Creating an Outline: a Guide to Ease Your Life

If you think about it, the outline is the skeleton of the paper, and the essay written by following it is a flesh. Do not forget, that you are to create your guide to a cohesive and logical paper, thus easy to read. Writing a good outline may be half of the hard path to an impressive paper. Even though any written work consists of an introduction, a main body and a conclusion, sometimes it is hard to make your ideas flow in a logical order. Once you have decided on the topic, you may already know the approximate content to include in the main body. Now let’s get started on the details.

Making a draft

Decide on the type

The first thing to do is to select the type of your paper, according to your goal, having analyzed the assignment. Sometimes a professor requires you to write a certain type of paper, but other times you will have to decide which type suits your topic best, be it an analytical work, a descriptive paper, an argumentative essay, a paper on historical events, etc. In any case, the type will dictate the structure, and will bring you to a closer understanding of what is it you are writing about, how it will evolve and what you will write as your conclusion.

Mind the structure

Make it easy for comprehension. Write clearly and use short words. Include all the elements, like the title of the paper, your thesis statement, all the major ideas or arguments you want to discuss in the main body. Each of the points state the idea you need to develop in the main body. You may even write questions, so each paragraph will become the answer. Do not divulge, too many unnecessary details will confuse you, better save them for when you are writing the actual paper.

Think of the best way to present the thoughts

The order of your arguments may influence the perception of your paper; therefore, the crucial thing is the order of your arguments. If your essay is historical, it is clear that you need to write according to the events that have occurred, and follow the dates precisely. In other cases, you can choose a different way to organize your points: from the most important to the least important; from the hardest to the easiest to understand; from the one that carries the most supporting evidence to the one that is less strong or is your personal point of view. You may organize it in any way suitable, but the requirement is for it to be relevant and logical and follow a clear order. Keep in mind that you are writing an outline for nobody but yourself, so write it in a way you think will be efficient for your paper.

Here is an example of an outline if your topic is “The pros of pet shelters”.

  1. Introduction: thesis statement. Pet shelters are important.
  2. What are the pros of pet shelters?
    1. Keep the stray pets safe.
    2. Provide health care and food for the pets.
    3. Keep the streets clean and the people safe.
    4. Make it easier for owners to get a pet.
    5. Provide company for the lonely pets.
  3. Summing up ideas: importance of pet shelters.

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