What is an essay outline and how to use it?

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An essay outline commonly gives the writer a structure and format to follow when writing an essay. Many outlines however, will include instructions that are specific to a particular essay. For example, if you were tasked with writing a persuasive essay by a teacher, then there may be further instructions. The teacher may give you details relating to how you should conclude your essay, or may wish that you create an analysis section before you write your conclusion.

What do people use an essay outline for?

It makes writing your essay a lot easier. You can break down the structure of the essay and deal with it in bite-sized chunks. You can plan your essay and help to alleviate writer’s block. Many times a student will struggle with an essay because all they see is a blank white document before their eyes and nothing more. An outline gives a starting point and something with the direction of the essay.

How an essay outline works

Usually an essay outline is used before the writing of an essay. It is often very simplistic and easy to understand. For example, if a person is using an essay outline in order to see how an argumentative essay should be laid out, then the outline will no doubt be in bullet points. The outline cannot be too in depth because it defeats the object of being something people can reference. People need something that they can reference and get an answer with just a few glances.

Why do teachers set essay outlines?

One of the biggest reasons is so that’s all the students’ essays will conform to certain standards, however, there are quite a few educational reasons. For example, being able to understand and follow an essay outline is a very important step in an academic person’s life. The student who is unable to conform to all the points on the essay outline is going to lose quite a few points/marks on their work. He or she will struggle in later life if he or she cannot successfully conform to the rules laid down by outline.

An outline is also a good way of helping students to get better marks in coursework. If you are new to writing essays like a lot of students are, then it is very easy to become distracted from the real issues, and it is very easy to miss the point of an essay and run off on a tangent. The outline helps a student to plan the essay, and therefore enables you to stick to a point. If youcan stick to the point and hit the various points that the teacher wishes, you’re less likely to completely fail and essay coursework assignment.

How to follow an essay outline

For very specific details such as the size of page margins, you should follow the instructions to the letter. For the more subjective instructions you should try to weave them into your essay but use your discretion as to how they are used for topic of your choice. For example, many people use a thesis during the introduction of the essay, however some people prefer to start an anecdote and develop the thesis from that before moving onwards.

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