Types of Outlines and Samples
This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
Are you a student competing in your school to write a creative essay? Well, you are not the only one. Nowadays, students are given essay-writing assignments commonly. Also, they have become an essential part of standardized tests. Not only this, essay writing has also become mandatory and a requirement for college applications. Consequently, it has become a critical part for students for the academic success.
Students can take help from the essay outline templates available online and get a good idea how to go about the essay. We have different types of essay outlines available on our main website. You can choose from any one of them. Use them to practice and write on your own. In order to know about different types of essay outlines and how to utilize them, read this article.
Essay Outline Templates
Importance of Essay Outline
Essay outline is a skeletal outline that provides a platform on which you can build your own writing and come up with your own thoughts. These outlines do not have anything written, they just help you structure your ideas and thoughts logically so that you can build towards a meaningful and strong conclusion. In fact, outline is the main aspect towards writing an effective essay. Here is the importance of making outline prior to writing an essay.
- It clarifies your ideas and develops your thoughts. A completely blank page may make you worried; hence making an outline first can give you a push towards writing. Also, outline is the initial writer’s block when working on a project. Additionally, the outline in front of you can give you ideas during brainstorming, helping you come up with different and variety of ideas in mind. This makes you know and understand what exactly you want to write. For instance, if you come with a simple topic at first, with an outline you can clarify thoughts and can come up with supporting details before writing the actual text and content.
- In addition to broadening and clarifying your ideas, it also enables you to organize ideas while staying on the topic. When you have an outline, you do not miss on arguments and points you want to highlight. When you have outline in front of you, you are able to organize your ideas in a way that they have the most impact.
- Furthermore, the outline normally creates a step-by-step guide for you, making the writing process easier. This guide will eventually save your time. When you are done with the outline of the essay, you just have to write paragraphs and support it with details. Additionally, with an outline, you will not forget the necessary points you want to involve. All you need to do is connect the dots and ideas after you are done with the essay outline.
Types of Essay Outlines
Just like there are different types of essay writing, there are different types of outlines available for it too. The types of the essays depend on the purpose they are being written for. Now, we will highlight a few types of essays in this section that are commonly preferred in academic writing.
Informative Essay Outline
Just List the Facts
The informative essay outline is a form of writing that only lists down the facts. It is also called as expository essay that presents balanced analysis of a topic. In this type of essay, the writer uses an informational tone and explains the entire topic, using the statistics, facts, and figures along with examples.
This type involves a variety of essays such as cause and effect essay. Also, such kinds of informative essays explain the process or come up with ‘how to’ approach. In these essays, writers are likely to use a third person tone and not involve their own feelings and emotions.
Narrative Essay Outline
Tell a Story
As the name of the essay implies, it is the type of essay that elaborates a story of a real life experience. Readers may think that writing it in the form of story, but in real, it involves a lot of narrative challenges. Writers find this kind of approach difficult and often end up writing about themselves as they find it easy to narrate their own story. In order to involve the reader, writer should come up with a vivid approach.
The main thing all writers should keep in mind while writing this form of essay is to use the first person tone. Using I, we, us, etc. will engage readers in the essay and they will feel like they are a part of the story. Additionally, a well-written and drafted narrative essay will also end up concluding with a personal statement.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Evaluate the Objects
Compare and contrast essay outlines two subjects such as places, people, events, and objects that are vastly and closely related. This type of essay compares and contrasts, determining the differences and similarities as well. While readers may think that the comparison is simple, if you see it from a writer’s perspective, this kind of essay requires a lot of research and effort. Additionally, this kind of essay likely argues on a point with supported facts, which is not an easy task.
A comparative essay is often written to state something that is unknown, determine if one thing is superior to another thing, or to clear up misunderstandings. It is also written by writers to lead to a new way of seeing, doing, and understanding something in general. We have a number of compare and contrast essay outline templates, you can simply download them and save it on your desktop for practice.
