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How to Write a College Essay Outline

how to write an essay outlineDeveloping an outline is a great way to organize your thoughts and ideas on your essay, no matter its type. And yet, not many students make use of this practice, as it seems like additional work to them. So, let’s start with answering the question: why should you create a college essay outline in the first place? Of course, you can jump right to the essay without any preparation whatsoever, but it will probably result in a messy and disorganized paper. You don’t want your ideas to be scattered all over the place, do you? That’s exactly why you need to outline the essay first – this will help you build its rough structure. And when you have a structure with all the main points, it’s much easier and faster to fill it in.

As you can see, creating a college essay outline will actually result in having to do much less work. Yet, it’s only easy when you know how to write a proper outline for an essay. Don’t worry though, here are some main steps on how to write an outline for an essay. It doesn’t matter whether you wanna know how to write an essay outline for university or college. Follow these steps and you’ll be alright either way!

4 Steps on How to Write a Formal Outline For an Essay

  • Choose the type of essay

First, you have to decide on the nature of your paper, as college outline format usually depends on the type of essay. Do you want to know how to write a persuasive outline for an essay? Or maybe you need to learn how to write an argument essay outline? Although basic rules for a college essay outline are the same no matter the type, papers still have little differences. That’s why we’ll go over the main steps first, and then talk about specifics of each essay type.

  • Think about your thesis

One of the main tricks on how to write a good outline for an essay is that you need to carefully think about your thesis. Take your time to define your main statement, lay it down and thoroughly analyze. The best way to understand where to start and how to write an essay outline for college is to ask yourself: what point are you trying to prove?

  • List your main arguments and proofs

Once you’ve got your main idea, your college essay outline also needs some arguments. It’s nothing fancy, one argument equals one sentence, plus each argument has to have at least one proof. Later, you’ll polish them and turn into whole paragraphs, but the college essay outline is meant to be simple. Be careful of which arguments you choose though for specific essay types, as this is where it gets interesting.

  • Frame a conclusion

Finally, write a conclusion that restates your thesis statement in different words. That’s it, that’s mostly all you need to know about how to write an outline for college essay. You won’t have a problem with how to write an essay from an outline at this point. With the skeleton ready, all you need to do is just fill in the blanks!

A Few Additional Tips On How to Write an Essay Outline For College

Remember we’ve mentioned specifics of some essay types? Well, check out these tips on college essay outline for different papers!

  • How to write an outline for an essay of persuasive nature?

A persuasive essay often starts with a “hook” that defines your target audience. If you need to learn how to write a persuasive essay outline, your arguments can be either emotionally charged, logically irrefutable, or ethically binding. It doesn’t matter, as your main aim is to make them as persuasive as possible. And finally, your conclusion of argumentative college essay outline should always include a call to action for your reader.

  • How to write an argumentative essay outline?

Argumentative essay is about facts and proofs. That’s why, if you’re interested how to write an outline for an argumentative essay, your arguments should rather be claims. Each claim should be supported by some credible evidence from reliable sources. Your college essay outline has to state some opponent views too, followed by swift refutations to defeat them. Those who want to learn how to write an outline for an argumentive essay should also remember to dwell on ramifications of their statement in the conclusion.

  • How to write an informative essay outline?

The most important part of the informative essay is your research on the topic. Make sure to include main research points into your college essay outline, and support them with some known facts. Plus, don’t forget to offer suggestions for further research of the topic in your conclusion.

  • How to write an extended essay outline?

An extended essay is a 4,000-word research paper, so it’s all about your research process and findings. It doesn’t really depend on the subject, so there’s no difference in how to write an outline for English essay or Math research. The main thing to remember about how to write an outline for a college essay of this type is that you need to analyze your findings.

  • How to write an outline for an application essay?

As application essay is about personal experiences, college application essay outline has a lot in common with a narrative essay. That’s why, if you know how to write a narrative essay outline, you’ll have no problems with your application. Simply start with a strong “hook”, convey an interesting personal story and conclude with a strong memorable statement.

As you can see, creating a college essay outline is easy yet helpful when it comes to the actual essay. Just follow four simple steps and use these tips for your particular type of college essay outline.