Essay Outline: The Backbone of Your Essay

An Essay Outline is the pathway that leads to a structured and organized essay

It is vital that an Essay Outline play a significant role in your prewriting stage. Only with excellent prewriting skills can a student create a persuasive essay and successfully get a high grade. Brainstorming sessions, researching and planning should all be carried out at the stage preceding the rough draft. Failing to give this stage the requisite amount of attention is a commonly made mistake amongst students. The result of this is that the finished essay turns out to be confused, unstructured and disorganized.

When should the outline be written?

The best time to pen down an outline is once the essay topic has been short listed, the required research has been collated and the student has a thesis statement in mind. The outline for the essay does not have to be long. A page long Essay Outline is more than sufficient. Keep in mind, this outline is not a rough draft; it has been constructed for the purpose of organizing the writer’s ideas.

The fact is, writing a confused, unstructured essay can be completely avoided. It is extremely easy to create an outline for your essay. To do so, all one needs to do is follow a few simple steps. If you need essay help with regards to the structure, read on to learn how to create a five paragraph outline.

The outline for a five paragraph essay consists of three parts:

  • The Introduction
  • The Body
  • The Conclusion

The Introduction

The introduction is the first part of the Essay Outline. This is where students need to incorporate a clear thesis idea. This is the part that explains the purpose of the essay. The introduction must also contain the summary of the three topic sentences that will be described in the body of the essay.

The Body

In a five paragraph essay, there are three paragraphs which form the main body. The purpose of these paragraphs is for the development of the thesis statement. Each of these three paragraphs contains a single topic sentence that is thesis related.

The outline of every paragraph must contain four sections. These four sections are:

  • Topic sentence
  • The meaning of the topic sentence
  • Support of the topic sentence (this could be in the form of an example, evidence or quotation
  • Explanation of the meaning of the chosen support

The Conclusion

The purpose of an essay conclusion is to provide closure to the essay. It is a flag that notifies readers that the writer of the essay has completed his or her discussion. It must be ensured that the conclusion provides a summary of all the three topic sentences. It should also explain how these topic sentences support the thesis statement. It is perfectly alright if the conclusion resembles the introduction.

When structuring your essay, remember that the quickest way to create an Essay Outline is by jotting down notes that can be built into proper sentences later. Most students who incorporate the practice of writing an outline have found that there has been a marked improvement in their writing skills.