GPT Prompts For Essay Writing
  • Essay Sources and Presenting Research
  • Essay Structure
  • Essay Topic


  • Point Evidence Explain
  • Referencing
  • Research Question
  • Sources of Data Collection
  • Transcribing Spoken Data
  • African American English
  • African Countries Speaking English
  • American English Vs British English
  • Australian English
  • British Accents
  • British Sign Language
  • Communicative Language Teaching
  • English in Eu
  • Guided Discovery
  • Indian English
  • Lesson Plan
  • Received Pronunciation
  • Total Physical Response
  • Abbreviations
  • Advise vs Advice
  • Affect or Effect
  • Capitalisation
  • Inverted commas
  • Loosing or Losing
  • Multimodal Texts
  • Orthographic Features
  • Practice or Practise
  • Punctuation
  • Separate vs Seperate
  • Typographical Features
  • Comparative Method
  • Conventions of Standard English
  • Early Modern English
  • Great Vowel Shift
  • Historical Development
  • Inflectional Morphemes
  • Irish English
  • King James Bible
  • Language Family
  • Language Isolate
  • Middle English
  • Middle English Examples
  • Noah Webster Dictionary
  • Old English Language
  • Old English Texts
  • Old English Translation
  • Piers Plowman
  • Proto Language
  • Samuel Johnson Dictionary
  • Scottish English
  • Shakespearean English
  • Welsh English
  • Accent vs Dialect
  • Bilingualism
  • Code Switching
  • Descriptivism
  • Descriptivism vs Prescriptivism
  • Dialect Levelling
  • English as a lingua franca
  • Kachru's 3 Concentric Circles
  • Language Changes
  • Pidgin and Creole
  • Prescriptivism
  • Rhotic Accent
  • Social Interaction
  • Standard English
  • Standardisation of English
  • Strevens Model of English
  • Technological Determinism
  • Vernacular English
  • World Englishes
  • Language Stereotypes
  • Language and Politics
  • Language and Power
  • Language and Technology
  • Media Linguistics
  • Michel Foucault Discourse Theory
  • Multimodality
  • Norman Fairclough
  • Agrammatism
  • Behavioral Theory
  • Cognitive Theory
  • Constructivism
  • Critical Period
  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Down Syndrome Language
  • Functional Basis of Language
  • Interactionist Theory
  • Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
  • Language Acquisition Support System
  • Language Acquisition in Children
  • Michael Halliday
  • Multiword Stage
  • One-Word stage
  • Specific Language Impairments
  • Theories of Language Acquisition
  • Two-Word Stage
  • Williams Syndrome
  • Foregrounding
  • Grammatical Voice
  • Literariness
  • Literary Context
  • Literary Purpose
  • Literary Representation
  • Mode English Language
  • Narrative Perspective
  • Poetic Voice
  • Accommodation Theory
  • Bernstein Elaborated and Restricted Code
  • Casual Register
  • Concept of Face
  • Consultative Register
  • Deficit Approach
  • Difference Approach
  • Diversity Approach
  • Dominance Approach
  • Drew and Heritage Institutional Talk
  • Eckert Jocks and Burnouts
  • Formal Register
  • Frozen Register
  • Gary Ives Bradford Study
  • Holmes Code Switching
  • Intimate Register
  • Labov- New York Department Store Study
  • Language and Age
  • Language and Class
  • Language and Ethnicity
  • Language and Gender
  • Language and Identity
  • Language and Occupation
  • Marked and Unmarked Terms
  • Neutral Register
  • Peter Trudgill- Norwich Study
  • Phatic Talk and Banter
  • Register and Style
  • Sinclair and Coulthard
  • Social Network Theory
  • Sociolect vs Idiolect
  • Variety vs Standard English
  • Amelioration
  • Collocations
  • Colloquialisms
  • Compounding
  • Connotative Meaning
  • Denotative Meaning
  • Figurative Language
  • Fixed Expressions
  • Formal Language
  • Informal Language
  • Initialisms
  • Irony English Language
  • Language Structure
  • Levels of Formality
  • Lexical Ambiguity
  • Literary Positioning
  • Occupational Register
  • Paradigmatic Relations
  • Personification
  • Prototype Theory
  • Rhetorical Figures
  • Semantic Analysis
  • Semantic Change
  • Semantic Reclamation
  • Syntagmatic Relations
  • Text Structure
  • Zero-Derivation
  • 1984 Newspeak
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Critical Theory
  • Essentialism
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Language Comprehension
  • Lexicography
  • Linguistic Determinism
  • Logical Positivism
  • Machine Translation
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Neural Networks
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Sapir Whorf Hypothesis
  • Speech Recognition
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Address Counterclaims
  • Group Discussion
  • Presentation Skills
  • Presentation Technology
