Sunday, 19 May 2024

How to Write an Essay Outline?

Writing an essay outline is a crucial part of your paper, in case you are willing to get a high mark. If you don’t know how to start writing an outline, this easy-to-follow explanation will come in handy. The following article focuses on the outline’s definition and format, moreover, creating process.

How to Write an Essay Outline

What is an Outline?

An essay outline is a brief layout of your work. There you can present all your critical ideas related to your topic and structure them into a logical order. In that way, you will not miss any relevant points while writing. Hence, outlines come in detailed or general structure. Should you seek more information regarding the essay outline, do not hesitate to visit for free examples and helpful tips.

The Importance of Outlines

First and foremost, developing a perfect outline is an essential skill for all students before submitting their papers. Furthermore, outlining helps you not to lost track of your thoughts and structure your ideas far more clearly. Undoubtfully, creating a plan helps manage your time as you can easily skip or break down the outline and then come back with a refreshed mind.

Types of Outline Structure

Primarily, there are two types of outline structures. Students may choose whichever arrangement they prefer. For a better comparison, below is an accurate illustration.

1. The Alphanumeric Format

The alphanumeric structure is the most widespread. Moreover, it is structured with various symbols for better clearness.

  • Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.) should be used to classify the outline’s main sections. Usually, you will have five of them for every paragraph.
  • Capital letters (A, B, C, etc.) are applied to show essential points in the sections.
  • Arabic numbers (1,2,3, etc.) are used for additional important details.
  • Lowercase letters (a,b,c, etc.) are used when any extra information is required.

2. The Decimal Format

The decimal structure slightly differs from the alphanumeric system. To be more precise, only numerals are used. For some reason, it may be easier to present the attachment between each of the elements by using it. Standards:

  • Outline starts at 1.0 and continues with 2.0, 3.0, etc. defining the beginning of every new subdivision.
  • The number is changed after the period for every latest information point. For instance, 2.1, 2.2, and so on.
  • In case if further details are necessary, more decimals are added. To demonstrate: 2.1.1, 2.2.1, etc.

The Process of Making an Outline

The process of planning the outlines may be quite challenging. Hence, you need to know:

  • What to do before writing?
  • What essay outline structure to select for your work?
  • How to adjust your outline to be as enlightening as possible.

Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the assignment to clarify what you will argue in the essay. Various methods include listing all the ideas, freewriting, clustering, or even questioning to develop your topic. Also Read – A Complete Overview on Identity Property

Above all, define the purpose of your essay. According to the goal, you will recognize what opinion to hold and what writing techniques to practice. It is also essential to identify your audience. In that way, the readers would be emotionally involved in your essay.


To sum everything up, when it comes to an essay, the skill of applying an outline impresses the readers significantly. Besides, understanding the necessary standards and their differences is a powerful tool to get better grades. Hence, all the advice mentioned above helps develop one’s critical thinking and grow as a more extraordinary writer.