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Top 5 Tips On Writing An Academic Essay Outline

An outline is a plan that helps you to research and organize your thoughts before writing an essay. Using an outline strategy prevents a writer to get stack or frustrated during writing. Having an idea of what you would want to write makes your work much easier. Below are important tips that will help you create a good outline for your essay.

  1. Choose a Topic
  2. Choose a general focus that will help to keep your thoughts on track. You could use a broad topic that agrees with your thesis statement.

  3. Determine the Purpose of your Work
  4. Plan your outline by deciding on a goal that will not only give direction to your topic but also helps you structure your paper. You could start by comparing and contrasting two things that will be connected to your essay. Use of critical thinking to analyze the two subjects is also useful. Present the effect and cause of something that happened according to your essay. Analyze a particular aspect. Present both sides of the argument. Provide the evidence of your thesis statement and draw the conclusion.

  5. Gather Supporting Research Sources
  6. Some of these sources include statistics, images, theories, quotes, plot points and personal reflections. The materials could be relevant according to the assignment you are working on. Use examples to prove your assertions. Be keen enough to identify potential resources during your research.

  7. Pick your Ideal Type of Outline
  8. There are two types of outlines

    • Sentence outline- Uses full sentences and reveals complexity and detail.
    • Topic Outline- Uses short general phrases.

    You could consider starting your outline as a topic outline then convert to a sentence outline as you continue. Start off with your strong points while clearly elaborating them and ensuring a proper flow of the outline.

  9. Identify your Major Categories
  10. You need to figure out how to break your topic into smaller useful categories in the best way possible. Be sure to devote each category to its own paragraph and label them with roman numbers. Ensure each category has at least two points. Label the points in alphabetical letters. Expand the points into sub-points if necessary and label them with numbers. Incase you need to go into deeper levels, label the other categories with small cases of roman numbers and lower case letters. If you have more than four layers then it is best you consider combining points. Be straightforward and concise while presenting your outline.

 

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