  • Agglutinating Languages
  • Alternation
  • Compound Words
  • Derivational Morphemes
  • Grammatical Morphemes
  • Lexical Morphology
  • Morphosyntax
  • Polysynthetic Languages
  • Reduplication
  • Active Reading
  • Process of Elimination
  • Words in Context
  • Click Consonants
  • Fundamental Frequency
  • Interdental
  • International Phonetic Alphabet
  • Labiodental
  • Manner of Articulation
  • Monophthong
  • Nasal Sound
  • Oral Cavity
  • Phonetic Accommodation
  • Phonetic Assimilation
  • Place of Articulation
  • Sound Spectrum
  • Source Filter Theory
  • Spectrogram
  • Voice Articulation
  • Vowel Chart
  • Alliteration
  • Complementary Distribution
  • Phonotactics
  • Sound Symbolisms
  • Commissives
  • Communication Accommodation Theory
  • Conversational Implicature
  • Cooperative Principle
  • Declarative
  • Definiteness
  • Deictic centre
  • Deictic expressions
  • Expressives
  • Figure of Speech
  • Grice's Conversational Maxims
  • Indexicality
  • Paralanguage
  • Politeness Theory
  • Presupposition
  • Semantics vs. Pragmatics
  • Speech Acts
  • Aggressive vs Friendly Tone
  • Curious vs Encouraging Tone
  • Dissimilation
  • Feminine Rhyme
  • Hypocritical vs Cooperative Tone
  • Masculine Rhyme
  • Monosyllabic Rhyme
  • Multisyllabic
  • Optimistic vs Worried Tone
  • Serious vs Humorous Tone
  • Stress of a Word
  • Suprasegmental
  • Surprised Tone
  • Tone English Langugage
  • Analyzing Informational Texts
  • Comparing Texts
  • Context Cues
  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Resources
  • Ethical Issues In Data Collection
  • Formulate Questions
  • Internet Search Engines
  • Literary Analysis
  • Personal Writing
  • Print Resources
  • Research Process
  • Research and Analysis
  • Technical Writing
  • Action Verbs
  • Adjectival Clause
  • Adverbial Clause
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Appositive Phrase
  • Argument from Authority
  • Argumentation
  • Auditory Description
  • Basic Rhetorical Modes
  • Begging the Question
  • Building Credibility
  • Causal Flaw
  • Causal Relationships
  • Cause and Effect Rhetorical Mode
  • Central Idea
  • Chronological Description
  • Circular Reasoning
  • Circumlocution
  • Classical Appeals
  • Classification
  • Close Reading
  • Coherence Between Sentences
  • Coherence within Paragraphs
  • Coherences within Sentences
  • Complex Rhetorical Modes
  • Compound Complex Sentences
  • Concessions
  • Concrete Adjectives
  • Concrete Nouns
  • Consistent Voice
  • Counter Argument
  • Definition by Negation
  • Description
  • Description Rhetorical mode
  • Direct Discourse
  • Equivocation
  • Extended Metaphor
  • False Connections
  • False Dichotomy
  • False Equivalence
  • Faulty Analogy
  • Faulty Causality
  • Fear Arousing
  • Gustatory Description
  • Hasty Generalization
  • Illustration
  • Induction Rhetoric
  • Levels of Coherence
  • Line of Reasoning
  • Missing the Point
  • Modifiers that Qualify
  • Modifiers that Specify
  • Narration Rhetorical Mode
  • Non-Sequitur
  • Non-Testable Hypothesis
  • Objective Description
  • Olfactory Description
  • Paragraphing
  • Parenthetical Element
  • Participial Phrase
  • Personal Narrative
  • Placement of Modifiers
  • Post-Hoc Argument
  • Process Analysis Rhetorical Mode
  • Red Herring
  • Reverse Causation
  • Rhetorical Fallacy
  • Rhetorical Modes
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Rhetorical Situation
  • Scare Tactics
  • Sentimental Appeals
  • Situational Irony
  • Slippery Slope
  • Spatial Description
  • Straw Man Argument
  • Subject Consistency
  • Subjective Description
  • Tactile Description
  • Tense Consistency
  • Tone and Word Choice
  • Transitions
  • Twisting the Language Around
  • Unstated Assumption
  • Verbal Irony
  • Visual Description
  • Authorial Intent
  • Authors Technique
  • Language Choice
  • Prompt Audience
  • Prompt Purpose
  • Rhetorical Strategies
  • Understanding Your Audience
  • Auditory Imagery
  • Gustatory Imagery
  • Olfactory Imagery
  • Tactile Imagery
  • Main Idea and Supporting Detail
  • Statistical Evidence
  • Communities of Practice
  • Cultural Competence
  • Gender Politics
  • Heteroglossia
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Methodology
  • Research Methodology
  • Constituent
  • Object Subject Verb
  • Subject Verb Object
  • Syntactic Structures
  • Universal Grammar
  • Verb Subject Object
  • Author Authority
  • Direct Quote
  • First Paragraph
  • Historical Context
  • Intended Audience
  • Primary Source
  • Second Paragraph
  • Secondary Source
  • Source Material
  • Third Paragraph
  • Character Analysis
  • Citation Analysis
  • Text Structure Analysis
  • Vocabulary Assessment

