Essay Writing Guide

Essay Outline

Last updated on: Jun 10, 2023

A Complete Essay Outline - Guidelines and Format

By: Nova A.

13 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Jan 15, 2019

Essay Outline

To write an effective essay, you need to create a clear and well-organized essay outline. An essay outline will shape the essay’s entire content and determine how successful the essay will be.

In this blog post, we'll be going over the basics of essay outlines and provide a template for you to follow. We will also include a few examples so that you can get an idea about how these outlines look when they are put into practice.

Essay writing is not easy, but it becomes much easier with time, practice, and a detailed essay writing guide. Once you have developed your outline, everything else will come together more smoothly.

The key to success in any area is preparation - take the time now to develop a solid outline and then write your essays!

So, let’s get started!

Essay Outline

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What is an Essay Outline?

An essay outline is your essay plan and a roadmap to essay writing. It is the structure of an essay you are about to write. It includes all the main points you have to discuss in each section along with the thesis statement.

Like every house has a map before it is constructed, the same is the importance of an essay outline. You can write an essay without crafting an outline, but you may miss essential information, and it is more time-consuming.

Once the outline is created, there is no chance of missing any important information. Also, it will help you to:

  • Organize your thoughts and ideas.
  • Understand the information flow.
  • Never miss any crucial information or reference.
  • Finish your work faster.

These are the reasons if someone asks you why an essay outline is needed. Now there are some points that must be kept in mind before proceeding to craft an essay outline.

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Prewriting Process of Essay Outline

Your teacher may ask you to submit your essay outline before your essay. Therefore, you must know the preliminary guidelines that are necessary before writing an essay outline.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You must go through your assignments’ guidelines carefully.
  • Understand the purpose of your assignment.
  • Know your audience.
  • Mark the important point while researching your topic data.
  • Select the structure of your essay outline; whether you are going to use a decimal point bullet or a simple one.

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How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

Creating an essay outline is a crucial step in crafting a well-structured and organized piece of writing. Follow these four simple steps to create an effective outline:

Step 1: Understand the Topic

To begin, thoroughly grasp the essence of your essay topic. 

Break it down into its key components and identify the main ideas you want to convey. This step ensures you have a clear direction and focus for your essay.

Step 2: Brainstorm and Gather Ideas

Let your creativity flow and brainstorm ideas related to your topic. 

Jot down key pieces of information, arguments, and supporting evidence that will strengthen your essay's overall message. Consider different perspectives and potential counterarguments to make your essay well-rounded.

Step 3: Organize Your Thoughts

Now it's time to give structure to your ideas. 

Arrange your main points in a logical order, starting with an attention-grabbing introduction, followed by body paragraphs that present your arguments. 

Finally, tie everything together with a compelling conclusion. Remember to use transitional phrases to create smooth transitions between sections.

Step 4: Add Depth with Subpoints

To add depth and clarity to your essay, incorporate subpoints under each main point. 

These subpoints provide more specific details, evidence, or examples that support your main ideas. They help to further strengthen your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

By following these four steps - you'll be well on your way to creating a clear and compelling essay outline.

Essay Outline Format

It is an easy way for you to write your thoughts in an organized manner. It may seem unnecessary and unimportant, but it is not.

It is one of the most crucial steps for essay writing as it shapes your entire essay and aids the writing process.

An essay outline consists of three main parts:

1. Introduction

The introduction body of your essay should be attention-grabbing. It should be written in such a manner that it attracts the reader’s interest. It should also provide background information about the topic for the readers.

You can use a dramatic tone to grab readers’ attention, but it should connect the audience to your thesis statement.

Here are some points without which your introduction paragraph is incomplete.

To attract the reader with the first few opening lines, we use a hook statement. It helps engage the reader and motivates them to read further. There are different types of hook sentences ranging from quotes, rhetorical questions to anecdotes and statistics, and much more.

Are you struggling to come up with an interesting hook? View these hook examples to get inspired!

A thesis statement is stated at the end of your introduction. It is the most important statement of your entire essay. It summarizes the purpose of the essay in one sentence.

The thesis statement tells the readers about the main theme of the essay, and it must be strong and clear. It holds the entire crux of your essay.

Need help creating a strong thesis statement? Check out this guide on thesis statements and learn to write a statement that perfectly captures your main argument!

2. Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of an essay are where all the details and evidence come into play. This is where you dive deep into the argument, providing explanations and supporting your ideas with solid evidence. 

If you're writing a persuasive essay, these paragraphs will be the powerhouse that convinces your readers. Similarly, in an argumentative essay, your body paragraphs will work their magic to sway your audience to your side.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence and no more than one idea. A topic sentence is the crux of the contents of your paragraph. It is essential to keep your reader interested in the essay.

The topic sentence is followed by the supporting points and opinions, which are then justified with strong evidence.

3. Conclusion

When it comes to wrapping up your essay, never underestimate the power of a strong conclusion. Just like the introduction and body paragraphs, the conclusion plays a vital role in providing a sense of closure to your topic. 

To craft an impactful conclusion, it's crucial to summarize the key points discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs. You want to remind your readers of the important information you shared earlier. But keep it concise and to the point. Short, powerful sentences will leave a lasting impression.

Remember, your conclusion shouldn't drag on. Instead, restate your thesis statement and the supporting points you mentioned earlier. And here's a pro tip: go the extra mile and suggest a course of action. It leaves your readers with something to ponder or reflect on.

5 Paragraph Essay Outline Structure

An outline is an essential part of the writing as it helps the writer stay focused. A typical 5 paragraph essay outline example is shown here. This includes:

  • State the topic
  • Thesis statement
  • Introduction
  • Explanation
  • A conclusion that ties to the thesis
  • Summary of the essay
  • Restate the thesis statement

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Essay Outline Template

The outline of the essay is the skeleton that you will fill out with the content. Both outline and relevant content are important for a good essay. The content you will add to flesh out the outline should be credible, relevant, and interesting.

The outline structure for the essay is not complex or difficult. No matter which type of essay you write, you either use an alphanumeric structure or a decimal structure for the outline.

Below is an outline sample that you can easily follow for your essay.

Essay Outline Sample

Essay Outline Examples

An essay outline template should follow when you start writing the essay. Every writer should learn how to write an outline for every type of essay and research paper.

Essay outline 4th grade

Essay outline 5th grade

Essay outline high school

Essay outline college

Given below are essay outline examples for different types of essay writing.

Argumentative Essay Outline

An  argumentative essay  is a type of essay that shows both sides of the topic that you are exploring. The argument that presents the basis of the essay should be created by providing evidence and supporting details.

Persuasive Essay Outline

A  persuasive essay  is similar to an argumentative essay. Your job is to provide facts and details to create the argument. In a persuasive essay, you convince your readers of your point of view.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A  compare and contrast essay  explains the similarities and differences between two things. While comparing, you should focus on the differences between two seemingly similar objects. While contrasting, you should focus on the similarities between two different objects.

Narrative Essay Outline

A narrative essay is written to share a story. Normally, a narrative essay is written from a personal point of view in an essay. The basic purpose of the narrative essay is to describe something creatively.

Expository Essay Outline

An  expository essay  is a type of essay that explains, analyzes, and illustrates something for the readers. An expository essay should be unbiased and entirely based on facts. Be sure to use academic resources for your research and cite your sources.

Analytical Essay Outline

An  analytical essay  is written to analyze the topic from a critical point of view. An analytical essay breaks down the content into different parts and explains the topic bit by bit.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

A rhetorical essay is written to examine the writer or artist’s work and develop a great essay. It also includes the discussion.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline

A  cause and effect essay  describes why something happens and examines the consequences of an occurrence or phenomenon. It is also a type of expository essay.

Informative Essay Outline

An  informative essay  is written to inform the audience about different objects, concepts, people, issues, etc.

The main purpose is to respond to the question with a detailed explanation and inform the target audience about the topic.

Synthesis Essay Outline

A  synthesis essay  requires the writer to describe a certain unique viewpoint about the issue or topic. Create a claim about the topic and use different sources and information to prove it.

Literary Analysis Essay Outline

A  literary analysis essay  is written to analyze and examine a novel, book, play, or any other piece of literature. The writer analyzes the different devices such as the ideas, characters, plot, theme, tone, etc., to deliver his message.

Definition Essay Outline

A  definition essay  requires students to pick a particular concept, term, or idea and define it in their own words and according to their understanding.

Descriptive Essay Outline

A  descriptive essay  is a type of essay written to describe a person, place, object, or event. The writer must describe the topic so that the reader can visualize it using their five senses.

Evaluation Essay Outline

Problem Solution Essay Outline

In a problem-solution essay, you are given a problem as a topic and you have to suggest multiple solutions on it.

Scholarship Essay Outline

A  scholarship essay  is required at the time of admission when you are applying for a scholarship. Scholarship essays must be written in a way that should stand alone to help you get a scholarship.

Reflective Essay Outline

A reflective essay  is written to express your own thoughts and point of view regarding a specific topic.

Getting started on your essay? Give this comprehensive essay writing guide a read to make sure you write an effective essay!

