If there is one thing that can waste lots of time while writing an essay, that is starting at a blank page. It happens to most newbies. You spend time thinking about the first sentence of the essay and you rephrase it a few times before putting the first words in. You can come up with a decent introduction, then you waste some more time before starting the body. Learning how to make an essay outline can prevent these problems.
Most students will blame it on the writer’s block. It has nothing to do with it. You are struggling to figure out what to write about, even if you have the actual topic. This is just a jam in your brain and it has nothing to do with the writer’s block. Some people find it easier, but at the end of the day, they only write down a bunch of words with no actual meaning. They usually get a D+.
Trying to figure everything out in the first sentence is like trying to eat a burger that you have not made yet. This is when the outline kicks in. The outline is a plan. It is the summary of your book and it contains the chapters. It can help you stay on track and it will prevent than unpleasant jam. Plus, it will keep your essay in good condition and ensure a readable piece of writing.
Learning how to make an essay outline is a different thing though.
Getting the main ideas
The intro is usually written at the end. You have a few paragraphs in between, as well as a conclusion. Focus on the body first. This is what makes the difference and this is where most of the action takes place.
If you write three paragraphs for the body, you will need three ideas. This is what you need to concentrate on before other parts. Once you get the ideas – linked to each other, of course, it is time to do some research. You can also get some tips from your instructor.
Keep in mind that an idea is not a topic. Your idea cannot be a fruit or a vegetable. It cannot be a car. Instead, it could be about a specific benefit or nutritional content of a fruit or perhaps a particular advantage of physiotherapy.
The outline is basic, but these ideas must provide a few details – up to 10 words. Each line must be short and prompt, but detailed enough to ensure you do not forget the plan. Once you get them, put them on your outline. Do they look alright? Are they in the right order? Should you switch them?
Advancing with the template
Come up with a template for each of your ideas. You do not need to write sentences, but just basic ideas – words and commas. You need to determine what ground you have to cover in order to complete your ideas.
If one of your ideas is too large and may need more paragraphs, simply split it. Your draft is adaptable, so you can be flexible with the outline. For each idea, you will need a couple of points, as well as an example and an explanation for each point. At the end of the first paragraph, you will need a smooth transition into the next point.
First and final parts
Get to the conclusion. Make sure your essay outline is not too sophisticated. The conclusion should cover a small paragraph. It is then time to move on to the first part – the introduction. Your thesis statement must cover the whole essay – ideas in the right order, points, and a bit of a plot. You want people to be hooked in before getting to the actual body.
The bottom line, learning how to make an essay outline is not that hard. In fact, the whole operation is relatively simple and should not take too much time. It is a plan that can take a series of changes as you go through it. It will help you keep on track and avoid drifting from one idea to another – a common mistake among newbies that could confuse readers.