Lerne mit deinen Freunden und bleibe auf dem richtigen Kurs mit deinen persönlichen Lernstatistiken

Nie wieder prokastinieren mit unseren Lernerinnerungen.

Definition of an Essay Outline

What is an outline, exactly?

An outline is a clear, organized plan for an essay.

You can think of an outline as the blueprint for an essay. It helps you visualize and plan your essay before the creation process starts.

When you write an outline for an essay, start with the basic framework and gradually fill in the details . Once the details are complete, you can connect the sentences and make sure the essay flows nicely.

Format of an Essay Outline

Any essay can be divided into three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion . In a typical five-paragraph essay, the body is split into three paragraphs. The result is this basic outline:

  • Introduce the essay's Main Idea (s) .
  • State the Thesis .
  • Introduce the supporting idea .
  • Provide supporting details .
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea.
  • Return to the Thesis .
  • Sum up the supporting ideas .
  • Explore the implications and questions raised by the thesis.

You can build most five-paragraph essays using this basic outline. The exact structure of the body and its supporting details depend on the type of essay.

The following examples apply this basic outline template to a specific type of essay.

The examples provide detailed essay outlines; t o finish the essays, you would tweak the sentences so they connect and flow logically.

Persuasive Essay Outline

The goal of a Persuasive Essay is to convince the audience of the writer's Opinion . Every supporting detail attempts to bring the audience over to the writer's side. The supporting details can include emotional appeals, logic, examples, evidence, etc.

This Persuasive Essay outline discusses the advantages of working in food service. Notice how the details fit into the basic framework laid out in the previous section.

Essay Outline, baristas in a coffee shop, StudySmarter

  • Introduce the main idea . Over a hundred million people in the U.S. work in the food service industry. That number is steadily growing.
  • State the thesis . Experience in the service industry can benefit people on any career path.
  • Introduce the supporting idea . Working in food service requires multiple people to work quickly as a team. They build strong skills in communication and conflict resolution.
  • Provide supporting details . Lots of careers (construction, software development, healthcare, etc.) require teamwork and collaboration.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . The fast-paced collaboration required in food service helps prepare people for the teamwork required in other careers.
  • Introduce the supporting idea . Some restaurant and fast food chains assist employees in finding new careers.
  • Provide supporting details . Some of these large chains assist employees with college tuition and federal student loan debt. Some also help employees to move into management and other roles in the company.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . In cases like these, working in food service can provide a springboard to the next career step.

