Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Essay Outline - Writing Guide & Templates

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Published on: Dec 14, 2019

Last updated on: May 19, 2023

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Creating an outline for your essay is inevitable. It helps a lot in essay writing. It is so essential that sometimes teachers make it a high priority and something without which the article is considered incomplete.

An outline is supposed to summarize the intended content of the essay you are writing and keep it organized. Moreover, an overview helps you to maintain a coherent manner throughout the article.

Our expert guide will help you make an outline that explains the general idea of your essay well. Also, you will get to know how you can keep your essay topic composed and structured.

How to Write an Essay Outline?

It must be clear that an essay outline is a short plan or structure for an essay. It is made to make the explanation better and make sure that the writer does not miss anything.

It is not an obligation to write an outline before you start the essay. You can directly start writing, but it will do nothing but make things complicated for you. So now the point to ponder is how to write an effective outline? Be at ease! Writing an essay outline does not require any rocket science.

There are certain steps you should determine before creating an outline for your essay. Collect the following pieces of information to have an organized overview.

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1. Understand the Requirements

Once an assignment has been assigned to you, the first step is to understand the requirements. By following the needs, you will know the rules and regulations for your essay and the limitations.

These requirements will make you proceed accordingly and keep you with the timeline.

2. Identify the Type of Essay

Read the requirements carefully and identify the type of essay required. Knowing the type of article is necessary because, for each essay type, you have to follow a particular format.

Common types of essays are:

  • Argumentative essay
  • Expository essay
  • Narrative essay
  • Persuasive essay

3. Choose the Topic

Brainstorm different ideas for your essay. Make sure you choose a topic that goes by the type of essay required. Plus, the item should be broad enough to let you write reasonably.

Pick out more than one topic and choose that drags most of your attention.

4. Research

Research is an essential thing to conduct. The topic of your essay defines the type of research, primary or secondary, that you will be using. In addition, the study identifies the gaps and the differences in which one develops their essay outline.

Similar to a research paper, performing in-depth research is part of the writing process.

5. Identify Your Audience

The intended audience should be considered while creating an outline. It is necessarily important that your audience understands what you have written.

Your writing style is different for different types of audiences. To identify the audience before you start writing.

6. Expand Your Horizon

Thinking big and broad is key for essay writing. It is important yet beneficial to think about multiple things to create one better thing. Since the central idea is supported by the details specific to the theme.

Broaden your thinking and develop two to three main ideas, and then associate details with them accordingly.

Elements of an Essay Outline

Essential elements of an essay are supposed to be mentioned in an essay outline. Following are the components of an article. Make sure you enlist them all in your essay outline. They make the outline structure.


The essay introduction includes a problem statement and the strategies you will be using to defend your topic. In the outline mentioned, all the elements your submission will have.

Use the following way to explain the introduction in the outline.

  1. Introduce the topic
  2. State the thesis statement
  3. Introduce the area of focus
  4. Introduce the key terms


After the introduction, provide a composed background for your topic. Then, mention a few reasons for choosing the respective topic.

  1. Historical overview
  2. Gaps in the previous research

Body Paragraphs

The major points of your essay are covered in the body paragraphs. An article usually has three body paragraphs. But this number is not fixed. You can add or remove body paragraphs as per your need.

The body paragraph starts with a topic sentence and then discusses both minor and significant points. Following is the way you mention this point in your outline.

  • Body Paragraph 1
    1. Topic sentence
    2. Explain idea 1
    3. Major point
    4. Related minor point
  • Body Paragraph 2
    1. Topic sentence
    2. Explain idea 2
    3. Major point
    4. Related minor point
  • Body Paragraph 3
    1. Topic sentence
    2. Explain idea 3
    3. Major point
    4. Related minor point

Follow the same format for all the paragraphs you would be mentioning.


To draw a conclusion is an extraordinary thing. It should be very summarized and explanatory. Then, add a judgment in your outline, as mentioned below.

  1. Restate your thesis statement.
  2. Proposed solution

Outline Templates for Different Types of Essay

For every type of essay, there is a standard template. These templates help you to create a better essay outline. An outline helps organize all your thoughts and plans to write an essay.

So, it is recommended to choose the appropriate type of template according to the type of essay. You may look for samples online to understand the concept more clearly.

The following are some samples of essay outlines for different types of essays.

Argumentative Essay Outline

An argumentative essay incorporates supporting evidence and information based on facts. It is to support the topic of discussion and the claim it's making. The purpose of this essay is to convince a particular group of people for something.

Persuasive Essay Outline

A persuasive essay is written with the support of logical facts and reasons. A persuasive essay aims to persuade someone that your point of view is more legitimate than any other.

Informative Essay Outline

An informative essay is a type of academic paper written at a high school or college level. This type of essay tends to inform people about a specific topic, event, or person.

The primary purpose of an informative essay is to respond to different questions and explain them in detail.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A comparison and contrast essay makes either a comparison, a contrast, or both between two different or similar things.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of essay writing where the writer works on the topic in more detail. It uses different persuasive methods to support the standpoint.

Synthesis Essay Outline

A synthesis essay is a written work that takes a unique viewpoint about a central idea, theme, or topic. It then backs it up with multiple sources.

Descriptive Essay Outline

A descriptive essay describes various things that the readers feel, smell, see, taste, or hear what is described. Such articles are usually a bit lengthy.

Moreover, learning how to write a descriptive essay is very simple. Just follow the outline, and you will be done with it in no time.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline

The 5 paragraph essay is a format that is followed to write almost all types of essays.

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Literary Analysis Essay Outline

An analytical essay analyzes something, such as literature; an analytical essay examines a piece of writing from different angles.

Purpose of an Essay Outline

Writing an outline is such a necessary skill for students. Some instructors require students to submit the drafts for their assignments before the final submission of their papers. Keep reading this article to learn more about how you can develop an overview effectively and easily.

Essay outlines constitute a significant element of essay writing. An outline provides a path for structuring an essay and keeping it in a flow. It guides the writer as the drafting process begins.

Usually, an outline contains an explanation about the paragraphs, individual sentences, the thesis statement, and the concluding statement of your essay.

For each essay time, the elements of an outline differ. The basics of the framework are the same, but the difference may occur in the mentioned elements.

If you still can not take the risk of writing an essay outline for yourself, our experts are here to help you out.

At, we provide you with the best writing services and qualified writers. We make sure that your essay is unique and gets you the best grade. A lot of students have given the best reviews to the assignments we do for them.

Shred off all your worries and contact us to get your “Type my essay?” queries answered. Then, place your order and get your essay written professionally by our writers according to your instructions.

Cathy A.


Cathy A., Literature, Marketing

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces 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 their craft.

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces 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 their craft.

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