How to Write a Good Essay Outline Step by Step

It’s easy to learn the basics of writing a good essay outline. When you are writing an outline for a class assignment, you need to go back to the instructions to confirm whether your framework fulfils all the requirements of the task. Ensure the outline is well structured. In the first section, you have an introduction. The introduction will give the reader the opportunity to get an overview of what the paper is about briefly. The opening should also be catchy to grab the reader’s attention to read the paper to the end.

The second section should be the body information of the paper. It should be the most significant part of the outline. You can have three subsections in this part.

The last part should be the conclusion information. You should help the reader summarize the whole idea brought out in the paper. A reasonable conclusion statement is crucial here. You also need to restate your thesis statement to help the reader relate his understanding of your argument in the paper.

What Is an Essay Outline?

An essay outline is a structured summary of the content the writer intends to include in the essay. It helps the writer in getting the ideas organized for easy writing. The outline is essential as it provides the writer with the guide and writing structure. It enables the writer to write a coherent essay that has a smooth flow. Outlines save you writing time since you already put down your ideas. You realize that spending a few minutes to write down the thoughts and organizing them is not a waste of time.

Outlines help you to organize your thoughts systematically. The alphanumeric format is the most popular outline structure used. When writing the outline, you can decide to either write full sentences or phrases. Complete sentences are more useful as they provide comprehensive information. If you are preparing a framework as part of the class assignment, then you should use full sentences.

Simple Tips on How to Make an Outline for an Essay

Have you been asking yourself how you can make a good essay outline? Having a difficult time putting together a great outline? You can relax now. Our team of experts has created the following highlights of steps you can use in creating the outline:

  • Read and understand the requirements of the essay. Highlight every keyword or phrase in the essay instructions and guidelines. You can ask for clarifications on the instructions you don’t understand.
  • Create and write down the essay topic. From the instructions, you can develop a suitable subject for the essay.
  • Write down the essay ideas. As you read the guidelines, many ideas will come to your mind. Write down all those ideas. Write as much information as you can- don’t limit yourself.
  • Identify the purpose of the essay. To come up with an excellent essay outline, think of the use of the final paper. What do you want to achieve in writing the paper? Is the document intended to persuade, inform, or entertain? Your purpose should be in line with the instructions of the essay.
  • Think of the audience. Who is going to read your piece? What are the needs of the audience? How will they react upon reading your paper? You need to answer all those questions in the essay to satisfy the audience expectations.
  • Identify a thesis statement for your essay. The thesis statement is merely the highlight of the question your paper will be answering. The statement should be in line with the topic of the paper. A good thesis should be brief and should exclude your opinions and facts.

With the above information, you are now ready to structure your essay outline. You need to choose the outline structure based on your preference or nature of the paper. Usually, there are two essay outline formats: alphanumerical format and decimal format. In alphanumerical format, the writer uses alphabets, numbers or Roman numerals. In decimal format, the writer uses numbers with decimals for subsections, e.g., 1.1, 1.2.3, etc.

Basic Essay Outline Example for You

The following is an example of an essay outline using the popular alphanumeric essay format. This essay is based on the Federalist papers influence. It should give you a brief outlook on how a basic essay outline should be structured.

Title: The Impact of the Federalist Papers on the Constitution

I. Introduction

  • Describe the ratification of Federalist Papers and how they began
  • Thesis: The constitution ratification was impacted by the Federalists by the formation of their major significant arguments which include the significance of being a part of a union by possessing a Constitution, giving answers to the denials which the anti-federalists made concerning the divorcing of powers and the defense of the contradicting arguments formed against the features of the judicial and executive branch as the Constitution foresees.

II. Background

  • Describe how and when The Federalist Papers were printed and published.
  • Describe the main objectives of The Federalists.

III. Arguments for the gains of a Union

  • It would protect against external threats.
  • It would protect against internal threats.
  • The “extended scope” arguments of how it will manage all factions. (Federalist 10).

III. Argument of the issues with the full distinction of powers.

  • The anti-federalists wanted to completely separate the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.
  • The Federalists stated the adage of the complete defragmentation of powers was misunderstood. (Montesquieu).
  • All the branches need a fraction of power from other branches to hinder the encroachment of any of the other branches (Federalist 51).
  • The branches are required to have an interest of keeping their power in check, and making sure none of the other branches could take it away.

V. Contradiction for one executive versus many executives.

  • Anti-federalists did not support one executive, more likely a monarch.
  • The Federalists want the executive to be ‘dynamic,’ and many executives would make that quite impossible (Federalist 70).
  • It would require a lot of time for the members in the executive positions to come to a decision in case of an emergency, because there may be disagreements.
  • In many executives, it is difficult to identify the individual responsible for a mistake because they could all blame one another, so one executive would lead to more responsibility.

V. Arguments favorable for judicial reviews and terms needed for the proper behavior of the judges.

  • Anti-federalists did not like the idea of judicial reviews and the terms of proper behavior.
  • The Federalists retaliated by stating that the judicial reviews were necessary to protect the judicial branch against Legislature.
  • The terms for proper behavior were ideal to acquire the most qualified individuals for the judicial positions; it would also allow them to have enough time to develop knowledge.

VII. Conclusion

  • Thesis.
  • The ratification dates of the Constitution in accordance with the States.
  • Influence of the Federalist above the ratification.

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