Why Is It Important to Know How to Write an Essay Outline?

The essay plan should briefly summarize the content of your essayand organize it in an easy-to-understand and coherent manner.Writing a short draft is very effective, and some teachers evenrequire students to submit outlines to make sure that theythemselves have written essays. There is a basic sample on how todo this, but the content may vary depending on the type of youressay. Below, you will learn how to write an essay outline forvarious types of papers.

Structure of the Essay

It is rather difficult to write an essay for the first timewithout reading the manual, since this type of prose is differentfrom the usual narrative or composition-reasoning. What you needto know about essay composition, how to write an essay outline,and what information to add to the text? The basic scheme isquite simple and as follows: the entry, the body, and theconclusion

  • Entry and conclusion frame the main text – they should focusonly on the main subject of reasoning. In the entry, the questionis formulated, and in conclusion, outcomes are drawn and finalthoughts are given.
  • The body is characterized by the presence of theses andconvincing evidence. As arguments, you can use the alreadyexisting facts or quotations, incidents from life, publicsituations, clippings from works, authoritative newspapers ormagazines, etc. Here it is possible not to limit oneself – themain thing is that the argument should be weighty and fullydisclose your attitude to problem.
  • Essays should not be dry and neutral – on the contrary, wordsshould play with colors, evoke emotions (even negative ones) inreaders, they should express your worldview and character. If youdo not know how to write defiantly or with a certain intonation,then try to insert in your text such artistic means as epithets,comparisons, metaphors, and allegories.
  • Just like a printed document, the essay must be formatted inits own way. The most important parts of the text are besthighlighted in paragraphs, and if you make a long listing, thenmake it in the form of a list to make it noticeable.

The Peculiarity of the Genre

In the process of how you write an essay, you will understandthat this type of text requires an original approach. If you wantto make the work in a particularly penetrating and impressiveway, follow these rules and techniques:

  • Laconism and capacity.
  • The subjective assessment of the problem is underlined.
  • Freedom of composition.
  • Simplicity and ease of thoughts, proximity to theconversational style.
  • Paradoxicality, the ability to surprise the reader.
  • Semantic unity, the absorption of one theme.

Start an essay with a bright phrase or title and write so thatit’s hard for another person to break away from reading the work.Add freshness to already battered expressions and clichés,operate with aphorisms and quotes, show your education, and thenyour writing will be worthy of high praise.

Tips on How to Write an Essay Outline and Essay Itself

  • Understand the Theme of the Essay. Focus on the title ifavailable. Often it is the name that allows the examiner toidentify the main idea of the material presented. It is alsoimportant to give your comment to the title, but if it ismissing, you do not need to invent your own version.
  • Analyze the article and identify its main problem. Answer thequestions like “what topics does the author raise in his work andwhat does he want to convey to the reader?” It is important hereto determine the author’s position on the given problems anddisclose its conclusions.
  • Tell about your thoughts on the issue raised. It’s not enoughto briefly express your attitude to the topic, noting only yourconsent or disagreement with the author’s point of view. It isimportant to bring your own arguments, which can be your personalexperience, as well as examples from journalism and literature.If you do not share the position of the writer, then try toformulate your objections in a soft form. Do not be afraid ofyour opinion, because the score for writing (essay) is based onother criteria. It is important to disclose the basis of yourreasoning and reinforce it with the weak and insufficientlysubstantiated theses of the author: perhaps you will find in thearticle any inaccuracies, inconsistencies in the writer’s words,unnecessarily emotional statements, etc.

Possible Mistakes When Writing an Essay

Students often admit inaccuracies when writing essays. Amongthem, the most common mistakes include:

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  • Composition instead of essay. Do not write a retelling of thearticle read. Here you must interpret its main idea and indicateyour specific conclusion.
  • Structural analysis. Many students indicate in their worksthe number of sentences and paragraphs in the article, which isabsolutely not worth doing. It is not necessary to list keyphrases, which contain confirmation of the main idea. You have tosolve the main problem and express your attitude towards it, andnot make an analysis of the structure of the text.
  • Author’s name. Do not forget to indicate in your work thefull name of the writer.

It is important to take into account that all sections of theessay are closely interrelated, therefore, having made a mistakein determining the problems of the article, you risk negating allyour work. Be sure to reread the essay you wrote and correlateits theses with the affected issue. If you find anyinconsistencies, correct them.

Thoroughly think over the algorithm for writing essays. Be sureto determine for yourself how to start an essay, what to writeabout in its main section, and what conclusions to formulate.

First write an essay in the draft (if time permits), check it forerrors, make proofs, and then rewrite the work, avoiding blotsand new mistakes.

Rewriting your text for a clean copy, be sure to check it againfor grammatical, speech, and punctuation errors.


In order to fully prepare for writing essays, it is necessary toknow how to write an essay outline.


You can start your essay with a quote that is appropriate to thetopic. It can be taken from the text provided or from othersources (newspapers, magazines, etc.). Instead of quoting, it ispermissible to use a rhetorical question that reflects the mainessence of the problem raised. In the entry, you can also writegeneral information on the topic or use an authoritative opinion.If you know the author of the article, then you have theopportunity to tell interesting facts from his biography, revealhis life views and positions. Remember that the structure of theessay requires a short entry, consisting of 3–4 proposals. Itshould have a semantic connection with the main part and theconclusion of your essay and smoothly lead the reader to theformulation of the main problematic of the text.

Definition of the Main problem

It is very important to correctly understand the main theme ofthe text. If you make a mistake here, you will endanger all yourwork. Do not confuse the concept of text problem and the author’sattitude to this problem. Analyze the article and identify therelationship of the topic with the modern society. Remember thatthe author is considering a specific case, your own task is toincrease the scale of the described situation to the size of allmankind. If you can formulate the problems in one rhetoricalquestion, then this will only be a plus for your work. In orderto clearly structure your thoughts and correctly convey them tothe reader, use popular clichés.

Your Comments on the Topic

In this part of the work you need to explain the problem of thepaper. A simple statement or citation of the text is not allowed.Here you should reflect on the relevance of the topic. You canapply the thoughts of other authoritative personalities who havealready expressed their views on the question. If you have yourown point of view, bring it in an essay, arguing reasoning withyour own experience. In your work, you should note the details,on which the author emphasizes special attention, and give hiscomment to the above theses. The main purpose of this part is toreflect the writer’s ideas in the interpretation of the examiner.Of course, you can quote the right quotes from the text, but youshould not get too involved. To more clearly communicate yourexplanations, use standard speech patterns.

Reflection of the Author’s Position

Here you must disclose the writer’s conclusions, to which hecomes based on his reasoning about the issue raised. To correctlydetermine the author’s point of view, you need to ask thefollowing questions:

  • Why did he write his article?
  • What did he want to convey to the reader?
  • What is the author’s assessment of the situation described?

The narrator’s position can be open and explicitly encourage thereader to take certain actions. But often his opinion is veiledby complex metaphorical turnovers and irony, so you need to findan undefined meaning and reflect it in your work.

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