Use a Line of Reasoning , or logic, to connect your ideas!

  • Introduce the supporting idea . Service work is physically and emotionally taxing. Experiencing this kind of work can teach people to be patient and respectful with others.
  • Provide supporting details . Someone who has never worked in the service industry may grow frustrated at any inconvenience in a restaurant and take it out on the workers. Someone who has shared the workers' experience is more likely to be patient and respectful.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . Skills in empathy and patience are valuable in any career. Working in food service helps people gain these skills.
  • Return to the thesis and sum up the supporting ideas . Working in the food service industry gives people interpersonal skills such as collaboration in high-pressure scenarios, effective communication, conflict resolution, and empathy. In some cases, it can also help people practically by assisting with higher education. All of these give people an advantage in other career paths.
  • Explore the implications and questions raised by the thesis . If everyone spent at least a short time working in food service, the American workplace would be full of people with these valuable interpersonal skills.

When writing a persuasive essay, consider the three classical appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Respectively, these are the appeals to logic, emotions, and credentials. Part of persuasion is knowing your audience, and you can use rhetorical styles like these to reach that audience. By the way, rhetoric is any spoken or written device designed to persuade!

Argumentative Essay Outline

An Argumentative Essay is similar to a persuasive essay, but it takes a more measured approach. It relies on factual evidence and logic rather than emotional appeals.

An important supporting idea for an Argumentative Essay is an acknowledgment and rebuttal of an opposing Argument . This means presenting a valid opposing argument and then explaining why the writer's argument is stronger.

This argumentative essay outline discusses the nutritional value of home-grown foods versus store-bought foods.

Essay Outline, basket of vegetables on a table, StudySmarter

  • Introduce the main idea . Fruits and vegetables are important for a healthy lifestyle. People in the U.S. have become more interested in growing their own fruits and vegetables.
  • State the thesis . Home-grown fruits and vegetables are healthier than store-bought fruits and vegetables.
  • Introduce the supporting idea . The nutrient density of foods is highest at peak freshness.
  • Provide supporting details . Produce shipped from farms and stored in supermarkets is harvested before its peak freshness so it doesn't spoil as quickly. Home-grown produce can continue ripening until it's ready to be eaten.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . Since it can easily be harvested at peak freshness, home-grown produce can be more nutrient-dense than store-bought produce.

Remember, start with your best supporting idea or piece of evidence!

  • Introduce the supporting idea . People are more likely to eat produce they grew themselves.
  • Provide supporting details . A study at Saint Louis University showed that children who learn to grow their own fruits and vegetables are more likely to eat a healthy diet than other children.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . Home-grown produce is a healthier option because it encourages people to eat more produce.
  • Introduce the supporting idea . Store-bought produce is also nutritious.
  • Provide supporting details . Growing food requires a large commitment of time, space, water, and other resources. When this commitment isn't possible, store-bought vegetables are the best option. This is why it's important to have good produce available in stores.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea . Because of the relative advantages, if home-grown produce is an option, it is a more nutritious solution than store-bought produce.
  • Return to the thesis and sum up the supporting ideas . Home-grown produce can be fresher and more nutritionally dense than store-bought produce. It also encourages a healthier diet overall.
  • Explore the implications and questions raised by the thesis . Home gardening isn't an option for everyone, but advances in indoor and container gardening can make home-grown fruits and vegetables available to more people.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A compare and Contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two given topics. Its supporting ideas can consist of summaries of each topic and key similarities or differences between the topics.

Compare and Contrast essays can be organized using the block method , where the two topics are discussed separately, one after the other, or the point-by-point method , where the two topics are compared at a single point in each supporting paragraph.

This essay discusses the differences between the piano and the organ using the point-by-point method.