Argumentative Essay Outline
Support Research with Citations
As the name implies, an argumentative essay outline is used to persuade someone to think the way you do supporting your argument with credible citations. When you try to form an essay out of different elements, it may become difficult to organize; argumentative essay outlines can help you look at those elements closely. This is the type of essay where a writer has to carefully investigate on a topic, generate and evaluating by collecting evidence.
After they have assessed everything, they can then establish on the topic in a concise manner. This type of essay has to involve a lot of research in order to get factual and correct information. Also, they are very lengthy when they are written. Writers can collect information from empirical studies. They cannot just write anything without proper reference, they need to cite credible sources.
Persuasive Essay Outline
Convince the Reader
Persuasive essays have the core aim to convince the readers to accept writer’s point of view. This type of essay also presents facts and figures citing it with credible sources so that the reader is convinced. Additionally, writers also give sound reasoning and expert opinions. In addition to this, the writers has a lot of pressure as they have to present argument of all sides and then logically present their own, trying to persuade the reader about their point of view. Persuasive essay outline helps writer to communicate clearly and make readers understand why their point of view is correct.
Essay Outline Examples
How to Write an Essay Outline?
Essay outlines are necessary to be made right in the beginning because they provide a proper guidance and structure for writers. The outline briefly summarizes the content of the essay and organizes the content in a coherent manner. If you also want to write an essay outline, follow the steps below to make an effective essay outline.
Read the Guidelines
The first thing you should do in order to form an effective outline is to highlight or underline the important terms and words you see in the instructions. When you highlight the terms in the instructions, you are able to focus on them and things become more understandable. If you are not able to understand those things, then you should first attempt to understand those phrases properly. You can ask your instructor in case anything seems confusing or vague to you.
Come Up With a Topic and Identify Its Purpose
In order to come up with a good topic, you need to do some pre-writing exercises to get started. Simply list all the ideas and thoughts that come in your mind on a piece of paper. Once you have listed all of them, you can then look over it and expand the topics. This brainstorming will broaden your thoughts and ideas and make you come up with different things you need to learn, helping you find the true topic for your essay or research. Then, you need to identify the purpose of the topic. You should ensure that your purpose matches in the requirements of your essay assignment.
Identify Your Audience and Develop Thesis
After you have decided the purpose of the paper, it is time to identify your audience. Here you need to think who is going to read your paper. Will they be strangers, your classmates, or your instructor? You need to identify the expectations and needs of the audience considering what they know and what they do not know. When you know the purpose of the essay and have identified your audience, you should develop your thesis statement. Ensure that your thesis statement is arguable and detailed.
Decide on a Basic Outline Style and Structure
Normally, there are two ways of styles you can choose from, decimal outline structure and alphanumeric structure. Both of these structures are commonly used. Alphanumeric structure is identified by capitalized letters and roman numbers. On the other hand, decimal outline structure uses a series of numbers to identify each subsection. However, both of them are considered best ones, so the choice is entirely yours.
Introduction In The First Section
Now, it is time to organize your information in the essay outline. You should include introduction in the first section using an attention–grabbing opening related to your topic. The information that you will be providing in the outline will become more specific as you go to further into subsections. After the overview section, next section should include background and history of the problem that needs to be explored. You should make sure that you keep these sections brief. After that, the last part of the introduction section should discuss the thesis statement of your essay.
Body in the Second Section
The body is usually the largest part of the essay. But this is just the essay outline, so make sure that you do not write the whole of it. Instead, just list down the points you are supposed to cover when writing the essay. You should not label each and every point. But just make sure that you provide the main idea of the topic you will be discussing.
Conclusion in the Last Section
This is the last section of the essay outline where you just have to summarize the overall discussion in the essay. You can take information from the introduction section as well as body of the essay and conclude the essay. Since you can repeat things, you should re-state the idea in a different manner. After that, you can make a concluding statement.
Essay Outline Samples
Essay writing is challenging especially for students. If you aiming a good score and stand out in your class, you can practice on the variety of essay outlines available on our main website. Simply download the essay outline from our website and save it on your desktop and start practicing. We wish you better grades.