How to Write an Outstanding Essay Outline

Essay On Nature Vs Nurture |

Ever been stuck on where to start when curving out an outstanding essay outline? Perhaps writing one has been a daunting task for you. Worry less, because in this guide, we give you a step by step guideline on how to develop the most compelling outline for an Essay.

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What is an Outstanding Essay Outline?

An essay outline is a written plan for your essay where you structure the way you shall organize your paper. An essay outline is also a plan for how your paragraphs shall look like through getting the main points and finding the link between the topic sentences. An essay outline makes it easier for you to write an excellent academic paper.

Why is an Outstanding Essay Outline Important?

I recommend that you always start with an essay outline whenever you have the task of writing a paper. The importance of essay outlines is:

  • Organizes your essay in a sensible format
  • Your main points become coherent or accessible to connect when the instructor reads it
  • Some instructors require you to turn in essay outlines before submitting your essay

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I shall take you through the guidelines needed to develop an outstanding and effective essay outline.

Step 1: Preparing to create an outstanding outline essay.

  • Read the instructions and the rubric carefully

Keenly go through the instructor’s guidelines given

Many instructors provide instructions and a rubric (the standard requirements to achieve maximum points given in an essay).

  • Note down the vital information.

Here, it would be best if you highlighted the outstanding phrases in the guidelines.

  • Ask for clarification
    If you feel that you vaguely understand some or all parts of the guidelines, make sure that you contact your instructor.

 Step 2: Selecting a topic

  • If the instructor fails to give a topic to write, conduct research relevant to the case at hand. 

Through questioning who, what, when, why, and where, write down anything that comes to mind.

  • Ask yourself: What do I intend for readers of this paper?

Note: The sections and subsections of your essay outline should show coordination where the main section should have content that carries more weight than the subsection

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Step 3: Considering the Audience

  • What does your instructor or other audience expect from you?
  • Is your essay meant to inform, entertain, comment on, analyze, criticize, aggravate, or inspire a given situation?
  • How will the audience react?

Note: Your audience determines the style and design of your essay outline.

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Step 4: Develop a thesis

  • In every essay or research paper, you must have a debatable claim, which is the thesis. Your thesis is the theory upon which you base your paper.
  • Typically, thesis appears as the last sentence of the introduction paragraph
  • However, you may place the thesis within the body or even the conclusion as long as it holds your main arguments within the paper.

Note: The introduction is the first section of your essay outline to introduce the topic while the subsections give specific details.

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Step 5: Decide on the design of your outstanding essay outline

Note: Whichever design you choose, your outline should resemble the following sample:

(main section) Introduction paragraph


  • Hook
  • Thesis
  • Transition into the body paragraphs

           (main section) Body Paragraph (s)


  • Strongest Point
  • Introduction
  • Examples
  • Explanation
  • Conclusion tying to the thesis
  • Transition to the next main point (section)

Step 6: Choosing the designs for the outstanding essay outline

  1. The standard alphanumeric outstanding essay outline structure
    You can choose the most common outline where you place roman numerals such as I, II, and II in the major headings; capitalized (A, B, and C) as main points; Arabic numerals 1, 2, and 3 to break down main points points; and lowercase letters a, b, and c in the next level.

For example:

III. Dieting

A. Starch

1. Whole foods

a. Farm to table

b. Processed

                                    2. Low Energy Starch
                        B. Protein

            IV. Exercising

Note: Your outline should have parallel structures such as starting with a verb in the different sections as I indicated in the example above

  • The decimal outline structure
    The decimal outline begins with a 1.0 for the first section, 2.0 for the next, and 3.0 for the third.

The previous numbers for the decimal changes as you present subsections and subtopics. For example:

3.0 Dieting

3.1.0 Starch

3.1.1 Whole Foods



3.1.2 Low Energy Starch

                        3.1.1 Protein

Note: Write your outline in full sentences

As you can see, writing an outstanding essay outline is easy and straightforward if you follow the steps above.

All the best in your writing endeavors!

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