Essay Outline, organ keyboard instrument, StudySmarter

  • Introduce topics: At a glance, the piano and the organ look like the same instrument. They have the same type of keyboard, and they're usually in a wooden casing. However, the piano is able to play some musical pieces that the organ cannot, and vice versa.
  • Thesis Statement : Even though they look similar, the piano and the organ are very different instruments.
  • Introduce the supporting idea: One key difference between the piano and the organ is their sound production. Both are in the keyboard instrument family, but they produce different types of sound.
  • Supporting details of Topic 1: Striking a piano key causes a felt hammer to swing onto a group of metal strings.
  • Supporting details of Topic 2: Striking an organ key allows air to flow through the wood or metal pipes connected to the machine.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea: The piano uses its keyboard to behave like a percussion or string instrument, while the organ uses its keyboard to behave like a woodwind or brass instrument. This is why the piano and organ sound so distinct from one another.

When detailing your essay on an intricate topic, remember only to tell your audience what it needs to know.

  • Introduce the supporting idea: Both the piano and organ require the player to work with foot pedals. These pedals, however, serve different functions.
  • Supporting details of Topic 1: A piano's pedals affect the instrument's "action." The pedals may shift the hammers to one side to strike fewer strings or raise the felt dampers, so the strings freely ring out.
  • Supporting details of Topic 2: An organ's pedals constitute an entire keyboard. The organ's primary pedalboard is a very large keyboard that controls the instrument's largest pipes.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea: The pianist and organist must use their feet to operate the instrument, but they use different skill sets.
  • Introduce the supporting idea: The piano and organ also differ in volume control.
  • Supporting details of Topic 1: A pianist can control the instrument's volume by striking the keyboard lightly or intensely.
  • Supporting details of Topic 2: An organ's volume can only be controlled by changing the amount of air that can pass through the pipes or by changing the number of pipes connected to the keyboard register.
  • Connect the supporting details to the main idea: Because of their different methods of volume control, a piano cannot produce the organ's large "wall" of sound, and an organ cannot produce the piano's flowing dynamic changes.

Fun Fact : "Volume" is the loudness of a speaker's output to a listener, while "gain" is the loudness of an instrument's input into a stereo, amplifier, or recording device.

  • Return to the thesis and sum up the supporting ideas. Although the instruments look very similar, the piano and organ have significant mechanical differences, from the keys to the pedals. Because of these mechanical differences, a musician must approach each instrument differently.
  • Explore the implications and questions raised by the thesis. This is one reason the two instruments can produce such different musical pieces. Both instruments are valuable contributions to world music.

Essay Outline - Key Takeaways

  • Any essay can be divided into three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion . In a typical five-paragraph essay, the body is split into three paragraphs.
  • The goal of a persuasive essay is to convince the audience of the writer's Opinion .
  • An argumentative essay is similar to a persuasive essay , but it takes a more measured approach.
  • A compare and contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two given topics.

Frequently Asked Questions about Essay Outline

--> what is an essay outline, --> how do you write an outline for an essay.

When you write an outline for an essay, start with the basic framework  (introduction, body, and conclusion)  and gradually fill in the details . Once the details are complete, you can connect the sentences and make sure the essay flows nicely.

--> What is a 5 paragraph essay outline?

Any essay can be divided into three parts:  introduction, body, and conclusion . In a typical five-paragraph essay, the body is split into three paragraphs.

--> How long should an essay outline be?

An essay outline should gradually add greater detail to a basic framework of introduction, body, and conclusion . The outline of a 5 paragraph essay can be divided into 5 parts: one outline section per essay paragraph.

--> What is an example of an essay outline?

This is the basic outline of a 5 paragraph essay:

  • Introduction (state the thesis)
  • Body 1 (supporting idea)
  • Body 2 (supporting idea)
  • Body 3 (supporting idea)
  • Conclusion (sum up ideas and return to the thesis)

Final Essay Outline Quiz

Essay outline quiz - teste dein wissen.

What is an essay outline?

Show answer

An   outline   is a clear, organized plan for an essay.

Show question

What are the three main sections of any essay?

The three main sections of any essay are the  introduction, body, and conclusion .

The body of a 5 paragraph essay is usually split into ___ paragraphs.

Which part of an essay should state the thesis ?

Which part of an essay should  provide supporting details ?

Which part of an essay should summarize the supporting ideas ?