With this complete guide, now you understand how to create an outline for your essay successfully. However, if you still can’t write an effective essay, then the best option is to consult a professional academic writing service.

Essay writing is a dull and boring task for some people. So why not get some help instead of wasting your time and effort? is here to help you. All your  do my essay for me  requests are managed by professional essay writers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three types of outlines.

Here are the three types of essay outline;

  • Working outline
  • Speaking outline
  • Full-sentence outline

All three types are different from each other and are used for different purposes.

What does a full-sentence outline look like?

A full sentence outline contains full sentences at each level of the essay’s outline. It is similar to an alphanumeric outline and it is a commonly used essay outline.

What is a traditional outline format?

A traditional essay outline begins with writing down all the important points in one place and listing them down and adding sub-topics to them. Besides, it will also include evidence and proof that you will use to back your arguments.

What is the benefit of using a traditional outline format and an informal outline format?

A traditional outline format helps the students in listing down all the important details in one palace while an informal outline will help you coming up with new ideas and highlighting important points

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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Creating an Essay Outline for Success!

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Krystal N. Craiker


Writing essays can be overwhelming for many students. But crafting a strong outline before you start writing is a surefire way to make the process much easier.

If you’ve never written an outline , where do you start? You can think of your essay as having six main parts:


  • Thesis statement

Major Point 1

Major point 2, major point 3.

We’ll go through each of these to explain how to put your outline together in a way that is simple and makes sense. But here’s a hint: we aren’t going to work on these in order!

Thesis Statement

Major points, outline format, want to improve your essay writing skills.

The first thing you want to write for your outline is your thesis statement. This is typically one or two sentences, and it acts as the GPS for your entire essay. The thesis statement tells what your essay will be about. It defines your stance and lets your reader know what your major points are.

Without a strong thesis statement, even an outline can’t help you write a cohesive essay. Everything in your essay must support your thesis statement.

For more information about how to craft a strong thesis statement, check out this article on introductions .

Some people like to plan their introduction first. But I think it’s easier to plan the meat of my essay before the introduction. Usually, this will give me some good ideas to make my introduction compelling.

In general, your essay will have three major points. This isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you only have two very strong points to support your thesis, you might not need a third one. Sometimes, you might have four or five major points, and that’s okay, too.

Decide your major points that support your thesis. You can craft your topic sentences and place those in your outline. This will save you some writing later. Otherwise, just list the topic in your outline.

Each major point will have sub-points. This is the evidence to support each point. It might be research, quotes, or anecdotes. How many sub-points you have will vary depending on your topic, the essay length, and the individual major point. Keep in mind that the major points do not have to have the exact same number of sub-points. Some major points will be stronger than others.

How do you decide which order your major points will go? There are different schools of thought on this.

Some writers or teachers will tell you to write your strongest, most compelling argument as the first point, followed by the second strongest and least strong. Other people will say it’s better to get more compelling as you write, so start with your least strong argument.

I am in the camp that uses the sandwich method. Use your second-most compelling argument first and your strongest last. Put your weakest or shortest point in the middle. This way you start strong and end with a bang!

However, I do recommend that if your essay is timed writing, like on the AP test, start with your strongest point in case you run out of time.

Once you have the meat of your essay planned out, you can plan your introduction. The first thing to plan is how you will open your essay. Will you use a quote or a shocking fact? Perhaps you’ll use a rhetorical question. Decide how you will hook your readers.

Then plan your background information or context. This provides a little more information about your topic before your thesis. For example, in an essay about the lasting effects of the New Deal, your context will tell readers what the New Deal is and how it was put in place. In a persuasive essay about why the minimum wage should be raised, your context will state what the minimum wage is and how long it’s been at that rate.


Finally, you can plan your conclusion . A good conclusion restates the thesis and ties all of your points together. And it ends with something that will make the reader think and feel satisfied that the question was answered. It might provide a call-to-action, ask an evocative question, or offer a prediction about the future.

The most important thing to remember for the conclusion is not to introduce any new information. Conclusions don’t have to be long, either. Three to four sentences is a good rule of thumb.

Here’s an outline format that you can use to plan your essay. Remember, start with your thesis statement! For each major point, you might have more than two pieces of evidence. That’s fine! Just add more sub-points on your outline.

  • Compelling hook
  • Context or background information
  • Topic sentence
  • First piece of evidence: Fact, data, example, or anecdote; Commentary (how this supports your point, what it means)
  • Second piece of evidence: Fact, data, example, or anecdote; Commentary
  • First piece of evidence: Fact, data, example, or anecdote; Commentary
  • Restate thesis
  • Summarize points
  • Compelling final thought

This outline is meant to be a starting place. You can add as much or as little detail as you like – whatever works for you! You can also work in any order you like. I always plan and write my introductions last, but you can plan it first.

Have you used an essay outline before? Let us know in the comments.

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Krystal N. Craiker is the Writing Pirate, an indie romance author and blog manager at ProWritingAid. She sails the seven internet seas, breaking tropes and bending genres. She has a background in anthropology and education, which brings fresh perspectives to her romance novels. When she’s not daydreaming about her next book or article, you can find her cooking gourmet gluten-free cuisine, laughing at memes, and playing board games. Krystal lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, child, and basset hound.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement & Essay Outline

  • Posted on February 29, 2024 February 29, 2024

How to Write a Thesis Statement & Essay Outline

Writing your thesis statement and planning out your essay outline are two of the most important things you can do if you want to have a concise, accurate, and interesting argumentative essay. In addition, the time you spend brainstorming your research paper will save you hours of edits in the long run.

A good thesis statement is the backbone of your entire essay. Fortunately, writing thesis statements is easy if you follow our step-by-step guide that walks you through crafting a robust argumentative thesis statement.

The main point of your essay should be highlighted in your thesis statement. You can further expound upon this central theme in your introductory paragraph, letting your audience know exactly what they can expect from your paper. It’s essential to make your thesis statement as straightforward as possible, laying out the case for the rest of your paper.

What is a Thesis Statement?

A strong thesis statement gives your audience a clear understanding of what to expect from your essay. Think of it like a micro-roadmap that efficiently lets your readers know where the essay will take them.

Most thesis statements revolve around proving a point or making a specific claim. While it can be based upon your opinion, it’s also vital to remember that you need to substantiate any claims that you make with facts.

It’s important to have one significant theme in your thesis statement. If you try to express too many things, you will confuse the reader. Thesis statements need to be concise, crystal-clear and express a statement of fact. Therefore, mastering a thesis is a crucial part of all essay writing.

You can also use your thesis statement to address a specific issue and explain how you’ll break it down in your essay. If you’re talking about something controversial, you should substantiate your claims with facts and logic. The best essays tackle complex topics by  breaking them down into logical and easily understandable chunks.

If you’re dealing with a hot-button topic, it’s a good idea to mention that there are other viewpoints. Then, you can dissect these viewpoints and explain why you disagree with them later on in your essay.

What to Include in a Thesis Statement

Start off with a working thesis. Give some thought to your thesis statement’s significant points, and condense them until you have a very compact but straightforward statement about the issue. Make sure that you include plenty of supporting evidence to back up your thesis.

Although all thesis statements are different, there are some general qualities that you should strive to include. First, spend some time crafting your thesis because the clearer you are on your objectives, the easier your essay will be to write.

  • Your thesis statement should be concise, direct, and clear
  • It should encapsulate your essay as much as possible
  • The thesis should contain a combination of opinion and support

You also need to brainstorm the critical components of your essay. What are you trying to achieve? Who is your audience? Think about what the reader would want to learn from the essay and distill it down into one very powerful line.

It’s completely natural to spend a significant amount of time on your thesis statement. You might be tempted to jump right into your essay without ironing out the finer points, but this can make the writing muddied or challenging to read. So instead, spend as much time as you need to come up with a good thesis statement that you can back up with facts.

What is an Outline?

Once you have your thesis statement, it’s time to jump into your outline. Good outlines combine logical frameworks with plenty of brainstorming and act as a template for the whole essay. Your outline is an integral part of the writing process, as it allows you to look at all of the subtopics of your essay in logical order.

Every subtopic should reflect your thesis statement and bolster your position. Start with your introductory paragraph and then drill down into the finer points of the essay. Finally, address conflicting viewpoints and explain why you’ve taken the position you have.

A constructive way of coming up with opposing viewpoints is to write down bullet points from the other side. Then, think of all of the counterarguments that you’ve heard and write down logical rebuttals to them. If you’re having trouble coming up with counterarguments, search for your topic online and read a few papers that express differing views.

The best outlines are analytical, expository, and argumentative. They teach the audience something new through a logical process. Although your thesis statement can be based on opinion, it’s vital that you back it up with facts and explain why the audience should trust your authority.

Drafting Your Essay Outline

Now, it’s time to draft your essay outline. The more prep work you do in the beginning, the fewer edits that you’ll need to do later on. Identify what will go into your first paragraph and what the key points of your essay will be.

Write down these points and organize them into a logical framework. Try to blend the points into each other, guiding the reader on a comprehensive overview of why your thesis statement is important and correct. Every subtopic should echo your thesis statement.

All outlines should contain an introduction, body, and conclusion.


