How to write an essay outline: effective tips and recommendations to follow

How to write an essay outline: step-by-step guide to an impeccable result

Writing a college essay is a complex process that consists of the preparatory stage, essay writing, and proofreading. If you skip one of the stages, chances are the paper you create will not be influential, credible, and reasonable enough. Additionally, it may lack the necessary consistency, grammar excellence, and formatting correspondence.

If you create an outline that is consistent and coherent, you are halfway to the impeccable paper worth the highest grade. An outline is the basis, foundation, and skeleton of an essay, so it takes a lot of time to come up with a decent result.

Is this the first time you are working on the academic writing assignment? Do you have any ideas on how to write an essay outline? Keep reading an article for more information and a detailed guide to flawless outline and excellent paper creation.

What is an essay outline?

What is an essay outline? It is a quick plan of your work that consists of the basic elements of the text and the key concepts. In fact, if you look through a few samples available online for free, you may notice that some outlines look more like notes. The informal style of the element grants maximum freedom for the students who want to remember the most important ideas that are to be mentioned in a specific part of the text. Therefore, after reading all the guidelines on writing an essay outline, you should keep in mind that there are no strict rules, forms, or requirements an outline should meet. Instead, it should be a helpful plan to simplify your writing process, make the content consistent, and keep the transitions between paragraphs smooth.

  • Introduction. As the name implies, the paragraph is aimed at the presentation of the essay topic. The hook, some background information, and a thesis statement are to be included.
  • Main body. This part of the outline will be the biggest and the most complex, as it will consist of numerous paragraphs. The number of arguments included in the text will predetermine the quantity of passages.
  • Conclusion. The final part of the essay should be concise and efficient. Do not include new information, but rather summarize the points specified in the body paragraphs.

The importance of creating an outline

When analyzing the prominence of writing an essay outline, it is fundamental to single out a few aspects that make the undertaking not only valuable and beneficial but indispensable. What are the basic advantages of the outline?

  • Better focus. While the thesis statement is the central part of the paper, the outline is the way to properly reveal it in the essay. A well-structured plan helps students stay on track, even when some facts or arguments seem distracting.
  • Smooth transitions. Linking phrases and transition sentences are important in academic papers. If you craft an outline, you enhance your chances of keeping the data flowing smoothly in the paper. You definitely do not want to jump from one aspect to another, so an outline is a must-have.
  • Concise writing. Concision is one of the goals students struggle to reach as they work on academic writing projects. However, a well-structured outline will help to convey the key message without unnecessary facts and reasonless discussions.

Steps for writing an essay outline

So, are you ready to write the philosophy paper that will not leave anyone indifferent? What do you want to start with? Creating a magnificent outline is the aspect to consider. Check out the four most prominent steps for writing an essay outline, analyze them, and enhance your chances to thrive with the undertaking.

Determining the objective

The first thing you need to do is to discover how to write an essay introduction. What are the basic elements to be included? Why is a thesis statement important? What writing tricks can be used to hook the audience? These are the questions you should start with. Once you get the general idea, you are ready to come up with a thesis statement that will enable your further work.

Analyze the topic, determine the objective, brainstorm various aspects of the theme, and specify the critical elements you want to be included in the paper.

Filtering out fluff

After you brainstorm the topic, you need to double-check your notes. Take the size of your paper into account, and make sure you do not include too many facts. Additionally, avoid dubious phrases and sentences that can make the audience doubt your stance and the relevance of your evidence.

Identifying paragraph points

Follow the list of the arguments you create during the previous stage to proceed to the essay structure. At this point, you need to write your outline that will emphasize a clear structure of the text. Start with the introductory passage, then proceed to the main body, and finish the paper with a conclusion.

Using a standard template

Check out a few outline templates to come up with the desired result. Keep in mind that every outline is unique and does not need to meet any requirements, so you are completely free in your actions.

Tip: Striving to attract new customers, an increasing number of essay writing services provide customers with free outline samples. Make sure the platform is reliable, and you will not be deluded by the presented information. Check out an extensive SpeedyPaper database of free essay samples to check out the structure and outline of similar projects.

Outline examples and templates

Finally, you seem to know how to write a research paper outline. Still, a little extra guide will never be odd. Moreover, it is prominent to mention that irrespective of the general structure rules, the outlines may differ a bit depending on the essay type. Check out effective ways how to structure an essay if it is an argumentative, admission, persuasive, or personal paper.

Argumentative essays

What are the most prominent features of the argumentative essay structure? Check out an example that will clarify the basics.

Title: Poultry Is Better to Eat than Pork


  • Start with an interesting statistics of how many people consume different types of meat
  • Introduce the differences between the two types of meat
  • Include a thesis statement mentioning that poultry is healthier and contains fewer calories

Main body

  • Poultry is healthier
  • Poultry contains less fat


  • Sum up the information mentioned in the body
  • Reiterate the thesis statement

Admissions essays

If you want to write your outline for an admission essay, make sure you follow the sample.

Title: My Way to Speaking Chinese

  • Introduction
  • A short story about the life situation that motivated you to study Chinese
  • Thesis statement about the impact Chinese language studying has made on your personality

Main body

  • Advantages of learning Chinese
  • Challenges you faced during the process
  • Important lessons you have learned


  • Reiterate the thesis statement
  • Inspire the students to face their challenges and achieve their goals

Persuasive essays

The specifications of the persuasive essay outline can be noticed here.

Title: The Number of Surveillance Cameras Should Be Increased in Public Places


  • Relevant statistics about the number of crimes committed in public places
  • The thesis statement on the lack of cameras that leads to a high crime level

Main body

  • Surveillance cameras could help to reduce the crime rate
  • They could make citizens feel more protected
  • They could simplify the work of police officers


  • Sum up the reasons to install more cameras in public spaces

Personal essays

Check out a comprehensive personal essay outline that can be used as a sample for your future papers.

Title: The Best Events of My Childhood


  • Ask about the first things that come to readers’ minds when they hear about special events
  • Introduce some background information about your childhood celebrations
  • Come up with a thesis statement mentioning your 10th birthday that was special

Main body

  • Start with the topic sentence emphasizing the prominence of family celebrations for you
  • Describe the events, people, and situations that made your 10th birthday unique
  • Mention the feelings you would love to have again


  • Reiterate the thesis statement
  • Finish the paper with your expectations for the future holidays

Tip: Focus on the outline examples that are similar to the topic you are working on. Not only should the style and the type of the paper coincide, but also the general mood. It will make the outline creation process much simpler and more effective.


Outline creation is much simpler with a detailed guide. However, the undertaking is still challenging, and some students may require professional writing paper help. Fortunately, SpeedyPaper writers are always there to assist you with the simplest to the most complicated projects. No matter if you are looking for a scholarship essay writing help service or a research paper, qualified experts will guarantee excellent quality, timely submission, maximum safety, and affordability of the project. Take your time to surf the page and discuss all the questions with the support agents before you confirm an order.


Why is an outline important?

A well-structured outline is a roadmap to further essay writing. It is the exact instrument that helps students stay on track and keep the paper consistent and coherent.

What elements should be included in the outline?

Irrespective of the essay type you are working on, an introduction, main body, and conclusion are the points to be mentioned. The number of paragraphs in the body part or the peculiarities of the introductory passage may vary, but the skeleton always remains the same.

What are the key characteristics of the perfect outline?

A short, concise, informative, and clear outline is the best way to create an influential, well-structured, and flawless paper worth appreciating.