True or false: 

A persuasive essay focuses on factual evidence and logic instead of emotional appeals.

True or false:

An argumentative essay focuses on factual evidence and logic instead of emotional appeals.

The body of a/an _____ essay should include an acknowledgment and rebuttal of an opposing argument.


The block method and point-by-point method refer to the organization of _____ essays.

Compare and Contrast

An essay outline using the _____ method discusses two topics separately, one after the other.

An essay outline using the _____ method compares two topics at a single point in each supporting paragraph.


It's any spoken or written device designed to persuade.

This is where you explore the implications of your thesis.

Supporting ideas contain no summary.

What comes before the conclusion?

The third (or final) body paragraph.

How should you connect your ideas?

When outlining a persuasive essay, you probably don't need to think too much about your audience. Think about what would persuade you!

This is when you counter an argument.

Logos, ethos, and pathos are rhetorical styles or modes.

Every body paragraph has a main idea.

False. They have supporting ideas.

Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

Which part of an essay should state the thesis?

Which part of an essay should provide supporting details?

Your score:

Smart Exams

Join the StudySmarter App and learn efficiently with millions of flashcards and more!

Learn with 21 essay outline flashcards in the free studysmarter app.

Already have an account? Log in

Flashcards in Essay Outline 21


  • Cues and Conventions
  • Free Response Essay

of the users don't pass the Essay Outline quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

How would you like to learn this content?

Free english cheat sheet!

Everything you need to know on . A perfect summary so you can easily remember everything.

Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

  • Flashcards & Quizzes
  • AI Study Assistant
  • Study Planner
  • Smart Note-Taking

Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

More explanations about 5 Paragraph Essay

Discover the right content for your subjects, engineering.

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

This is still free to read, it's not a paywall.

You need to register to keep reading, start learning with studysmarter, the only learning app you need..


Create a free account to save this explanation.

Save explanations to your personalised space and access them anytime, anywhere!

By signing up, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy of StudySmarter.

StudySmarter bietet alles, was du für deinen Lernerfolg brauchst - in einer App!

Privacy overview.

BibGuru Blog

Be more productive in school

  • Citation Styles

How to write an outline for an essay

How to write a college essay outline

Whether you’re a researcher, an academic, or a student, knowing how to write an outline for an essay will be an essential skill.

Despite how important it is, there are all too many individuals out there carrying on with the writing process without knowing how to write effectively. Creating an outline for your next essay can help you to structure your thoughts more clearly before you put them down on paper.

The advantages of working on a paper outline first are numerous; besides planning your answers, you’ll be able to organize them for better flow and ensure you haven’t missed anything important. An organized outline leads to an organized paper, which will have a better chance of being published or getting a good grade.

We’ve put together all the basics behind writing an outline for an essay in this easy guide:

Before writing your outline

You’ve been assigned a topic or you have a thesis statement that needs to be put onto paper. Before you jump into writing the final essay, you’ll want to create an outline that you can work from. The problem is there are a few things that need to be done before you can start essay writing.

It’s essential to look at the writing assignment carefully. If you’re a student, pay attention to the marking rubric and try to get a good idea of what your teacher or lecturer is looking for.

To write a strong outline, you'll ultimately need to make sure you've reviewed all the resources given and that you are approaching it from the right angle.

The basic parts of essay outlines

Every essay or research paper has to have a structure, and this is what you should also attempt to do in your essay outline. Broken down into the most basic parts, every essay outline should have:

  • A strong introduction or thesis statement
  • A body , or arguments and counterarguments
  • A conclusion that reiterates the thesis statement and summarizes key thoughts

Your outline should ideally be structured so that your arguments are ranked in terms of their importance. You can imagine your outline having four layers of organization - the first two layers are the more general, and the following layers go into more detailed information from there.

Since you’re working on an outline first, you can easily shift around arguments and supporting statements to make sure the final project will be suitable for publishing or marking.

Remember to check carefully for any repetitive ideas or statements and to think about the audience you are writing for. More than a basic essay that follows the assignment prompt, you want to try and use different writing techniques to make the paper an interesting read and cater your writing to your audience.

