What Is the Basic Outline of an Essay?

What Is the Basic Outline of an Essay?

The paper outline is your roadmap to a prose paper. Paper outlines give the structure for the things you want to articulate in each section and each paper’s paragraph. Creating outlines is necessary for composing cogent compare-and-contrast papers, argumentative papers, expository papers, persuasive papers, and research essays. Even narrative papers that tell stories instead of making logical claims might be advantageous because of the outline’s structure. 

The outline anchors the main idea of the paper, which is called the thesis statement. It is supposed to guide the paper writing process. Also, it lays out the main body paragraphs, forming the bulk of your paper and bracketing the main body paragraphs with the intro and conclusion, which is supposed to guide the reader out and into the paper. 

What Are 3 Advantages of Outlining the Paper?

The research paper outline or an essay outline keeps you focused and organized regarding your main topic as you move on in your composing process.

  1. It keeps the research organized. When you craft the efficient outline, you might sort via the reasoned points or research and find the ideal place to put them in your paper. Organizing your data this way lets you test the thesis statement’s strength. If you pack the outline with supporting pieces of evidence for the main point, you will have a powerful thesis. If it is not, you should reconsider it.
  2. It maps the logical and smooth flow from the main points to subpoints. The vast majority of outlines feature the alphanumeric structure. Meaning, they alternate between Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, capital letters, and lowercase letters to make sub points and points. Other paper outline templates include staggered bullet points and decimal outlines.
  3. It lets you be flexible. You might compose full sentences in the formal outline. Also, you might compose shorthand. The outline is not only the final product. It is a specific tool for your paper content developing and finding the logical order. Therefore, it must make sense to you.   

What Are the 5 Parts of an Essay?

You might utilize this sample outline structure in the vast majority of academic writing forms. Various essay types call for various lengths. However, the outline example mentioned below is for a 5-paragraphs paper.

  1. Intro. The intro paper’s paragraph must outline the topic, give background data important to comprehend the claim, outline the pieces of evidence you might present, and add the thesis statement. The thesis must be a clear and concise summary of the main idea of the paper.
  2. The first body paragraph. Every paragraph must cover various pieces of evidence or ideas that backs up the thesis statement. Start the paragraph with the topic sentence that concisely and clearly tees up your paragraph and connects it with the thesis. Body paragraphs are supposed to be where you support your arguments with backing up text citations, studies, statistics, research, examples, and points.
  3. The second body paragraph. This paragraph must mimic the first body paragraph’s format. However, it must anchor around a different piece of data. Make sure the initial sentence of this paragraph acts as a topic sentence, tying into the global paper topic. Back up the main point with related ideas and supporting details. 
  4. The third body paragraph. Utilize this paragraph for acknowledgment of the opposing viewpoints that may go against the thesis. In the vast majority of cases, you will wish to make a case briefly for any counterclaims before you explain why the thesis is more powerful. Considering a topic and presenting facts from every angle will assist you in gaining the trust of the reader and add credibility. 
  5. Conclusion. Finish your paper with a concluding paragraph restating the thesis. It must also summarize all claims that were made in the body paragraphs. Instead of introducing new claims or facts, you would better tie up the entire paper ideas in a memorable way.    

Organizing Your Material

At the step where you are composing the paper outline, your thoughts might not be completely formed. You must know the topic and conduct preliminary research to find credible sources. However, you will have to shape your thoughts into a structured claim. 

Creating Categories

Glance over any data, ideas, and quotes that you have jotted down making the research. Consider the main point you wish to state in the paper. It will be your thesis statement basis. As long as you have the overall claim idea, you might start organizing the material in a manner that serves that claim. 

Arrange the material into a few categories that are related to various claim’s aspects. When you are composing a literary text, you may group the ideas into themes. For instance, you might elaborate on several key trends from the discussed period if it comes to a history paper. 

Three main subjects or themes are your common paper structure. Depending on the paper’s length, you might split your themes into the three main body paragraphs or 3 longer sections with a few paragraphs that cover every theme. 

Composing the outline, you should look critically at the points and categories. Ensure every topic is related to the thesis statement clearly. 

Order of Data

If you have the material that is organized in a few categories, you would better consider the order they might appear in. 

Your paper would always start and end with the intro and conclusion, but the body’s organization is up to you. 

To order your material, consider these questions:

  • Do you have the obvious starting point for the claim?
  • Do you have the subject that gives a simple transition into another one?
  • Are there any points you should set up when you discuss other points first?

Presentation of the Outline

Within every paragraph, you will discuss one thought that is related to the overall claim or topic, utilizing several pieces of evidence or analysis to do it.

In the outline, you should present those ideas as a brief numbered phrase or sentences. They might be split into a few sub-points if you need more details.

Essay Outlines Examples

Here are the main examples of various types of essays. 

The Argumentative Paper

The whole idea of the argumentative paper is to give pieces of evidence and establish the claim of why your argument is correct. You would collect the pieces of evidence defending the claim and evaluate it. 

Expository Paper

Students often confuse expository papers with argumentative papers. However, the main difference is that the writer’s emotions and opinions are completely not present in the expository paper. The expository paper objective is to present the claim in an unbiased manner and investigate a topic, still arriving at a conclusion. 

Reflective Paper

Reflective essays are a fun exercise in which you should compose about a specific life experience and discuss the lessons learned. First-person papers are a kind of popular genre nowadays. They are designed to make various people reflect on the common human experience. As long as reflective papers are less rigid when compared to a traditional classroom paper, their structure is for sure not set in stone. Here, you might play around with the things that make sense for your exclusive experience and story. 

Compare and Contrast Paper

We contrast and compare things all the time in our lives. Once we have the skills to analyze a few items and discover the facts about them, we might make an educated decision about which to pick up. 

In compare and contrast papers, there are building blocks to comprehend the way to make such decisions in real-life. Despite the fact that such papers are not as difficult of a structure as other essays, it is still necessary to plan out the way you are going to compose them. 


No matter which writing style you choose, the main paper format acts as a helping hand in various ways. If you know the general essay’s plan, you will benefit from composing a paper or a dissertation by having all these references and ideas on the writing plan. Therefore, if you know the general outline format, you will produce academic papers much easier by making the entire writing process more simple. 

How to Get a Quality Outline Paper Help?

Do you still face some difficulties outlining your essay? If yes, we offer you our helping hand. Our writers and editors are skilled enough to help you craft the most awesome essay outline and elaborate all your ideas and opinions about the essay fluently. 

We are open round the clock for you to have an opportunity to ask us for some help. The only thing you are supposed to do is to place your order. Specify your professor’s guidelines and instructions, and we will create a real masterpiece for you.  

Feel free to contact us now if you need essay outline writing help ASAP! We cannot wait to hear the pieces of news from you that you have received the highest grade for your essay. 

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