Your introduction is a brief overview of your essay. Give your reader a general idea of what you’ll be covering and why it’s crucial. You don’t have to go into too much detail here, as your essay body will undoubtedly elaborate on your key points.

Your body will be the longest part of the essay and contain all of your subtopics. Please spend some time crafting and organizing your body so that it’s as straightforward as possible with a strong focus on accessibility. Remember, each body paragraph should bring something new to the essay.

The conclusion is where you wrap everything up. Make sure that you restate your thesis and hit on any critical points the essay addressed. You will want to write a powerful closing statement too.

Final Thoughts

Once you have your thesis statement and outline done, it’s time to start writing your essay. At this point, you should think about what style you want to use. Some high schools and colleges prefer  APA style , whereas others want you to write your essay in  AP style . If you don’t know which one your school is looking for, ask your professor or inquire at your writing center. There are guides for both online.

After you’re done writing your essay, read it through to ensure that it coincides with your thesis statement. If you’ve written your thesis statement and outline properly, there should be minimal content edits.

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How to Write an Essay Outline with MLA and APA Styles

from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

Got a great essay idea, but feel like sorting out your thoughts is as tough as untying knotted headphones from your backpack? No worries! We've all felt that way.

Whether you're staring down a blank page or drowning in a sea of scattered thoughts, we've got your back. In this article, we're going to break down the writing process of an essay outline into simple, easy-to-follow steps. Plus, we'll cover specific formatting guidelines for both MLA and APA styles, making sure your essay looks polished and professional.

What Is an Outline?

Let's start from the basics. An essay outline helps you arrange your thoughts and plan your essay before you begin writing. It can be your strategy guide to beat writer's block. Instead of wandering around in your paragraphs, hoping everything falls into place, an outline gives your essay format a clear path.

Here's how it works: You write down your main ideas, arguments, and supporting details in a logical order. This keeps you focused and ensures your essay flows smoothly from start to finish. It also makes writing much easier.

Now, you might wonder, 'Why do I need essay outlines? Can't I just write and see where it goes?' Well, you could, but it's risky. Without a format plan, you might stray off-topic, get lost in unrelated ideas, or end up with a confusing mess that confuses your readers.

So, whether you're writing a persuasive essay, a personal story, or an APA or MLA research paper, a good outline is essential. It saves time and frustration and helps you create a well-organized and clear essay that gets your message across.

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How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Simple Steps

Now, before you start outlining, let our coursework writing service give you some extra help to begin. Just follow these four steps to create an outline format that makes the rest of your writing easy. These steps break down the process into simple parts, making it easier for you to understand and follow along.

How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Simple Steps

Set Your Goal Clearly

When setting your goal, ask yourself: What do I want to achieve with this essay? Is it to convince the reader of a certain viewpoint, educate them on a topic, or perhaps entertain them with a captivating story? Clarifying your goal helps you stay focused throughout the writing process and ensures that every part of your essay works towards achieving that goal.

It's also important to consider your audience and what you aim for them to grasp from reading your essay. For example, if you're working on the Divine Comedy summary , think about whether your audience is familiar with the text or if they're approaching it for the first time. Consider their interests—are they more interested in literary analysis, historical context, or thematic exploration? Additionally, be mindful of any potential biases they might have based on their background or prior knowledge.

Remove Unnecessary Details

In this step, it's time to prioritize and trim down your ideas. Take a close look at all the points you've brainstormed and ask yourself: Which ones are absolutely crucial for supporting my main argument or thesis statement? Anything that doesn't directly contribute to your goal should be cut. This streamlines your essay, keeping it focused and concise. Remember, clarity is key. Readers shouldn't have to sift through irrelevant information to understand your main points. So, be ruthless in eliminating anything that doesn't serve your purpose.

List the Main Ideas for Each Paragraph

Here, you're breaking down your essay format into manageable chunks. For each paragraph, identify the main idea or point you want to convey. These main ideas serve as the backbone of your essay, guiding the flow of your argument and ensuring that each paragraph contributes meaningfully to the overall narrative.

Consider how each point relates to your thesis statement and supports your overall goal. By clearly listing the main points of each paragraph in your essay outline, you'll create a roadmap for your writing that makes it easier for both you and your readers to follow along.

Organize Your Outline with a Simple Template

Now that you have identified your main ideas, it's time to put everything together in a structured format. Use a simple template by our business essay writing services to organize your outline in a way that flows logically from start to finish.

Begin with an introduction to set the stage and grab the reader's attention. Then, outline your body paragraphs to present your arguments or ideas in a clear and organized manner. Each paragraph should focus on one main point, supported by evidence or examples. Finally, conclude your format with a summary that wraps everything up neatly and reinforces your main thesis.

By organizing your format in this way, you'll create a roadmap for your essay that makes it easier to write and ensures that your ideas are presented cohesively.

MLA Outline Format

The MLA format essay outline serves as the skeleton upon which your ideas will flesh out into a cohesive narrative. Here's a breakdown of the key components and formatting rules to keep in mind:

  • Paper Specifications : Your MLA paper should be standard letter size (8.5x11 inches), with one-inch margins around the entire page. The running head, if included, should be within the margin. This ensures uniformity and readability across different platforms.
  • Indentation and Spacing : Start each sentence with an indentation that's half an inch from the left margin. Maintaining double spacing throughout your MLA outline enhances readability and leaves ample space for annotations and revisions. The recommended font size is 12-point, though 11-point or 11.5-point is acceptable. Consistency is key here.
  • Securing Your Outline : While it might seem trivial, ensuring your MLA outline is securely fastened in the upper left corner—be it with a stapler, paper clip, or binder clip—helps maintain professionalism and organization.
  • Title and Thesis Statement : Center the title of your MLA paper at the top of the outline. Directly below, write your thesis statement, setting it apart by capitalizing the first letter of each word and ending with a colon. This establishes the overarching argument or main point of your essay.
  • Headings and Subheadings : Use a hierarchical system for headings and subheadings to denote the structure of your MLA essay. Major sections are indicated with Roman numerals (I, II, III), while subcategories are marked with uppercase letters (A, B, C). Further subdivisions follow a pattern of Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) and lowercase letters (a, b, c), each ending with a period for clarity.

APA Outline Format

Understanding the structure of the APA outline format is key to organizing your ideas effectively. Here's a closer look at the various formats:

Basic APA Format :

  • Roman numerals denote main headings.
  • Capital letters signify first-level subheadings.
  • Arabic numerals (1-9) are used within those subheadings.
  • Lowercase letters are utilized beneath Arabic numeral subheadings.
  • Arabic numerals within parentheses further delineate sub-points.

The full sentence outline mirrors this structure, replacing sentence fragments with complete sentences at each level.

APA Decimal Outline :

  • This APA format is simpler, breaking headings into paragraphs and numbering them with Arabic numerals.
  • Each heading is numbered sequentially, starting with 1.0.
  • Paragraphs within headings are indicated by a decimal followed by a sequential number (e.g., 1.1, 1.2).
  • Points or sentences within paragraphs are further delineated by additional decimals (e.g., 1.1.1, 1.1.2).

For instance, under the first heading, the first paragraph's first sentence would be numbered 1.1.1, with subsequent sentences following suit.

Outline Examples

Below are the sample outlines for both formatting styles. You'll notice that the MLA outline has a more narrative style, while the APA outline follows a structured format with distinct headings and subheadings.

In MLA, main sections are marked with Roman numerals and subsections with capital letters, whereas APA uses numbers and letters for different heading levels. Additionally, APA includes sections for methods and results, which are typical in scientific research papers, while MLA format typically omits these sections.

Meanwhile, if you're tempted to pay someone to write my paper , remember we're here to whip up stellar samples in any format you desire!

MLA Outline Example

Apa outline example, final recap.

That's all there is to it! We hope you now have a solid grasp of APA and MLA format outlines. Despite their apparent similarities, there are some notable differences between the two. Now that you're armed with this knowledge, go ahead and tackle your outline assignments like a pro!

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How to Write an Essay Outline

Have you ever tried writing an essay without an outline? If you have, chances are your ideas went all over the place even though you started out with a specific goal in mind. So when your professor reads the paper, they won’t know what points you’re trying to make or how those points support your thesis statement. If they can’t understand what they’re reading, there’s no way they’ll grade it an A+.

That’s why you should have an essay outline to organize your research or opinions in a way that makes sense for readers. An essay outline helps you structure your writing in a logical flow to get your ideas across more effectively, which also improves your overall writing quality . As such, it also ensures that you don’t accidentally leave out the most critical points you want to convey.

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t know how to write an outline for an essay (yet) or you want to get better at it. That’s exactly what this guide will help you with. You’ll discover what goes into an essay outline and how you can write one for your next paper. Let’s get started.

What is an outline?

An outline is an organization tool that helps authors plan their writing before they start. In other words, it’s a roadmap or a blueprint of your paper. It acts as the foundation of your piece, listing out the main ideas in a logical structure that flows well. Having a topical outline in place also makes it easier to remember all the points you need to form a strong argument or support your opinions.

