Essay Outline


How to outline a proper essay
Kai  Ladd
Note by Kai Ladd, updated more than 1 year ago
Kai  Ladd
Created by Kai Ladd almost 10 years ago

Resource summary

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Outline make it easier to write your essay. It helps your essay stay focused, helps you to organize your points, and keeps you from getting stuck.

Follow these steps in this order to get the most of your outline.1. Main Idea: After deciding on what topic you are going to choose, reading or scanning through the literature, and developing a working thesis, you should have an idea of what the main points of your essay will be.  Write the main idea for each paragraph in the "Main Idea" space.  (These will not be written "as is" in your essay, but will serve as guidelines for you as you prepare your outline.) 2. Points for Development: Place your points of evidence in the spaces provided. Each point you want to make (a, c, e, g) should be supported with a specific detail (quotation or described detail) from the story (b, d, f, h) to prove your arguments. Each body paragraph should have three or more points of support. 3. Topic Sentence: By using the points of evidence (See 2), you can then summarize what the paragraph will be presenting.  Put that here in one or two complete sentences for each body paragraph.   This should convey the main idea of the paragraph to your reader. 4. Transitional Sentence: By looking at the "Topic Sentences" for each paragraph, you can make a transitional sentence which flows between the two paragraphs. In your essay, this will be the last sentence of the paragraph.   You will examine this step in greater detail, later in this lesson. 5. Thesis Statement: Revise your working thesis.  By summarizing your two or three "Topic Sentences", you can make a thesis statement. Make sure the thesis is one that will be supported by all of the body paragraphs, and be sure it answers the question which was posed to you.  No matter how good your essay is, you have to address the question to get a good mark. 6. Literature Specific Statements:  Working backwards through the introduction, you can then summarize the literature and introduce how it fits into the question. 7. Generalization: Review the question again, and make a generalized statement about life, society, or people, that reflects what you are about to present. 8. Conclusion: Similar to the introductory paragraph, but in reverse.  Restate the thesis, using different words.  Sum up the main points of your essay and/or state what has been learned, either by the reader or by the character you have been discussing.  Then, make another generalized societal statement, similar to the first, but focusing more on what has been learned. With the outline complete, the essay will be essentially finished. All you will have to do next is to arrange the information into complete functional sentences, and finish the six steps.

Introductions: Tell Reader what topic and piece of literature is important. specifies what literature work you will discuss (Literature specific) States main point & how you plan to prove that point (Thesis statement) Guidelines: Should progress from general to specific Shouldn't bring up ideas not developed in essay body Should mention both Title and Author of the work. Note short story and poem titles should be placed within quotation marks, while film and novel titles are italicized (Underlined when not available (like diploma exam) Thesis statements should be underlined



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