General Essay Outline ExplainedEssay outlines are mostly in the form of list. It is divided into headings and sub-headings distinguishing main points from other supporting points. More word processors have an outlining feature that enables writers to automatically format their outlines.

The major reason why writing an outline for your essay is that it helps to organize thoughts. An essay outline will give you a view about how your paper will be looking like. It also acts as the guide to smooth transition of your paragraphs.  In addition, an outline will help you to plan overall length of the essay especially when you are bound to write just few pages.

Essay outlines should summarize your intended content for the essay and organize it in a coherent, sensible manner. An essay outline is and effective pre-writing technique. Some instructors even require their students to hand in their essay outlines as proof that they are actively preparing their essays.

There is some basic outline structure but information that you include can vary according to type of essay that you are planning to write.  You can get good essay outlines by reading widely so that you know about the right outline for argumentative, narrative or expository essays.

Writing essay outlines may seem hard but you can simplify it by making sure that you a ready topic.

An essay outline has 4 basic parts namely the introduction, body, conclusion and list of citations. These are the parts that form the 4 key sections of the outline. It is recommendable to start each part with a corresponding roman numeral.

Use Roman number “I” for introduction and “II” for the essay body. Use Roman number “III” for conclusion and finally end with “IV” for list of citations. The body section of the essay outline identified by with denomination “III” might have several subheadings. Use capital letters (A, B, C and so forth) for the subheadings. These subheadings are the supporting arguments or points for a particular heading in the essay body.

The essay outline is also likely to have sub headings for the subheadings denoted by capital letters. This means that for sub heading “A”, you may have a number of supporting ideas, examples or arguments. Use numbers for every supporting idea, example or argument.

Remember that an effective essay should have smooth transitions to show connection between paragraphs. The final sentence in every body paragraph can be the transition. It can also be incorporated into next topic sentence with some transition words.

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