Although an essay outline isn’t mandatory, it helps you get the job done faster and more easily. When you start writing without a proper plan in mind, however, there could be a lot of restructuring and rewriting. This not only takes time but can be mentally taxing, and you can’t afford that especially when you have other classes to catch up with.

Writing an essay outline involves a few steps – preparation, structuring, and organization. Since this can be a lot of work, it’s best to learn from a writing tutor who will guide you through the entire process and give you hands-on training. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn it on your own, and this guide will give you all the basic ideas you need to cover when creating an outline.

Key elements of an essay outline

Regardless of what type of essay you’re writing, a formal essay outline typically has three essential elements – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components:

The introduction

This is the section where you’ll introduce readers to your topic and describe why you’re writing about it. It needs to be relevant and attention-grabbing. When writing a college research paper outline, be sure to mention the topic and the thesis statement in your introduction.

Starting your outline with a thesis statement will give you a better sense of how to support the ideas and arguments you present in the body.

This is the section that will contain the most information and it’s where you’ll present ideas and arguments to support your thesis. It should have a minimum of three paragraphs and your outline should touch on each of them.

For each paragraph, note the topic or idea you’ll be discussing. Don’t forget to include the supporting evidence such as data, examples, expert opinions, and facts you plan to use for each paragraph.

The conclusion

This is the section where you wrap up the essay and remind readers about the points you were trying to make. Start by paraphrasing your thesis statement and summarize the purpose of your paper.

Outline formatting

In general, most formal essay outlines use a linear formatting style. This involves ranking your points or arguments in order of importance. So for example, you’ll start by discussing the most important point at the top of your essay body and then gradually move downward.

Considering all these elements, your essay outline will typically look like this:

How to Write an Outline Example.PNG

3 Questions to ask before creating an outline

Before you’re ready to create your essay outline, ask yourself the following questions so you can start with a strong direction. Having all this information in place will make it easier to put together your outline:

1: What’s your goal?

What’s the purpose of writing this paper? Perhaps you want to inform your readers about a specific topic or maybe you want to persuade them to accept your argument. Identifying your goal will help you form a strong thesis statement as well.

2: Who will read it?

For whom are you writing your essay? Yes, you’ll consider writing for a professor when preparing a college research paper outline, but they aren’t your only target audience. Perhaps you’re writing for your classmates and peers, or you’re writing for experts in your field.

If you’re writing a college application essay, for instance, your target audience will be the members of the admissions committee. This means you should be writing for students, staff, and professors alike.

Identifying your target audience will help you understand how to form convincing arguments while considering their knowledge and points of view.

3: What’s your thesis statement?

Now based on the goal of your essay, come up with a strong thesis statement that details your argument and draws in the readers.

Structuring your outline

Once you have a goal and a thesis statement ready, it’s time to structure your essay outline. You can either use an alphanumeric outline structure like we’ve done in the above example, or you can also go for a decimal structure depending on what’s clearer to you.

Alphanumeric format:

Outline Example Alphanumeric.PNG

Decimal format:

How to Write an Outline in Decimal Format.PNG

Remember, this isn’t your full essay yet so feel free to briefly outline your ideas in fragmented sentences. However, a college research paper outline will most likely need complete sentences if your professor is going to review it. This will help them understand the ideas and arguments you plan on presenting in your essay.

Putting this all together

Now let’s get to the main event – organizing your essay outline. Follow the topical outline structure of your choice and begin by outlining the introduction. In a sentence, describe the topic you’re writing about. Then follow up with your thesis statement.

You might also want to include an essay hook to make your paper even more enticing for readers. An essay hook is the opening sentence of your introduction, which instantly draws in readers and makes them want to read the entire piece. It could be anything from a relevant quote or a common misconception to an anecdote or a personal story.

Next, outline the body of your essay by noting down the topic or argument for each paragraph. Include the supporting evidence you plan on using such as stats , facts, examples, and expert opinions. Don’t forget to mention how the evidence ties in with the topic and thesis statement.

It will help to include a transition sentence in each paragraph so you can quickly structure your arguments in a logical flow. When you add more details to your essay outline, you’ll find it much easier to organize all the info as you write.

Finally, end it with an outline of your essay conclusion. Make sure you restate your thesis statement to remind your readers of your argument. Then follow up with a concluding statement to validate your thesis and propose any solution or plan to address the issue discussed in your essay.

Outline examples for different types of essays

While it’s helpful to read articles that tell you what to do and how to do it, working with a personal English tutor can give you a much more practical experience in writing essay outlines. Another excellent solution is to learn from example . So we’ve put together outline examples for the most popular types of essays:

Argumentative essay outline example

An argumentative essay, also known as a persuasive essay, involves using logical arguments to support your opinion and persuade readers. This type of persuasive writing will require solid evidence to back up your theory or argument such as facts, research, and examples.

Writing an Outline.PNG

Narrative essay outline example

A narrative essay is a form of descriptive writing where you narrate a story based on your personal experience or point of view. This is the easiest type of essay because it doesn’t require any research or supporting evidence. However, the most challenging part is providing specific and sensory details that would help readers understand your point of view.

Outline Topic Sentence.PNG

Research essay outline example

A research essay is a form of academic writing which involves analyzing the works of other people on a certain topic and build on them using your own opinions or ideas. This is the most common type of essay you’ll have to write as a grad or post-grad student. It can be challenging as it requires plenty of research, coupled with original ideas and critical thinking.

Research Paper Outline Example.PNG

Get ready to write sensational essays

All the tips and examples we’ve provided above will help you understand how and where to begin your essay writing process . It all starts with a good essay outline to organize your thoughts and structure your writing flow. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing your train of thought while you’re in the middle of writing. So make the most of our guide to develop your essay and outline writing skills.

Jacqueline Zote

Jacqueline Zote is a copywriter with a passion for all things relating to the English language. Her interests range from pop culture and mythology to social activism. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies published by HarperCollins Publishers and Zubaan Books.

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How to Write an Essay Outline – Guide with Examples

Published by Grace Graffin at August 17th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

Why Write an Essay Outline?

An essay outline brings forth the structure for the writers as they initiate the essay drafting process. A clear and comprehensible essay outline provides instructions on how to organise and contour your ideas. The outline should briefly summarise the planned content of your essay and arrange it in a reasonable and well-organised manner.

Knowing how to write an outline is a vital skill. Your instructor might advise you to turn in an essay outline before submitting the final essay. Even if you do not have to hand one in, the skill always comes in handy and aids your writing process.

Arranging your Material

Start the outline early in the process.

You might still be gathering your ideas while you are writing an essay outline. The first and most important aspect of essay writing is knowing your topic and having preliminary information about it. Arrange relevant sources and start shaping your ideas into a structured argument.

Writing an essay outline does more than provide you with a good guide for your writing project. When you classify and organise your evidence in accordance with your outline, any imbalance of gathered material on one side of your argument, for example, will become apparent.

Classify Information

Organise material.

Decide on a central point you want the essay to revolve around by looking over the statistics, information, and ideas you have distinguished. After you have already established the idea of your argument, start organising your collected information in a way that serves the argument.

Categorise Material

Try to categorise your material based on the different aspects of your essay. If you are going to write a literary essay, classify your ideas into concepts. For example, for a history essay, you may categorise the information based on several turning points and key trends from the historical period you are discussing.

Create Structure

Commonly, the structure of an essay consists of three main themes/motifs. You can split these themes into three body paragraphs or three longer constituents, with multiple paragraphs discussing each theme.

Analyse Material for Relevance

Critically analyse the material you have collected, how you have classified it, and your essay’s themes as you start writing the outline. Make sure you do not include anything superfluous or irrelevant in your thesis statement. Each theme you discuss should be distinctly related to the thesis statement.

Arrangement of the Material

After you have collected and classified all the relevant material, you should consider how you will arrange it. An essay always begins with an introduction and ends with a conclusion , but placing the material in between the main body  is your choice.

The following points might help you appropriately position your material:

  • Begin with a conspicuous opening to your argument.
  • Refer to a subject that provides an easy transition into another.
  • Discuss some relevant points before coming to the central idea.

Presenting the Outline

A single idea per paragraph.

Discuss a single idea in each paragraph using various affirmative points and analyses. Make sure you only discuss a single idea relevant to the topic within each paragraph.

You can usually divide the essential points of discussion into short phrases or full sentences. Broader issues can be further split into sub-points.

Here is how you should structure a five-paragraph outline for an essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the basic outline format.

The basic outline format includes:

  • Introduction
  • Conclusion Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points for clarity and organization.

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from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

How to Write an Essay Outline: Complete Guide

Jackson Schroeder

For an essay to be compelling, it needs to have a solid structure. That’s why it is so important to create an outline before diving into the writing process.

Your outline is the bones of your essay. It helps you portray your ideas in a logical and digestible order. It also serves as a handy tool to keep your essay clean and organized while you’re writing, so you don’t have to spend as much time editing. 

So, how do you write the perfect essay outline? Let’s get started. 

What to consider before creating your outline

Don’t rush through your outline just to get it out of the way. A half-hearted outlining and brainstorming process will result in a poorly constructed essay. 

Before anything else, you must carefully read and re-read the directions of your essay assignment. 

