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English Composition 1

How to write an essay outline?

❶A great thesis is argumentative and encourages the readers to participate in debate concerning the topic of the essay.

What is an essay outline?

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Essay Outline
Creating an Outline for an Essay

An outline for your an essay helps the students to determine a number of words for each paragraph, if there should be a limited length for the writing. It is necessary to sort out all the ideas to write an outline.

MLA format is often applied in essay writing. It requires the usage of Times New Roman in point size, double space and proper citations throughout the paper. It is not enough only to justify in this type of writing. One should also be attentive while organizing the paper. Thus, there should be 1-inch margins and every page must have its number in the upper right hand corner. Well maybe you have been pushing yourself too hard and need a break. Everybody needs to sharpen the sword every so often.

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Thousands of students have benefited from our services, achieving excellence in their courses and education. Place your order now or bookmark this page so that the next time you need assistance — large or small — with your essay writing, help will be just a click away. Thesis is an essential part of every essay. Actually, it is the map for the reader; as this statement explains the things that will be discussed in the body of the essay. A great thesis is argumentative and encourages the readers to participate in debate concerning the topic of the essay.

It will be not difficult to make a thesis statement, if one sticks to the following simple rules:. Thesis statements must be accurate, clear, and on-topic.

Decide on what structure to use. There are two main essay outline formats to choose from: This one is more common than the other. The decimal format only uses numbers. It begins with 1. Subsections add a decimal. The most important points under 1. The subsections beneath 1. For a visual example of an essay outline scroll to the bottom of this article. For the visual examples of the stated outline formats, scroll down to the bottom of this article.

The detailed content of your essay will be found within the sub-sections. The main sections are your fundamental ideas and arguments. The sub-sections are the facts that support them. Think of the section title as the topic sentence for your paragraph and the sub-section as the tiny details that support the topic.

Your sub-sections need to flow naturally one to the other. Integrate paragraphs into your outline. Begin fleshing out your section and subsection notes. Your introduction will need to include your topic and thesis statement. For a short essay, this only needs to be one paragraph. Refer to your assignment instructions to clarify the length. Just make sure that your purpose is in line with what the assignment asks you to do.

Look for keywords in the assignment guidelines to help you figure out what your purpose should be. Think about who will read your paper. Identify the needs and expectations of your audience by considering what they do and do not know about your topic.

Anticipate their reactions as well. How they might react to the information that you will be sharing with them? Will they be angry, sad, amused, or something else?

Once you have developed your ideas and considered your purpose and audience, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. A thesis should not be more than one sentence in length. Do not state facts or matters of taste. For example, something like "George Washington was the first president of the United States," would not be a good thesis because it states a fact.

Likewise, "Die Hard is a great movie," would not work because it expresses a matter of taste. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective. Choose a standard alphanumeric structure for an easy outline structure.

An alphanumeric outline is the most common, easily recognized outline type, and each subdivision is identified by Roman numerals, capitalized letters, Arabic numerals, and lowercase letters, in that order. You will typically have three for an essay outline: Choose a decimal outline structure to show how your ideas are related.

A decimal outline is similar in structure to an alphanumeric outline, but it only uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. Some people prefer this structure because it shows how each section contributes to the essay as a whole.

Therefore, the first section would read "1. For instance, under the "1. Further subsections can be added by adding another decimal, followed by a number that corresponds to the new information. For instance, under the first "1. Determine whether to use full sentences or brief phrases in your outline. For most outline essays, full sentences will prove more useful because they allow you to provide more thorough information. Use parallel structures for outline sections.

For example, if one section of your outline begins with a verb that uses the present tense, then the next section should also begin with a verb that uses present tense. Coordinate section titles and subordinate subsections. Each section title should feature information that is equally important to other section titles and subsections should contain information that is less important than your main section titles.

These outline section titles feature information that is as important as the first section title. Divide each heading into two or more parts. In order to provide adequate information for each section, you will need to divide each section into two or more parts.

Provide your introduction in the first section of your outline. This section should include an attention getting opening and general information about your topic.

The information you provide in your introduction outline should gradually become more specific as you progress through its subsections. A shocking fact or anecdote is a great way to start. Keep this section brief, but include the information that your readers will need to know in order to understand your paper. State the idea or argument that you plan to discuss in your essay. Provide essay body information in the second section of your outline.

The body of your essay should be the largest part of your essay, so you will want to devote at least three subsections to this portion of your outline. Do not label each point as "main point. Under each main point, you should write supporting evidence to back the point up.

Give each piece of supporting evidence its own line and sub-section. Then, write out an explanation analyzing the evidence and showing how it supports your claims. If desired, you could also include a sentence that transitions into your next major point at the end of each "main idea" section.


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An outline will help you organize your main ideas and determine the order in which you are going to write about them. Writing an outline is a very effective way to think through how you will organize and present the information in your essay.

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An essay outline can even help you determine the length of each paragraph. Especially in cases where you are limited to a number of pages or assigned a word count, you can use an essay outline to break the structure into percentages or words. Writing an essay outline can be as easy as you want to make it.

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Creating an Outline for an Essay Most analytical, interpretive, or persuasive essays tend to follow the same basic pattern. This page should help you formulate effective . An essay outline denotes how you’ll structure your paper. You can (and should!) make changes along the way. You can (and should!) make changes along the way. But you want to get everything written down so that you can refer to the outline while you’re writing your rough draft.

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Alphanumeric format essay outline sample: Decimal format essay outline sample: Drawing the Line. Now that you know how to use an essay outline you are well on your way to writing clear, persuasive essays. This tool is sure to help improve your writing and your grade. All that is left now is to use it. Writing an Essay Outline July 24, - Posted to Assignment Help. The purpose of an essay outline is to order the presentation of your information, data, evidence, analysis, etc.