Language in outlines

Even though you’ll be working on a rough outline, it will be important to focus on the language you’re using from the beginning. Paying attention to language now will get you in the right headspace for writing your full essay and help you avoid mistakes that can affect your essay later on.

Ask yourself, is my outline grammatically correct and consistent? Are my headings correct? Typically, your main headings should be more general with each sub-heading becoming more specific as it explains your answers.

Even within the basic structure of your outline, you want to make sure that you are using complete sentences while in the process of writing. Use the outline to make note of interesting terminology and theories you want to add to the final essay.

Formatting your essay outline

Your essay outline should adhere to the requirements provided along with the essay topic - this is what makes taking that first step to evaluate everything so important

The majority of essays are structured using an alphanumeric structure, but there are other options like the decimal outline structure. It all comes down to what the teacher or lecturer has asked for.

If there is no prior requirement, you can use the system of your choosing. In this case, just be sure to remember that consistency is key - you want to use the same system all throughout your outline and eventual essay.

The alphanumeric structure is a common type of outline formatting system that uses the following characters for headings:

  • Roman numerals
  • Capital letters
  • Arabic numerals
  • Lowercase letters

The decimal system on the other hand is similar but has the additional purpose of showing how every part of the outline relates to the rest of the essay. Instead of numerals and letters, a decimal outline uses decimals when formatting headings and sub-headings.

Formatting will be especially important when it comes to doing your references. You can have all the credible sources in the world in your paper, but if they aren't formatted in the proper reference style they may affect your overall score. This can be crippling when you're handing in an academic paper or another essay type that requires a common structure and some critical thinking.

Writing your essay outline

When you’re ready to start writing your essay outline, it’s best to take a step by step approach.

The first thing you want to do is to carefully consider the subject. Is the essay meant to be argumentative, narrative, or expository? Different categories will require different types of outlines -  narrative essays for example will have a structure that is unlike the format used in an analysis essay.

It may be worthwhile to take some time to brainstorm all of the topics or ideas you want to write about and to choose the one you feel has the most potential from the shortlist. This is also a good opportunity to connect related ideas and strengthen your paper even further.

The next step is to take your list of organized ideas and structure them into an essay outline. When working on this part, you should organize your ideas by the level of importance. Think about how you can introduce these topics, give an explanation for them, and what conclusions can be drawn from them as an ending to your essay. Don't go into too much detail.

From there, you’ll want to write headings and subheadings based on the ideas you have gathered. Headings are one of the most underrated parts of writing an essay, but they too play a huge role in the success of a paper.

The secret to writing great headings is to make sure that everyone you put down adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Does the reader understand the essay content?
  • Is each content section clear?
  • How does each section relate to the other sections?

If you’re unable to say “yes” to all the above, your headings will need some additional work.

When all of the above has been completed, you can start to fill in the body of your outline with your ideas and some rough sentences that you can build on in the final version.

Essay outline example

As mentioned above, your outline is essentially broken down into multiple layers of organization. Let's take a closer look at how this will work in practice.

Layer one is the most generalized section of the outline and will contain an introduction to the ideas you'll be discussing in the paper, and the conclusion. Think of this as the elevator pitch of your research. You can expect layer one to look like the following:

From the above, you can see that the main points of the example outline are separated into their own sections. Every main idea you introduce should have at least one or two supporting statements before you add another main idea.

Final thoughts

The chances are good that you will write many essays in your life, and hopefully, with the knowledge in this guide in hand, the process of outlining them will be easier each time.

Writing an outline might be a bit more time-consuming than jumping into the full paper immediately, but the final product is much more likely to excel. By taking the time to prepare a strong outline, you’ll be ensuring that you can create a better paper much faster.

Frequently Asked Questions about Writing an outline for an essay

Creating an outline for your essay will help you structure what you want to write, and usually contains a few bullet points under each section you plan to add. An outline is just a very rough plan for the paper you plan to write.

Perfecting your essay will come down to understanding the relevant literature, offering a fresh take with a strong opening hook, and keeping to the rubric set for the assignment. Once you've finished your first draft, try to read it objectively and improve any of the weak points you spot.