Consider the type of essay you’re being asked to write. Is it narrative, persuasive, argumentative, or expository? Each type of essay requires a different approach to outlining and writing. (We explain the differences below.)

From there, ask yourself these questions: “What is the purpose of this essay?” and “What do I want the reader to take away from it?” 

Better yet, write down the answers to these questions on a sheet of paper. These are the things that will give you clarity and focus when you sit down to draft your outline. 

Organize your thoughts and notes

If you’ve paid attention in class and done your research, you likely have a lot of information in your notes that would be worth including in your essay. But, your notes probably lack a coherent order. 

So, before you create your outline, you need to take time to organize. 

Take a moment to group your notes into categories and then arrange those categories in a way that best supports your thesis. 

In essence, the notes and ideas that you consider to be the most important should serve as topic sentences of each body paragraph. And the “supporting details” should be used to reinforce your topic sentences.

UNC Chapel Hill’s writing center suggests asking yourself the following questions:

  • “Do some of my notes naturally cluster together?”
  • “How many clusters are there?” 
  • “Which ideas are more important or general?”
  • “Which ones are more like supporting details?”
  • “What order should the ideas be in?”


As explained above, the way you outline your essay should vary depending on what type of essay you’ve been assigned to write. But before diving into the distinctions, it’s important to understand the general structure of an effective outline. 

While different teachers or professors may have different requirements, the typical essay is at least five paragraphs long. There should be an introductory paragraph, three or more body paragraphs, and a paragraph for the conclusion. 


The introductory paragraph should include a hook, information about the focus of your essay, and your thesis statement. 

Right under the “Introduction” section of your outline, jot down a potential hook or two. The hook could be an interesting fact, a rhetorical question, or a simple sentence that sets the stage for your essay. 

After the hook, you should include points that summarize what you’re going to be writing about in each body paragraph of your essay. This section should give readers a general preview of what they’re going to be reading. 

Finally, in the last point under the introduction section of your outline, you should write your full thesis statement. And although it isn’t necessary, it may benefit you to also write the thesis statement at the very top of your outline. Since the thesis statement is the focal point of your entire essay, it’s always good to have it front and center. 

The body of your essay is where you have the most freedom to break down your argument, idea, or explanation. 

Structurally, body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence that reinforces your thesis. The four or five sentences that follow should then be used to support the topic sentence. The supporting sentences should include facts, data, and, in some cases, quotes from credible individuals. If you feel like you don’t have enough data or information to back up your topic sentence, you may need to go back to your notes or do further research. 

And to make sure your essay flows smoothly, you might want to add a transitional sentence at the end of each paragraph. 

As far as ordering your body paragraphs, your most compelling point should be made in the first body paragraph. The second best point should be made in the paragraph after that, and so on. 

In your outline, you should include the full topic sentence that you intend to start each body paragraph off with. As far as outlining the supporting ideas, though, all you will need is a few phrases or bullet points to jog your memory when you sit down to write the essay. 

Naturally, the conclusion is where you should tie up your essay. You want your reader to look up from reading the essay pondering a new idea, thought, or experience. 

Start your conclusion by rephrasing your thesis. Then reiterate some of your main points.  Depending on the type of essay you’re writing, you may want to finish the conclusion paragraph with a call to action or a quick summary of the significance of your argument. 


from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

A narrative essay is a piece of writing in which you tell a story from your point of view about a personal experience. While they don’t require extensive research, narrative essays are not to be underestimated.

Narrative essays are very common in nearly every level of education and are often an important piece of the college application process. In fact, all seven of the prompts included in the 2020-21 Common App call for narrative essays. 

While the prompts for narrative essays are often relatively simple, your writing should be thoughtful and engaging. 

Take this narrative essay prompt from the 2020-21 Common App, for example:

“Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.”

Yes, those reading your essay do want to know what problem you’ve solved. But, more importantly, they want to gauge how you react to and overcome adversity. 

So, take the extra step to make sure your narrative essay serves a purpose. Use description in your writing, and format your essay so that your readers walk away with the feeling that they know you. 

Below is a description of what you should include in each section of your narrative essay. The outline you create should succinctly summarize each section. 

The hook, which should be the first sentence of your narrative essay, needs to make the reader want to continue reading. As stated above, the hook could be a fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing sentence that sucks the reader in. 

Say, for example, you’re writing about a time when you made pasta with your grandmother who lives in Italy. You could start the essay off with a fact about how many pounds of pasta come in and out of the village where she lives. 

  • Stage your essay

After the hook, you want to give the reader a greater sense of the scene. When writing a narrative essay, you don’t have to reveal everything about the place or be too blunt about the setting, but you should at least give a few hints. 

Sticking with the pasta example, you could start to explain the smell of the room, the view through the kitchen window, and the feel of the floor underneath your feet. These descriptions would give the reader a sense of your surroundings, the climate, and the age of the house. When writing a narrative essay, you want to show the reader, not tell them. 

  • Thesis statement

Typically, the purpose of the thesis statement is to provide a digestible summary of the main point or claim you’re making in your essay. Using the same pasta example, you could draft a compelling sentence about how making pasta at your grandmother’s house in Italy inspired your passion for the art of cooking. 

The reason thesis statements are so often placed in the introductory paragraph is so the reader can develop an early understanding of the purpose of your essay. However, because narrative essays are meant to be a personal story, you don’t always have to make the thesis statement so evident. 

While writing a narrative essay, you could use the last sentence of the introduction simply as a way to naturally progress into the body of the essay. If you do this, though, you need to make sure that your theme is still evident. Although chronological order can make for an intriguing narrative essay, you don’t want your theme to be buried too deep. 

In the body of your narrative essay is where you dive into the full story of your experience. Each body paragraph should support your thesis. 

Let’s, again, use the pasta example. If your thesis statement describes the theme that making pasta at your grandmother’s house in Italy inspired your passion for the art of cooking, you need to create body paragraphs that support that statement. 

In the first paragraph or two, you could describe how cooking drew you in. You could explain how you felt when you smelled the pasta or what was going through your mind as you watched your grandmother roll homemade noodles. Remember, show don’t tell. Use adjectives and verbs to paint a picture. 

You could also describe how cooking makes you feel. Is it therapeutic? Is it a fun challenge? Is it nostalgic? Let the reader view your emotions.

In the last paragraph of the body, wrap up the story. After you left Italy and came back to the United States, did you immediately start cooking?

If your essay is in chronological order, make sure the story comes to a close naturally. Don’t rush it just because you’ve run out of space. If there is a word limit on your essay, check back through the previous paragraphs to see if there is anything that you can edit out. Reassess from there. 

In the conclusion of the narrative essay, you could explain what cooking has taught and how it has helped you in other areas of your life. Maybe you’ve increased your patience. Maybe you’ve learned how to multitask. There’s a chance cooking has helped you develop a way to manage your emotions. 

These skills can all be related back to other things in your life. For example, if you’re writing a narrative essay for a college application, maybe point out how the skills you’ve developed from cooking translate to the subject you’re interested in majoring in. Explaining how cooking has helped you improve is a great way to naturally express your love for it, and, in turn, reinforce your thesis. 


from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

A persuasive essay is a piece of writing that you use to convince the reader to agree with your point of view. 

In order to be compelling, persuasive essays should be full of verified facts and quotes from experts, which requires a great deal of research. The goal of a persuasive essay, though, is not to simply regurgitate facts. Because you are trying to persuade someone, you have to mix in a bit of emotion. 

In terms of outlining, persuasive essays are more simple than narrative essays. They tend to follow a formula. 

Below is a description of what you should include in each section of your persuasive essay. The outline you create should succinctly summarize each section. 

Again, the hook should be a fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing sentence that sucks the reader in and makes them want to continue reading. 

Let’s say, for example, you’re writing a persuasive essay to convince your high school to establish a wrestling program. You could start the essay with a fact highlighting the impressive number of high schools in the district that already have a wrestling program.

  • Introduce your arguments  

In the typical five-paragraph persuasive essay, you should have three arguments that support your thesis statement. Each argument should be made in its own paragraph, and each of those paragraphs should start off with a topic sentence that summarizes the argument. Write each topic sentence down in this section of the outline. 

  • Thesis statement 

This is where you should succinctly explain what you want. If what you want is your school to start a wrestling program, state that. 

You want to be very clear and sometimes even blunt with persuasive essays. Unlike narrative essays, the point of a persuasive essay is to persuade, not to show off descriptive writing skills or portray your personality. 

In the body of your persuasive essay is where you get to convince your reader. Just like if you were arguing with a family member at the dinner table, this is your opportunity to lay out your points and make a compelling argument. 

Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence, and the sentences that follow should be full of facts, and sometimes quotes, that reinforce your topic sentence. 

The first paragraph is where you want to make your strongest argument. Sticking with the wrestling example, you could make the argument that there is a demand for the sport. 

This is a good argument to start with because it is likely the biggest concern shared by the administrators at your high school. In the supporting sentences, you could provide the number of students at your school who have already agreed to join. Additionally, you can provide attendance numbers from meets held at schools in the district that already have a team. 

