How To Create An Outline For An Essay: 7 Must-Know Rules

Creating an outline in easy steps

The outline of your paper acts as a backbone for the rest of your paper. Students might argue that they can create an effective paper even without using the outline but they would certainly see improvements in the structure and uniformity when they use an outline. This is because the outline acts as a roadmap throughout the paper and helps you avoid any confusion and maintain your direction and stance in the paper. When creating the outline, if there is any contradictory data, you can spot it right there and replace it because you are yet to create the draft and write your paper. This is also easier for your audience to see an organization in your paper rather than a cluster of ideas with no definite direction

If you are not sure how to create an effective outline, you should consider the rules below. They will help you in creating an effective piece

  1. The thesis statement/topic of your paper
  2. Include the title of your work in the center of your paper on the top of your outline. The importance of originality and engagement is clear because it is the only way you can have a competitive edge over others in the same field. Whether your paper is going to be published or not is an entirely different debate, you should make sure you choose the best topic for your paper. This helps you stay focused and precise while brainstorming or arranging data

  3. Gathering your data
  4. Gather your data based on the major arguments you have developed by dividing your thesis statement. Data collection should be careful and directed. Keep taking notes so that you can cite the references if needed

  5. Analyzing your data
  6. Once you have the raw materials for your paper, analyze them, and filter them out to delete irrelevant, invalid, and redundant information and only keep necessary data. You should also organize them in an order that you want them to appear in the paper

  7. The introduction
  8. The introduction of your paper contains two parts

    • The opening sentence- state the hook you will use here to keep the audience engaged until the end
    • The thesis statement- defines the scope of work
  9. The body
  10. Contains the same number of paragraphs depending upon your number of major arguments and evidence for each

  11. The conclusion
  12. Summarize, restate, or emphasize

  13. Using bullets, lists and sub headings

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