How to Create an Outline for an Essay
Essay writing is one of the modalities of sharing knowledge in our modern era. Through essays, we are conveying our subjective perspective in written form, wherein ideas are pure information preserved in the meta of language. To be more effective in conveying a powerful message or insight within your essays, it is best plan a structure for your composition. I learned that making an outline before I write my essay greatly improves the flow of thought and understandability of my work. Outlining gives foundation to the essence of your essay.
Here are some tips on how to make an essay outline:
1. Feed your brain with information and knowledge.
Do this by simply browsing and reading or watching about an interesting topic that you would like to make an essay on. Stimulating the brain with the joys of knowledge creates a space of creativity within our minds.
2. Have a concrete idea of what are you going to write about.
After fueling your system with knowledge, the next step would be to solidify an ideal flow of information in your essay. To do that, you would have to know which bits of information support each other and in what appropriate order would it be best understood by your readers.
3. List facts, trivia and statistical elements that supplements your essay.
Gather information, stories, and scientific data that might be part of the body of your essay. These elements are usually the subjects that you are going to write a paragraph about so including these in an outline is a must.
4. Determine your motive of writing.
By knowing beforehand your motive of writing, you are equipping yourself with the proper information that are needed to write your essay. Your motive becomes the central focus of your essay and it dictates how the readers will view your composition.
5. List your main points and organize them in a structural manner.
By arranging your main points into a structure for your essay, you are making the foundations oof your ideas become stable and credible.
6. Add supporting information to your main points by including them as subtopics in your outline.
Adding subtopics to your outline helps in laying down what needs to be polished and focused on.
7. Formulate a thesis statement which would be conducive of all your listed points and topics.
By doing this after gathering information and listing and creating your text structure, you are able to integrate your ideas into a wonderful thesis statement. Make sure that your thesis statement is in line with your motive of writing.
8. Add layers to your outline if you think it is necessary.
Adding layers to your outline means expanding your subtopics by adding more critical information in it. By adding layers, you are looking into the finer details to which you can improve your essay.
9. Review and replace ideas or concepts in your essay outlining.
The key on how to create an outline for an essay is flexibility. Don’t be too attached to what you have already put into your outline and adjust the information that you think can be replaced with better ones.
10. Contemplate about your conclusion.
Even though you haven’t written your conclusion yet, it is best to think about this portion of your essay because it allows you to compare and contrast it to your outline. See if it matches the message that you want your essay to expound about. In outline writing, the most important element is knowing what you want to present.
In writing an essay outline, do not forget that you are merely providing a framework for the totality of your idea. This framework will guide you to write your essay in a systematical way and would greatly help you to get your point across to the minds of your readers. The importance of writing an essay outline is within its ability to make your essay more comprehensible and clear.
Below, you can find an example of an essay outline:
Thesis: Modern food production damages our environment and people’s health and should therefore be discouraged or replaced.
- Modern Food Production
- Human Consumption of Food
- Environmental Pressures
1. Fast Food
- Mass Production
- Unhealthy ingredients
- Effect to Health
2. Meat Industry
- Animal cruelty
- Cost of production for modern meat industry
- Damage to Environment
IV. Modern day Agriculture
3. GMO Agriculture
- Use of Artificial pesticides, insecticides in plant based food.
- Effect to humans and Environment