In the second paragraph, you could make the argument that it can help student land scholarships at universities. Of course, you’ll want to back this up with some statistics. And if the statistics you find aren’t that convincing, use an example instead. 

If you find that only 1 percent of high school wrestlers get college scholarships, for example, tell a brief success story of a student who wouldn’t have been able to go to college had they not wrestled. Make the point that this could happen at your school. 

In the third paragraph, address the administration’s fears about students’ safety by explaining that there is little risk of injury in wrestling. Compare it to other sports your school offers, like football, to make your point. Of course, you do need statistics to back this up. 

  • Restate your thesis 

Make your point abundantly clear by restating your thesis. Because the reader has read your arguments at this point, you can add a little more detail than at the beginning. 

  • Summarize the main points  

As you did with your thesis statement, you’ll want to restate your topic sentences. This will drive the point home and cement your arguments in the reader’s brain. 

  • Write a call to action 

End your essay with a call to action. In this example, you’ll be asking your administrators to create a wrestling team.  


from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

Argumentative essays are often confused with persuasive essays. But, there are subtle differences that you should be aware of. 

While the goal of a persuasive essay is to persuade a reader to side with your point of view, the goal of an argumentative essay is simply to convince the reader that your position is valid. 

While writing an argumentative essay, try to stick to facts. Don’t get wrapped up in emotion or description. 

In terms of outlining, argumentative essays also follow a formula. 

Below is a description of what you should include in each section of your argumentative essay. The outline you create should succinctly summarize each section.

Like all of the other types of essays in this article, the argumentative essay should start with a hook, which should be a fact, a rhetorical question, or an intriguing sentence that sucks the reader in and makes them want to continue reading. 

Let’s say, for example, the topic is: “Do Division 1 athletes deserve to be paid?” If your position is yes, you could start with a fact about how much money the University of Alabama’s football team brings in each year, for example. 

Before moving on, it is worthwhile to note that your goal in this essay is to simply make the argument that they deserve to be paid. You aren’t necessarily trying to persuade the NCAA to pay athletes. 

  • List your main points 

Right after the hook, you should introduce your main points. In the body of your essay is where you will provide detail and further explain these points. Here, though, each point should be introduced in no more than one or two sentences. 

Here is where you should succinctly state your argument. Make sure the reader knows what side you’re taking. It is worth noting, though, that you shouldn’t let your emotions seep into your thesis statement or anywhere in your essay. Argumentative essays are supposed to be built upon facts. 

In the body of your argumentative essay is where you should break it all down. All the statements you made in the introduction should be further explained here. Like you would when writing a persuasive essay, you should present your strongest point in the first paragraph. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence and be followed by supporting sentences. 

Sticking with the paying Division 1 athletes example, in the first paragraph, you could further explain the point that schools often profit off of their athletes, and athletes see nothing in return. Of course, you would need to back this up with statistics. 

In the second paragraph, explain to your reader that student athletes don’t have time to work because the sport they play is essentially a full-time job. For this, you would need statistics about how many hours per week athletes spend practicing. 

After you’ve finished making your points, many teachers and professors will ask that you add another paragraph that mentions the counter arguments and provides your evidence against them. 

For example, you could mention the common argument that many Division 1 athletes are essentially being paid because they’re getting scholarships to play sports. You could then use statistics to back up the position that there are many costs of college other than tuition, and that if athletes don’t have time to get a job because they are at practice, they can’t afford food. 

  • Restate your thesis  

Restate your thesis in a way that brings your essay to a natural conclusion. You want the reader to think about your position as something that deserves attention. 

  • Summarize main points

After you restate your conclusion, you want to summarize your main points. But, don’t simply rewrite the topic sentences from your body paragraphs. Instead, subtly remind the reader why your points are important to consider. 

  • Remind the reader why your argument is worthwhile

Again, argumentative essays are all about validating a position or side to an argument. So, in the final sentence or two of your essay, you want to leave a lasting impression. You could, for example, end with another related fact that reminds the reader why your argument is worthwhile. Write something like “X percent of Division 1 athletes live below the poverty line, while the institutions they play for rake in Y amount of money each year.” 


from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

The expository essay is a type of essay that requires you to investigate an idea, piece of literature, or moment in history, evaluate evidence, and expound upon it. The goal is not to make an original argument, but instead to explain a topic in a straightforward and digestible way. Writing should always be in the third person.

In the classroom, you’ll most often be asked to write expository essays on literature, social issues, or historic events. The expository essay is also the type of essay on the SAT . 

Expository is essentially a catch-all term for many different types of essays, including the compare and contrast essay, the cause and effect essay, and the descriptive essay. 

Expository essays test your critical analysis skills. And, depending on the subject, expository essays may require a great deal of research. The outlining process, however, is pretty simple, as there is a general formula. 

Below is a description of what you should include in each section of your expository essay. The outline you create should succinctly summarize each section.

The expository essay must also start with a hook. It needs to be catchy and relate closely to the topic. 

Let’s say you’ve been tasked to write an expository essay analyzing how J.K. Rowling uses character development techniques to make the characters in the Harry Potter series so compelling. You could start with a rhetorical question pointing out how ironic it is that Hagrid — a bearded giant who plays with spiders and dragons — is such a lovable character. 

  • Introduce your points 

You should have points to back up your overall topic. Each point should be explained in its own paragraph, and each of those paragraphs should start with a topic sentence that summarizes the point. Introduce each point in this section of the introduction. 

  • Thesis statement: 

The thesis statement of an expository essay is where you express the conclusion you’ve come to after conducting research on a subject or reading literature. Your goal is to inform your reader, not persuade them. Think of yourself as a reporter. Your thesis statement in your expository essay is, essentially, the same as a lead in a news story.  

Using the Harry Potter example, your thesis statement could fall along the lines of: “J.K Rowling’s usage of unique adjectives and her desire to emphasize intellectual qualities over physical attributes makes her characters compelling.”  

In the body of your expository essay is where you get to fully explain what you’ve gathered to your readers. Like you would with arguments in a persuasive essay, you want to start off with your strongest point. 

Building upon the Harry Potter example, the first paragraph should dive into Rowling’s word usage. Your topic sentence, for example, should explain that Rowling uses unique adjectives to describe her characters. Then, in the following sentences, you should use examples from the text to back that up. 

Then, in the second paragraph, you should restate and provide backing for your point that Rowling emphasizes intellectual qualities over physical attributes. 

Expository essays typically have 3-5 body paragraphs. So, include a new paragraph for each point you have. 


As you would when writing a persuasive essay, you should make the first sentence of your conclusion a restatement of your thesis. 

  • Summarize the main points 

You also want to summarize your main points in the conclusion, but you should do it in an original way. You never want to introduce new information in this section. 

  • The final sentence 

The final sentence you use should vary depending on the type of expository essay you’re writing. However, you should always put time and effort into sculpting your final sentence. It is your last opportunity to leave an impression of your point of view on the readers. 

In summary 

Although it can feel a bit like busywork, outlining is an essential component of writing a good, compelling essay. Without an outline, your writing runs the risk of lacking structure. So don’t underestimate the importance of your outline, and certainty do not skip over it. Take time before the writing process to outline, and it will save you the frustration of having to extensively edit and revise after you’re finished. 

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While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis


Extended Essay: 8 Simple Steps to writing an Academic Essay... and Outlines!

  • Introduction
  • Subject Guidance & Proposal Forms
  • 8 Simple Steps to writing an Academic Essay... and Outlines!
  • Finding a Topic
  • Academic Sources of Information
  • Researcher's Spaces
  • Reflections
  • IB Resources for Students
  • Citations and Referencing - IB REQUIREMENTS
  • In-Text Citations
  • Formatting your EE
  • Ms Sally's Presentations

What is an Academic Essay?

Academic essays are formally written, informative pieces of writing which present the writer's perspective on the topic, using research and evidence to;

  • initiate a debate 
  • develop an argument
  • identify and analyze a concept
  • defend an idea or present a point of view.

Academic essays are also;

  • focused and well structured
  • well sourced using primary, secondary and or tertiary research
  • accurate and consistent
  • balanced and objective (NOTE: For this reason, academic essays are usually written in the 3rd Person)

IMPORTANT: Your evidence must be properly cited and referenced.

This page gives guidance about the Steps you need to take, and the Structure (outline) required for an academic essay.

8 Simple Steps

Choose an essay topic.

