Essay Outline : Examples and Format

07/09/2019 | 1659

An essay outline is considered to be as planning technique  when it comes to writing academic papers.Writer for writing an effective essay need to write a clear and organised  outline.Our experts are providing students with guideline  related to How to create a formal outline for essay?

Essay outline and its importance for college students

Preparing the outline is a first step which you are require to perform before stating to write an essay. It is consider to be as most important step when it comes to essay writing.  Developing a outline of an essay is much time consuming task as compared to writing it.  An  outline is basically a business tools which writers mainly use for writing academic and other professional papers. An outline has great significance as it helps in organizing your ideas in logical manner. It is essay structure which helps you in making sure that your writing remain focused.

A proper  outline also helps in constructing a proper arguments. It is essay outline which will  help you in writing the entire content. The  basic outline of an essay contains three parts  these are introduction , main body  and conclusion. All sources in an essay are arranged according to their relevance  for strengthening writing process. When it comes to essay outlining  there are number of formats.  But if you are college students then there are basically two types of format which you need to follow these are APA and MLA. It does not matter  whether you are writing  APA or MLA  outline,  the process of essay organisation remains same, there is only lit bit differences.

The main difference between two formats is that APA  format utilities  abstracts , as it needs  one or more sentences  in one line. This format  writers  basically utilize  for writing essays related to field of humanities. MLA  format  you can utilize for  writing essays related to social studies.

How to write the outline of an essay?

There are different types of essays such as argumentative, narrative, descriptive, cause-effect, five-paragraph and explanatory, etc.

Generally, students are asked to write 5 paragraphs essays. In 5 paragraph essays, students need to write an introduction,  thesis statement, main body and conclusion for an essay.  You need to fit all  5 paragraphs in the basic structure of an essay. The same practice you need to apply when preparing a plan for designing the structure  of the argumentative essay.

Key requirements for preparing essay outline

Few key requirements which you should fulfill before preparing to outline for different types of essay  these are:

  • Research and note: Before preparing the outlining of an essay, it is very crucial for you to identify potential sources and note them.  You can search for creditable websites and make use of search engines for finding reliable references that need to be included in an academic paper.
  • Prioritize thesis statement: Thesis statement is basically a summary of your complete essay or academic paper. You need to start prioritizing it before working on the different section which you have outlined. It is a thesis statement in an essay that will provide you with guidance throughout the writing process.
  • Write ideas: Here, you need to assume that you have already written a proper heading during outlining your essay. After that, you are required to note all the important points which you have found on different sources. You can use important points in which you have a note for writing the main body and conclusion part of your essay.
  • Consider including references: In relation to cause and effect essay, admission essays you need to include references in the main body section of an essay. If you are writing an analytical essay or reflection paper you need to include the citation in the introductory paragraph.

Basic essay outline format

Title page

  • Title of essay
  • Name of student
  • Name  of professor
  • Course name


  • Opening Paragraph

Thesis statement

  • Detail information about complete paper
  • Relate sentences with first main body paragraph

 Paragraph 1 of the main body

  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Relate sentences with 2 paragraph

Paragraph 2 of the main body

  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Relate sentences with 3 paragraph  and further paragraphs in same manner
  • Summaries main arguments
  • A conclusive Sentence


  • Footnotes

 Example of outlining of essay

Students might face difficulty in making a comparison between  MLA and APA  structure of essay. Both the outlining is based on the referencing style.  In the context of APA  outline, you need to include abstracts. You need to use sentence citations. A writer may not require to include a title page at the time of preparing an outline using MLA style. But it is very much essential for you to include the title page if you are utilizing APA style for preparing the structure of an essay.

Example of MLA  style outline

A sample essay on development of Stonehenge – A historical monument.

1. Introduction

  • Introductory sentence: Vast hub for ancient history is Stonehenge.
  • Interrelate sentence to thesis statement:  Height of Stonehenge is 13 ft.  It is a oldest monument in the UK.

2. Thesis statement

  • Detail of essay: Essay includes a description of the history of  Stonehenge. It also include detail information about the way Stonehenge. was built.
  • Argument 1st: During 3001 BC Stonehenge. was built.
  • Argument 2nd : Stonehenge historical monument is also recognize to be as  religious place.

3.  First Body Paragraph

  • Reference: According to many researchers  Stonehenge is believed to have been constructed around the year 3000 BC,
  • Explanation: Around the end of stone-age, pagans got together and built the first segment of  Around the end of stone-age, pagans got together and created the  first part of Stonehenge .
  • Link sentence:  It is all matter of assumption and belief of people.

4. Second Body Para

  • Reference: There are many people who perceives that  the Stonehenge  is built for religious purpose.
  • Explanation:  the practice of Paganism is the common explanation for demonstrating the intention behind building historical monuments.
  • Link sentence: More evidence emerges regarding the mysterious structure.


  • Summary of essay : Overall, the ancient stones have caused great interest throughout human history.
  • Conclusive sentence: No body is sure when Stonehenge. was built and what was purpose of building it.

6. References

APA  style outline : Example

An essay outline example on adverse effect of using mobile phones

APA title page

  • Title: Adverse Effect of Using Mobile Phones
  • Name of student : Jimy
  • Professor name : Anderson


  • Beginning sentence: Mobile phones have drastic influence on routine life of people.
  • Relate to thesis: utilization of mobile phone daily is completely out of control.


  • Description : An essay provide detail information about negative effect of using the mobile phones.
  • First argument: High use of mobile phones can result into bad health.
  • Second argument:  Cell-phone usage has a negative effect on the interaction between human beings.

Main body Paragraph 1

  • Evidence: According to the report of  Transport Research Laboratory people driving motor cycles generally uses mobile phones.
  • Explanation :Using a mobile  phones  at the time of  driving a motor vehicle has more of a drastic effect
  • Link sentence to conclusion: Nowadays human beings specially children have become habitual of mobile phones.  High use of mobile phone can have negative effect on health of human being.


  • Summary of complete paper:  Restate thesis
  • Conclusive Sentence: Excessive utilization of mobile phones can have  negative influences on people mental health.

If you still need extra assistance you can avail  our professional essay writing services.  Our professionals will prepare good essay outline for your essay  and would help you in achieving good marks.


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