Essay writing tips and advice from academic experts

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Tips and Tricks on How to Write an Outline for an Essay

An essay outline does take time but it also saves a lot of time as well. Having an outline for an essay is the perfect way to be prepared for when you start writing the essay. A good outline is structured and detailed. If you take good notes while researching you can use those notes to make your outline and that outline will guide you when writing your paper so it goes smoothly and easily. A good outline can make the writing very simple if you have done the proper research.

Good Outline Example


  • Introduce your topic
  • Write about the topic without giving the whole essay away
  • Put your introduction notes here in this format to keep it clear for when you write
  • Use all the notes you need to make your introduction outline as complete as the essay introduction should be

Body paragraphs

  • Make one major point per paragraph
  • Write down the facts that support this point in this format
  • Add additional information you want to use
  • Do this for each body paragraph
  • Make each paragraph centered around one major point or idea
  • Write down all of the information that you want to have in each paragraph using this format or a similar one


  • Sum up the point of the essay
  • Reiterate your information in a new way
  • Make it a true ending
  • Ensure that you have proven your point or stated your facts (this is where you see if you have completed the goal of the assignment, to prove something or state certain facts.)

Why write an outline?

Once you have an outline much like the one above, writing the actual essay will be easy. It helps organize all of your thoughts to smooth out the writing process. You will put time and effort into the outline, but imagine writing with one, and then without one. Writing without an outline means looking through notes, books and looking online for information while trying to write an essay. Having an outline is like having a cheat sheet. It sets up the whole essay. It tells you what to say and when to say it. All of your ideas and points are there in the correct order for you to just start writing and let that outline guide what you write. A good outline is a good resource. Having one could be the difference between a well-organized and well-written A+ essay or a scattered C- essay that was not well thought out and well put together. Use them to help you, they can do more than you might think!

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