  • What is the main idea you want to write about
  • Choose a topic you are interested in and have a good understanding of
  • Check any subject specific requirements and subject guidelines found here

Formulate a Research Question

  • What is the specific question your essay needs to answer
  • Make sure it is a question, not a statement

Conduct research to provide the information you need to support your arguments

  • Primary research: collecting original data through surveys, interviews and/or experiments
  • Secondary research: collecting existing data and informaiton that has been created by someone else
  • Tertiary research: using textbooks, encyclopedias and reference books to gain a general understanding of your topic

Create an Essay Outline

  • Provides a basic structure which can be adjusted to the specific needs of your topic and subject area
  • Must include details about; an introduction, the body of the essay and the conclusion
  • More details found elsewhere on this page

Write the Introduction

  • Provide background information on the topic
  • State your Research Question
  • Present your theory, hypothesis or thesis

Write the Body Paragraphs

  • Paragraphs develop your arguments and supports each point with evidence
  • Each paragraph should focus on one main point
  • Each main idea should include a topic sentence that introduces the idea, supporting evidence and a transition sentence that connects to the next paragraph

Write the Essay Conclusion

  • Provides a summary of your main arguments
  • Restates your Research Question and your throy, hypothesis or thesis

Revise and Edit your Essay

  • Review your essay for:
  • Grammar, punctuation and logic
  • Table of Contents, Bibliography and Appendixes
  • Labeling on images, graphs and tables
  • Formatting as per the formatting checklist provided by your Supervisor

Structure of an Essay... the Outline

This outline gives a basic structure for an essay that suits most subject areas, and can be adjusted to suit others. It is a starting point to organizing your ideas and ensuring that your essay is clear, states your points is a well structured and logical progression, and designating which evidence supports each point to answer your question.

There are 3 main parts to an essay; the Introduction , the Body of the essay, and the Conclusion .


Brief overview of the topic, research question in context, your main argument or thesis statement, first main point, supporting evidence, explanation and analysis, second main point, supporting evidence, third main point, supporting evidence and analysis, restate your main argument or thesis statement, summarize main points, final thoughts and implications.

IMPORTANT: When you are creating your outline, discuss the subject specific requirements with your supervisor (for example, some IAS subjects and most Science subjects will require 'Methodology' as part of the structure), and then fill in the necessary information under each heading.

Be specific about your points of discussion and which evidence you will use to support your argument. The explanations and analysis should look at how each piece evidence supports your point and helps to answer your Research Question.

You can include as many points as you need to fully answer your question. You can use more than one piece of evidence to support each point.

It is, however, recommended that you don't belabor or over explain a point.

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5 ways to be self-reliant, 3 ways to play dutch blitz, 3 ways to darken eyebrows, how to replace a jean button: 9 steps, 3 ways to get your baby to sleep on their back, how to change your vpn on pc or mac, how to organize a conference, how to fit a dry verge, 19 simple ways to block inappropriate content, 3 ways to teach essay writing.

from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

Teaching essay writing is an essential skill for educators, as it helps to develop critical thinking, creativity, and communication abilities in students. However, teaching essay writing can be challenging because students often find it daunting and may lack the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this area. In this article, we discuss three effective ways to teach essay writing that can simplify the process and ensure that students gain a firm foundation in writing outstanding essays.

1.Focus on Teaching Structure and Organization

The first step in teaching essay writing is guiding your students on how to structure their essays properly. This involves breaking down the main components of an essay, such as the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Teach your students to organize their thoughts coherently and engage their readers from start to finish.

– Introduction: Explain that the introduction is intended to grab the reader’s attention, provide background information, and state a clear thesis. A powerful hook should come first, followed by a brief outline of the main points that will be discussed.

– Body Paragraphs: Teach students how to create well-developed body paragraphs by focusing on a single main idea or argument that supports their thesis. Each paragraph should include a topic sentence, evidence or examples, analysis or explanation of the evidence, and a concluding sentence.

– Conclusion: Show students how to summarize their main points effectively and restate their thesis statement to create a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression on readers.

2.Foster Strong Argumentation Skills

One of the hallmarks of an excellent essay is its ability to persuade readers by presenting logical arguments supported by relevant evidence. Teach your students how to craft strong arguments by providing them with activities like debates or brainstorming sessions where they can practice presenting different viewpoints on various subjects. Instruct them to:

– Establish their position clearly by providing a strong thesis statement.

– Use credible sources of evidence like academic articles, expert opinions, statistics, or anecdotes to back up their claims.

– Practice identification techniques for counterarguments and address them in the essay to demonstrate an awareness of competing perspectives.

Make sure to emphasize the importance of avoiding logical fallacies and maintaining a balanced, unbiased tone when presenting arguments.

3.Encourage Peer Review and Constructive Feedback

To help your students refine their essay writing skills, encourage peer review sessions and constructive feedback from classmates. Ask students to exchange drafts and provide critical input on areas that need improvement in terms of content, structure, and clarity. This will foster a collaborative learning environment where students support each other in achieving better writing outcomes.

When providing feedback, teach your students to focus on:

– The overall coherence of the essay, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

– The quality of arguments and supporting evidence presented in the essay.

– Any instances of grammar or punctuation errors that may need attention.

Teaching essay writing does not have to be a difficult task if you approach it with patience and persistence. By focusing on teaching structure and organization, fostering strong argumentation skills, and encouraging peer review and constructive feedback, you can help your students build a strong foundation in essay writing that will serve them well throughout their academic careers.

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Home » Home » Best Tips to Write an Essay on Political Topic

Best Tips to Write an Essay on Political Topic

By Space Coast Daily  //  April 1, 2024

from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

Is writing an essay on a political topic the next assignment on your desk? Students taking political courses have to write lots of essays as part of the standard course requirement.

It’s a chance to demonstrate critical thinking skills and deep reflection on political topics. However, crafting a high-quality political essay is not easy. It’s a skill perfected through lots of practice. If you’re struggling with a political essay, there are tips and tricks you can apply to help you write a great essay. Read on to discover top tips for crafting a compelling essay on a political topic.  

Tips to write an essay on political topic

Understand the prompt.

To write a high-quality political essay, you must start by understanding the prompt. Any confusion can jeopardize the entire essay. A helpful tip is to restructure the essay into a question. However, when you can’t seem to understand the prompt or advanced concepts on the topic, it’s better to ask an expert to write my essay since an essay written on a misunderstood prompt can never be correct.

Use the help of essay writing services

Composing a top-notch political essay can seem impossible when you have little knowledge of subject concepts or the deadline is closing in fast. Rather than submitting a subpar essay, most college students prefer to enlist CustomWritings assistance to ease their stress and anxiety. Working with a real political science expert guarantees a well-written, thoroughly researched, timely, and error-free essay.

Research thoroughly

To form great arguments about a political topic, you need to conduct thorough research to get sufficient supporting evidence. Ensure you rely on evidence from reputable sources, such as books, academic journals, and government reports. The evidence must also be relevant and current.

Create an outline

Before you start writing, sketch an outline of your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and give you a clear idea of what to write. Most essays follow a 5-paragraph essay format with an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Stay objective and apply theories learned in class

Most political essays require students to apply information from lectures, discussions, and assigned readings. Therefore, ensure you support your arguments with theories and perspectives learned during the semester. Avoid unnecessary information that doesn’t add to the central theme of your essay.  

Consider counterarguments

Most political essays are argumentative, meaning there will be two sides to the argument. Therefore, ensure you acknowledge and address the strong and obvious counterarguments in your paper. It demonstrates your nuance of the topic and strengthens your overall argument.

Cite sources

Ensure you substantiate your arguments with facts from credible sources. Adding a proper reference allows the reader to read further on the claim. Make sure you apply the correct citation style specified by the instructor and cite all sources used to avoid plagiarism.

Form your opinion

Political essays are not only about spewing factual information, you must give your opinion on the topic. The ability to present your views on different topics will help you build a successful career in the political scene. Most times, you will express a sophisticated opinion in the conclusion.

Proofread and edit

Before you submit your essay, take time to thoroughly proofread and edit it. The easiest way to identify errors in your paper is to read it aloud. Use the chance to correct structural errors, grammatical mistakes, weak arguments, unclear sentences, and tense errors. You can also use spelling and grammar checker tools to edit your paper.

The basic format of an essay on a political topic

The format of a political essay is similar to other types of essays and consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Let’s delve into what goes into each part of the essay.


The introduction paragraph is the first part of the essay, which reveals the intent and position of the writer on the topic. It includes an interesting hook, background information, and a thesis statement. The thesis is the most important part of a political essay because it provides an overview of the key points contained in the paper.

Body paragraphs

The section with body paragraphs is the main part of the essay in which you discuss all the ideas that support your position on the topic. The number of body paragraphs depends on the essay size and ideas. Each paragraph discusses a single idea that proves the thesis’s main idea. Critical analysis also includes credible citations to support the author’s position.

The conclusion restates the thesis and reiterates the supporting ideas made in the main body. Use the conclusion to make a connection between themes discussed in the body section. Also, a conclusion must provide an insight or opinion that demonstrates the implications of the study. Let the reader know why they need to care about the topic.  

What to avoid when writing a political science essay?

There are some common mistakes that students commit when writing political essays that could compromise the quality of the paper. The first and obvious thing to avoid is plagiarism. Cite all sources used to avoid damaging the credibility of your essay. Also, avoid using evidence from untrustworthy sources, such as personal blogs and Wikipedia. Such sources can compromise the accuracy and validity of your arguments.

A political essay should relay formal and scholarly arguments, so avoid informal language, passive voice, or first person. In addition, avoid jargon, which includes phrases and words that may sound sophisticated but have little meaning. That way, your arguments are clear, simple, and concise. Pay attention to the entire scope of the essay guidelines.

