Basic Guides on How to Make an Outline of Your Essay

Not every professor will ask you to hand in an outline for your research paper. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write one anyway. The most important reasons for creating an outline are:

Creating an outline starts with choosing a topic and assessing your future audience. You need to create a paper that will impress a certain group of people. This means that you need to take their interests into consideration when you decide on which topic to pick and how to go about arguing your point of view. Once you make the final decision on these matters, you should develop a thesis.

The thesis is a sentence that states the purpose of your work. You will develop an outline based on this sentence. You should do some preliminary research in order to understand what exactly you want to write about in the paper. This will allow you to create a thesis, and then, you can start working on the outline.

This is how you go about this:

  1. The first thing to do is brainstorming the ideas that you want to put in the paper. Think of everything that seems interesting and write it down. Quite often, one thought will start a chain that will lead you to some interesting and unpredictable direction.
  2. The second step is organizing the ideas you came up with. Divide them into groups and think which of them can be combined into something solid and catchy.
  3. Now that you have several sections on your hands, you need to put them into a logical order. This will help you polish the ideas some more, because you will see how they need to be changed in order to fit into the bigger picture.
  4. Finally, you should create a heading for each group. These headings will become the cores of different paragraphs.

Developing an outline isn’t a difficult thing to do, and it won’t take you much time. It’s always best to dedicate some time to this before you start writing. If you have a good outline, you will only need to expand the points listed there and add the evidence you find during the research. This will significantly cut down your writing time. This is why it’s essential to create an outline if you are running a bit late with your essay and need to write it quickly.