The four types are expository, descriptive, narrative, and argumentative. An expository essay is an essay that takes a closer look at an idea and evaluates the relevant evidence, while a descriptive essay describes an experience with a person, a place, or situation.

Narrative essays tell a story - anecdotal or personal experiences that are written creatively. Lastly, an argumentative essay tries to prove a point by investigating a topic and the evidence related to it.

This will highly depend on the type of assignment. If no specification is given, try to start with five paragraphs on the main topics and expand on sub-topics as needed. Prioritize your strongest points and only add supplemental ones to support them.

Give yourself a refresher on grammar and vocabulary rules, plan a solid outline and make sure you have carefully analyzed your research sources. Reading more papers will also help you improve your writing skills.

How to write an argumentative essay

Make your life easier with our productivity and writing resources.

For students and teachers.


  1. 7th Grade Persuasive Essay Outline

    parts of an essay outline

  2. 37 Outstanding Essay Outline Templates (Argumentative, Narrative, Persuasive)

    parts of an essay outline

  3. Exceptional Three Paragraph Essay ~ Thatsnotus

    parts of an essay outline

  4. Thesis Structure Outline

    parts of an essay outline

  5. 5 Amazing Steps to Ease Your Essay Outline Making

    parts of an essay outline

  6. 37 Outstanding Essay Outline Templates (Argumentative, Narrative, Persuasive)

    parts of an essay outline


  1. How to Create an Outline for Your Essay

  2. Parts of essay #essaywriting#howtowriteessayeffectively#academicessay

  3. writing Introduction in CSS essay paper #css #fpsc #essay #csspastpaper #essayoutline

  4. Different types of Essays.The Essay, Forms of Prose.Forms of English Literature.🇮🇳👍

  5. My body parts for kids



  1. What Is Essay Bot? AIs Writing an Essay for You Might Not Be Safe

    Writing essays isn’t many people’s favorite part of studying for a qualification, but it’s necessary. Or is it? If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer and felt like you didn’t know where to start, you might have been tempted to get Essay...

  2. How Do You Write an Issue Paper?

    To write an issue paper, it is important to understand the topic, search for examples, format an outline, write the essay and edit the final version. In written examinations, an issue essay is generally allotted 45 minutes for completion.

  3. What Is an Informative Essay?

    An informative essay is any type of essay that has the goal of informing or educating an audience. By definition, it is not used to persuade or to give one’s personal beliefs on a subject.

  4. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Presentation of the outline · Introduction. Hook; Background; Thesis statement · Topic one. First point. First piece of evidence; Second piece of

  5. How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

    What is an essay outline? An essay outline is an informal document that lists and orders the parts of an essay so the writer can stay on

  6. How to Write a Perfect Essay Outline

    Key Parts of an Essay · Introduction. Here you'll mention the topic of your essay and its thesis. · Body paragraphs. There will be a minimum three

  7. How to Write an Essay Outline: 5 Examples & Free Template

    The template includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, an optional paragraph for a counter-argument, and a conclusion. Under each of

  8. A Guide to Outlining

    An outline will typically follow this format. Essential parts of an essay include: Introduction: Includes the essay's main topic and thesis statement. The

  9. Essay Outline: Definition & Examples

    Essay Outline - Key Takeaways · An outline is a clear, organized plan for an essay. · Any essay can be divided into three parts: introduction, body, and

  10. How to write an effective outline for academic essays

    What should an outline include? · Main idea or thesis statement - this is the core of your essay and everything relates back to this. · Supporting points - in a

  11. Essay Planning: Outlining with a Purpose

    Outlining is a vital part of the essay planning process. It allows the

  12. Components of a Good Essay

    The main parts (or sections) to an essay are the intro, body, and conclusion. In a standard short essay, five paragraphs can provide the reader with enough

  13. Essay Outline Template

    Don't repeat your writing verbatim from previous parts of the paper. B. Offer closing thoughts and give the reader something to think about. 1. Suggest a

  14. How to write an outline for an essay

    The basic parts of essay outlines · A strong introduction or thesis statement · A body, or arguments and counterarguments · A conclusion that