Political essays have many similarities to other academic papers

Essays on a political topic follow the standard essay structure but require deep analysis of ideas. Before you start writing, understand the prompt and research thoroughly to advance your knowledge on the topic and make strong arguments. With the right pointers, writing a political essay can be as easy as 123.

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  • What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.

A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.

Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .

Thesis template

You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.

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Table of contents

Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.

You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.

  • A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
  • A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
  • In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
  • In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:

  • Your discipline
  • Your theoretical approach

Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.

In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section ,  results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .

Thesis examples

We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.

  • Example thesis #1:   “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
  • Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.

The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date.

Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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from thesis to essay writing essay outline guide

An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.

Read more about abstracts

A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.

Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.

Read more about tables of contents

While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.

Read more about glossaries

An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:

  • Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
  • Define the scope of your work
  • Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
  • State your research question(s)
  • Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed

In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.

Read more about introductions

A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:

  • Selecting relevant sources
  • Determining the credibility of your sources
  • Critically evaluating each of your sources
  • Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:

  • Addressing a gap in the literature
  • Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
  • Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
  • Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
  • Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
  • Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
  • Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
  • The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.

Your results section should:

  • State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Explain how each result relates to the research question
  • Determine whether the hypothesis was supported

Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.

Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.

For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.

Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.

Read more about conclusions

In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.

Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.

Read more about appendices

Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!

Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.

Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.

After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

  • Survivorship bias
  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

  • Plan to attend graduate school soon
  • Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
  • Are considering a career in research
  • Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience

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How Essay Writing Help Can Be a Student’s Best Friend

W hen you’re a student, writing essays is just part of the deal. Sometimes, though, it feels like more than you can handle. Maybe you’ve got five essays due in the same week, or there’s that one class where you just can’t seem to nail the professor’s expectations.

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The goal is not merely to survive the academic year but to excel. Imagine moving from a place of stress to one where you feel supported and confident in your ability to meet academic challenges head-on. That’s the power of finding the right essay-writing help!

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Tackling essays doesn’t have to be a source of dread. With a few strategic steps, you can streamline the process and even enjoy crafting your arguments. Start by breaking down the assignment into manageable parts. What is the question asking? What are your main points? Sketching a rough outline can guide your research and ensure you stay on topic.

Additionally, consider drafting a schedule, allocating specific times for research, writing, and revision. This approach not only helps manage time but also breaks the task into less intimidating segments. Remember, effective essay writing is a skill developed over time, and each essay is a step toward mastery.

When deadlines are tight, and the workload is overwhelming, essay writing services offer a practical way out. These services match you with experienced writers who can handle essays across various subjects and complexity levels.

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The beauty of custom essay writing lies in its ability to meet your specific needs. Whether it’s a particular writing style, a unique topic, or strict formatting requirements, these services ensure your essay is precisely what you envisioned.

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Essay writing is akin to an art form, requiring both creativity and discipline. With the support of professional essay writing services, you can hone this art. These services offer more than just written work; they provide a learning opportunity.

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With the right support, such as services offered by platforms like EssayPro, navigating your academic journey becomes a more manageable and enriching experience. These services don’t just help you keep up with the demands of your coursework; they empower you to develop the skills and knowledge that will support you through college – and beyond!

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  1. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold. You'll sometimes be asked to submit an essay outline as a separate ...

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    Step 4: Add Depth with Subpoints. To add depth and clarity to your essay, incorporate subpoints under each main point. These subpoints provide more specific details, evidence, or examples that support your main ideas. They help to further strengthen your arguments and make your essay more convincing.

  3. How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

    An essay outline is essentially an essay's skeleton. It's a text representation of an essay's thesis and key supporting points. An essay outline serves multiple purposes, including helping its writer organize their thoughts before they start writing, giving readers a quick synopsis of the essay, and acting as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they work through their supporting ...

  4. Guide to Creating an Essay Outline

    The first thing you want to write for your outline is your thesis statement. This is typically one or two sentences, and it acts as the GPS for your entire essay. The thesis statement tells what your essay will be about. It defines your stance and lets your reader know what your major points are. Without a strong thesis statement, even an ...

  5. How to Write an Essay Outline

    How to write an outline for an essay: example Now, you have a strong theoretical background on how to write an outline for an essay. To help you get the most out of our guide, here's an example of an essay outline: Topic: My eldest brother. Introduction. Main thesis: My eldest brother dreams of becoming a professional athlete. 1 st body paragraph

  6. How to Write a Thesis Statement & Essay Outline

    First, spend some time crafting your thesis because the clearer you are on your objectives, the easier your essay will be to write. Your thesis statement should be concise, direct, and clear. It should encapsulate your essay as much as possible. The thesis should contain a combination of opinion and support.

  7. How to Write an Essay Outline: MLA & APA Formats

    Directly below, write your thesis statement, setting it apart by capitalizing the first letter of each word and ending with a colon. This establishes the overarching argument or main point of your essay. Headings and Subheadings: Use a hierarchical system for headings and subheadings to denote the structure of your MLA essay.

  8. How to Write an Essay Outline: 5 Examples & Free Template

    Start off by creating a broad thesis statement or central idea. Then move on to providing examples or pieces of information that support this statement or elaborate on it. This method also provides a comprehensive overview of your essay and helps identify any missing bits of information. 2. Generates greater impact.

  9. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Follow the topical outline structure of your choice and begin by outlining the introduction. In a sentence, describe the topic you're writing about. Then follow up with your thesis statement. You might also want to include an essay hook to make your paper even more enticing for readers. An essay hook is the opening sentence of your ...

  10. How to Write an Essay Outline

    The first and most important aspect of essay writing is knowing your topic and having preliminary information about it. Arrange relevant sources and start shaping your ideas into a structured argument. Writing an essay outline does more than provide you with a good guide for your writing project. When you classify and organise your evidence in ...

  11. How to Write an Essay Outline: Complete Guide

    As far as ordering your body paragraphs, your most compelling point should be made in the first body paragraph. The second best point should be made in the paragraph after that, and so on. In your outline, you should include the full topic sentence that you intend to start each body paragraph off with.

  12. How to Write an Essay Outline: 5 Examples & Free Template

    Start off by creating a broad thesis statement or central idea. Then move on to providing examples or pieces of information that support this statement or elaborate on it. This method also provides a comprehensive overview of your essay and helps identify any missing bits of information. 2. Generates greater impact.

  13. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

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    The essay writing process consists of three main stages: Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline. Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion. Revision: Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling ...

  15. What is a Thesis Statement: Writing Guide with Examples

    How to write a thesis statement for persuasive essays. Similar to argumentative essays, persuasive essays follow many of the same guidelines for their thesis statements: decisive language, specific details, and mentions of subtopics. However, the main difference is that, while the thesis statements for argumentative and expository essays state facts, the thesis statements for persuasive essays ...

  16. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  17. The Essay Writing Guide: Tips, Format and Structure

    After the essay's conclusion, create a "Works Cited" page where you list all the sources used in the paper. APA. Create a title page with a running title. Put the title of your paper in the left corner and the page number in the right corner. Repeat the essay title in the middle of the first page as well, centering it.

  18. How to Summarize an Essay: Proven Strategies and Tips

    To effectively summarize an essay, follow these steps: 1 Read the essay: Fully read the essay to understand its main argument and structure. As you do this, identify the essay's thesis statement and main arguments, which will be featured in your summary. 2 Identify main points: Pinpoint the key points and arguments within the essay.

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    This outline gives a basic structure for an essay that suits most subject areas, and can be adjusted to suit others. It is a starting point to organizing your ideas and ensuring that your essay is clear, states your points is a well structured and logical progression, and designating which evidence supports each point to answer your question.

  20. Types of Outlines

    This outline is mostly often used when preparing a tradional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Frame above to download the sampling for this outline. Academic Guidelines: Writings adenine Paper: Outlining. Decimal Outlines. This decimal draft is similar into format to aforementioned alphanumeric outline.

  21. A Comprehensive Guide on How to Write the Perfect Outline for Your Thesis

    Maintain Consistency: Ensure a consistent format throughout your outline, using Roman numerals for main sections, capital letters for main points, and Arabic numerals for subpoints. Keep It Concise: Be concise and avoid including excessive detail in your outline. It should be a concise overview of your thesis structure.

  22. 3 Ways to Teach Essay Writing

    Make sure to emphasize the importance of avoiding logical fallacies and maintaining a balanced, unbiased tone when presenting arguments. 3.Encourage Peer Review and Constructive Feedback. To help your students refine their essay writing skills, encourage peer review sessions and constructive feedback from classmates.

  23. DBQ From Thesis to Essay Writing Mini Q

    Thesis and road map - Thesis statement (look at the Chicken Foot for your Thesis!) Paragraph #2 - Charity Paragraph. Baby Thesis for bucket one - Example: One reason that the Georgia colony was a success (or failure, or both) was the issue of charity. Evidence: supporting detail documents with document citation - *See the Document ...

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    Before you start writing, sketch an outline of your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and give you a clear idea of what to write. Most essays follow a 5-paragraph essay format with ...

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    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  26. How Essay Writing Help Can Be a Student's Best Friend

    Here, college essay writing services come to the rescue. They offer a safety net, allowing you to maintain high academic standards while also finding time for work, social activities, and self-care.